Scared Straight

Parents Let Kid Drop Out of High School to Focus on Guitar Hero

To me, that reads the same as “Parents let kid drop out of highschool to focus on crystal meth,” or “Parents let kid drop out of highschool to explore newfound interest in clumsy teenage sex.”

“”We couldn’t take the complaining anymore,” said his mom.” That’s REAL parenting. The kind of parenting you normally only find when mom and dad share a few chromasomes. The best part is, the kid ISN’T some kind of Guitar Hero prodigy. He won a few local tournaments and has only earned about $1000, and most of that was in chicken sandwich coupons (I shit you not). I know to a kid $1000 worth of Chik-Fil-A seems like all you really need to get by in life (hell, it sounds pretty good to me right now), but man can not live on delicious breaded chicken parts alone. How’s he going to afford fries, Diet Coke and honey mustard?

I remember when I was 8 and I told my mom I was dropping out of 3rd grade and leaving home to join Voltron. I had my arguments rehearsed (something like, “I WANT TO JOIN VOLTRON BECAUSE THEY ARE ROBOT LIONS AND THEY ARE IN SPACE AND THEY HAVE A SWORD AND I WANT TO DRIVE A ROBOT!”) and I wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. As any good parent would do, she told me I couldn’t join Voltron because they were satanic and made Jesus cry. Seemed like a good reason to stay in school at the time. In retrospect I regret not taking that chance at happiness.

Aw hell, Guitar Hero Idiot Kid, go live your dream. You ride that plastic guitar all the way to top. All the way to the extended stay motel where you and your common law wife will wretch and convulse night after night becuase your button clacking skills can’t afford you the delicious meth you need to feed the dragon in your brain. DREAM BIG YOU STUPID SONOFABITCH!


I know there’s more to this story than what I’ve portrayed here. If you want to know the rest, Google and read. If you want to laugh at a silly comic with little to no basis in reality, I can help you with that.


I had previously mentioned that the airing of a commercial for a video game on stage between bands at the Dethklok concert was… unwelcome at best. Turns out that particular part of the show hasn’t been very well received by the audiences at each of their tour stops. I assume the fire that halted a San Francisco Dethklok show was the result of a disgruntled fan that didn’t want to be sold anything else after purchasing a $30 ticket with $15 in convenient charges, a $25 shirt and several $4 beers.

It was a lot like the first time I saw a commercial at a movie theater instead of just trailers. You’re excited for the entertainment you’ve paid for and are about to enjoy and then something happens to make you feel ashamed and dirty. When they began projecting the advert on a 50 foot wide screen in front of us Josh panicked and began trying to fast forward the concert. I explained that what were were experiencing wasn’t recorded on a Tivo but was actually a live event that couldn’t be time-shifted. He then tried to delete the torrent. I just held him as he acted out his paranoid psychosis  and wept.

I get it. Touring is crazy expensive, and when a corporation approaches you and offers to foot some or all of the bill if you agree to certain impositions on behalf of your audience it’s probably pretty difficult to say no. I guess it just seemed like the kind of thing that would be more at home at a Panic at the Disco show than a Dethklok concert. That logic, and my disapproval, really don’t make any sense seeing as how “Dethklok” is just an advertisement for an ad supported cartoon, DVD’s and other merchandise. Like I said, I actually enjoy their music regardless of their fantastically entertaining television program.

I remember seeing Weezer at the first Honda civic tour in the early 2000’s. That was my first experience with corporate sponsored rock and roll. There were Honda Civics on the floor of the concert that you could sit in. I think there was a mosh pit test drive too. There were tents where I could play Playstation racing games featuring the all new Civic, and informational booths where I could learn more about the ABS brakes, dual airbags, and “roomier than you would think” interior. I got a free Weezer poster at that show. Well, it said “Weezer” in tiny letters. Mostly had a picture of a car. And the name of a car.

In all honesty, I really wasn’t even all that offended at the Dethkomercial. I was just VERY SURPRISED to see it DURING a metal show. That’s all.

Guitar Hero IV: The Inevitable Conclusion

These will be followed by:

  • Guitar Hero IX: Rock Bottom
  • Guitar Hero X: Break Up/Rehab 
  • Guitar Hero XI: Behind the Music
  • Guitar Hero XII: Middle Aged Reunion Tour

Much like every other video game franchise that I have ever found the least bit enjoyable, the Guitar Hero franchise subscribes to the philosophy of “Improvement through Complication” (see all Tony Hawk games after THPS 2 for prime examples) which typically sucks all the fun out of the game and replaces it with more buttons, inane objectives, less enjoyable gameplay and ridiculous difficulty.

So far they have confirmed the additional buttons and drums, not to mention a higher price tag than Rock Band. Time will tell if the game requires you replay every song using a formula based on the Fibonacci Sequence, or to inseminate a wolverine before you can move on.

Does this feel like a “me too!” to anyone else? I will admit that I found the Rock Band Drums to be nearly unplayable. For anyone that actually plays drums, nothing can untrain your brain that toms and cymbals should not occupy the same space on the kit. It should also be noted that I was never able to fully  enjoy Rock Band due to lack of convicing lighting and smoke effects. What kind of amatuer hour bullshit were they trying to pull.

While you’re waiting for either Rock Band or Guitar Hero to come out with a giant inflatable pig peripheral, check out this steaming turd of a video.

Grand Theft Art Imitating Life

This was one of those rare occasions where the universe wrote the comic, and I just had to draw it. I asked Josh to show me “GTA IV” so I could see what all the fuss was about. I hadn’t played a GTA game since Vice City, and even then I pretty much ignored the missions and just blew stuff up until the cops chased me into the ocean. We literally sat there for 30 minutes watching in game cartoons on Nico’s TV. Then when he finally started to play the game, there was this whole complicated courting process he had to go through with Michelle. He actually said, “The nicer the clothes I buy, the more likely she is to put out on the first date.” You have to manage the expectations of your in-game girlfriend? This is scary shit people. That is WAY too real for a game that’s supposed to be about stealing cars, and then using said cars to murder their previous owners. I know I wouldn’t be able to play through the actual missions of this game because the moment it asked me to buy clothes and get a haircut to impress the fluzey I just met on the street, I would be reaching for the nearest blunt implement, or machine gun, or chainsaw or machine gun that fires chainsaws…on fire to murder her with.

I know the game is excellent. You don’t have to convince me of that. I just wouldn’t ever get past the parts that were as boring as my real life in order to complete it properly. At no point during Sonic 2 or Street Fighter was I asked by the game to go to the store and pick up cat litter (or hedgehog litter).

This reminds me of when my friend Wes had overclocked his P3 to play the first “Deus Ex.” He opened the computer case and turned the AC (in the abandoned apartment he was squatting in) down as low as it would go. It was September and you could see your breath in there. Wrapped in blankets we watched him play this revolutionary game. My turn came and I chose to start over from the beginning. About 5 minutes in I was supposed to sneak into a medical complex and do something important. I walked in the front door, guns a blazing and killed every person in the lobby. Alarms sounded and troops were dispatched. I died and the game was over. The whole thing lasted under 6 minutes. I just remember breaking the icicles off my nose and saying, “This game sucks. I’m out of here.”

I guess that’s why I’m a Wii Tennis man. Pick it up, play for 10 min, put it down…whatever. Just keep it casual.


Apparently Yahtzee agrees with me: