Wednesday, February 26, 2014

News You Can't Use: Video Shows Officer Confronting Man Filming Arrests In Towson

Hello again comrades, how are you doing on this beautiful day our government has given us? I trust you're busy winning that victory over yourself. I am also doing great. This glass of Victory Gin might be the best I've ever tasted, as you probably guessed by the tears of joy sliding down my nose. I just heard we've pretty much got that war in EastIran won, isn't that exciting? Yes, I think so too. Anyway, here's a story about all of our freedoms.

A man videotaped Baltimore County police as they arrested two people in Towson, but an altercation broke out between the man and officer. Now an investigation is underway.

Clearly the government and its hero servants are correct, as always.

I hate to break character but this has to be said. Videotaped? Really? I'm pretty sure it's all digital now. Is "recorded" really such a difficult concept for the average troglodyte that still gets their news from mainstream sources? Do we have to provide comforting references to yesterday's obsolete technology so that no one panics?

County police officials say they are concerned by the video and they’ve launched an investigation.

Or, more accurately "We're concerned about the negative reactions of the serfs so we're launching a cover-up."

Early Sunday morning, a man videotaped as Baltimore County police arrested two people in Towson. As the video rolled, he was confronted by an officer.

Again with the videotape and even "rolling." What is this? I picture a giant 1940s movie camera. I'd love to hear this reporter explain YouTube. "It's like a giant collection of VHS and Beta tapes! You don't even have to rewind them!"

“I’m allowed to do this,” he told the officer.

“Get it out of my face,” the officer replied.

“I have my rights,” the man said.

“You have no rights,” the officer said.

The land of the get out of my face and the home of no rights whatsoever.

“Do you see the police presence here? Do you see us all? We’re not [expletive] around. Do you understand? Do not disrespect us and do not not listen to us,” the officer said. “Now walk away and shut your [expletive] mouth or you’re going to jail, do you understand?”

Protect and serve, that's what we do.

Imagine this guy messing with your VHS camcorder...forever.

“I thought I had freedom of speech here,” the man said.

“You don’t. You just lost it,” the officer replied.

While you were watching those awesome late-season replacement television shows we stripped away your most basic rights. Just thought you'd like to know. Reasonable search and seizure protections? Sorry, they just took a walk. Not having to quarter soldiers in your house? That right just evaporated a moment ago, tough break.

“I think the officer in the video is extraordinarily agitated, hostile and unprofessional. I think it’s highly problematic,” said David Rocah, ACLU Maryland. “The fact that officers can act this way, knowing that they’re being filmed, I think shows a level of impunity that is quite troubling.”
Naw, it's all fine. Come on.

“There needs to be either further training for the police and perhaps some appropriate disciplinary action for this individual policeman,” Rosenberg said.

All right cadets, today we start our special "This is not a totalitarian nightmare state" training. 

In a statement, county police officials say they recognize and respect the rights of citizens to film officers on duty in a public place, unless the person filming has violated a law or statute.

You can do whatever you long as it doesn't violate the millions of laws and statutes that clearly say you can't. 

In the interest of Right Think do not visit the source or watch the "tape" of the incident available there.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

News You Can't Use: Exercise Data Reveal a Couch Potato Nation

Americans are fat. This is not news. But hey, we've got "science" in the form of attaching hungry, hungry citizens of this great republic to various probes and sensors and then recording the lethargy. The results, predictably, paint a picture of real women with real curves, real men with real sleep apnea issues and a nation that would never leave the couch, ever, if such a paradise was somehow obtainable.

Americans are stuck in chairs and on the couch, spending eight hours a day with their metabolic engines barely idling

And that isn't even counting the so-called "sleeping" that wastes another eight hours.

According to data from sensors that scientists put on nearly 2,600 people to see what they actually did all day.

"Can't I just write down what I do and report back? I think my word should be good enough."

"No. Sensors."

The results were not encouraging: Obese women averaged about 11 seconds a day at vigorous exercise

This exercise consisted of opening various food containers.

11 seconds? How is that even possible? It's been awhile since I've had an 11 second vigorous exercise and the truth is it happens to all men sometimes so stop looking at me like that and let me go to sleep.

While men and women of normal weight exercised vigorously (on the level of a jog or brisk uphill hike) for less than two minutes a day, according to the study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

While not quite a two pump (of knees while hiking uphill) chump, it's not especially good, either.

I'm guessing the land whales used in this study thought the "mayo clinic" was some sort of mayonnaise research center and by the time they figured out it wasn't the medical devices had already been attached.

If you included moderate exercise, such as yoga or golf, folks of normal weight logged about 2.5 to 4 hours weekly, according to the data. In part, that’s good news: federal recommendations for adults include 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity coupled with muscle-strengthening exercise.

So really, everything is fine.

Still, the data sketch a nearly supine population profile, with days marked by long hours of sedentary behavior, particularly for those who are overweight or obese.

One nation, fully prone, gasping for breath, with assorted salty snack items and sugar syrups for all.

Edward C. Archer, a nutrition and obesity researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “How you spend your day determines whether you store your food as fat or store your food in your muscle, healthfully.” 

I don't think it's possible to be an "obesity researcher" in the USA and not be constantly on the verge of a violent meltdown.

Time for those eleven seconds of vigorous exercise.

For the obese, the study confirms what has been known for some time -- they are stuck in a “vicious cycle” of  inactivity and weight gain, said Archer.

We have now proven the "what goes around come around" hypothesis and are close to a unifying theory of how you can't have your cake and eat it too.

The difference between those who were overweight and those with a normal range body mass amounted to four to six minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, the study showed.

If we could just get everyone to climb a sheer cliff face while weighted down with 100 pounds of gear as quickly as possible for a lousy six minutes a day we would solve this problem.

Although socioeconomic data were not included in the paper, previous research has shown that low-income people, particularly single mothers, are most likely to falling into a low-exercise lifestyle, in part from the demands of work and from the condition of recreational facilities in their neighborhoods.

Although the article is pretty much over I thought I'd throw in this irrelevant digression that has vaguely political undertones for no good reason.

“Ultimately the greatest inequalities we have is in our health behaviors,” he said.

"If only there was some way to redistribute exercise using coercive methods via a state-controlled apparatus, perhaps after a bloody revolution where the 'health nobility' are targeted."

“Unfortunately, we live most of our life going from chair to chair to chair. And if we can change that, just a little bit, we can have a massive impact on our healthcare costs.”

Just remember, you are the sum of the value you create minus the costs of sustaining your life and that's it. For the good of an impersonal and often hostile system, shape the hell up.

Komment Korner  

There is a long political tradition of abusing fat kids


Getting down to the floor also allows for greater mobility as one streches and moves the body.

Yeah, and their new model is Planet Fitness, where serious fitness buffs are excluded, uninvited, and overtly discouraged from membership.

I've noticed the three most prominent "fat jobs" are goobmit, deadumacation, and hellth care.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

News You Can't Use: Man Robs Store Wearing Flower Pot as Disguise, Wielding Chainsaw

You come from a land down under. You tilt that bottle. You watch too many horror movies, are deeply involved in botany and are robbery-curious. Can these disparate details be combined into one of those rare moments when the banality of evil suddenly becomes the amazing originality of evil? The answer probably won't surprise you.

If there were awards for such things, an Australian teen would assuredly win the prize for most unique robbery attempt.

If there were awards for such things there would finally be something other than "most soda consumed" and "fastest decline" for U.S. Americans to shine out in, efforts of our friends on the bottom of the globe notwithstanding.

According to the Queensland Times, police were called to a local 7-Eleven store after reports that a chainsaw-wielding suspect, wearing a flowerpot on his head to disguise his identity, made a memorable attempt to rob the store.

We are all witnesses. We will never forget. A crazed, boozed up Aussie who was probably all "that's not a portable mechanical saw...THIS is a portable mechanical saw!" will live forever in the memories of all those he touched, threatened or tried to saw limbs off of.

The New South Wales Chainsaw Massacre, featuring Pot Head.

Workers at the convenience store say around 4:30 a.m. Monday the suspect, Steven Frank Steele, entered the store and began terrorizing them in an attempt to rob the place. 

"When you work this sort of job you expect to be terrorized and get pretty jaded toward it."

They say Steele "lunged at them" with the chainsaw and then attacked several display racks and a window while demanding money.

No, not the display of hangover cures, artificial marijuana and assorted uppers and downers!

Police say things got even more bizarre when Steele dropped his pants "exposing his buttocks" to the shocked store employees.

PG-13 nudity = shocking. Chain saw, I've been through worse on the late shift.

Instead of handing over cash, the two employees fled to a back room to escape the chaos.

"I don't get paid enough to look at man ass! The threat of physical violence is bad, too. I guess."

Steele allegedly then gave up and left with only a bottle of soda.

"Well, better pull up those pants and grab a Coke."

Steele is charged with multiple crimes, including one count of armed robbery, two counts of willful damage, one count of public nuisance and with damaging a parked vehicle while fleeing the crime scene.

Leave it to the criminal justice system to ruin this "wacky" incident by getting all legalistic.

Investigators say Steele was drunk during the late-night rampage.

I blame those giant beer cans. 

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

DotTeeVee: Antoine Roussel vs Kevin Klein

Is there a better way to celebrate winter sport and the athlete's journey than a 90 second hockey video, illegally posted with neither expressed or implied permission from the NHL, featuring two "goons" I've never heard of awkwardly brawling while sliding around on skates with most of their heads protected by gear while an announcer reacts to this bizarre spectacle "like a ten year old watching their first porn," as one commentator put it. The answer is, of course, "yes."

 Somehow the one on 2.5 rush led to an excellent scoring chance.

Everything is better on ice, that's for sure. Disney, a decomposing body, sports, it's all improved by water in a solid state. Here the representative of "DAL" manages to get a shot on goal from the point that hits the pipe. I promise that will be the last use of lame sports jargon in this review, especially since there won't be any opportunities to go nuts over a "saucer pass" because we end up fighting for the rest of this video. "Come on LaMellioux, sauce that thing!" All right, it's out of my system.

The net comes loose and the players converge in a less than orderly fashion, perhaps arguing over who will be responsible for putting the goal back, a process that I'm assuming is assigned to a random player and is super difficult. This leads to some "jousting" which is actually one of the less ridiculous bits of metaphor this announcer will be providing. 

All right, who has my missing stick? Behind me? I'm not falling for that!

Things quickly break down as the two designated "police officers" of each team somehow find each other in the scrum and begin trying to punch each other in the head, apparently unconcerned about the helmet and visor, both of which are significantly stronger than a closed human hand. The officials are fairly apathetic, I guess realizing that this is hockey and a certain amount of violent sociopathy is both expected and encouraged and also the only thing getting hurt here is the knuckles.

"Stop it guys! You'll ruin the honor system for the rest of us!"

The "youth watching first porn" announcer is going nuts. He declares it to be "old school" and "rock 'em, sock 'em" as both combatants finally start to isolate the small amount of facial region not heavily protected. Imagine trying to stab an armored knight through the slits in his helmet and you're not far off. "Old school," indeed, or as they called it back then "school."

Roussel looses his helmet and his opponent, perhaps sensing that his enemy can finally actually be damaged by his attacks, tries to finish the job but is too tired after wasting all that energy ineffectually flailing at a vinyl nitrile shell and only manages a shot or two before becoming completely exhausted. 

Ow, my hand hurts! I can't figure out how that happened.

One of the first rules they should teach sports commentators is to avoid turns of phrase that sound like the titles of a pornographic videos from the nineties. This rule is broken with the pronouncement that the two warriors were "standing back and feeding each other the meat candy." Yeah. We're trying to downplay the massive homo-erotica of two muscular guys pounding away on each other before collapsing exhausted and spent into each others arms.

I like how the pig is happy about being brutally killed and then eaten by obese Americans.

Perhaps eager to move on from this awkward moment we discuss the shot that led to the fight, this time calling it a "stop and pop." Sorry, I guess once the mind goes into the gutter it stays there. We discuss the road that lead to this war. There was "foreshadowing" when Roussel was making himself a "nuisance" and this led to the "fistics." Yeah, it's like the world's worst work of literature. Chekov's hockey stick, etc.

Also: "I'll teach you to be a nuisance!" *punches helmet repeatedly*

Great, now we can add "punching the helmet" to the list of innuendos this video has generated.

We talk about "punching windows" and the need for uppercuts to actually do any damage. As meaningless, socially reprehensible and grotesquely comical as it all was, we can still agree it was "quite a tilt." 

Must...feed...meat candy...

Komment Korner  

Klein is a pretty underrated fighter. He really tries to fuck people up when he decides to drop  the mitts. 

Put on a helmet with a visor and let your friend punch you as hard as he can in the visor. You won't do it.

and now klein's a ranger

THIS is how it's done!  Going at it at 100 mph, like they're going to EAT each other when they're done...CLASSIC!!

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

News You Can't Use: Pupils as Young as Six Act Out Drug and Rape Scenes from Grand Theft Auto

Why are the youth so bad, dumb, criminal, untidy and generally bereft of all value? This is the question our media is always struggling to answer, with wildly varying success. One possible explanation that keeps popping up is the evils of the joystick. No, not that, video games. And I'm not talking about critically panned Eye-talian racing games. I'm referring to soul killers like that car theft game, that one where you shoot stuff and Ms. Pac-Man (Out eating dots without a male relative acting as an escort? No veil? This is blasphemy!).

These mind rotters have even breached the citadel that is the not-quite nation of Wales. More evidence of society's coming morality-based cardiac episode, that's what this is. Let's see what's going on around here, yeah?

A HEADTEACHER has sent a letter to parents after becoming aware of “extremely concerning behaviour” of pupils, some as young as six, which he puts down to a violent video game.

I guess the caps lock was broken when this person received this formal title. Are you even aware, HEADTEACHER? Kids playing tag, running around and yelling...must be the insidious work of Murder Simulator 5: Operation Miami Beach.

Pupils at Coed-y-Brain Primary School, in Llanbradach, have been, according to head teacher Morian Morgan, “initiating games that involve simulating rape and sexual intercourse” and “having detailed discussion of drug use”. 

All right class, let's have a detailed discussion of drug use. For me, it started in the sixties, man. Yeah. *stares off into space for ten minutes*

Unless you count "Custer's Revenge" I don't think there's ever been a video game involving player-controlled sexual assault, but hey, in for a penny in for a pound when it comes to fear-mongering and alarmist over-reaction.

Staff at the school discovered that the worrying behaviour was a result of children coming into contact with Grand Theft Auto, or GTA, which follows the dark underworld of America’s biggest cities.

And please none of that "normal behavior that may sometimes seem shocking but is not pathological in any way" excuse making. We can tell the difference. This is the work of the X-Box devil.

Its latest instalment, Grand Theft Auto V, is thought to be one of the best-selling video games of all time, having sold more than 32 million copies worldwide.

Yeah, "thought to be." Superb research here, as usual. "There's some kind of rape game that might sell be best-selling that's mind-screwing kids." It's not like you could use some form of technology, maybe that so-called "information road," to check these facts. Nah, ignorant speculation is easier.

The letter to parents also said children were “acting out scenes from the game which include the strongest of sexual swear words”, “having conversations” about sexual acts and “play acting extremely violent games that sometimes result in actual injury”.

Examples of these extremely violent games that sometimes result in actual injury include touch football, duck-duck-goose and jumping rope.

He said: “I sent out the letter with some trepidation but I’m pleased I sent it because all the comments, as far as I’m aware, have been very supportive.

"Yeah, we don't like the little bastards either!" - The Parents

“The youngest child showing this kind of behaviour was a six-year-old but that is unusual. It was very much a minority re-enacting these acts.”

Sorry I kind of blew it out of proportion, exaggerated like crazy and just made things up. 

Komment Korner  

"Man gets caught speeding after watching Formula 1 on the weekend". OMG lets ban Formula 1 off the TV.

Are we to assume then that you think shooting people is okay?

More SICK stuff from a sick Country that rules by the gun

 I was recently watching the film, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, on a recommendation

Here we have to deal with Obama and his socialist **** Communist tendencies to take down the country he hates.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

News You Can't Use: Teen Tricked Oklahoma Walmart Managers Out Of Nearly $30,000

I'm not sure if a story about some punk kid ripping off big boxes under obvious false pretenses destroys my little remaining faith in our youth or completely restores it. Maybe call it a draw? Either way, this caper has "wacky Hollywood comedy that glorifies evil" written all over it.

A 17-year-old scammed 3 Oklahoma Walmart stores out of nearly $30,000, reports KFOR-TV.

This is why you're wrong, Grandpa. This story proves not all of us whippersnappers are lazy.  Sure we're deceitful and amoral monsters, but we're not afraid to put the shoulder to the criminality grindstone.

Police say the teen, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, conned the managers of those stores into thinking he was an employee.

The old "pretend to be an employee" trick. Ask a government worker for more information on how that one is done.

At a Walmart in Moore, the teen “acted as if he was a general manager from another store,” says the police report. He told the managers he was doing an inventory before corporate higher ups came to inspect them after the holidays.

"Dude, I mean sir, I'm General Manager Van Halen and it's very important I go through all the money for like, holiday inspection or whatever."

Surveillance cameras recorded the teen all alone in the cash room where he took “multiple bundles of cash, stuffing them inside his pockets and clothes,” says the report.

So in other words he acted the way most legitimate management does, perhaps somewhat more blatantly.

He allegedly showed up in uniform and nametag at a store in Edmond, where he worked a register and pocketed $3,000.

Well, he's got a name tag. That's enough proof for me. Leave him alone in the cash room for a few hours.

I don't like these new greeters they're using.

Authorities say he had a uniform and nametag because he had worked at a Walmart in Oklahoma city…before he was fired for stealing.

This must be one of those "patterns" that those super genius guys on the electronic toilet use to solve crimes.

Komment Korner  

Given his obvious mental capacity, they ought to give a light sentence and pay his college tuition. He might do some good for the world.

He was just getting seed money to start his hedge fund.

He's a prime candidate for a long career as a Wall St "investment banker".

Obviously you are ignorant piece of garbage

Good going, young one! Very proud of you!

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

News You Can't Use: How did Americans Manage to Lose $119 Billion Gambling Last Year?

Looking for some action? Maybe put a little wager on what card I'm going to pull out of a deck, what number I'm currently thinking of or how about a high-risk mortgage loan to someone likely to default? Yeah, all of that is pretty hot, so you can understand why we're losing more money on various dice games than some loser countries generate in a year.

The gambling industry around the world is huge, but the biggest market is the United States, where gamblers lost a staggering $119 billion in 2013.

Good news for everyone who bet the "over" on the 100 billion in gambling losses line.

That's a crazy amount of money; more money than Bill Gates has (with $72 billion) or Warren Buffett (with $58 billion), and only $11 billion less than the two men put together.

Imagine if the two men actually were put together. Four arms. Computer technology and voodoo investing in things like "tobacco" and "China." All that sweet, sweet long green. 512 bones. The result would be less than God but more than man.

And why do some players — problem gamblers, around 1.8 percent of the population — end up losing vast amounts of money, going into debt, and sometimes even losing their families and homes?

I'll give you even odds on "addictive personality disorder" and sweeten it by letting you imprison your bet if the psychological literature proves inconclusive.

1. Escapism, entertainment, and boredom: The places that people go to gamble — like casinos, hotels, card rooms, bookmakers, and even online gaming websites — offer an escape from everyday life.

Yeah, I'm watching imaginary cards flip over on a monitor while the numbers representing my net worth steadily decrease. This is glamorous and not at all depressing. So much better than "life."

In this sense, gambling can be seen as a form of entertainment, and those multi-billion dollar losses are the cost of being entertained, just as people pay to watch sports, listen to music, or play computer games.

How about "Red?"

Sorry it's "Black." I'll take that money now.

Are you not entertained???

2. Social activity: Gambling is a deep rooted part of American culture — 80 percent of Americans gamble at least once per year.

"Wanna hang out and play this Keno board I've got in my garage?"

3. Excitement and thrill: The sense of anticipation and risk creates an adrenaline rush and the payoff releases a surge of dopamine.

Adrenaline freaks! Clicking their chips together and staring at each other with dead eyes! What a rush!!!

When you receive a hug from a loved one, dopamine levels rise;

Let's hug a loved one instead of a slot machine.

4. Self-esteem: Casinos roll out the red carpet and dish out complimentary drinks, free stays in suites, shopping vouchers, and other gifts for big-time gamblers.

The casino is your friend, forget those crazy stories you sometimes hear.

I love that dopamine rush of helping older Pennsylvanians.

5. Self-delusion and the Dunning-Kruger Effect: Some gamblers believe they are lucky or special and will beat the odds and win, unlike the vast majority of gamblers.

Good old self-delusion, the glue that holds society together.

Inexperienced gamblers (and investors) may fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger Effect — the tendency for unskilled individuals to overrate their skill and ability, and underrate the difficulty of the task at hand.

I'm pretty sure I've gotten as good as a person can get at scratching off these tickets, so it's not that.

The global gambling industry forecasts that betting losses will continue to rise. And they're probably right. After all, it's been common knowledge for a very long time that most people lose at gambling in the long run. That's what keeps casinos in business. And yet, people keep keeping them in business.

We can only shake our head at this pathetic delusion. Now let's print some more currency and explain how a 700 billion increase in debt is actually a decrease because it went up even more the year before.

Komment Korner  

Americans are proving to have poor judgement. Look who they elected to be president.

if Americans spent $119 billion on dining out, would that make headlines? What's the difference?

I thought Americas gambling losses came to $17 Trillion....just sayin'.

If you think these loser American citizens are bad...wait until you get a load of the government.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Video Game Slush Pile: Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano

Start with a box full of old games that I played a few times years ago and then gave up on, deciding that even I could find better ways to squander life's precious gift. Dig 'em out and give them a more proper play-through, document the results, mix in some humor and some extreme right-wing political ranting and then post the results. This is the video game slush pile. Let's do this shit.

For the inaugural edition we've got a 2005 racing game for the PlayStation 2 that was primarily a European release but made it's way to the Shining City on the Hill as a budget title from the good people at "Valcon." I love that name, by the way. The best qualities of both value and, well, getting conned. It just screams "only available at America's one remaining video store and in a crate in the back of a Utah mom and pop shoe store."

 All the thrills of two identical looking cars going through turns!

In Europe this game was called "SCAR" which stands for "Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo." I guess finding entertainment in the lasting reminders of severe wounding is more a continental thing, because the American release has a far more straightforward title that informs you that racing and Italy are going to make sweet, sweet love on your moron box when you pop this thing in. The Alfa Romeo logo is still featured prominently, complete with Illuminati-themed heraldry of a snake monster devouring some poor guy. Call me crazy, but reminders that our reptilian rulers are committed to trying to exterminate us is not something I'd like on my midlife-crisis-mobile. 

"Car and Snake Monster" magazine gave it five stars.

In addition to blatant NWO boasting, this logo has another bad aspect, namely that we'll only be getting cars from this one manufacturer in the game. This means in the career mode you'll end up racing the same three or four bright red cars over and over. Against fields made up entirely of the same make and model that you're using. On the same handful of tracks. But hey, $19.99 in 2005 money, which is now the equivalent of several hundred thousand dollars. Or will be, once our "snake friend" depicted above pulls the hyper-inflation lever.

"That's an eye-tal-yan car, yup."

There's two game modes. One is called "Instant Action" but only lives up to that title if you consider "action" to be giant lock logos over everything and "instant" to be "play the career mode for twenty hours so some of this stuff is actually usable." Seriously, about 90% of the already sparse content in this mode starts out locked. Don't even bother.

Luckily the other mode is at least playable. It's called "Dynasty" but it's really just a career mode, not something where you can buy a racing team or the like. It actually tries to be original, which is very welcome. This is, after all, the "Racing RPG!" "I'm Rune Staff the Elf, Italian car driver of light!" "I steer my car into the darkness!" etc.

What this all means is you can customize your driver's skills, putting earned points into things like "Heart" and "Acceleration." Yeah, tough choice there. You can even win special "gear" that improves your abilities further. +3 Helm of Drifting, that sort of thing. Your driver has composure points that are damaged when someone is riding your back bumper, but you can turn the tables and "intimidate" by doing the same to your rivals. Your car has "hit points" that decrease when you try to do anything aggressive or cool and pay the inevitable consequences. Brake, turn, brake turn, that's how you're supposed to do it. Destroy your car and you lose, obviously. To make up for this you get the oddly named "Tiger Effect" that lets you rewind time to correct a severe accident. One can only imagine how a guy who drives Italian cars came to have such awesome power over reality and why he chooses to squander it on "one make and model only!" races.

"Why you no slow down for turn?"

I made my way through this mode, gradually learning to slow the hell down for the so-called "turning," intimidating and being intimidated, and gaining experience points to spend on the "acceleration" skill so I could accelerate slightly faster. It was o.k. Contrast this to the technically brilliant but soulless and dreary Gran Turismo 4 which came out in the same year. In that game you face dreadful and never-ending license tests, have to grind the same races over and over for paltry amounts of "credits" (time to win the Sunday Cup...for the 10th time...) and generally face way too many hurdles to simply getting to the core of the game and having fun.

In Racing Italiano you get right into winning and improving and the races themselves actually can be competitive and interesting, rather than "my car is way underpowered, I'm boned" or "my car is way overpowered, hope I don't spin it out while way ahead." This comes at the expense of variety and options. In final analysis, this one's all right.

Graphics: The cars look like cars, the track looks like a track. I'm satisfied.

Control: Your usual racing game "Shit, a corner! Mash the brakes and fail to find a good racing line." Might be a little more forgiving and less realistic, which I'm fine with. The "rewind time" feature was very welcome, although it takes forever to recharge. Considering the rules of general relativity were just violated by some nobody in an IT racer, I guess I can live with it.

Depth: What part of "role-playing game!!!" didn't you hear? Well, it's actually pretty shallow, but major credit for trying something new. You can eventually unlock all those tracks and cars, but by the time you do you'll probably be thinking "that's enough Italian racing for now." I know I was.

Overall: It was decent.

The Critics Rave!

The underwhelming vehicle selection is compounded by the fact that the cars look pretty ugly. - Gamespot

Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano isn't even worth a budget price. - Gamespot

There are a billion other racing games on the market and most every one of them is better than Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano. - IGN

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.