Nostalgia Runs for Nintendo and Game Boy

I haven’t updated this blog in quite some time. I have had larger projects demanding my attention. It all takes energy. These days I’m trying to run a magazine, write a book and produce a short movie, as well as having another job. I also like to read books, watch movies and stuff. I also spend time just thinking, and trying to understand everything. I feel so incredibly lazy and incredibly busy at the same time. For better or worse it keeps me busy at least. I don’t have to wake up feeling everything is meaningless, because I simply don’t have time for that. It’s always more a worry getting the ball rolling on different fronts. Things get frustrating when I’m having blocks from working. Luckily, I also know it doesn’t matter too much. Life’s too fragile to think your own stuff matter that much. You’re here one day and gone tomorrow. Your goals and dreams are only to fill your time, and if you’re lucky you get win a toaster. If you don’t then you don’t. Which is both a blessing and a curse to concede. 

But I’ve had a side-project I planned on perhaps posting about the progress here. I just never did. 

Nintendo Run

I’ve written about nostalgia before on this blog, and how it’s a very odd thing to have as a hobby. When I was a kid I loved the Nintendo 8-bit system. 

I got a few games, and I also played games at my friends house, and others house and I read a Nintendo magazine. Together its 48 games somehow. My old Nintendo broke down ages ago, but I did manage to find a working one used. I also started collecting and playing the old NES games again. It became a hobby. It is nostalgic playing games thats only in a faded memory. Perhaps of a happier time, or at least a different time. I started beating some of them, like the old Mario games. I also noticed there’s a pretty interesting retro-culture of gaming out there. Some people even had projects beating all the games for the system. Which is insane as there’s over 700, and many are not easy.

To make the story short I got the idea of making it a mission to not only experience all those 48 games, but also beat them. 

I kept my own blog/thread over at the NintendoAge-forums, and as of 8th of July 2018 I had beaten 48 Games. Last game being Lolo 3, which was by far the one I spent most time on(since I refused to use a walkthrough). 

I also wrote reviews of all the games, and rated them in terms of difficulty.

You can read it all here.

Here’s the games in term of difficulty: 

Note: Some games were easier for me since I played them so much as a child, and some I’ve played many times, but my rating was an attempt to rate them for someone who’s blind to the game. 

  1. Adventures Of Lolo 3: 10/10
  2. Adventure Island: 10/10
  3. Top Gun: 9/10
  4. Werewolf – The Last Warrior: 9/10
  5. Ice Climber: 9/10 (the whole game beaten on 1 continue)
  6. Carmen Sandiego In Time: 9/10
  7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 9/10
  8. Tiny Toons: 9/10
  9. Track & Field 2: 8.5/10
  10. Double Dragon 3: 8.5/10
  11. Willow: 8/10
  12. Kid Icarus: 8/10
  13. Bubble Bobble: 8/10 (with real ending)
  14. Faxanadu: 8/10
  15. Little Nemo: 8/10
  16. Punch Out: 8/10
  17. Ninja Gaiden. 8/10
  18. Bart Simpsons Versus The Space Mutants: 8/10
  19. Ironsword – Wizards & Warriors 2: 7.5/10
  20. Bart Simpsons Versus The World: 7.5/10
  21. Bionic Commando: 7/10
  22. Ghostbusters 2: 7/10
  23. Super Mario Bros 2: 7/10
  24. Total Recall: 7/10
  25. Tecmo World Wrestling: 7/10
  26. Super Mario Bros 3: 7/10
  27. Tecmo Cup Soccer Game: 7/10
  28. Mega Man 2: 6 or 7/10 (depending on if played on Medium or Hard)
  29. Flintstones: Rescue Of Dino And Hoppy: 6-7/10
  30. River City Ransom: 6/10
  31. Trojan: 6/10
  32. Kung Fu: 6/10
  33. Mega Man 4: 6/10
  34. Mega Man 3: 6/10
  35. Super Mario Bros 1: 6/10
  36. Turtles 2: 6/10
  37. Casino Kid: 5-6/10
  38. Double Dragon 2: 5-6/10
  39. Mega Man 5: 5/10
  40. Duck Hunt: 5/10
  41. Nintendo World Cup: 4.5/10
  42. Chip & Dale: 4-5/10
  43. Mega Man 6: 4/10
  44. North & South: 3-4/10
  45. Duck Tales: 3.5/10
  46. Adventures In The Magic Kingdom: 3/10 
  47. Mario Bros: 3/10 (to get to Level 12, where anything new stops)
  48. Ice Hockey: 2-3/10
  49. Rockin’s Kat: 2/10 (Secret bonus levels: 8/10)

Reflections: 

Doing the run was very fun, and I’ll probably do similar runs in the future. Feel free to steal the idea and do similar stuff yourself. 

Its weird rating some of these games in terms of difficulty because it might be tempting to rate them in how hard you see them presently. Most of these games would not go over 5 or 6 in difficulty (and in many cases a lot lower) if I rated them like a point where I already have beaten them. Looking back playing through Lolo 1, 2 and 3 that was the toughest challenge. I played them in sequence and it took forever. Especially the third one was twice as long as the other two combined and many puzzles were just near impossible. Some levels had me stuck for over a week figuring out. Being stumped for days was very frustrating. Adventure Island might seem like a nice and easy game if you haven’t tried beating it, but it actually becomes complete hell in the latter levels. Maybe because of poor level design, but who knows. Top Gun I absolutely hated, because I never figured out how to dodge certain missiles, so I had to play it cheap to get through (pointing the nose up in the air through the level, it surprisingly works, not sure if its cheating or not). Carmen Sandiego was a lot of memorizing facts and so on. Helped to keep notes. It wouldn’t have been too bad hadn’t it been for how painstakingly slow a mission is and for how many missions you had to do. After catching Carmen you’d think it’s done, but nope. You have to due endless missions after that until you retire, and the game has the nerve to make the missions longer too despite you answering the same questions. 

Turtles is a very hard game. When we were kids I didn’t know anyone who had come very far into it. I only saw people coming far into the fourth level and it was very impressive. Seems like many people didn’t get past the dam, and thats just the third level and not nearly as hard as the later stages. It’s a long game. I’m impressed if anyone beat it as a child. The worst stage is the Technodrome, where I still am not sure how to beat it without using a glitch to make the astronaut-ghosts disappear. Shredder ironically is a joke of a boss though. Tiny Toons I’m not sure deserves the 9/10 rating anymore, but its true that the last world at Max Montana is pretty brutal, long and without checkpoints. It’s the only game I owned that I never beat, which to me says something. Games like Ninja Gaiden are quite hard, and often has a rumor for being hard, and it kind of is… but it has endless continues and is so fun it evens out the difficulty. To me the most difficult games were the one that was unforgiving and had clunky controls. Punch Out is a game I owned as a kid, and I beat back then too. I might not be able to judge it «objectively». The later part of the game you need to practice a lot. Mr Dream (or Mike Tyson) is hard as nails at first, but it’s a memory game. When you know the patterns of the boxers they’re all suddenly tons easier. 

On the easier side, yes, seems like Rockin’s Kat was the easiest one. I owned it as a child and I had the whole game in muscle-memory still, despite it being ages since I played it. Beat it in my first run. It’s an easy game. 

I also think Chip & Dale and Duck Tales are easy games. Same with Adventures In The Magic Kingdom. The Disney games usually weren’t the hardest ones. 

If I had to pick 5 favorite games:

  • Mega Man 2
  • Adventures Of Lolo 3
  • Tecmo Cup Soccer Game
  • Faxanadu
  • Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors 2

Mega Man 2 is probably my favorite game on the system, and one I beat now and then. Tecmo Cup Soccer Game is ironic for me to pick since I don’t like soccer, but I am impressed with the originality of mixing RPG with sports and how well it works. Faxanadu is just very atmospheric and dark, and it’s also very long. Ironsword is also an old nostalgic game I remember spending a long time trying to re-find. I remember having flu as a child and playing that game instead of going to school. it’s one of my favorites. Lolo 3 I love just because I spent so much time with it finishing this run. I am also insanely impressed with the level designs. I like all the games in the run though. 

Game Boy Run
It was pretty fun completing the NES run. I thought I’d do the same with Game Boy. At the moment I’m 7 games in out of 38. You can follow my progress here. I play very casually when I find time. 

I’m playing the Pokemon games currently and while its quite entertaining it takes forever. 

Mine tanker om Antinatalisme 2017

Filosofi er et interessant tema. For mange år siden fikk jeg det for meg at filosofi primært kun var tanke-masturbering, og at det egentlig ikke hadde noen spesiell verdi. Ikke ledet det til noe. I beste fall var det gymnastikk for hjernen.

Sene nattdiskusjoner med min far, en biolog og en hard realfag-mann, og som tydeligvis fikk lov å skippe ex-fil på sin akademiske vei, så fikk jeg vite at han hadde svært liten respekt for filosofien. Han mente Charles Darwin og vitenskapsmenn hadde svart de fleste gåtene filosofien hadde grublet på i lang tid. Hva er meningen med livet? Faren min sa svaret er tullete, fordi vitenskapen har vist at det ikke er noen mening med livet, og at vi er her pga en evolusjonistisk prosess. Han fnyste også litt av de gamle grekerne. Aristotoles trodde tydeligvis at grunnen til at fuglene i Athen var borte om vinteren var at de fløy under havet, og det er jo bare tull. Jeg merker andre mer vitenskap-favoriserende menn kaller filosofi som å lete etter svar i mørket.

Jeg tok jo ex-fil en gang selv, og jeg fikk også litt inntrykket at filosofien prøvde å relativisere naturvitenskapen. Min foreleser hadde en oppgave til oss der man snakket om tyngdekraften. Newton sin teori handlet om tyngdelovene, mens en av de gamle grekerne derimot trodde gud «dro» ned fjæra mot bakken. For en filosof skulle visstnok disse to teoriene sidestilles, og ingen var sikrere enn den andre. Jeg husker jeg kranglet litt med foreleseren om hvor tullete en slik påstand var, og at tyngdekraften var bevist. Hvordan kunne han likestille dette? Jeg hadde problemer med å forstå hvordan han kunne mene dette. Jeg husker han ble stille og betenkt en liten stund, før han gikk tilbake til standpunktet sitt at begge teoriene var like valide. Jeg var skuffet over det. Var filosofi rett og slett bare å relativisere seg ut fra virkeligheten? For noe svada i så fall. De hadde tydeligvis heller ingen bruk for evolusjonsteorien, siden den tydeligvis sto litt i odds med filosofihistorien og dens mange tenkere. I verste fall: var filosofi bare nok en religion, som fornektet fakta når det passet den?

Senere har jeg heldigvis fått en annen holdning til filosofi. Kanskje var denne foreleseren en slags postmodernist, fordi jeg er usikker i dag hva han snakket om. Når det kommer til mennesket så kan man godt si at filosofi ikke burde fornekte menneskets biologi, fordi vi er et resultat av evolusjon, men det er likevel et problem at å si at biologien er en fasit for rett og galt. Jeg anser ikke naturen som en god «oppfinnelse». Det er jo ikke en gang en virkelig oppfinnelse i den grad det ligger noen tanke bak den. Den er alt annet enn en plan hvordan ting burde være derfor.

Spørsmål som «mening med livet» er ellers ikke noe dypere enn at vitenskapen har tolket det dithen at Gud ikke finnes, at det ikke er en overordnet implisitt plan med naturen, at vi er et resultat av biologi og at det dermed ikke finnes en objektiv mening med livet. Dette er fint, men jeg tror fortsatt man kan snakke om mening på et mer erfaringsmessig plan som levende skapninger. Hvordan skal vi leve i et meningsløst univers? Mange mennesker drives av ulike ting inne i seg, populært kalt «viljen», hva betyr dette? Ellers, hvis man erkjenner at smerte eksisterer og harme ikke er bra, så vil det påvirke veldig mye av hvordan man vi bør leve. Filosofien har mye å si fortsatt.

Antinatalisme 

Tematikken om antinatalisme traff meg rundt 2011-2012, og den gang slo det meg først og fremst bare som en interessant filosofi. Kanskje litt deprimerende, men veldig interessant. Jeg husker jeg hadde lest mye evolusjonær psykologi, og trodde på dette tidspunkt at alt av menneskelig oppførsel kunne spores opp som enten overlevelsesmetoder eller attraksjonsmetoder(naturlig seleksjon og seksuell seleksjon). Antinatalisme ga ingen mening i dette lys. Fra et naturlig og evolusjonært perspektiv er det noe som ikke kan forklares like enkelt.  Antinatalisme setter tross alt en negativ verdi på fødsel, så hvordan kunne den gi noen mening i forhold til mekanikken til evolusjon? Den er på en måte i direkte opposisjon til evolusjonær psykologi, og den beviste også for meg at menneskets tanker faktisk er høyere og adskilt fra vår natur. Jeg hadde tidligere trodd vi var fanget i den.

Jeg kan i grunn ikke tenke meg et større tabu enn anti-natalisme i dag. Der de fleste ideologier og tankeganger angriper «den andre siden» og forsvarer sin egen side, så står antinatalismen i opposisjon til absolutt alt. Selve grunnlaget og roten til livet står i søkelys, og det er en vanskelig erkjennelse at livet i seg selv er roten til alt vondt. Likevel så er det så logisk at det et barn kunne skjønt det. Hadde ingenting eksistert, så hadde ingen lidelse eksistert, ingen urettferdighet hadde eksistert og ingen bekymringer. En vanskelig erkjennelse å akspetere, men den kan ikke nektes. De fleste ønsker å tenke at livet i utgangspunktet er godt, i alle fall nøytralt, men at negative aspekter finnes, og helst at disse kan fokuseres på og fikses som de kommer. At elementer med å leve som kreft, dødelige sykdommer seriemordere, voldtekt, terrorangrep og alt negativt finnes er ikke grunner til å se på etikken i prokreering som negativt, men i stedet skal prokreering aksepteres mens disse tingene kan og skal motvirkes. Selv om man ikke kan fjerne selv en brøkdel av mest negative elementene med å eksistere så virker det som mer logisk for majoriteten å aldri se på roten av problemet.

Min vei videre

Jeg føler at å finne antinatalismen har vært både det beste og det verste som har skjedd meg. Alt endret seg. Jeg ønsket egentlig ikke å være enig med antinatalisme, av mange grunner, ikke minst fordi jeg skjønte at det ikke var noe bra for karrieren min. Hvem vil jobbe med noen som mener å få barn er galt? En som sukker istedet for å gratulere når mennesker forventer gratulasjoner? De fleste vil jo bare ha sitt brød og sirkus. Man må med andre ord lide for sine prinsipper i 2017 hvis man er enig med antinatalismen. Man må rett og slett skjule disse sentimentene, ellers så man akseptere å bli mislikt og vist en kald skulder fra mange hold.

Det positive i det negative med dette er at folk kan i allefall ikke påstå at jeg mener disse tingene instrumentelt for å få noen slags fordeler.

Det er enkelt og greit bare det at å ha sett nøye på argumentene i mange år, så klarer jeg ikke å trekke meg vekk fra det uten å føle meg intellektuelt uærlig. Det gikk fra å være research til en film jeg lagde, men endte opp med å bli den eneste virkeligheten jeg kan se, og det er ingen vei tilbake. Så får det bare være et kors jeg må bære på livet ut. Pokker óg, kanskje. På den positive siden ligger det en små-«smug» følelse av å se noe de fleste mennesker ikke ser. (Selvsagt tatt i betraktning at filosofien er sann.)

Aktivist? 

Min vei etter denne erkjennelsen var om jeg bare skulle akspetere antinatalismen, glemme den og velge å leve videre på samme måte som før og ikke fokusere på andre ting. Som andre lidenskaper jeg måtte ha. Gjemme denne siden av tankene mine. Eller om jeg skulle prøve å se om jeg kunne «bruke» antinatalismen til noe. Burde jeg kanskje være en aktivist? Burde jeg skrive om det? Debattere det med alle jeg kommer over? Burde jeg lage filmer eller dokumentarer om det? Burde jeg hjelpe antinatalismen opp på beina i samfunnet, få folk til å forstå den? Stoppe misforståelser? Dedikere mitt lille liv til dette? Til den dag i dag vet jeg ikke, men svaret mitt har blitt et litt Ole Brumm’sk begge deler. Jeg har prosjekter og gjør ting helt urelatert til antinatalisme, men også prosjekter relatert til antinatalisme.

Er det å ikke få barn så ille uansett? Et barnfritt liv. 

Jeg har alltid separert tankene rundt om at selv om det ikke er rett å få barn, så kunne det jo fortsatt være fint å få barn. Disse to konseptene er jo ikke avhengig av hverandre, og det kunne jo kanskje være at det er flott å få barn mens det fortsatt ikke er etisk korrekt. Mange ting som er galt kan jo fortsatt føles bra. Går man glipp av noe i det å ikke prokreere? Det virker jo som det er «meningen med livet» for mange. Om man ser rundt seg i samfunnet virker det jo som dette er noe man burde erfare. Det er jo et så stort fuzz!

Inntill ganske nylig har jeg jo også trodd kvinner har en slags medfødt driv etter å få barn. Man ser jo hvordan kvinner noen ganger reagerer når de ser babyer. Jeg tenkte at kvinners natur kanskje var dødsstøtet for antinatalisme. Det virker som jeg tok kraftig feil her.

Jeg har funnet en interesse for «childfree»-bevegelsen. Først trodde jeg denne bevegelsen bare var kvinner(og menn) som bare ønsket å prioritere andre ting enn å få barn.

Historiene deres er derimot sterkere og mer interessante enn som så, og de åpner for noen ganske utrolige perspektiver. Det viser seg at spesielt kvinner som ikke ønsker barn ofte blir møtt med mange fordommer og motstand. Fascinerende mange fordommer. De blir kalt «egoistiske», de blir kalt «kalde», og de blir rett og slett hetset.

Hvorfor? Hvorfor betyr det så mye for en at noen andre ikke ønsker barn? Om man selv ønsker barn er nå én ting, men hvorfor dette presset på å skremme unge jenter til å få barn? Advare dem mot deres biologiske klokker, advare dem at de kommer til å angre hvis de ikke gjør det? Hva er det egentlig som foregår?

Kvinners perspektiv mot barnløse:

Det viser seg at det å få barn på mange måter(uansett positive elementer ellers) er en felle. For kvinner selv som har barn, så ligger den enorm misunnelse til de kvinnene som ikke får barn. Hvorfor? Fordi de selv er fanget med et barn som de må prioritere hele tiden fremfor seg selv. De føler det rett og slett er urettferdig at barnfrie kvinner skal fortsette å ha den friheten de nå har mistet. Alt fokuset må være på barnet. Ens egen helse må prioriteres under barnets. Det er rett og slett et slags fengsel.

Mange mødre har anonymt kommet ut på nett og sagt de angrer de fikk barn. De kan ikke si dette åpnet, fordi det vil oppleves som at de ikke er glad i barna sine, og at de dermed er dårlige mødre, noe som selvsagt ikke er tilfellet, men i anonymitet kan de si det. Det er et valg de ikke skulle tatt.

De forteller også skrekkelige historier. Jeg leste en historie om en kvinne som følte seg manipulert av en venninne som nettopp var blitt mor, til at hun også skulle få barn. Hun i ettertid skjønte venninnen bare ville dytte sine egne lidelser over på henne, fordi å få barn var langt fra en så vakker opplevelse som ble lovet.

Dette gir jo på mange måter mening når man tenker over det. Hvorfor ofre sine egne mål og drømmer om det man vil gjøre, for å bruke all sin tid på et barn?

At det er en så fantastisk opplevelse å være høygravid, gå gjennom et smertehelvete av en fødsel(noen steder i verden dør fortsatt kvinner under fødselen), eller at det å ligge utslitt på sykestuen med et blodig skrikende avkom i armene, for å nå bruke måneder med søvnløse netter å passe på det, virker å være den største løgnen som er oppfunnet, og folk tror på det. Et bevis er at barnefødsel ikke er koselig er at markedet er nærmest eksplodert av bøker om postnatale depresjoner. Jeg ble sjokkert over hvor mange slike bøker som utgis hele tiden. Dette er ikke uten grunn. Kvinner går ofte inn i en fødselsdepresjon, fordi de skjønner hvor fanget de er i dette livet, og deres beste år er borte innen barnet er såpass oppvokst at det klarer seg selv. I beste fall er det et offer.

Tenk på det slik også: At en slik opplevelse må motiveres hele tiden fra alle hold med hvor «vakkert» og «viktig» er ikke naturlig. Det virker i stedet å være noe kvinner må fortelle og oppmundre hverandre til, ellers vil antageligvis ingen ha barn mer.

Menns og samfunnets perspektiv mot barnløse:

Flere menn har også en forakt for barnløse kvinner ofte. Dette har jeg også undret meg over. Her lurer jeg på om det ligger andre funksjoner. Fra et slags «feministisk» ståsted kan det virke som menn gjerne ønsker å kontrollere kvinner, og at det ikke finnes en bedre måte å gjøre det på enn å lenke henne fast i hjemmet med sitt eget avkom. En aldri så vakker kvinne som er fanget med et skrikende nytt barn er jo ikke populær hos andre menn. Det får litt samme funksjon som en burka.

Jeg merker også at hos i alle fall at høyrevridde menn gjerne også ønsker å bekrefte at kvinners biologi er å være barnemaskiner. Det er en «naturlig rolle» de skal oppholde. Mange av disse mennene er ganske hjernevasket av religion og sosialdarwinistiske idealer.

Så er det samfunnet da. Makrokosmoet. Hvorfor betyr det noe at barn blir til? Det er ganske opplagt at det er for å oppholde disse grupperingene man favoriserer. Om det nå er samfunn, nasjoner, religioner eller bevegelser. Man ser dette tydeligst i totalitære og krigshissige samfunn. Under nazismen var det en enorm propaganda og nasjonalromantisk skildring av kvinner som «viktige» i rollen å skape flere tyskere. Dette hadde funksjonen i skulle å lage et større og sterkere Tyskland. Flere barn kvinner av Tyskland ga, jo mer kunne nazistene ekspandere grensene og mer makt. Barn ble med andre ord brukt som fremtidige soldater som skulle dø for landet.

Religioner har samme innebygde funksjonen. De fleste religioner har skjønt at å fremheve at det er flott for dens følgere å få mange barn, jo sterkere blir religionen, og mange religioner ønsker verdensdominans. Man ser det også hos folk opptatt av raseteorier. Hvite nasjonalister i dag er ekstreme på det. Deres hat mot andre raser er forkledd som en kamp for deres egen rase sin eksistens.

Så det ligger utrolige mange usynlige krefter i samfunnet for å hjernevaske kvinner og menn til å tro at å få barn er en bra og flott og nydelig ting. Dette har en funksjon, men kommer ikke egentlig fra det at å få barn er vakkert og at folk vil du skal oppleve det. Dette er en form for propaganda.

For hvis det å få barn kun var flott, så ville jo friere land fått flere barn. Dette er ikke tilfelle. Jo desto friere folk blir i et land jo færre barn får de, og desto senere i livet får kvinner barn også. I Norge, som er et ganske godt land å bo i, så kommer det bekymrede meldinger om fødselsraten. Jeg synes dette beviser det jeg sier.

Så man kan jo bare forvente å se propagandamidler som prøver å fremheve ideen om at kvinner må ha barn. Det hele er veldig trist. Hetsen mot barnløse kvinner og menn må bekjempes.

Antinatalisme for fremtiden?

Min største trøst som antinatalist er at selv om jeg tror det ligger en slags byrde over å ha disse meningene i dag, siden de blir så lett misforståtte, så vil det i fremtiden antageligvis bli forstått av flere enn bare outsidere og enkelte intellektuelle. Det kan ta tid, men jeg tror genuint på dette.

Om Det Tragiske

Mennesket er et meningssøkende vesen i en meningsløs verden. Det er vår tragedie, sa Peter Wessel Zapffe. Jeg vil alltid beundre de som kan stå i mot det biologiske og sosiale presset for å prokreere, og å unngå å presse den samme kosmiske forvirrelsen over på et stakkars avkom — men med tiden innrømmer jeg å ikke forvente det av så mange.

Min sønn eller datter skal livet derimot aldri få forderve eller plage. De er for alltid trygge, fordi de skal få slippe å vite om noe som helst. De skal aldri få en skramme av det brutale kosmos. Det finnes ingen risiko at noe galt noen sinne vil skje med dem. Hvis det er noe som gjør meg lykkelig, så er det å vite nettopp dette. Hvis det er noe jeg føler jeg har oppnådd med livet, så er det å ha skjønt akkurat dette.

The Wolf Debate In Norway

In Norway these days there’s an active heated debate going on about the wolf in Norwegian nature.

picture 009

Some of my friends seem to have fallen into this debate and has become staunch defenders of the continued existence of the wolf in Norway. I got into an argument with an old friend on facebook, and then later on Skype because I was «silly» enough to express on facebook that I didn’t see the problem of the wolf going extinct in Norway.

I could sense my friend got very upset by my opinion, and he asked several times if I was joking or not, while lecturing why my opinion was wrong despite not knowing my arguments. A friend of his on facebook was equally upset, if not more so. He did something close to verbally abuse me for having such an «uninformed opinion». He told me that all animals and insects and plants had the same right to live as humans. So who the heck did I think I was, he asked. I was first surprised that my opinion which I conceded was a little controversial was taken in such an ill favor, but it was.

The debate turned into something quite interesting though, because when you talk to someone of the extreme opposite opinion to you(and none of you are visibly insane) there’s an uppertunity to explore a different understanding of reality, if you can get to it, which is something I personally find exciting.

So why do I see no problem with the wolf going extinct? Well, I am conceding I might hold a minority view(although I actually don’t know the opinions of the average norwegian about the wolves) so I’ll hereby defend my view.

There’s two layers to my opinions. The first being that keeping wolves in Norway is nonsensical to defend in fear of wolf extinction, and the other layer is that wolves extinction in itself is no tragedy. I would suspect the first layer being more digestable than the second for upset readers, but we shall see.

Argument 1: Is the wolf really going extinct? Not at all. 

I remember this debate the first time going on in the mid 2000s on social media on some social media called Blink, and I remember there was a fraction of people staunchly supporting the wolf in Norway. This was my first exposure to these opinions, and back then I had no strong opinion. It seemed like something the macho naturalist guys would argue, and it almost seemed like a nationalromantic statement. «Oh, norwegian nature without the wolf is a poorer nature and a poorer culture» you could probably condense their opinion down to. They had these nicely and a little bit cheesy painted logos of a wolf in nature. «Yes to wolf in Norway».

Now in 2017 the debate is back, because they are considering putting the wolves in all of Norway down, because farmers are complaining the wolf is killing off their sheeps.

Well, there’s a funny argument going on, because the species of wolves are actually quite substantially spread world wide. The wolf is NOT GOING EXTINCT. Not close to it. There’s a lot of wolves in northern America, and there’s a lot as many in the forests of Russia and many in Finland and so on. The wolf as a species is not going “extinct” anytime soon. To use that word is to be intellectually dishonest.

So what we really are debating is if the wolf is going extinct IN NORWAY. Inside the national borders of our own country, and that is all. Not a big deal you’d assume. Kenya doesn’t have wolves either, and that is the case with most countries in the world. Countries are social cultural constructions. So it seems like such a delusion to claim its «important» to have wolves inside the borders of Norway, and talk about «extinction» in this context. Its also ironic to the debate that the wolf itself has no clue if it wanders over the borders from Russland to Finland to Norway. To them countries don’t exist. Its just another forest and another hill. In a sense the wolf sees this clearer, which is also ironic.

Another argument I shall make is that if there’s no more wolves in wildlife Norway, lets remember that dogs are really just tamed wolves. Some of them, like the huskies, even looks and acts a lot like wolves. If we include dogs in the equation then there shouldn’t be any issue in the slighest, as there’s not any lack of dogowners in Norway, as there’s often many dogs in almost every street. Another layer of irony however is that its typically doglovers that fights for the wolf to live in wildlife nature, while they would probably call it animal torture to let a tame dog live out in nature by natural resources alone.

Argument 2: The risk of having wolves in Norway

My friend who got upset with me said at one point «I’m just speaking for the animals that can’t speak for themselves». His implication was that since the wolves couldn’t talk and defend themselves intellectually he had to step in to protect the wolves in Norway.

While I was trying to digest the argument I couldn’t help but finding a glitch when I was thinking about the sheeps in Norway. Sheeps are running around in herds being vulnerable to dangerous predators that might hunt them down, eat and kill them alive. Wolves usually picks out the oldest, or the youngest or the sickest sheep from the pack and devours them. No real fairness within the brutality in this. There’s an immense amount of anxiety and suffering going on within the process for the sheep. So when my friend talks about «speaking for the animals», why is he leaving out the sheeps? Or indeed any other poor animals thats on the wolves menu? Would it be reasonable to assume sheeps would want predators lurking around after them, if they had the mental capacity to actually understand their situation? I somehow assume not.

I asked my friend if there existed T-Rexes in the wild in Norway, if he would defend their position in wildlife Norway too? My friend didn’t like the comparison, and brushed it off, but I wonder why, because the argument has some merit. Both the T-Rex and the wolf are predators by their own nature. They go after weaker animals, hunt them and to eat them alive, causing anxiety and immense amounts of harm. If there was T-rexes free in the woods of Norway there would be a moral duty to put them down, because they are dangerous.

Another argument is why there’s such an automatic assumption that the wolf itself is having such a great time in Norwegian nature? Experts claim quite to the opposite that the wolf actually is suffering in Norwegian nature. Its actually starving because there’s not that many easy preys for in Norway, so it everyday live is to run around hunting just to survive, and most day its lives in intense hunger. Its a painful existence for the wolf. They don’t have any dogowner that fills their bowl of dogchow everyday.

The fact of suffering hunger of the wolves also makes smaller human children vulernable to the wolf too, so if you don’t choose not to care about the welfare of the sheeps, what about humans? Your own species? I promise the day a human child is killed and eaten by a starving wolf then this debate is «game over» by default. The wolf supporters will sneak out of the debate immediately, and people like me wouldn’t have need to write another word, because the actions speaks for themselves. The wolf supporters might say its quite rare for wolves to attack humans, and they perhaps have a small point as it is probably rare, but just that the risk exists makes it something to think about. If you meet a dead hungry pack of wolves out in wild nature would you feel safe?

Argument 3: “The appeal to nature”-fallacy

As I was debating my friend I gradually noticed the shape of the difference I was talking about earlier. He started telling me nature is smarter than humans. He said nature is “always right”, and nature always finds a «balance». He also said nature couldn’t be wrong about anything, and humans simply can’t say anything against nature.

I was assuming there had to be some bigger layer to our difference of our dispute about the wolf, and this here is the essence of it. Nature itself! To him humans are the evil, self-declared gods that wants to remove a «natural balance» in nature by removing the wolf, and thus disturbing a natural balance where the wolf is supposedly “needed”. This is also part of a propaganda video about wolves which his friend shoved in my face on facebook. The video argues the wolf makes nature more balanced, and without it other parts of nature will die out, all while ignoring the damages a wolf as a predator also might cause.

Well, I am not here to say predators doesn’t contribute to some kind of “balance” in nature, that might to some extent be true in the eco-context, but I think there’s a bigger picture that is being ignored here. Oh, just the minor point that nature doesn’t really have any thoughts, plans or ideas? That nature doesn’t have any goals or blue prints how its supposed to be? I don’t think my friend is religious and claim that an intelligence has created nature with some grand plan, but it still seems like he sees nature as some personified goddess that you simply can’t criticize. I wouldn’t agree with that.

I asked him that since cancer is natural if he considered it good, because I really just saw his opinion as a close relative to the old appeal to nature fallacy. Nature is not all good, I argued. It doesn’t have plan, and it doesn’t have any thoughts. Natural selection has been going on for millions of years by an ecosystem where every species are dependent on eating lower species to survive. Its really a horror story, not a story of harmony. All while we’re becoming more and more aware that all sentient species suffers by this balance. We should know better by now, but judging by the absurd arguments that floats around the public debate it seems like we don’t. Instead I’m somehow the enemy for pointing it out, and I’m the uninformed and ignorant one.

Really, the «beautiful balance» we claim nature has is our own delusion. There’s no right or wrong to the balance. Its just a bunch of species trying to co-exist, while at the same time competing and struggling for existence and to keep alive. Some fails and some succeeds. I can see that is a difficult pill to swallow for many people. Its probably especially bleak for the romantic hedonistic naturalist, but it doesn’t make the cold fact of nature untrue.

Conclusion

I don’t think there’s a tragedy that the wolf ceases to exist, as existence itself is a burden for everyone and non-existence is painless. To be clear I would say that about any animal. I would support a painless way of putting the wolves down. If its done without harm I see it as nicer to the wolf than to let it walk around starving in a norwegian nature there its difficult to find animals to eat. Thats my overrall opinion.

And if we zero in on just Norway it makes no sense to fight for the wolf at all. If extinction is to be seen as a tragedy (which it really shouldn’t) there’s still tons of wolves around the world. So to fight for it in your own country seem kind of patriotic, nationalistic, shortsighted, and therefore a little bit absurd.

Get your values straight, people. There’s better things to worry about. There’s no lions or tigers in the wild in Norway either, and the country is doing fine without them.
And I have to shoot in that I do think wolves are beautiful animals, but still.

Et gammelt mareritt, og et oppgjør med David Lynch.

Jeg fant dette innlegget i “drafts”, fra flere år tilbake, og syntes det var interessant nok til å poste.


Jeg husker jeg har hatt dette gjengående marerittet flere ganger. Det er en gang jeg har hatt det tydeligst, og det var en gang jeg husker sommertid. Det er en eller annen form for sammenkomst, en kulturell sammenkomst. Det vises filmer, som en slags spontan liten filmfestival. En film jeg har laget blir vist. En film jeg hadde fullstendig glemt jeg hadde lagd. Mens jeg ser får jeg først en følelse av stolthet, fordi filmen jeg hadde glemt, var ganske så god. Den inneholder ekte skuespillere, og må ha vært rundt 20 minutter lang. Men mens jeg ser den blir jeg så pinlig berørt av den. Mange av scenene henger bare ikke sammen. Filmen har mange scener og replikker som rett og slett bare virker totalt usammenhengende.

Likevel er det som om scenene på et isolert sett er bra, og jeg håper at publikum på en eller annen måte ikke merker at filmen er usammenhengende. At de på en eller annen måte ikke merker det. Jeg prøver å forstå hvorfor jeg har laget dette, og hvordan jeg ikke kan ha vært mer nøye på at historien og scenene skal ha en sterkere helhet, men den står der, og filmen er hva den er. Publikum derimot virker sakte men sigende og virke provosert, og jeg merker at etter en stund så hater de den. De skjønner på et eller annet vis at jeg er personen bak den, selv om jeg ikke tror det på noe punkt i drømmen blir avslørt. De begynner å hate meg også for å ha laget filmen, og jeg spør meg selv hva jeg tenkte.

En ting som minnet meg på denne drømmen var å se en dokumentar om David Lynch jeg hadde liggende. Lynch dokumentaren trigget denne drømmen igjen, mistenker jeg. Jeg merker Lynch for meg var en av de største som fikk meg til å få lyst til å lage film. Jeg elsket universet hans i min tidlige ungdom. Det var så mystisk, så merkelig, så inspirert, så surrealistisk og så full av sjarm. Selv om jeg setter hans beste filmer skyhøyt så er det akkurat som at når jeg ser dokumentarer og noen ganger intervjuer med med han, at han virker å ha blitt mer og mer som i den drømmen jeg hadde. En filmskaper som bare har glemt av hvordan å lage noe sammenhengende, og noe som har “rotfeste”. Nå var jeg sliten i hodet da jeg så dokumentaren, men da han jobbet og snakket så jeg syntes han surret fra det ene til det andre uten mål og mening. Han går rundt som en klarsynt og ser for seg stemninger, bilder og mystiske situasjoner, men han vet aldri hva de er til, og det er tydelig at de ikke alltid trenger å være noe. Forhåpentligvis oppgir de seg selv kanskje. Klart, for kreative mennesker er det en utfordring å finne på spørsmålet på hva arbeidet deres gir dem.

Jeg må innrømme at like mye som at jeg fortsatt synes Lynch er en form for et kreativt geni, så er det akkurat som jeg samtidig får en vibb av en person som har gått seg vill. På den andre siden, når en film går seg vill men finner noe, er det kanskje mer interessant enn noen andre filmer.

Top 20 weirdest SNES games

What are the weirdest and most unusual Super Nintendo games out there? I’ve been looking through most of the library and here’s 20 suggestions of what could potentially be it.

Super 3D Noah’s Ark (Wisdom Tree, 1994)

When it comes to sheer weirdness its hard to top Super 3D Noah’s Ark. First off: its perhaps the only unlicensed Super Nintendo game, and you have to put another game on top of the cart to play it, to overrun the lockout function. This makes the game-cart looks weird in it self.

The real weirdness however comes with it being a religious themed game, based on Noah’s Ark naturally, but that is put on top of Wolfenstein 3D, a game where you kill nazi soldiers. Its no parody, and its no joke. Its made by Wisdom Tree, a real christian game company. In the game Noah is on the Ark and he is shooting animals to sleep with a slingshot, or else they will kill Noah. Its an absurd plot for a game, but yet this game exists. Rumor had it ID Software, makers of Wolfenstein 3D gave the code to Wisdom Tree as a joke.

So Wisdom Tree did their best to make a religious game out of Wolfenstein 3D though, and that is crazy.

Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure (Interplay Entertainment, 1994)

Disgusting is the name of the game in Boogerman, and its a bit of an unknown SNES title.
(It was also released on Sega Genesis.) It’s a platformer with some cartoony and pretty well made animation for its time. Is it weird? Well, considering your weapons include farts, burps and throwing green snots at your enemies then yes, probably. The levels themselves are filled with green landslides of snot, slime and boogers… and slime is also hanging from the roof, trees and such. Its everywhere. In one level you wander through the sewer systems in some levels fighting muddy creatures coming out of a toilet.

It’s a pretty childish game, and it’s a mystery who the target market was for these games, because as far as I understood it Boogerman never became a huge commercial success.

Captain Novolin (Sculptured Software, 1992)

Captain Novocain is another certified weird entry in the SNES library. You are a superhero with diabetes, so you need to keep your blood sugar level under control. So who are you enemies? Of course, junk food, hamburgers, donuts and so on. Don’t touch them! You’ll die! From diabetes! As goals of the level you’ll be ordered to get apples, vegetables and your insulin medicine, and you’ll learn about diabetes between the levels. Very educational, right? What a strange concept for a game.

Packy and Marlon (Health Hero Network Inc, 1995)

Would you believe that Captain Novolin is not the only platformer game on Super Nintendo about taking insulin, keeping blood sugar low and having diabetes?

Well, Packy and Marlon are two fat elephants and they are also struggling with their diabetes. Made by a different company three years later, seemingly unrelated! Its crazy that two games ended up having the same absurd plot. Did they think children find this type of stuff fun? Were they trying to be educational? Difficult to say. Weird nonetheless.

Parodius (Konami, 1990)

Parodius is a zany series of games. Its like the title indicates more of a parody of ‘shmups’ (shoot-em-ups), so we’ll have to grant that the weirdness is intentional, as its a “parody”, but its still so insane, wacky and all over the place you’ll go «wtf» frequently. Anything happens.

Chou Aniki (Masaya, 1995)

The Chou Aniki games are almost iconic for their bizarreness, and they probably top some kind of all times weird games list. The one for SNES is more like a Street Fighter-ish fighter game, while later installments are more like shooters. (At least thats my impression.)

They’re full of over-the-top craziness. In what way? They are very “gay” is the way people put it. In this context meaning very muscular men in nude often acting very feminine. There’s quite a few crazy sexual innuendos too. Its very strange, and some of your characters are quite out there.

Besides the gay bodybuilders, there’s also a playable character this mix of a submarine and a woman.. with some muscular passengers!

Uniracers (Nintendo, 1994)

You’re a unicycle without a cyclist doing races on a rainbow. Yes, its quite weird.

Earthbound (Shigesato Itoi, 1994)

Earthbound. Not your typical RPG. You play as a little school kid in modern times, and you fight all types of people like hippies, a happy cult, rabid dogs, corrupt politicians.. but also monsters of all sorts.. In the evenings you have to go home to your mother and go home once in a while or you’ll get homesick. The story and the humor is very weird but doesn’t take itself too seriously. When you get to a city called Moonside you have entered one of the weirdest places in video game history, so look out for that. The game was pretty huge in Japan, but never really succeeded on the same level in the west. The game has a gained strong cult-following though, and quite a few people claim its one of the better games on the console, or even one of the best games ever made. Its full of weird stuff though, and thats the important part here…

Mega Man Soccer (Capcom, 1994)

As someone who really likes the Mega Man games but isn’t a fan of soccer this one is a painful combination to take… but even if you like soccer its surely a strange combination you have to admit. Whats next? Ninja Gaiden Ice-Hockey? Or Ghost N Goblins Bowling? Super Mario Go Kart ? (Wait, umm, that one exists, right…) Another strange SNES combination that didn’t make the list is a Power Rangers Racing game.

Well, as much as I like Mega Man I can’t deny Capcom never tried to milk this cow to death. I’ll remind you. They’ve turned poor Mega Man into a soccer player.

Shaq Fu (Electronic Arts, 1994)

Shaq Fu! The infamously stupid and bizarre concept where basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has his own Street Fighter themed game. There’s even a corny storyline. Shaquille has to go rescue some little asian boy, and have to fight a lot of martial arts masters for whatever reason to do it. Strangely enough you can even fight the boy at some point too, which makes absolutely no sense. So you can be Shaquille O’Neal beating up a little child you’re supposed to rescue. Bizarre? Yes.

Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball (Hudson Soft, 1991)

Futuristic robot COMBAT basketball. This game is odd.

Mohawk And Headphone Jack (THQ, 1995)

This is Mohawk. He is a yellow muscular naked guy with sunglasses, no penis, earplugs and a strange but kind of cool hairdo. He’s also a weird Sonic The Hedgehog rip-off. Well, he is actually a “morph”, and all the music is stolen from his funky species, so Mohawk has to get them back by collecting thousands of records through the levels. Its an odd concept, and the level designs and the game music is quite acid and weird as well.

When you stand still Mohawk is really jamming to some tunes he is listening to on his Mp3 player(or perhaps disc man?). The morphs species sort of like evolved into being musical or something.

Bonus: Here’s an inspired Mohawk hairdo on a sculpture.

Lester The Unlikely (Visual Concepts, 1994)

Lester is a wimpy nerd stranded on an isolate island. An unlikely hero for a video game. He walks like a lazy Steve Urkel, and if you come close to small enemies he’ll sometimes shriek and run away. If you jump down from platforms he’ll get hurt, so Lester is not your strongest protagonist. In fact a seagull can get him and fly him back to the beginning of the level.

Pac Attack (NAMCO, 1994)

You like Tetris? You like Pacman? What about a deranged mixture of both?
Not sure if this was an original idea or an unoriginal idea.

Rex Ronan: Experimental Surgeon (Sculptured Software, 1994)

So, you’re a shrunk cleaning-up dude inside a sick body. You are fixing teeth cavities and stuff. On one level you have to fire weapons at tar building up from smoking and other mouth diseases… and it supposedly gets even weirder later on. This is Mutant Virus for Super Nintendo.

 

SUPER Solitaire (Krome Studios Melbourne, 1994)

Imagine three kids back in the 90s talking about what Super Nintendo game they got for christmas. Timmy, John and Christopher.

Little Timmy says proudly he got Mario Kart and Super Castlevania. John says he got Street Fighter 2, and he’s so excited… and then Christopher is asked what Super Nintendo game he got, and he answers “Oh, I got myself Super Solitaire!”
Christopher must have been a naughty boy that year. 

Honestly, not dissing on Solitaire or anything, but who requested a port for Super Nintendo when basically every PC of the 90s had it for free? 

EVO (Enix, 1992)

An RPG about the theory evolution could be an interesting idea. So, in Evo you start as a lower form and evolve your way into more and more complex forms until you’re a human. Except this isn’t Charles Darwin theory. This is more like Pokemon evolution when it comes down to it. Meaning its the same creature evolving all the way! Thats not what Darwin was talking about as far as I’ve gathered it. So its bizarro evolution then? Okay, at least it then deserves a spot on the list.

Home Improvement (Absolute Entertainment, 1994)

A Super Nintendo platformer based on the Home Improvement Comedy sitcom with Tim Allen is certainly odd in itself. How that got passed even brainstorming is mysterious, but it did.

You play as Tim Allen’s character getting lost on other TV sets, which certainly is silly. Most people don’t get past the dinosaur stage. Supposedly a live animatronic set with dinosaurs that somehow be able to kill you, despite not being real dinosaurs but still acting like ones. Your weapon? A nail gun of course. This game could just as well have been called “Handy men in Jurassic Park”. Tim Allen shooting fake but dangerous dinosaurs with a nail gun. I don’t get it.

Another odd fact: The manual for the game has a huge sign that says «Real Men Don’t Need Instructions».


Power Instinct (Atlus, 1993)

Power Instinct is not your average fighting game. You’ll might do ok on your first battles, but then you meet the sweet old lady Otune and then its game over. So you’re fighting an old lady? Yes, and she’ll kick your ass. Some of her special attacks is slurping on your face and shooting her dentures out at you. She’ll make you cry. This is not a kiddy game like Mortal Kombat. Otune is seriously mean. Stay away.


Some bonuses:

Phalanx (Kemco, Zoom, 1991)

This is a shoot-em up. A space shoot em up. So why is there an old man with a banjo on the cover? What kind of weird marketing plot where they going for here? Reverse bizarro psychology?

Street Hockey ’95 (GTE Interactive Media, 1994)

Look out. Its Rastafarian street hockey, mon.

UFO Kamen Yakisoban: Kettler no Kuroi Inbou (KID, 1994)

Only for Super Famicom, and I know nothing about the game…. but the weirdness of the cover trancends any regions of the console. Seriously Japan, WTF.