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Today the Japanese government made me get a chest X-ray.

Today the Japanese government made me get a chest X-ray. published on

They make you do this when you get a student visa, I guess to make sure you’re not smuggling in any tuberculosis. (If that’s actually why they were doing it, I think Bruce Schneier would have words. It’s not like the god of tourists protects recipients of tourist visas from disease.) They sent some trucks with X-ray machines around for this, the trucks sat in the school parking lot and people formed whiny lines, and I took my bra off ahead of time so as to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible. I’m very grumpy about this.

As apparently I do not yet waste enough time on video games, I set up a World of Warcraft trial account last weekend. I have been running around being an Orcish warrior with a purely mercenary interest in geology. World of Warcraft espouses the controversial idea that orcs, however much that Tolkien guy went on about them, present an only slightly greater threat than does the cunning and ruthless zebracorn. That’s kind of a zebra-unicorn, I don’t know if you caught that.

My level-twelve orc has been repeatedly killed by level-thirteen zebracorns. This is in part due to my refusal to believe that I actually just got killed by a goddamn zebracorn, which means I have to go back and fight another one to make sure. They don’t even use the horn! Using the horn is basic unicorn strategy! They just step on you and snort, and I’m wearing all this armor and some of it’s magic, and it’s just really inappropriate.

The game has a lot of weird and unpleasant ethnic stereotypes. For some reason the trolls all have pseudo-Jamaican accents and a lot of voodoo-related catchphrases. Also, comical witchdoctors. The Tauren, who are big cow people, are supposed to be Native Americans. Their catchphrases are all seepy comments about living in harmony with nature, and they have placid-stoned-ish-sounding voice actors. There’s also an opportunistic merchant race with big noses, big ears, and nasal voices. The men have catchphrases like “Time is money” and the women say “Like see you later” in valley-girl-speak and appear to be wearing too much makeup. I wonder what that’s about.