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Posts Tagged ‘society’

lmcJohnny is a veteran member of the LMC…aka… The Lost, a notorious biker “club”. Johnny has been rather busy these days creating “business opportunities” for the LMC in Liberty City.  His loyalty is to the club’s patch and to Billy Grey, the club’s President.  Billy just returned from rehab and is hell-bent on jacking up the level of debauchery.  The LMC is in the middle of a vicious turf war with rival clubs for control of a city torn apart by violence and corruption. Can the brotherhood survive?

Does intimidation, drug possession, trafficking, homicide, drive-by shootings, child endangerment, and gang land struggles sound familiar?  Whether it’s life imitating art or vice-versa this is the new story line developed by the creator’s of Grand Theft Auto IV  (GTA4) – Rockstar/Take2 — the “Lost and Damned” add-on for the game features a new main character, Johnny Klebitz, and an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang plot that some might debate merges with reality. 

As you may recall, Rockstar/Take 2 became world famous for developing the capability of letting players enjoy booty-bouncing lap dances in strip clubs followed with prostitute sex.  Then afterward you could run her over with your car (and now your motorcycle?) or riddle with bullets – it all depends on how you roll.  I’ve written previously HERE about how motorcycle clubs have become the new media darlings of the entertainment industry and this is nothing more than a gaming extension of that trend.

lmc_membersSo, what’s next in the Rockstar/Take 2 gaming world?  Outlaw motorcycle clubs sharing methamphetamine recipes and “how-to” online cooking guides via the in-game chat sessions?!  Where does it end?  Society is bombarding kids with music, movies and video games that glorify all types of gang lifestyle and criminal acts.  Now it’s the outlaw motorcycle clubs time to shine in the spotlight.  Sure it’s a mature rated computer game (meaning all 12 year olds will own a copy), but visit a suburban mall in any size city and you’ll find surprisingly large numbers of teens mimicking real gangs.  From flashing signs to wearing the clothing culture…all of which contributes to the misidentification (false positives) of today’s youth.

I’m not on a motorcycle club witch hunt or attacking all video games.  I acknowledge that this post could be viewed as capitalism at its best – my lamb blasting the lack of social morals at Rockstar/Take 2 will be viewed by many as marketing meant only to drum up parental outrage and make the game even more irresistible to kids.  The video game market is a $20B industry (more than Hollywood box office receipts) and maybe it’s time to establish a motorcycle club advisor role/organization?

Job #1 would be to make sure that all motorcycle club colleagues are portrayed honorably, that no one would be embarrassed by the games portrayal and they would advise gaming companies to be as accurate as possible.  On second thought,  a game based on Hospital Toy Run’s or a Veteran’s Ride is unlikely to garner much sales volume from the teenage buying public, but it sure would have a lot more social redeeming value!

Photos courtesy of Rockstar web site.

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President Bush at Harley-Davidson

President Bush at Harley-Davidson

What the bleep?!

I’ve tried to avoid political innuendo’s or stump for candidates on this blog, but today is my one time post.

I could have jumped in and drove traffic up with that Jesse Jackson (off-air mic before Fox & Friends – re; Obama’s genitalia) or Whoopi Goldberg’s cultural language debate on the N-word, but obviously I didn’t. 

So, all this political correctness thrash got me thinking about who would be better for Harley-Davidson and the biker community if elected president?  We’ve certainly seen g’dubya Bush pontificate the benefits of free-trade as I’ve covered it in a previous post, but are there any patterns which might predict a direction?

One pattern that is clear is politicians love a “crisis.”  Heard about the “home crisis”, “mortgage crisis”, “financial crisis” or if not the crisis then have you heard about the “disaster”?  John McCain and Barack Obama both think that the government should bail out homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages. When they say the government should do this, they mean us the taxpayers, including those who are paying their mortgages. They also think the government should regulate the lending and investment industries further. 

Why?  Because “crisis” justifies making big government bigger.  I’m not sure about you, but I still see those Ditech commercials offering fixed-rate mortgages for 5.5% and my VISA seems to work just fine so, I don’t get the financial crisis.  But on to my point, which candidate is better…

John McCain

John McCain

McCain is a candidate of contradictions. He initially opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, but now supports making them permanent. He has crusaded against the influence of corporate lobbyists, yet has more K Street fixers raising money for his campaign than any other candidate. He says he’s a full-bore, free-enterprise capitalist even as he admits that he hasn’t understood economics as well as he should and is reading Alan Greenspan’s book!  He has been active on global warming, proposing a carbon trading system that was opposed by some in the oil and gas industries. He is also a supporter of increasing so-called CAFE standards for automobile emissions. He proposed sweeping anti-smoking legislation in the late 1990s that would have raised taxes on cigarettes, restricted the industry’s ability to advertise, and given the FDA broad new authority over tobacco companies. It’s estimated that it would cost the industry more than half a billion dollars over 25 years.  Looks like if McCain becomes President, Corporate America including Harley-Davidson’s choices aren’t very good.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

In contrast, Obama takes time to consult on the economy with billionaire Warren Buffett, who also supports his rolling back the Bush tax cuts.  This would likely benefit many of the people running big American companies.  He is proposing to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends by two-thirds, moving the rate up 10 points to 25%.  This would potentially curtail investment.  Obama would also let the Bush tax cuts expire allowing the top individual income tax rate to return to 39.6%.  Obama’s record in the Senate is rather thin, but he has sponsored bills from union labor to alternative fuel to the earned income tax credit.  In one move that was unpopular among business executives, Obama sponsored a bill to give shareholders a nonbinding proxy vote on executive pay. Obama voted for a free-trade pact with Peru that contained provisos to protect the Peruvian environment and Peruvian labor. That would be hard to take if you’re a U.S. business owner who wants costs to stay low in your new Peru operation. Obama also states  he would look to amend the NAFTA trade agreement to add similar protections to the Clinton-era pact.  This may well hurt Harley.

This isn’t exhaustive research on the candidates and both will likely have Corporate America sipping arsenic over their direction while wishing for alternative choices!  The future is never certain, but these “dudes” will continue to deliver their lines predictably.

I guess while we’re fantasizing about “alternative” choices, what we really need is a motorcycle that runs on politician lies.  Talk about mileage!

Bush photo courtesy Yorkblog.  Candidates photo’s courtesy of campain websites.

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