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The Current OP Meta is a Result of all of Valorant's Combined Flaws.
Hey guys, I'm a 10 year CS player here. Previously played at Level 9 Faceit and A - ESEA. Have probably 1000+ hours of watching pro games under my belt, and even more spent in KZ and HnS servers. I love Valorant, and I love a lot of what they're trying to do with this game in comparison to CS. But, I think the current OP meta is a result of almost every short coming the game has right now (for the most part). Firstly, I think it's important to preface this by saying that Valorant is 100% by design, made to be easier / more approachable than CS:GO. You can see this in almost every aspect of the game. If it's something that was intimidating to new players in CS, it's been massively simplified here. Spray patterns are far less aggressive. Lineups have been almost entirely eliminated, or completely streamlined. Movement speed has been reduced to allow for easier tracking and aiming. Counter-strafing has been forgotten and replaced by instant momentum. Even the slight advantage you got from good movement (brought along by thousands of hours of practice in CS:GO) has been entirely eliminated by a massive simplification of movement in general, as well as how severe tagging is. I'm not saying these are negative aspects of the game. I understand almost if not all of these changes. Tons of these choices succeed in their desired goal, and it's lead to tons of my friends enjoying this game despite never getting more than 4 games into CS. With all that said tho, lots of these choices indirectly feed into the current OP meta. I don't say this lightly either. If you were to directly compare the AWP and the OP, the AWP is hands down 3x more powerful than the OP currently is. It boasts :
More ammo overall, and more ammo per clip.
Instantaneous ADS, and instantaneous Accuracy after scoping in. (though this is more a trait of all scoped weapons in CS:GO)
Better hip-fire accuracy.
More forgiving movement accuracy
//Thanks to u/IAmNotOnRedditAtWork for pointing some of these out as they escaped me I have a shortish video on this, with some old community server / lower level faceit games. It's presented as more of a frag movie than anything so there's no need to watch it, but I do think it can offer some important context when talking about how insane the AWP actually is for high level players. I've edited it to have specific time stamps in the description so that you can jump between the clips that are actually relevant to this discussion. Turn down volume as there is music and I'm sure its obnoxious. Here you go Despite the obvious advantages the AWP has, we don't really see it being as prevalent and oppressive as we do in Valorant. We do not see double AWP and Triple AWP rounds being NEAR as viable as they are here, with triple AWP rounds being almost nonexistent. I chalk this up to quite a few things :
Movement speed. I think this is discounted quite a bit by nearly everyone. But people fail to realize how big of a deal this really is. I don't think I need to elaborate on this too much. But I think it's important to highlight "punishing" an AWPer. Typically, in CS you're only going to punish an AWPer if they miss their shot. Sure you can smoke them off or flash them, but typically at a high level they'll be playing in a position where it's easy to fall back and avoid being traded if they do get flashed off their angle, that is until you're on site. (Also important to note that not all AWPers play aggressive at lower levels). If it's mathematically easier to hit shots in Valorant, you bet your ass this is having an overall effect on how consistent this weapon can perform. It also (purposefully) eliminates the usefulness of jiggle peeking or baiting shots, which is a massive part of counter-play in CS. I'm not saying they should increase movement speed. I just think pointing this out is healthy for understanding and discussing this topic as a whole.
Movement Speed pt. 2. On top of movement speed in Valorant being much lower, many CS players will probably tell you that the way in which you move in Valorant is instantaneous. There is no counter strafing, and as a result, if you were to stand still, and then start running, you reach your max velocity almost immediately, if not immediately. This is the same in reverse. You lose your momentum the second you let go off WASD, your momentum being what brings about innaccuracy. This allows the OP to be hyper aggressive in situations where it shouldn't be. Period. You can hold an angle, whiff your shot, and then repeek that same angle aggressively all because you have no aim penalty within a time frame where your aggression should be punishable. In CS:GO the max velocity is higher, and the acceleration has a longer time between min and max. This makes it so that repeeking an angle has a window of innaccuracy that is PARAMOUNT in balancing for a weapon like this. The OP in Valorant currently has little counter-play outside of maybe DDoSing your opponent and hoping they miss shots.'
Utility. This isn't a secret. Most the player-base is probably aware in some form that this is having an effect on the meta. On top of there being very little vision limiting utility (smokes), I think the lack of counter play regarding flashes is also an issue. In CS, it's usually quite easy to see a flash coming, and depending on your weapon and/or position, either turn and avoid the flash, or to turn and run entirely. Sometimes if it's a pop flash you'll tank it and pray you don't die. But in Valorant, the flashes are very very quick to pop, and they last almost no time at all. You can't act off your own flash at all on most angles, and ton's of choke points require you to walk a distance where the flash is entirely negated anyway. For instance, Ascent A site. If you flash from main the distance between main and site is large enough that most people holding close aren't going to be flashed by the time you're pushed up. So maybe you get the AWPer off the long angle they're holding, and then you start pushing only for the person holding close to take contact and have the AWPer peek back out. This is why we see Phoenix being so viable in TSM's lineup. Flashing out smokes gives the entire team the biggest possible window in order to act on that utility. It's basically equivalent to a pop flash in CS, and also allows you to have more control over where you're flashing onto a site. So you can flash and pop out of the smoke much quicker than if you were around a corner, and you can also flash much deeper into a choke point then you'd normally be able to. That said, this is not a direct counter to OP meta. It's just an issue with flashes I've noticed, and a sort of "work around" I've seen take center stage.
And this kinda brings me to my next issue. And probably the one we all should have expected.
Map design. Outside of most the maps feeling incredibly linear, and despite them feeling like Hallway simulator 2020. I think there's another issue in relation to thoughtful map design. One of the things I mentioned above was how certain elements were streamlined, in relation to utility mainly. This, in my opinion, also relates to the map design.
CS has very tried and true bits of utility at play. Smokes, Mollies, and Flashes. When you play CS at a level where executes are necessary, it's actually quite fascinating to learn how each map has been designed with utility constantly in mind. Cache B site for instance, there's a window directly above site meant for throwing utility. Mirage A has a massive area above ramp for throwing util. Inferno Apts even has fucking windows on the opposite side of site, with a chimney adjacent to them in order for you to bank utility off of. Dust 2 recently underwent a change in B tuns to allow for more utility and site executes given how hard the site was too take control of. Whether it be on attacks or retakes. Valorant has streamlined "utility" so much, that they've forgotten the exact reason why it was implemented in the way that it was in CS:GO, and why it worked so well. Valorant has thrown thoughtful map design out the window in favor of meaningless gimmicks that fall flat after your 5th game on the map. Guess what Riot, I don't care about opening and closing destructible doors, or ropes that give you a surprising amount of velocity and accuracy while attached, and definitely not 3 fucking sites. I play ranked games where my opponents go 3-14 and then start fragging out when they decide to whip out the OP. The gun is too easy to use and it sports almost zero counter-play. IT IS AN ISSUE. I understand not jumping the gun and rushing towards some half ass balancing decision, but you've been so quick to address smaller issues that didn't actively suck the fun out of the game and reward players for using an obvious crutch. // People have pointed out some poor phrasing on my part here, would just like to iterate that I'm not against these kinds of gimmicks, they have a place and I don't mean to undermine anyone who enjoys them. I just think these gimmicks are being used in place of good map design. Sort of a "sure ascent is a terrible map but here are some doors you can open and close, this one has ropes!" Ascent is the closest map to CS design we currently have in Valorant in my opinion, and it still ignores most of what made those maps work in the first place. Scrap the gimmicks. Nobody wants this random shit. I want maps with intelligent design choices, meaningful spots for fair trades at the beginning of rounds, I want maps designed with rotates in mind and counter-play at heart. You can tell CS maps are designed with all the games utility in mind. I'm constantly reminded that I can't say the same about any of Valorant's maps. With that being said, what are some ways to fix these issues?
Add a slight time frame with the OP that adds inaccuracy after moving, keep this outside of movement speed, have it be its own value. For instance, if you scope in with the OP, then strafe to the side and stop moving, add an extra .5 or whatever amount of time where there is still an innaccuracy debuff applied. OPs are meant for holding angles, they are already ridiculously good at that in this game. Punish them for playing aggressive.
Phoenix's flash needs a slight "rework" to come more into line with vision blocking utility in relation to cutting off angles. Phoenix's flash shouldn't pop so quickly. I think it sports niche usability with little counter-play. When throwing out Phoenix's flash, have it hover in air at the very end of it's duration while giving it an obvious "charge-up" animation, give a larger (but still small) window in order to either back off an angle, or to turn your back too it, and then have it pop, and increase the time frame in which you're flashed slightly. I also considered having Phoenix be invulnerable to his flash, as a way to give Phoenix a way to more reliably entry, while still forcing him to play slightly outside of his team in these situations, (or risk flashing them). This promotes playing anti flash and/or less predictable and maybe even more dangerous positions in order to deny Phoenix this ground when he attempts to entry. I think it adds a reasonable amount of counter play in a game that severely lacks it currently, I think it gives Phoenix some needed independence and room to make these types of solo plays, while also letting an agent specifically gain ground around OPers. I think a good way to envision this is Ascension A site. Instead of OPing heaven when you know Phoenix likes to flash in from main and push you off your angle, you can play on site to the left, and play anti flash in order to kill him when he attempts to entry. Diagram Here
LET YOUR COMMUNITY DESIGN MAPS FOR YOU. For the love of god the fact that I even have to say this makes me angry. Community interaction has lead to CS being the powerhouse of an E-sport it is today. Volcano's involvement is proof of this. No one is saying you have to add them as actual competitive maps, but acting like you can produce better content than your entire community is ridiculously naive when you've already shown that's NOT the case. Add some kind of community tool for your players to design maps, and have some kind of game mode that rotates these featured community maps every couple of months or something. Even if it's just to give the team at Riot ideas and inspiration. I was worried months ago when you said you weren't going to allow even the most basic of community creativity in this regard. It's okay to be wrong Riot. Valve was smart enough to realize the community could carry some of that workload, while also teaching them and giving them inspiration. Volcano is on your dev team because of this reality.
[Undertale Fan Art/Fandom] Sans is MINE!!1! and the tale of the tainted cookies
Welcome, one and all. I’ve been a lurker on this sub for a while, and I’ve decided it was time I contribute. This is my first shot with a story post on the snoo snoo site, so go easy on me. A warning for Undertale spoilers. Also, this write-up will make mention of pedophilia, incest, needles, tongue injuries, and food that has been tampered with. Yeah, the fandom gets kind of fucked up at points, but if that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be writing this, now would I? Unless you make your residence under a rock, you’re aware of the 2015 indie game Undertale, developed by Toby Fox and Temmie Chang. You also probably know about its 2018 sort-of-sequel, Deltarune. But we’re not talking about Deltarune here. In a shellnut, the plot of Undertale is about a human child who falls into an underground world full of monsters. The monsters have been trapped there for centuries by magic, and the child’s soul is the key to their escape. The gimmick of Undertale is that the player can do a full “pacifist” run of the game in which they don’t kill a single NPC or random encounter creature. Doing this unlocks the Golden Ending. The player can also go out of their way to slaughter every NPC and creature in the Underground, in what’s called the “Genocide” or “No Mercy” run. The game will be sure to punish you for your pointless virtual cruelty if you do that (more on that later.) Undertale exploded in popularity because it is indeed a very well-made game. It’s been greatly praised for its themes, storytelling, music, humor, and atmosphere. Special mention goes to the characters; all the main characters and even some minor encounters are extremely well-developed and complex. Of these, fans are most obsessed with Sans the Skeleton. He’s a lazy but good-natured skeleton monster who loves cracking puns, drinking ketchup, and his brother Papyrus. In a pacifist run, he’s a fun jokester type and promises to look after you, but there are hints that he knows more about you and the game’s mechanics than he lets on. In a genocide run, all bets are off, since you killed his brother and everyone else. He subjects you to a ridiculously hard boss battle (you don’t fight him in a pacifist run at all) at the end of the run. Said boss battle is set to “Megalovania,” which Toby Fox composed for earlier games of his and then adapted for Undertale. Sans is a cool character. His boss battle is kickass. “Megalovania” is a banger. You can see where this is going. I don’t know why people are thirsty for Sans, though. Being obsessed with him for being cool, I understand. But the thirst, I don’t. He’s not hot and he wasn’t supposed to be, either. He’s short, implied to be chubby, always sports a shit-eating grin, and walks around in a hoodie, shorts, and silly bedroom slippers*. If you ask me, he’s more huggable than hot. But fans will be fans, I guess. It wasn’t long before there were scores of thirsty fans (mostly female, for usual reasons) all over this goofy skeleton. I don’t think I need to link fanart to prove it. Use your imagination. Insert pun about wanting to bone him. Sans would approve. What he wouldn’t approve, though, were some of their choices of who to ship him with. There are three Sans ships that are most popular in the fandom, and only one of them isn’t flagrantly creepy. Enter the stinkies, Frans and Fontcest, and the maybe-not-creepy Soriel. *There was a debate whether he wore slippers or sneakers. Undertale has simple pixel graphics and all battle sprites are in black and white, so it’s hard to tell going off the game alone. But the official merch shows him wearing slippers, so that’s what I’m going with. Frans refers to Frisk x Sans. If you didn’t know, Frisk is the canon name for the playable character in Undertale. Normally shipping the player character with an NPC would be fine, if not a bit wish fulfilly, since the PC is usually a stand in for you, the geek at the controls. Problem is, Frisk is a child, unambiguously so. They’re repeatedly called “kid,” “my child,” “kiddo,” etc. Based on the in-game sprite and official artwork, Frisk doesn’t look any older than 10. Sans, on the other hand, is clearly an adult. Cue the accusations of it being pedoriffic, and I can’t say as if I disagree. You most likely know the issue with Fontcest just by looking at the name. Yeah, it’s shipping Sans with Papyrus. His brother. Yuck. What is with fans and shipping incest? Anyway, Fontcest was also virulently hated in the fandom. Maybe even more so than Frans, since you can age up Frisk to make it less creepy, whereas explaining away Sans and Papyrus’s relationship is more difficult. Some people ship Fontcest shamelessly, while others try to find a workaround. Usually, they’ll bring in a Sans or Papyrus from one of the copious alternate universes in the fandom. (Most of which are just Sans and Papy in various hats.) Is it incest if they’re from different universes? I dunno, you make that judgment call. I’m just the reporter guy. That leaves us with Soriel – Sans shipped with Toriel, a character who is, thankfully, neither underage nor related to him. Toriel is an early-game NPC who rescues you from a flower trying to murder you (it makes sense in context) and escorts you through the tutorial level. (Toriel? Tu-torial? Get it? Yeah, I thought it was a little cheesy, too.) She’s a goat woman who loves humankind, despite what they’ve done to her race, and adores being a mom. She’s obsessively protective of you, to the point where she literally fights you when you try to leave her home. Her connection to Sans is that she befriended him through corny jokes and asked him to look after you. According to Sans, she’s the reason you aren’t “D E A D W H E R E Y O U S T A N D.” Okay, so Toriel isn’t underage, isn’t related to Sans, and has a meaningful connection to him, to boot. So where’s the problem? Why do fans get pissy over Soriel shipping? Well, to be honest...I have no idea. Sure, Toby Fox confirmed that Sans is too lazy for a relationship, but if you’re going to take that as gospel, then you shouldn’t ship him with anyone. And since when has the fandom listened to creators’ requests to not do the hippy dippy super shippy? Some people pulled out the “pedo” argument since Toriel is noticeably older than Sans (he even calls her “old lady” at one point), but an older woman and a younger man is different than an adult and a literal child if you ask me. Consenting adults and all that. Maybe the goat woman is a cougar, but I’d rather have that than skeletons being pedos and/or incest partakers. Of course, there’s always the tried-and-true “I’ll ship them with my OC.” Okay, fair enough, I guess. You do you. But you know how fandoms are, and naturally a lot of the Sans fangirls got slapped with “Sans is MINE!!1!” jokes. And who’s likely to root for Sans hooking up with some random chick instead of a well-known character, especially if said random chick stinks of Mary Sueishness and self-insert. I won’t cheer for Mary Sue x Sans, but it is better than those god-awful stories of him banging his sibling or creeping on a kid. So this probably just seems like normal fandom dumbfuckery, right? Well, I’m sorry to say that it goes beyond that. Our investigation into drama over who Sans should date leads us to the big incident that forms the real drama. Someone almost got killed because of Undertale shipping drama. Here’s the sordid story. This is where the part about the needles and tampered food comes in, so if that’s a trigger for you, this is your last chance to turn back. Apparently someone missed the core theme of the game – all that hoopla about mercy and love. A popular Undertale fan artist, Avimedes, attended a convention in Taiwan in 2017. While at the convention, a person, who has not yet been identified, approached Avimedes and offered her a box of homemade cookies. The artist, thinking it was a gesture of goodwill, accepted the treat and tried a cookie. Except this wasn’t a random act of kindness from a fan of her artwork; it was an attempt to get her hospitalized or worse. The cookies had needles in them – large sewing needles, to be exact. As Avimedes wasn’t aware of the adulteration before trying one, she ended up piercing her tongue on the needle and needed medical attention. Shortly thereafter, she posted a picture of the blood and needle on her Plurk (a Taiwanese social media site) with a morose comment about how she now has an extra piercing and can’t track down the person who did this to her. Despite the inability to catch the miscreant, fans suspect a particular motivation for the crime. Avimedes is a Frans shipper and often does artwork of it. Frisk is aged up in her artwork to avoid the whole deal seeming creepy. Despite the aging up, her behavior supposedly pissed off an “anti,” -- that is, a person who is opposed to shipping incest, pedo-ish stuff, and so on. The anti then concocted the tainted cookies and gave them to Avimedes with the hopes of injuring or even killing her. Fans have since been holding up the incident as an example of toxic anti culture (see the last two links in the references section), where moral ideology gets so fevered that it turns murderous. If that was indeed the cookie criminal’s intent, then those people have a point. As you’re probably well aware if you’ve spent five minutes in a fandom on Tumblr dot hell, shit really hits the fan when the antis and proshippers clash. But we don’t know the con criminal’s motives, and we never really will. Just don’t accept food from strangers at a con. And maybe don’t ship adults with children. References WARNING: Some links contain images of needles, blood, and chewed up food. DO NOT click on a link if those are a trigger for you.
Search the tags “undertale discourse,” “anti fontcest,” “anti frans,” and “anti soriel” on Tumblr to get a feel for what kind of fighting goes down in the fandom.
Sources on the tainted cookies story – a news article from Medium and a Tumblr post. Some links may lead to the photograph of the blood and needles; click links with caution if those are triggers for you.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
We open with a ton of details on Steve Austin walking out on WWE last week, and the story took a darker turn this week when Austin was accused of allegedly beating his wife Debra. Looks like Dave is just going to run through the whole last couple of weeks first though, before we get to all that. No wrestler in the history of the business has generated more money than Austin has in the past 5 years, leading the way for WWE to become listed on the New York Stock Exchange and valued at more than $1 billion. Hulk Hogan, Antonio Inoki, Gorgeous George, Jim Londos....no one in the history of wrestling, even adjusted for inflation, has been a bigger money-maker than Steve Austin. Throughout it all, he had a reputation as a pro's pro, always working hard and being unselfish in trying to help the company and his co-workers grow. But over the last few months, things had changed. The company is nose-diving, Austin had become paranoid and distrustful of the locker room, particularly when the NWO guys were brought in. He refused to work with Hogan at Wrestlemania and wasn't happy about working with Hall either, and insisted on decisively winning their match and blowing off the feud. He went home after Wrestlemania, no-showing Raw the night after, but things seemed to be patched up soon after. When he came back, he still wasn't happy and spoke out publicly against the brand extension and the overall creative direction of the company. A lot of people in the locker room supported Austin, feeling he was completely justified in his complaints because everyone realizes the wheels are falling off the company lately. The Sunday night before Raw last week, Austin was told by Jim Ross that the plan was for him to face Brock Lesnar, with the idea that Eddie Guerrero would cost him the match. Austin pointed out the obvious: him vs. Lesnar is a huge money match that should be built up for months on PPV. Lesnar should go through the whole locker room before he gets to Austin last. No first, on free TV, with no build-up. Austin hated the idea and said he wasn't coming if that was the plan. Ross told Vince, who called Austin and left a voicemail. He told Austin to call him back, no matter what time. Austin did call back, at 2am, and they discussed the plan. According to Vince, Austin had reluctantly agreed to it. Austin evidently felt otherwise, because he showed up to Raw that day, found out the Lesnar match was still booked, and decided, "fuck that", got on a plane and went home with Debra.
Raw that night was mostly built around the angle where Ric Flair would have to be Austin's personal assistant after he lost their match last week. Because much of the show was written around that, they had to re-write the whole show at the last minute in a panic, abruptly turning Flair babyface again and ending the huge dual-ownership angle with no build-up (it really sounds like Vince was determined to give away something huge on TV that week without building it up. "Ok, fine, Austin walked out. What else can we ruin this week and throw away a perfectly good PPV money opportunity?"). Meanwhile, Austin was ignoring all phone calls until he finally answered one from Jim Ross, who told Austin he was being unprofessional and to come try and talk it out with Vince. But Austin refused, saying he refused to work with McMahon anymore, and hung up.
So then came the burial. Vince McMahon and Jim Ross taped interviews for this week's episode of WWE Confidential in which they completely buried Austin, with Vince vowing to never bring him back. Basically everything you can imagine: Austin turned his back on the fans, he betrayed the little kids with Stone Cold shirts and all the fans who made him rich. WWE invested so much in Austin only for him to turn his back on them and so on and so forth. Jim Ross in particular dumped a lot of dirt on Austin's grave here, which Dave seems taken aback by. Austin saved Jim Ross' announcing career by insisting that JR be brought back for his Wrestlemania 15 match with Rock. At the time, Ross was still suffering from Bells palsy and Vince had no intention of ever bringing him back, but Austin insisted and the crowd reaction led to Ross being brought back permanently. So for Ross to be burying his good friend like this seems to rub Dave the wrong way (for what it's worth, it rubbed JR the wrong way too. He's gone on record a million times since then saying he wished he hadn't done it and he's apologized to Austin profusely for it). Ross talked openly about some of Austin's personal business, like his previous divorce or when his kids went to live in England, and hinted that Austin's issues were more than just professional burnout. At the time this was being filmed, nobody knew just how true that was.
The night before WWE Confidential aired, at 4am, Austin's wife Debra called 911 to their home in San Antonio, claiming Austin had attacked her. Austin drove away in his yellow Corvette before the police arrived. When they showed up, they found Debra crying with a large welt on her face. She said Austin had hit her several times after an argument then left when she made the 911 call. She said she was worried about the call because of how famous Austin is and knowing word would get out. She also showed them several marks on her back where she said Austin hit her. Austin called the house twice while police were there and they spoke to him and advised him to come home. Austin was cordial to the officers on the phone but refused to come back home while they were there. Debra declined to press charges and because she refused to seek medical attention, under Texas law, the police pretty much consider it a dead issue unless she changes her mind. Austin later returned home after they left. The national news media didn't pick up on it until Monday, at which point it became a huge story. They even had a news helicopter following Austin driving around town (with an open beer in his Corvette), talking with his neighbors in his yard, and also showed him flipping off the news cameras (I can't find footage of any of this). Because Austin is a wrestler and play fighting is what they do, the media treated this very serious issue as if were almost a joke, which Dave seems disgusted by.
With Austin being all over the news that day, this led to the unannounced surprise return of The Rock on Raw, after they spent the whole show teasing that Austin would show up. Rock wasn't scheduled to return until next month, to build for a match at Summerslam, but knowing the company was in a tough situation, Rock agreed to come back early. The plan appears to be for Rock to challenge for the WWE title at Fully Loaded next month. There's also been talk about Rock winning the title and then dropping it to Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, which is a surefire way to create a new superstar (indeed, that's exactly what happens). Rock's return, since it came as a complete surprise, was a flop in the ratings. If they had built it up just one week, they could have made some money on it, but not building up anything seems to be the M.O. for WWE these days. Between the Shawn Michaels return, the FlaiVince blow-off, and now this, that's 3 Raws in a row where they gave away major moments that should/could have been built up for bigger ratings or PPV money. Dave calls WWE a junkie pawning its $2,500 ring for $500 just to get a quick fix. And that's not even getting into the smaller details, such as the fact that Rock is a Smackdown guy, so why the fuck is he returning on Raw anyway? But again, the wheels are totally off the WWE train here in 2002. It's clear to see in retrospect how WWE was falling from their peak and Vince was desperately clawing at any idea he could think of to stop the bleeding.
So back to Austin. Even after the story broke, Vince went on Raw and changed his tune, saying he hoped Austin would some day come back to WWE but time would tell and for now, he's gone. Dave says if you think this is going to end Austin's career, look at Mike Tyson, Jimmy Snuka, Invader I, and Chris Adams. All of whom did even more heinous things than Austin and their careers were just fine. Dave is pretty sure he'll be back. Rock came out on Raw, gave a big rah-rah speech in which he also pretty much buried Austin for "taking his ball and going home" and did the whole "get the F out" tagline. And that's it on the Austin saga for now.
It's officially super-duper extra official now: the World Wrestling Federation is dead. WWE lost its final appeal in the UK's highest court in their battle against the World Wildlife Fund. Vince McMahon had already thrown in the towel and the company has already been renamed to WWE, but the final appeal was never dropped and was still going through the system. In the highly unlikely event that they somehow won the case, they planned to revert back to the WWF initials. But of course, they didn't win. Just like every single lower court before them, the court handed the wrestling company its final defeat. So WWF is dead. WWE it is.
Motoko Baba officially announced that she will be retiring as AJPW president at the end of September. It's expected that Keiji Muto will take over the role, which has been heavily rumored ever since he jumped ship from NJPW.
A rookie named Trevor Rhodes, who was trained by Harley Race, will be working the upcoming tour for Pro Wrestling NOAH (this would be future WWE star Trevor Murdoch).
NJPW held its annual stockholders meeting and Antonio Inoki couldn't even be bothered to attend. Masa Chono and Tatsuo Kawamura were named to the board of directors, to replace Riki Choshu. Speaking of, Choshu was also there and sold all his stock in the company and left without speaking to reporters.
In a radio interview, Jesse Ventura announced that he will not be running for a second term as Minnesota's governor. Ventura didn't go into all the reasons why, but he did acknowledge a recent controversy as playing a part. There's been some news stories this week noting that Ventura's 22-year-old son used the governor's mansion for a late night weekend party awhile back. Cleaning crew members of the mansion went public saying that when their parents are gone, this kid basically throws wild parties there that they have to clean up after. Ventura shot back, basically claiming his son is being slandered and denied it, but said the attacks on his family made him not want to run again. The news stories talked about some of the alleged damage and Dave actually sides with Ventura here. The damage doesn't sound that bad (some empty beer cans, a broken pool cue, and some tables that were scuffed up. "Geez, that's my house whenever there is a fight night," Dave writes. Doesn't sound like that wild of a party. A 22-year old brings his friends over to watch sports and drink some beer. Dave doesn't think that should be a huge controversy or anything. Neighbors near the mansion have said there's been no issue with noise or disturbances.
Major League Wrestling had its debut show at the old ECW Arena and the MLW championship was won by Shane Douglas. They did an angle where they basically tried to re-create the famous Shane Douglas/NWA title incident, where Shane was gonna throw the belt down, but they did an angle where he was told he'd be fined and suspended for life from wrestling if he didn't defend the belt. Angle didn't get over at all and most people there hated it and it led to pretty mediocre reviews for the show overall. Bam Bam Bigelow was supposed to work the show, but when he arrived, he found out they wanted him to do a job to AJPW wrestler Taiyo Kea in the first round of the title tournament. Bam Bam said fuck that and bounced. Steve Corino also managed to get a "fuck Paul Heyman!" chant going, in the ECW Arena nonetheless, which is an interesting note.
Sandman will be doing a celebrity boxing match in Philly soon, going against Tony Luke, who owns a bunch of sandwich shops in the area and is known as "The King of Sandwiches" in Philadelphia. Sure, why not?
There was a recent news story about Sputnik Monroe from a reporter who was in Memphis for the Tyson/Lewis boxing match. The reporter went to the Memphis Rock 'n Soul museum and saw the big display they had there for Monroe, including his ring jacket, trunks, boots, etc. Dave recaps the history of Monroe, who is credited with desegregating wrestling in Memphis during the Jim Crow days of the 1950s. Monroe was a white wrestler who hung out in the black part of town and, as a result, became the black fans' favorite wrestler. He was a huge draw in Memphis at a time when black fans weren't allowed to sit in the main seats, only the nosebleeds in the balcony. Monroe's popularity was so big that one week, they turned away more than 1,000 black fans even though they had room in the arena. Just not in the "colored" section. So Monroe told the promoter he was quitting if they didn't let in his black fans. And since Monroe was such a huge draw, the promoter caved, and just like that, black fans were allowed to sit with white fans anywhere in the arena. It actually had a domino effect, because it was the first sporting event in Memphis to desegregate and it led to other sporting and entertainment events in the city following suit. In the 50s and 60s, Memphis was one of the only wrestling territories in America that was desegregated like this (fun fact: I used to live in Memphis and just went to that museum back in 2018. For starters, I highly recommend it if you're ever in town. In fact, I have a million recommendations for anyone who ever visits Memphis. That city is my heart and soul. Also, the Sputnik Monroe exhibit is still there).
The TNA debut show hasn't happened at press time, but Ken Shamrock is expected to win the NWA title in the battle royal gimmick. If he doesn't, it's because there was a last minute change, but as of now, it's absolutely going to be Shamrock.
Good news for TNA, the company reached an agreement with Dish Network, which adds another 7-8 million potential homes to their exposure. The only PPV provider in the U.S. not carrying them now is Cablevision.
The TNA cruiserweight title has been renamed the "X" title. The idea is that it's not necessarily going to be limited to just small guys and will act more as a secondary title to the NWA belt, not exclusively a cruiserweight thing.
Disco Inferno turned down an offer to join TNA because they wanted him to change his name to Ad Man and have a gimmick where people print/draw ads on his body, like they do in boxing sometimes. Or like a NASCAR. The idea is he would be covered in ads and every week, he'd lose a match and a "sponsor" would drop out and eventually, he'd have no sponsors left because he keeps losing. Gee, hard to see why he turned that gimmick down.
Random other TNA notes: Ed Ferrara is involved in writing the shows along with Jeff and Jerry Jarrett (and, let's be honest, Vince Russo, though that's still top secret. Shhhh, don't tell anybody). Jeff Jarrett was in the pits for the recent NASCAR Kroger 300 race with Hermie Sadler, who is scheduled to be at TNA's debut show. Former ECW manager Sinister Minister will be part of this company, using his real name James Mitchell. K-Krush (Ron Killings, aka R-Truth) is expected to be one of the main heels in the promotion.
Okay, fine. Let's talk Russo. Officially, he's still not involved, but he has submitted a bunch of ideas, many of which are expected to be implemented on the debut show. But "officially" he's not part of the company (he's still gotta have a quick cup of coffee in WWE before they kick him to the curb again, at which point he finally decides to join TNA for real).
The WWA promotion is in deep trouble. They have a show scheduled for Ireland soon and ticket sales for that show are pretty decent. But every other show on their books looks to be dying. They have 3 shows scheduled for Germany next month and all 3 shows have less than 500 tickets sold each. The German promoters are wanting to cancel the tour but WWA promoter Andrew McManus has a contract that will result in a lot of financial penalties for him if the shows are canceled, so he's fighting it. Lex Luger is booked for the tour, which would be his first time wrestling since WCW went down. They're also still promoting names like Jeff Jarrett and other TNA contracted talent, but with their new plan of running live every week, it's going to be hard for any of them to get overseas, work the tour, and still do the TNA tapings.
XWF is making one last grasp to survive. Even though they've been saying this for almost a year now, the promotion is claiming once again to be very close to getting a TV deal. If it goes through, the plan is to hold a press conference to announce it and then tape 5 weeks of TV to air in Sept. and Oct., with plans to air a PPV some time in late-October. Dave says this sounds like desperation to him and he's not buying that a TV deal is close. Especially since they lost all their top stars, like Hogan, Curt Hennig, and Jerry Lawler, all of whom were involved at the beginning but have all since returned to WWE (though Hennig has since been fired by WWE again, so he's available). But even if this miraculously happens, most of the marketable names left out there have already signed short-term deals with TNA that will last through October, so they wouldn't be available either. So XWF will be struggling to fill a roster with names anyone even cares about (obviously this never happens).
UFC will make its TV debut as part of a 30-minute segment on Fox Sports' "The Best Damn Sports Show Period." It will be hosted by Fear Factor host Joe Rogan, who is a huge UFC fan and has a lot of martial arts experience himself. The idea is to show one full fight in its entirety (Robbie Lawler vs. Steve Berger), with highlights of other fights to fill out the rest of the time. Dave criticizes them for not putting Chuck Liddell vs. Vitor Belfort on the show, or at least airing highlights, but that's not the plan as of press time. Obviously, that's a strong PPV draw and that's where the money is, but you only get one chance to make a good impression and Dave thinks it would be in UFC's best interest to give TV viewers a taste of their best foot forward and try to get somebody like Liddell over with a new, large audience.
Dave says the Bob Sapp fight in K-1 that was talked about last week, in which Sapp basically mauled his opponent in such a way that he got DQ'd, was at least partially a work. Had it not been, Sapp would have been immediately fired, not given a rematch with the same opponent 6 weeks later. There's a pretty good chance that his opponent didn't know and that the people who ran in to separate them after the fight didn't know either, but Dave seems pretty confident that Sapp was instructed by someone higher up in K-1 to do what he did.
Rock's next movie, "Helldorado" is expected to film between September until around Christmas. WWE is hopeful Rock can make some appearances on TV during the those months in between filming dates, but that's going to be difficult to pull off (indeed, he never shows up during this time).
Speaking of Rock, he worked the Honalulu, HI house show over the weekend, which drew an easy sellout crowd, the first sellout for a house show in a long time. Due to Rock being on the card, tickets sold out in 2 hours and scalpers were making a ton of money. In fact, the show was such a big deal that a local radio station was giving away tickets for the craziest stunt fans could pull and 2 fans walked through downtown Honolulu completely naked in order to score tickets. Rock beat Jericho in the main event in a great match. It was WWE's first time there in 8 years (Dave corrects himself from before, when he said 14 years in a previous issue and someone here on Reddit called him out on it haha). Rock got a reaction like Antonio Inoki in Japan, he was basically a god in this city. A lot of his friends and family were there as well and backstage, Rock told people that the show was bigger to him than even his 4 Wrestlemania main events and called it the biggest night of his career. When talking about his grandfather, Rock got emotional and began crying and talked about his history promoting in Hawaii. Bruce Willis, for whatever reason, was in attendance, and during the match, they did an angle where Rock held Jericho for Willis to punch him which got a huge pop. Genichiro Tenryu and Motoko Baba were there as well, meeting with John Laurinaitis (Johnny Ace, who spent much of his career in AJPW). They were there to discuss doing business with WWE as well as to get some photo ops for the magazines back in Japan so they can get that WWE-rub. (Sure enough, here's an article from just a couple months ago where Rock says once again, to this day, that the match with Jericho in Hawaii was the most meaningful match of his career. I can't find any footage of the damn thing though, which is a shame).
Notes from Raw: X-Pac lost in a King of the Ring qualifier match to RVD and Dave says it's a good thing nobody in WWE pays attention to their own storylines because just a week or two ago, the story was that if anyone in the NWO loses a match going forward, they're out of the group. But of course, that wasn't even acknowledged or remembered here. Raven lost to Jeff Hardy in 3 minutes and Dave's not sure that Raven made the right move by giving up his safe commentary job because they sure don't seem to see much in him as a wrestler. The "Molly Holly is fat" storyline continued because fuck this company. Lawler even tried to get a "She's a fat ass" chant going. Backstage, X-Pac was shown crying after his loss, "sort of like real life," Dave jokes. They teased Austin showing up by playing his music and having Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit come out instead. They did a thing with Jackie Gayda teasing her being on the WWE Lingerie Special that airs next week and had Vince hitting on her backstage, making it very apparent why she was chosen to win Tough Enough over the obvious most deserving finalist, Kenny. And in the main event, Nash and Shawn Michaels were on commentary burying the match, making fun of Jim Ross, etc. And of course, the show closed with Rock doing his surprise return and promo where he pretty much buried Austin for leaving.
Coming out of Raw, a TON of fans still seemed to think the Austin thing was an angle. Vince's first promo, which was a total shoot about Austin being gone, didn't get over that way, with most fans in the arena expecting an angle and waiting for him to show up. There were constant "We want Austin!" chants and many people that Dave has heard from even thought the Confidential episode was all a work.
Notes from Smackdown: all the mentions of Austin on commentary weren't done live during the show, but were later dubbed in. Mostly it was just an effort to plug the Confidential episode about him, and it was such a last minute decision to do that episode that they had to edit the plugs in after the show was taped. The wall of security guards in the ring during the Triple H/Undertaker contract signing was copying the same thing they did before the Tyson/Lewis fight because it's a pretty cool visual. Nidia is doing a hillbilly gimmick now. Hurricane seems to be dropping his gimmick and going back to Gregory Helms. Word is most of the agents hated the Hurricane character for whatever dumb reason.
Dave talks about the upcoming Hogan vs. Kurt Angle match at King of the Ring and is curious to see how it goes. He thinks the most likely ending is Vince costing Hogan the match and Angle pinning him, but he's curious to see if Hogan is really going to try to put Angle over or is it gonna be another Kidman situation. That being said, WWE is protecting Angle and there's serious talk of giving Angle a run as the top guy, in the wake of Austin and Rock leaving and Undertaker and Triple H being so banged up. The idea is to put the belt on Angle and have him take on all comers, heel and face, like an old-school Lou Thesz-type champion. Either way, this Hogan match is going to be a test of how good Angle is because if he can't carry Hogan to a good match, then no one can. It's also going to be a test of whether Hogan is really the team player he claims to be now (yeah Dave's gonna be shocked at how this one ends I bet).
At the latest WWE tapings in Atlanta, Dusty Rhodes was backstage visiting and introducing his 16-year-old son Cody Runnels to everyone. Cody has been training with his father to be a wrestler. Good luck kid.
Former 50s-80s promoter Jim Barnett was also backstage at Raw and since it was his birthday, the McMahons got him a cake and orchestrated everyone singing happy birthday to him. Barnett was there because he was just hired as a consultant, which is curious timing. Barnett hadn't been officially hired by TNA or anything, but he had agreed to appear at their debut show as part of an angle with old NWA champions. So when WWE swooped in this past week and hired him, it got a lot of people talking but Dave says there's nothing to it. If Vince McMahon was trying to poach people from TNA, he wouldn't start by hiring a 78-year-old guy to be a consultant.
The local FOX station in Los Angeles, like everyone else, covered the Steve Austin/Debra story on the "Good Day L.A." morning newscast. The story was presented as a big joke, even using the headline "Smackdown At Home." Well, one of the anchors, Jillian Barberie, refused to play along, presenting the story as the serious issue it is and afterwards, criticized the station's writing team live on the air, calling them low class for making light of a woman being beaten by her husband.
Random WWE news and notes: Bubba Ray Dudley missed the UK PPV and TV this week due to the death of his mother. Edge and Chris Jericho have joined Kurt Angle as part of the Get Tough on Angina campaign that Angle has already been doing commercials for. A commercial for Summerslam was filmed this week with a bunch of guys chasing Trish Stratus in an ice cream truck.
Rey Mysterio made his WWE debut at a house show in San Diego, beating Chavo Guerrero. Mysterio was wearing his mask again and was said to be more impressive than anyone else on the show. The mask actually did come off by accident at one point though. Mysterio also looked substantially bigger than he did in WCW because, well, he's coming to WWE and you know how that goes.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:Bret Hart injured in bicycle accident, WWE re-hires Vince Russo, King of the Ring fallout, and more coverage of TNA's debut than you could ever possibly want, and a ton more...
The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe
The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team,Puskás Akadémia FCmight seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football.(Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing). Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.
Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM
Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there. Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role. No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team. Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achievedpromotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season. Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009. On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy. He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born. Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.
Part 2: No stadium left behind
Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season). Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium. Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán). Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money). The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó”= corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division. Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.
Part 3: Small place, big game!
As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots. First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program. The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home. Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in. While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons. It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI. Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”. The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”. Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community. PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league. Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget,making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Construction of a new tea kitchen for youth players for 650,000 EUR
Employment of a 45 person “cleaning and maintenance staff” for the academy.
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs. Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán. Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss. Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.) PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%. On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!
Epilogue: What's in the future?
As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title. However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football. But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you. And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say. TL,DR Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
This is why we should end the porn industry and how we should do it.
THE WHY: Pornography is different today than it used to be. So, 80 percent of the 15 most-viewed films portray women being hit, spit on, kicked, called degrading names. The kinds of behaviors we wouldn’t want our children, or anyone, to act in. Pornography has become more violent. It would be difficult to overstate the effect the exposure has on this developing mind. This is not at all akin to a teenage boy finding his dad’s Playboy, as the old trope goes. This is extremely graphic, disturbing, often violent sexual content, consumed by a child who does not have the psychological faculties to cope with or understand what he’s seeing. As his young mind marinates in this filth, his ideas about himself, his sexuality, women, love, and romance are all being shaped by it. The word “traumatized” is greatly overused these days, but it applies in this case. Children exposed to pornography suffer trauma. The psychological effects are obviously devastating. And the trauma is all the worse because we don’t recognize it or treat it as such. It is not surprising that a boy who starts watching hardcore porn in third grade might be a sexual abuser by seventh grade. He’s been training for it. He’s been indoctrinated into sexual perversion. He’s been watching sexual violence for years and learning to take pleasure in it. His devolution into sex predator seems almost inevitable. It’s a wonder more boys don’t end up the same. And this is not my opinion. It's a fact. A local news report in Kansas City should spark the interest of every parent. Children’s Mercy Hospital has noticed a trend in the child sexual assault cases they encounter: "half of the perpetrators of these crimes are children themselves.* Nurses at the hospital think porn plays a prominent role:
“I think that was kind of shocking to us all as we were collecting this data, is that almost half of our perpetrators are minors,” said Heidi Olson, thee Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Coordinator. The SANE program’s data shows perpetrators are likely to be between 11 and 15 years-old. “Another thing we’re noticing is a lot of those sexual assaults are violent sexual assaults, so they include physical violence in addition to sexual violence,” said Jennifer Hansen, a child abuse pediatrician at Children’s Mercy. …”To sexually assault someone else, that’s a learned behavior,” said Olson. Nurses are also finding more and more that pornography is playing a role in these cases. That can include a victim being forced to see porn, a victim reporting that the perpetrator said they’d watched porn, being forced to do something shown in a pornographic video, or a victim being recorded doing a sexual act.
They also noted that kids are often exposed to porn at extremely young ages:
Hansen and Olson says they’re noticing kids are being exposed to porn at very young ages, around 4 or 5 years-old. They say a child can develop unrealistic and dangerous ideas about intimate relationships by being exposed to violent, graphic porn. “We know that it’s probably multi-factorial. I think there are lots of things that contribute to this, but that is the question; How are we, as a society, failing in such a way that we have 11, 12, and 14-year-old boys, primarily, committing violent sexual assaults?” Hansen said. SANE nurses can’t always identify who a perpetrator is, because they work with victims, but said they’ve had young perpetratros tell them they’ve watched pornography and acted it out on someone else.
So, obviously, every child exposed to internet porn is an abuse victim and I support laws to protect children from that abuse because parents can’t possibly protect their children from porn at this point. All it takes is one friend with a phone or a laptop. The situation is too out of hand and porn is too ubiquitous. Either the state gets involved or we accept that kids will access this stuff. I don’t accept it. That's essentially my position, in the simplest terms. If someone is on the other side of this debate, they have to argue either that exposing children to sexually explicit content isn't abuse or that it is abuse but it's not worth having any laws against it. I think both positions are untenable morally and logically. Here are some facts: 1) Children are first exposed to porn at the age of 11, on average. As we speak right now, there are no doubt millions of minors, some as young as five or six years old, watching adults have sex on the internet. This is an indisputable fact. 2) Our legal system rests on the assumption that minors cannot consent to engage in sexual acts. If an adult has sex with a child, the adult is guilty of rape no matter if the child verbally agreed or not. In our society, we understand that children lack the mental and emotional maturity to make an informed decision in this area. To deny that is to literally defend pedophilia. 3) So, if children cannot consent to engage in a sexual act, does it not inevitably follow that they cannot consent to witness such an act? If they cannot consent as a second-party participant, neither can they consent as a third-party participant. Thus, every child who watches porn does so, by definition, without consent. Again: I don’t see how you can quibble with this argument without also quibbling with the logic for criminalizing pedophilic behavior. I’m not saying that the people on the opposite side of this issue are trying to legalize pedophilia. I’m saying that they fail to appreciate how our laws against pedophilia also provide a basis for pornography regulation. 4) This all means that every “consenting adult” who posts hardcore sex videos to the internet does so knowing that children can very easily access and view it. They are putting it, as it were, within reach of the child. If the child reaches for it, who do we blame? Is it the child’s fault or the fault of the person who put it there? I would argue that every child who has viewed internet pornography is a victim of abuse. And the abuser is the person who posted that content where a child, with no trouble at all, could find it. 5) Indeed, the internet porn industry makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year on children. Each hit to a site like Pornhub is monetized. If millions of children go on that site — which they do, because there’s nothing to stop them — then Pornhub profits to the tune of millions on the psychological and sexual abuse of children. 6) Pornhub makes absolutely no effort whatsoever to keep kids away from the hardcore rape porn on their site. And that should concern all of us in a country where children as young as 8-years-old are watching this stuff. In fact the situation is worse than Pornhub merely making no effort to protect kids. On the contrary, they explicitly market themselves to underage kids. Only a nation of impotent cowards would sit back and allow smut peddlers this kind of free rein, as if they have some sort of sacred, God given right to show gang bang videos to third graders. AND THE HOW: Unfortunately, under the Internet anonymity protection, anyone of any age can visit these domains and easily access billions of hours of filth and depravity so vile that it causes PTSD to the detectives tasked with sifting through it to prosecute child porn. No age verification is conducted or even attempted. Many gambling sites require a driver’s license or passport to ensure that users are legal age. Some take even more severe steps. Cryptocurrency exchanges use similar measures. Same for stock trading sites. Even sites that feature pictures of alcohol force you to enter your birthday before you enter. This latter measure is obviously circumvented easily, but the point is that Pornhub doesn’t even do that much. They make absolutely no effort whatsoever to keep kids away from the hardcore rape porn on their site. In fact the situation is worse than Pornhub merely making no effort to protect kids. On the contrary, they explicitly market themselves to underage kids. The good news is, we don’t have to allow it. Pornhub should at least be subject to minimal regulations to prevent them from profiting off of the abuse and corruption of children. Even though we think parents should do everything in their power to stop their underage kids from binge drinking, we still agree that companies that sell alcohol should bear some responsibility. If an 8-year-old waltzed into the local Quick Stop and came out with 40 ounces of malt liquor in his hand, it may be true that he has neglectful parents. But that doesn’t justify the neglect of the person behind the corner who chose to sell the product to a customer who was very clearly well below the legal age. As previously stated, we even expect other kinds of websites to carry this sort of burden. So what can we do about sites like Pornhub? As has been proposed in other countries, a law could and should be passed requiring sites like Pornhub to make some attempt to verify a user’s age. We all understand that no age verification system will be perfect. But any system will be a hell of a lot more effective than none. Especially if that system requires a photo ID or a credit card. Alternatively, as has also been proposed, adults who wish to access porn could be required to opt-in with their internet service provider. And in order to cutback on the rape and child porn on the platform, Pornhub could be required to block search terms that are directly related to that kind of content. You should not be able to upload a video titled “passed out teen” and you should not be able to search for such a video. Sex with a passed out teen is rape. It would be fairly easy for Pornhub to filter out videos that explicitly advertise themselves as rape. It’s just that, right now, they are not required to install such filters. They are not required to do, or prevented from doing, much of anything. This is not advocating for a Big Brother dystopia. This is not saying the government should parent our kids. This is not trying to “legislate morality.” This is about very basic, reasonable, not terribly onerous measures that would put sites like Pornhub right in line with other companies that sell products we have deemed unsuitable for children. Sure, I would prefer to burn the porn industry to the ground and salt the Earth with its ashes. But you don’t need to hold that position to see that Pornhub is harming children, and monetizing that harm, and it has no right to do that.
Play with Nano! is platform where you and your friends/family/acquaintances come together and play games while wagering Nano. Make game night, trivia night, or watching sports a little more interesting by creating "Question Games" or "Betting Games" along the way. A major goal of Play with Nano! is to show how fun Nano can be when used in a social setting. Can you play with strangers on the Internet? Sure, but it becomes really fun sitting around the family room, game table, or local bar. The site is intended to be easy to use for non-tech/non-crypto folks. I played many games with my family (to include elementary age kids) who have zero knowledge of crypto. It worked great! It reminded me of playing Bingo for quarters on road-trips with my Grandpa. Rooms are created (and can be password protected) for you and your friends to gather. On your first visit, you might be interested in joining the Play with Nano! Public Room to just check it out.
Ok, give me some examples...
Game night: What will he/she role on their next turn? How much money will you have when the game is over? Who will be the first to be out? How long will the game last? Road trips: How many red cars will we see in the next 20 minutes? Trivia questions. Sports: Which team will score first? What will the score be at half-time? Bar games: Trivia night. Who can hold their breath the longest?
How it works
Every player account and every game has a unique Nano address. When you register an account, you are assigned an address where you can deposit Nano. When you play a game, your account sends a wager of Nano to the game's address. When the game is over, the wagered Nano is split evenly and sent to all the winners. No fees join, no fees to deposit, no fees to play, and no fees to withdrawal Nano.
I'm here in the comments, you can always find me on Twitter (SomeNanoTweets), and I've stood up a new Twitter account (PlayWithNano) that will be used for updates/notices specifically for the site. Thanks for checking it out and have fun!
Blunt Resume Advice for Recent Graduates in Technical Fields
I have reviewed a lot of resumes over the past several years. I have had more than my fair share of jobs in the technology industry where I have been both a job applicant and hiring manager. In recent years I have returned to academia where I get to help students prepare for that job market. I keep seeing the same missteps and offering the same advice on the matter so I thought I would right this up. ADMINS feel free to pin. Now as a disclaimer before I begin. I am speaking ONLY about my experience in the Computing technology sector (Finance, Pharma, Telecom, and Marketing). Much of this will probably apply to similar or adjacent fields. Design or office administration jobs probably none of it. EDIT: This is LONG. Be sure to have your resume handy when you go through it so you can edit as you go. Stick around for the end where I added a sample technical resume. TL;DR: Think like a hiring manager, focus on what they want to see. You are ultimately going to be a cog in a machine for the first few years so leave off all of the fluff. Be clear, concise and focused. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SKILLS.
Objectives / Summary
Let me begin by addressing my biggest pet peeve: Objectives. I don’t know who keeps recommending this for resumes for anyone other than Vice President or “C” level executives. Your objective is irrelevant to the company. Your objective is to do whatever you are asked to do in order to get the job. Your objective is to be the best damned cog in the machine as you can be because that is what you are being hired to be. No one cares what the Cog wants to achieve in this role. There will come a time when it is more important. Your first post-college job is not it. Sorry, not sorry.
If you graduate in an off month (Not may or june) then don’t list the month, people assume the worst. "BUT ProfessorOfLies, I had a really good reason for taking that extra semester!" It was because of my [internship|pandemic|family emergency|Early Graduation|Whatever]. It doesn’t matter. Anything you need to explain on your resume, you will never get a chance to. Don’t list GPA unless over 3.5. Know what it is. If an employer asks then answer truthfully, but do not volunteer it.
If you have a 4.0 GPA research any company you apply for. Some companies see this as a negative. IBM famously would not hire anyone with a 4.0 with the thinking that if you had a 4.0 then you would probably not have interests outside of your school work and probably won’t take any risks.
Associates Degrees are made irrelevant by your bachelors degree IF it is in the same field. IE: your BCC degree in CS is no longer worth mentioning after your CS degree from NJIT/Rutgers/Steven’s. Now you got your associate degree in MATH and then a Bachelors in CS. YES advertise that!
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL.
Work experience can be a tough one for a college student. Not everyone can get or afford to take an internship or co-op. Sometimes your work is hard to justify on your resume. There is pressure to list every job you have ever had, but the reality is that it is just not necessary. If you have had a string of retail / clerk jobs, you really don’t have to show them all. Pick the most recent one to list. IF you managed to do anything related to the field (Helped with the company website for instance) then list that as a bullet, but do not feel the need to go into detail about it. We all know what hell you go through. The only purpose this serves is to show employers that yes indeed you can hold a job. For each job you held you want to list the standard information in the top line for it: Company, Title, Location, Dates (year - year is fine unless you NEED to be more granular because you worked a few in the same year). Then a BRIEF one line description of the role. You can even leave it off if you are doing that clerk job (Sales Associate at BLAH). Then you want to list 2 or 3 bullets about your SPECIFIC accomplishments while in that role. Resist the urge to go through ALL the responsibilities you had in the role. Yes there is paperwork and teamwork and meetings and documentation in every role. Those are not going to highlight your technical skills! Example entry: Back End Developer, South Hill Apparel Newark, NJ Summer 2019 Supported and developed new features for the remote procedure calls for retail websites.
Created a custom recommendation system using Node.js, MySQL, and ZeroMQ
Automated support for order from Amazon through AWS using Google Dart
Note how each bullet mentions what the achievement was and then name drops the technical skills used in the process. This will now reinforce the assertion that your skills in Node.js, MYSQL, ZeroMQ, AWS, and Google Dart are legit.
Passion projects, Hackathon / Game Jam projects, and class projects are excellent things to put on the resume. Treat them like jobs (But make sure they are under the correct category) in formatting. Since few college students would have had relevant work experience you really want to focus on the projects section. This is something that I wish I knew when I was a recent graduate. I never had an internship but I had a TON of passion projects. Not only will projects show that you have experience in the skills you are claiming, but it will also tell the employer that you are actually INTERESTED in the field you want to work in. That you will constantly be learning new skills and technologies that may benefit the company. Your projects will likely have exposed you to things not mentioned in the rest of the resume that could pay out in the future.
If you belong to one of the industry related professional societies, be sure to list them. I am talking specifically about IEEE, ACM, IGDA, etc. For other extra curricular activities see the section below (Spoilers: DON’T list them). These will again show that you are serious about your interests in the field.
At this point I have gone over everything that SHOULD be in a resume (everything after Objective that is). As a new job seeker I would even recommend it be in that order: Education, Skills, Work Experience, Projects, and Professional Associations. The minute you have that industry job though, Put Work Experience at the top and move Education to the bottom. You may be wondering at this point that I left some things out. If you keep reading below "Additional Thoughts" you will see what I left out and why.
One Page Resume
The one page resume is largely a thing of the past. When the most common way to get your resume in front of an employer was to attend a career fair or trade show, the one page resume made more sense. You basically need it to be your elevator pitch and no one at a busy fair wants to go through a long resume. These days we mostly distribute resumes digitally (PLEASE USE PDF, not DOC) and the hiring managers will go through them in bulk when they have time to think. This doesn’t mean you should be sending out 5 page documents, ain’t no one got time to go through that. But if your resume goes over a page up to a full second page I would not worry. Now Career fairs and trade shows ARE still a thing. So have a 1 page version of your resume with ample copies printed out when you attend these events. Do not be surprised if you hand a recruiter your resume, they read it for a minute and then go, “This looks great, here is my card. Email it to me” or “This looks great, here is the company job site, please apply and mention my name.” THEN when you send in your digital resume, send in the full resume.
Never Submit the same resume twice
EVERY time you apply for a job, look at the job posting. Match your resume as best as you can to the description. Use their language. Highlight the skills that they are looking for, cut down things that are not relevant to that specific job. Even if you apply to the same company more than once, each position should get a tailor made resume. Hell make a MASTER resume with EVERYTHING you have ever done that might be relevant. And then cut it down to suit a job in question.
If you have to explain something, you will never get the chance
I mentioned this in the education section, but this bears repeating. The resume is a filter of sorts, so if something looks OFF, it will be thrown out. You may have an EXCELLENT reason for including something weird or off, but you will never get a chance to defend it. Just do yourself a favor and don’t put it on the resume. Maybe it will come up during the interview, and if so then you can give a full explanation and maybe the thing will work out for you.
This is where you would put that fluff you wrote for your objective btw. But no one reads them. Even when they are required, no one actually reads them. Do you know when people read them? When you made a glaring mistake on them. Applying for a job at Prudential but accidentally mentioned how much you want to work for FedEx? Well you can bet someone WILL read it that time. Write a good heartfelt cover letter for a job at a company that you really want to work for, and then adapt it to the job you are applying for. AND THEN PROOFREAD IT. I can’t stress this enough READ IT, adapt it, and make sure it makes sense because no one really cares what you wrote it in unless you made a HUGE careless mistake.
Definitely have a github with examples of your work. Try to curate it to show your best, but a few old projects that were not great are fine and can show your growth. Finally public repos give programmers the ability to have a portfolio. Also try to make sure your username is sanitary. I can get away with EngineerOfLies because I have been in the industry long enough. You can't. At least not yet.
Make sure you have a LinkedIn page and DO NOT TREAT IT LIKE FACEBOOK. LinkedIn is like your living resume. Treat it as such. Make sure it's up to date and leave your personal life and politics off of it. And a side note: Make sure your FB is set to Friends only. You WILL be looked up on there. Sanitize it.
This is something that I see a lot on resumes from students. You are rightfully proud of the work you did in your undergraduate degree however, listing the courses doesn’t really help you on your resume. If you are being considered for a position then they will request your transcript and it will all be there. Before that though you need to show that you have the skills that they care about. “But ProfessorOfLies,” I hear you say, “I did some excellent relevant work in those courses!” And you are right, but the way to showcase that work is with the PROJECTS section. You can hone in on that one gem of a project you did in that class without mentioning the class title. Note on class prefixes and numbers: Even when listing class work under the projects section DO NOT use the prefix and course numbers. NO ONE OUTSIDE YOUR UNIVERSITY KNOWS WHAT CS 345 IS! Hell most people IN your university won’t know what that is. Note on class titles: Most course titles are generic and vague by design. When we propose a course we need to future proof ourselves. Technologies change all the time and even methodologies come and go. So when we make a course title and description we tend to make them generic enough to not require updating when technology does. Also these courses have to get through committees staffed by faculty from different departments. Sometimes interdepartmental politics will mutate a course title into something ridiculous because of some petty squabble. So when mentioning a class (under the projects section) use a DESCRIPTIVE title not the authentic one if the authentic one is weird. The actual title will be seen on your transcript.
Just a reminder that all of this advice is for a technical resume. This may not apply to graphic designers, web designers, UX designers, Writers, Administrators, etc. With that said, DO NOT PUT GRAPHICS ON YOUR RESUME! You may think that logos may look nice or highlight the big name companies you interned for, but they are tacky and take up a ton of space on the page. DO NOT get fancy with your templates either. Again, if you are not going for a design job you are FINE with just a drab easy to read resume. DO NOT put your picture on the resume. That is what LinkedIn is for.
Hobbies, clubs, student senate, Sports, eSports, fraternities and sororities please leave them off the resume. NO ONE CARES. Follow up note on Frats and Sororities: DO NOT LIST THEM on your resume. You may have heard anecdotes about that one frat brother got the job because another brother was the hiring manager. Anecdotes are not data. The sad reality is that Frats have a bad reputation. To anyone who was not part of greek life you are seen as drunken party animals and sexual predators (I am not saying that all people in greek life are like that, I am saying that your reputation has painted it like that). Hell to people who were part of greek life that is how they are seen. Worse still, you know how Frats have rivals? What if the hiring manager was greek and from a rival frat, or at their school their chapter was a rival to your fraternity even if you had a good relationship with your local chapter? The best way to use your greek connection is to ask around from within your own organization and find out if the hiring manager is an older brother or sister. Barring that just wear a ring or something to the job interview. IF it comes up and you luck out it will be a huge bonus. If not, then it won’t hurt you.
College Student Name
11111 Bleeker St Newark NJ 555 555-5555 github.com/baapsjfl;kasjdf;kjasdf;j LinkedIn link goes here
New Jersey Institute of Technology Bachelor of Science Information Technology (expected 2021)
Sales Associate, Retail GiantHometown, NJ 2018 - Present Responsible for managing stock, orders from corporate, and large ticket items.
Front End Developer - Systems Integration ProjectSpring 2020 Project involved integrating a third party data source with a custom front end through a multiple server environment. I was responsible for Project Management, setting up the Front End server and implementing the third party api
Integrated Back End Apache with messaging queue using PHP 7 and RabbitMQ
What's up fuckers. TSLA fuckboy here writing a post about video games. Go figure. I posted the link about Daddy Elon and legalizing weed last weekend, and got fuckingtemporarily banned for it because I flaired it with DD. It definitely wasn't DD. Learn from my mistake and don't fuck around with flairs or the mods. In my defense, I have ADHD, was high af, and am likely retarded. I served my sentence, and am here to try to redeem myself with some real DD on Activison-Blizzard (ATVI). I actually wrote this a few days ago when ATVI was $68 (proof attached), but couldn't post it until now. That's ok though, I committed a sin and you all have to pay the price by getting this DD 4 days late (love you mods). Don't fret though (like the market this morning wtf), there is still time for tendies. I'm long ATVI. They are going to steadily rise for the next 5-10 years. In the paragraphs below, you'll learn why. To be fair, I bought puts on BYND when it was trading at $70 in April, so, I'm pretty fucking smart. Do your due diligence (or fucking don’t, whatever). Obligatory this is not financial advice. Pictures, positions and TL;DR at the bottom for those of you that don’t know how to read (and let’s be honest, most of you don’t know how to read. Most of you need crayons to eat while you look at pictures. Lookin at you 220p SPY bag holders lmao.) That or you have the attention span of the stock market in March. Either way, enjoy!
You know that saying, the one that rich-fucks who inherited a bunch of money from their crazy aunt (they've never even met this Aunt obviously) say, “You gotta make your money work for you or you'll never be rich!” Yeah, well fuck those people. I got one better. I make ogres and trolls and wizards and guns (oh my) do the work for me, and it turns out they work really fucking hard, 24/7/365. Activison-Blizzard is one of the biggest powerhouses of the video game industry and I think they have a tremendous opportunity for growth in the long term. They are also recession/virus/pandemic/protest proof. And in reality, most of these things actually make ATVI more attractive. Can’t go outside because there's a fucking curfew (we have to be in a simulation), or your downtown is literally on fire from a protest and there’s a deadly virus just hanging out on every corner trying to murder your grandma? Cool. You don’t give a fuck because you’re sitting in your Lovesac (just fucking don't), playing COD while eating your BYND meat fake burger with a non-gmo, organic, gluten-free lettuce wrap with a 42oz Monster at 3 am. Why face reality when video games are so much more fun, AND you don't have to put on pants. Also, the gov is literally handing out money to people on unemployment. Put on your thinking cap and think really fucking hard for a second. Really hard. Do you think there's a correlation between people that are unemployed (and getting insane unemployment payments + stimulus + more stimulus at the end of July and are basically being ENCOURAGED TO STAY HOME), and the likelihood of that person playing video games? Hmm. FUCKING MAYBE. Earnings - They make lots of money lol They have crushedrecent earnings (and most other earnings), and they have really fucking solid financials. Boatloads of cash on hand and relatively low debt. They have rock-solid management that has been there for years, and they are devoted to the company. Here's some great info on how they make money. Also, most importantly,u/fuzzyblankeet said "they are a great company" (proof attached) and that guy doesn't fuck around. Current and upcoming games
COD - (literally prints fucking money every single release) and the new free-to-play Warzone mode has been insane, taking tons of market share from Fortnite and PUBG. They also have gotten tremendous traction with their COD Mobile game. They will also obviously announce a new COD for the next-gen consoles coming from Microsoft and Sony, Holiday 2020. This holiday season will unquestionably be the most gigantic video game fiesta the world has ever seen, and COD will be the Fucking King. Mark my words.
Overwatch 2 - No date announced yet, but you can bet your allowance (that your wife's boyfriend gives you) that they're gonna try and get it out during the Holiday season. I bet it sells 45-55 million copies, on top of all the micro-transactions, similar to its predecessor).
Diablo 4 and Diablo Immortal - Diablo's fan base are addicts. Blizzard killed it with Diablo 3, and many people expect these 2 new games to be even more epic. One of them being a console game similar to Diablo 3 (for next-gen consoles obviously), and the other being a free-to-play (micro.fucking.transaction'$) game made for iPhone/Android (lol losers). Much smaller fan base than COD/Overwatch, but still, 10's of millions is pretty massive.
WoW - Not what it used to be, but still has a large player base of millions. They are releasing another new expansion this year and the revitalization of its classic Wow has been a hit.
Hearthstone - More than 100 million people have played the game as of 2018 (most recent data I could find). I'd guess that with their new Battlegrounds Mode, in addition to multiple yearly expansions, this game will continue pulling in significant revenue for years to come, especially if they find ways to invent new game modes that bring old players back.
Starcraft - Although this area of the business doesn't make them much money right now, I think it's safe to say that the Starcraft Universe still carries a lot of weight in a lot of gamers' minds. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a Starcraft 4 or some mobile variation of it in the next 3 years, and I think that it would do excellent.
Hero's of the Storm - The game is still played, but is definitely one of the smallest revenue generators for them.
Revitalizing Spyro and Crash Bandicoot - Although there is no real news on theses getting re-vamped, ATVI thinks of them as a flagship brand. I bet they sell a shit load of copies each on console if they go that route, especially the Nintendo Switch (which happens to be in the hands of 55 million people).
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Remaster - Yeah, they are remastering this shit. You remember how badass these games were back in the day. Set to release Sept, 2020. I actually think this might be a surprise revenue generator. It'll sell 25-35 million copies.
King Digital Entertainment -ATVI bought them for around 6 billion a few years back, and it's pretty clear that this was a wise purchase. Their suite of current games and upcoming games/expansions should continue to print money and at a good margin. They are a dominat player in the mobile space, and could leverage those users to try other games from ATVI (Diablo Immortal)
Tv show - Pretty strong rumors that Blizzard is working on a few TV shows based on their Diablo and Overwatch worlds. Animated TV shows are growing in popularity, even for adults. Both of these shows will attract ALL blizzard fans (100's of millions around the world), and lots of new people too, as I'm sure they'll make it easy enough to digest for someone who doesn't know the game/universes already. This could also bring brand new people into the Blizziverse. And I'm sure Netflix/HBO Max/Apple TV would be happy to pay a pretty penny for rights to it.
E-Sports - The Future of 'sports' entertainment
E-Sports will largely replace real sports in our lifetime, and we’re just now really getting started. Disagree? Great, I don’t give a fuck. Go ask any 10 year-old this question. “Hey little Johnny-Sue. Would you like to watch some sweaty dudes smash into each other for 3 hours, or would you rather watch your favorite team play in their respective competitive E-Sport league on Twitch?” 9/10 times, Lil-fuckin-Johnny-Sue gonna pick video games, and that's a fact. Teams and Orgs Esports are also BOOMING in colleges, with lots of colleges offering significant scholarships to come play video games for their school. Let me help you draw a mental picture. Concentrate. Remember Lil-Fucking-Johnny-Sue from above? If he/she gets good enough at whatever game he/she is playing, they could get a full-ride scholarship to college, and then possibly get a job afterwards as a professional Esports athlete (and make more money then a CPA makes their first few years of working). THEN, when he/she gets too fucking old and slow to play the game (25-30 years old typically) they can become an analyst, caster, coach, manager, scout, etc etc. Maybe they become the next N0tail (highest paid Esports athlete to date) and make a cool 6.8 million a year. Imagine making 6 figures a year to play fucking video games and rekt n00bs on stage. Fuck I want that life so bad. There are literally stadiums being filled with fans to watch people play video games, while another 100 million people watch from home. Esports organizations are becoming bigger and bigger. TSM is a major Esports organization in the US and they are building a $50 million facility in LA. More words on other organizations to help put things into perspective. While these facilities are clearly impressive, this is nothing compared to major sports facilities. Here's my point. Is it reasonable to assume that these facilities/teams/Esports stadiums/orgs will continue to get bigger? And if they get bigger, they will demand more attention from celebrities/rich folk because they want to get in on the action. As a result, the salaries of players/managers/staff/coaches/analysts will continue to go up and there will be more and more opportunities for jobs in this field. This then causes more young people to be more interested in video games, because not only are they fun af (and insanely addictive), but you could play pro someday! Schools/colleges will continue to develop competitive Esports teams because A: You better fucking believe that there are lots of kids out there that care about this and B: The school knows that it could lead to jobs (more like a dream job, but still something that's reasonable to consider if you are really good at a video game). Still disagree? More words for you to look at and not understand. Blizzard Esports Revenue There are competitive (money generating) Esports leagues for 7 different ATVI games. (Overwatch, Hearthstone, WoW, COD, COD Warzone, COD Mobile, Starcraft). Here are some thoughts from Pete Vlastelica (head of E-Sports at Blizzard). E-Sports will be 10x in 10 years. Bet your bottom dollar on it.
What you should know about gay sex - from a future porn education star
Below is a dump of things I think gay guys should know. It’s long, heads up, because it’s thorough. Also, I am annoyingly wholesome, haha. It can be cheesy but embrace the cheese. There’s useful stuff on the other side. My credentials are: - A lot of sex from ages 18 to 31. - Successful open relationship of 11+ years, despite rocky events in our lives. (Recently ended, no one’s fault.) - Currently creating an educational sex series, so this advice comes from a lot of research, thought and experience. The series will be called Pornducation and will feature me giving sex tips and making jokes while literally having sex. Made a pilot already. It turned out as fun as I thought it would be. To be clear, this info is a work-in-progress. For instance, I haven’t yet run it all past sexual health organizations. I stand behind my advice but it’s good to assume that NO ONE’s advice is 100% accurate or 100% everything you need to know. Here is what I have so far, much condensed. Feel free to share it yourself. I'd appreciate credit and a mention of Pornducation but that's not as important as the sharing. Enjoy! THINGS I BELIEVE GUYS SHOULD KNOW Important: - Everyone is surprisingly different. Every guideline has an exception. These tips are commonly applicable, though, and a good place to start. - Safety tips apply to everyone. - Advice is great but there's always a chance that it's wrong. Listen to yourself and your body first. - Where not sure if something is good or comfortable? Ask. If you ask matter-of-factly, it looks like confidence. Confidence isn’t knowing everything will go well. It’s knowing that you’ll be fine even if it goes bad. The bird doesn’t rely on the branch that might break, but on its wings. - Use moans and body motion to indicate when things feel good. Arch your back, thrust your hips, or groan, for instance. Communicating what you like increases the chances of getting more of it. - You can always say no to sex, at any point. Any point. Even the very second before sex you can say no. Even during sex, you can change your mind. This is such a strong rule that, at least in New Zealand, even if you were paid for that sex, you can stop at any point. Your body autonomy takes priority over any contract. You can also say no to certain sex acts but yes to others. You can say yes to sex acts in certain ways but say no to others. You can change your mind. It’s your body, your rules. That’s true of other people’s bodies and their rules, too, of course. Anyone who isn’t okay with that is an arsehole. - You won't be good at sex straight away, it's a skill. You'll do it imperfectly and learn, that's natural. - Wash around the head of your dick and your butthole, especially just before sex. Just use water and/or light soap. Your skin is sensitive there. - If your fingers might go inside anyone, trim them. This makes sure you won't nick anything. Freshly cut nails are sharp, though. I keep a nail-file specifically so that I can trim and blunt my nails before a guy comes around. - Go for guys you think are out of your league. You may surprise yourself. - Be kind. Not just for them but for you. It’s surprising how many times the right thing to do also benefits you. For instance, if you are nice to a lover, they may decide to try something adventurous with you because they feel they can trust you. - Be kind to yourself. Not just for you but for them. It’s surprising how many times the right thing for you also benefits others. For instance, if you set-up and enforce emotional boundaries to make sure no one takes more than you have to give? Then others can relax around you because they know they aren’t going to accidentally mess you up. - ANYTHING THAT GOES IN YOUR ARSE NEEDS A FLARED END. Arses are known to suck objects up. You wouldn’t be the first person to go to hospital because they have a cucumber way up in them. Remember: Without a base, without a trace. - Cheap dildos are a risk, too. They might be made of something that isn’t body safe. Or the dildo could be made dangerously. I've read one story of a dildo bought on Wish that had a hole in the tip, for some reason. Ants crawled in and then he put the dildo in his hole. Wasn’t a great time. Research is, uh... recommended. Blowjobs: - No teeth. Even clipping a dick with teeth feels bad. Cover your teeth by sucking slightly, it pulls your lips over the teeth. Or pout like it's a duck face. - A dick with a foreskin is more sensitive than one without a foreskin. A blowjob can get oversensitive and unpleasant if you do too much to the head of a penis that has its foreskin. Dicks without a foreskin often prefer a lot of sensation around the head and neck of their penis. - Don't worry about making guys cum yet, sex isn't all about the orgasm. But if a guy says he's close and you want to get him there, keep doing the exact same thing. Maybe just a little more intensely. Changing it up may distract his brain away from cumming. - Deepthroating means putting the penis to your back of your mouth or even down your throat. Sometimes just to hold it there, sometimes to move it to that point and back. This feels good for the other person as it stimulates more of the penis. It’s also hot. You may find it hard to do because of your gag reflex. That’s ok. For most people, your body will reject it at least a little if you put anything at the back of your throat. But, by steadily, gently pushing yourself to go a little further each time, you can reduce that gag reflex. Some people get rid of it completely. I've heard of people practicing with a dildo. - You can give your lovers a similar feeling to deepthroating without having to deepthroat. Put a hand around the lower part of their dick and your mouth around the upper part. Bob the hand along with your mouth. - I also understand that making a fist with your thumb on the inside and clenching it will disable your gag reflex until you stop squeezing. I haven’t tried this one, though. - Moving your hand and mouth on the dick is also a good way to add variety to a blowjob, even if you can deepthroat well. Too much of the same thing can be boring. - I didn't used to like sucking dick but now I do. Don't sweat it. You don't have to do it, though it's polite to return the favour. - When you are the one GETTING a blowjob, be cautious when thrusting into someone's mouth. They won't thank you for making them gag. Sexual Health: - STI stands for a Sexually Transmitted Infection. If someone has an STI, they may not be aware and can transmit it to you during sex. To be clear, masturbating alone will not give you an STI. Many STI’s are symptomless. They are still good to get tested for and cured, as they can have long-term health effects. Becoming infertile is one possibility. Also, something that is symptomless in you may have symptoms if you pass it along to others. - You can catch Sexually Transmitted Infections, aka STI's, from giving or receiving blowjobs. But HIV is very unlikely. The chances of oral giving you HIV is almost vanishingly small, unless you have a mouth sore or a cut. That's my understanding, at least. - Condoms can prevent STI's, but they're uncommonly used for oral because it feels different. It's up to you what you put in your body and what you consider an acceptable risk. If you decide you want oral to include condoms, that's a valid decision. Be prepared to stand your ground on it with pushy guys, though. The best way to stand your ground is to be okay to not have that sex if the other guy isn't into it. Also, decide that disappointment on the other guys’ end is their issue to deal with. There’s a lot of power in the concept, “You deal with it.” I personally don't use condoms for oral and have caught something maybe 5 times in my throat. Most of them have been in my later years. STI's are on the rise in many places. - Put the condom on like it's a rolled-up beanie. This means: Rolled up bit goes out/up, so that it unrolls down your dick easily. The other way, it's just more awkward and you might reach in and scratch up the latex with your fingernails. - If you put the condom on the wrong way first, it will have precum on it. Precum is a little bit of cum that comes out of the end of your dick when you are hard and aroused. Precum is enough to have a chance of transferring an STI. Throw the condom out and get a new one. - Anal sex has the risk of transferring HIV, so we will talk about that now. You may also have heard of AIDs, which is essentially HIV but further progressed in your body. Left untreated, HIV / AIDs can kill you. HIV can't be cured. But the good news is that nowadays HIV can be suppressed so well that tests won't pick up that you even have it. People with HIV that take their medicine correctly have totally normally lives and run no risk of transferring their HIV. As they say, undetectable means untransmittable. U = U. People who catch HIV? They actually get it from those who are newly infected and THOUGHT they didn’t have it. (HIV negative is a description of someone who doesn't have HIV, by the way. HIV positive means someone with HIV, even if it’s suppressed by medication.) But even with HIV medication, there's still a lot of social problems to navigate. Judgement, shame and out-dated laws affect HIV positive people. So, use condoms to protect yourself. - If you find out that you are HIV positive, reach out to friends and family that you trust. There are also counsellors – the organisation Ending HIV in New Zealand provides 6 free counselling sessions that centre around things like this. You may have something similar in your area. There also will be people in your area who have been dealing with this for years. Heck, you could probably go on Grindr and find someone whose profile mentions that they’re HIV positive. Ask them if they’re willing to talk, even. There are resources and support for you. Reach out. You’ll get through this, like millions of others have. - HIV can also be prevented by taking a daily pill called PrEP (also known as truvada, which is a common brand of PrEP.) If you find the idea of condom-less sex tempting, then PrEP is a good idea in case you give in. But even with PrEP, you can catch other STI's like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. These are the most common STI's, but they're curable. (Though there are antibiotic-resistant strains in a few places.) At least in New Zealand I liken catching an STI to falling down in the street. It's embarrassing as all hell and it stings. But get up and move on, you'll eventually forget it. - There's also Herpes, which isn't curable, but you can manage breakouts. - Get tested every 3 months if you're ever having a lot of sex. Get tested at least once a year even if sex for you is infrequent. - To get tested, Google “Sexual Health Clinic” in your area or talk to your doctor. A lot of campus’ offer the option and some gay events have quick-testing sites. - It's also a good idea to use condoms even with people you trust. Catching something nasty from a partner who turns out to be cheating is a tale as old as time, honey. - Oil-based lube like Vaseline will break down a condom and make it more likely to fail. Use silicon or water-based lube. These can be found in most supermarkets, sex shops and pharmacies. People are unlikely to pay attention to your purchase, especially if you buy it with confidence. Bottoming: - Bottoming is receiving a penis into your butt, to create pleasure for both of you. - It shouldn't hurt. Pain is your body saying to stop or slow down. Ignoring it can cause damage. Pain also teaches your body to fear bottoming, so it may clench up in the future. Don’t force your way through the pain. Stop, add more lube, try some relaxing techniques that I will list later. Go slow. If you must, you must. You’ll be far from the first. - You want to show your body that bottoming is okay and even fun. For that, make things as easy as possible, push your limits a little but listen to your body and respond appropriately. - Have an exploratory attitude to the sensations. Try things. Go with what feels good or even just what feeling you are curious about. - This is my own personal theory, but I believe that the brain LEARNS to interpret anal as something sexual. I mean, there are also a lot of physical and mental factors helping this along. Like the prostate, the huge amount on touch sensors in your sphincter and that dick is hoooooot. Also, I should note that some brains work out that anal is sex easier than others. But bottoming is still an acquired taste that many of us need to give ourselves time to acquire. - For this reason, the first time you bottom may feel weird or feel like you want to poop. For most people, after 1-3 times, that gotta-poop feeling stops happening forever, more-or-less. Your brain works out the difference between in and out. If you bottom and feel you want to poop, feel free to get off and use the toilet if that’s more comfortable. Play around if you feel comfortable with that. The feeling may just go away. - Getting on a dick too fast can feel like getting kicked in the nuts. - Only go as hard as you want. - Don't expect to bottom perfectly, especially not the first time. - Use lots of lube, always. - Use a condom to prevent catching STI's. If you use a condom the first time you do anal, you’re much more likely to do so in future. - Each time you bottom, let the dick in slowly once. After that, your butt will gradually warm up and you can change positions and be entered easier, generally. - Bottoming is easier if you warm up your butt first with a finger. Start by putting a finger in a little, then wait until your sphincter has adjusted. Put a bit more of the finger in. Wait until your sphincter relaxes. Put a bit more finger in, then wait, etc. Repeat until the whole finger is in. Have a play around, maybe. Then maybe do the same with another finger. See what you feel you need, it’s fairly variable. THEN do the same with the dick. Put it in a little, wait, in a little, wait, etc. Dicks are often thicker, so it will probably take longer to adjust to than your fingers did. That’s okay. - To repeat: Listen to your body, particularly if you feel pain. That's your body's warning system. - Some things that you can do to help ease the finger or dick in: Notice where your body is tense and relax it, if you can. Shoulders, for instance. Breathe deeply. Make out, to give your brain something else to focus on. Remember that you can stop if you want to. Apparently, pushing your sphincter out like you're pooping can help, I haven't tried. - Easiest angle of entry is to point the dick towards your belly button. (This is because of the angle of the Pubo-Rectal Sling, if you’re an anatomy nerd. That’s the main thing that pulls tight when your butt clenches to protect itself.) - A good first sex position is the Cowgirl. The top lies down, face up. You face him and kneel with your legs on either side of his body. Shuffle back and forth until you find the best spot for the dick to line up with your butt. When and if you’re ready, put it in a little. This can take a few tries and be kind of awkward, even for experts. This position has two advantages: The dick points at your belly button, which we established is the best angle. This position gives you control of how fast you're sitting on the dick. - Using a dildo before the top turns up may be a good way to warm up your butt and to give you confidence. That’s what I often do. - Nearly every guy will lose their erection during sex at some point in their life. Maybe it takes too long to get into your butt. (No one’s fault, you each can only do what you can do at that point in time.) Maybe they got distracted. Maybe they got nervous or often get nervous. Shaming them for it helps no one. Tell them that it’s okay, that you understand. Offer to stop for a bit, try again later, or ask how you can help. I guarantee that they will appreciate it. I also guarantee that they will be WAAAY more likely to get that boner back. So be kind. It’s in your best interests. - Some people never enjoy bottoming, no matter what they try. Or never enjoy topping. Or either. That's perfectly fine. You are who you are, I've never found any good in beating my head against that fact. But you may also never have had the right situation or the right advice. - At this point I don't have a troubleshooting-your-butt advise section. But it’s good to explore what might be holding you up. One example is: If you have trouble bottoming, it may come down to your attitude. If you think about how much it could hurt as you sit on a dick, of course your body will clench up. If you instead train your brain to think of dick as something potentially very nice, your body may respond better. (Though bullshitting your body won't work. You'd need to make a deal with yourself that if it DOES feel bad at all, you'll stop. And here’s another thought: You may need to let go of the expectation that you will never feel pain, at least a little. Pain is a warning signal and it’s okay, even useful for it to happen. Ignoring pain is what I advise against.) - Bottoming gets easier the more you do it. But if you don’t do it for a while, you may lose that progress and must build it up again. It’s the same as, say, building flexibility in your legs. Doing the splits gets easier the more you practice. But, if you stop practicing, it gets harder and harder again. You can make bottoming easier later with semi-regular practice with a dildo. You don't have to, of course. Find what's right for your body and for your lifestyle. - Reminder: Anything that goes in your arse needs a flared end. Arses are known to suck objects up. Without a base, without a trace. Butt Cleanliness: - Once in a while, a dick will come out with poop on it. Fact of life, don't sweat it. You can wipe it off and continue or get a new condom or stop all together. Whatever you're both cool with. - Honestly? Guys get desensitized to poop. So even if you’re mortified, the other guy really might not be. - Treat poop-strike like no big deal and it most likely won’t be. Like I say earlier, people follow your lead. - Invest in some brown towels specifically for anal sex. Stains show up less. - Douching, (also known as enemas,) can really reduce the chance of poop. That’s where you wash your butt passage out by putting water in, then expelling it into a toilet. Repeat until the water comes out clear. - I won’t go into how to douche in detail, there are guides online. Use one. - My big warning with douching is: It's possible to not fully relax your sphincter and you end up keeping water in there without knowing. Then when you relax for the dick, it comes out. Goosh. It’s never happened to me, probably won’t happen to you. But to avoid it, give yourself plenty of time on the toilet. Wait, watch a video, notice how your body is feeling. Build up experience. - You don't have to douche. I don’t, too many guys say they’ll turn up but don’t. And, honestly, I find an unclean dick is not that common anyway. - Fibre. Instead of douching, (or in addition it,) you can eat a lot of fibre. This makes your poop more solid and less likely to stick to the dick. Fibre also makes your poop less likely to be in the close part of your butt passage. Metamucil or Psyllium Husk are common sources of fibre. - If I’m worried about being clean that day, I tend to just use a dildo beforehand, honestly. This warms my butt up for play, as discussed. But it also troubleshoots my hole, haha. Uncleanliness happens to the dildo, leaving my passage more hospitable for later guests. - Douching too often can harm your gut bacteria and dry your passage out. - Also be aware, douching isn't a fool-proof solution to poop-strike. Nothing is. - Some guys expect you to douche, but in my opinion, that's on them to tell you. Hopefully nicely, like, "Do you prefer to douche? ... Oh, I usually feel more comfortable if the guy has douched." Like I say, in my experience, poop on their dick doesn't happen all that often even without douching. Depends on the guy, though. Topping: - Read everything in the bottoming section, such as how you should always use condoms and lube. Put a finger in them first, a bit at a time, or get them to. You should be using all the other advice in that section, too. - If you only top, you may have no idea how much work goes into bottoming, or how sore it can be. - I recommend bottoming some time, even just to see how well you can. Even if you decide it isn’t your thing. Knowing how it feels will make you a better top. Try it a few times until you can do it comfortably, the first time probably won’t feel like how bottoming usually would feel for you. - Listen to the bottom. Ask if he's ok. Avoid pressuring him. - Go ahead and ask for help to get your dick hard again, mid-sex. It’s common to get distracted, nervous or for things to take too long and your dick to go down. It’s not a big deal. If they make it a big deal, they may not be someone you want to be around anyway. - Often, people have difficulty finding the bottom’s hole with their dick. A common mistake is to aim too high and push a bit harder. You run the risk of popping in too quickly and hurting the bottom. Bottom’s pick up on this chance, so they can tighten up involuntarily- the opposite of what you want. To avoid this, when I top, I feel out where the hole is with my fingers. I'll watch the dick go in. If guys often say that you're too high, maybe you can aim lower than you’d think. Try a different position or ask the bottom to put the dick in himself. You won’t lose points or anything for it, haha. Obviously, experience and practice help, too. It's ok to mess up or even make a fool of yourself, that's how you learn for next time! The only way, really. Certainly the main way that you can’t skip. - If you find it hard to enjoy topping or to cum from topping, look at how you masturbate. I typically wank with the tips of my fingers and thumb, rather than circling the shaft. Some guys wank really hard and fast. In that and other cases, your brain isn’t used to the sensations an butt provides. Try wanking with lube and a medium-soft, circled grip. After a while, you may find your dick has acquired a taste for arse. - A block in the way of enjoying topping may also be mental. Look into the Sexual Anxiety section. I don’t have a topping-specific approach thought out yet, but it would be based heavily on the tips here, under Sexual Anxiety. Safety/Consent: - I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in gay bars and clubs. They’re a place you can let your guard down in some ways and be as gay as you want. But it’s not in your best interests to treat them as a completely safe space. - People may put drugs in your drink, in order to take advantage of you. Don't drink from anything that's been left unattended. If you start to feel funny in anyway, you may have been drugged and should alert your friends and/or the bar staff. Feeling funny may include light-headed, drunker than you would expect, sleepy or many other things. It is better to be safe than sorry. - Casual assaults are surprisingly normalized. A lot of us don't even think about it anymore. Like, sometimes a guy will grab your butt as they go past without permission. Sometimes even just reach directly into your pants, without asking. It sucks. I'm sorry about that. I'm not sure what advice to give about it, except to talk about any feelings with people you trust, no matter how small what happened seems. And if you’re someone who does this, please keep your hands to yourself. It can be more damaging than you realize. Especially for people who have been through violence - sexual or otherwise. - The clubs can also feel like a jungle - all drugs and sex and you’re treated almost like meat. Which, if you’re looking for that, great! But if you’re coming out of high school and expecting to be embraced and supported by the community? It just may not happen that way. Again, I’m sorry. Look for places like Gay-oriented sports events or volunteering for a more wholesome community, I would say. Some bars may be wholesome, I can’t speak for all of them. - Gay clubs can also be cliquey, where no one will talk to the new people. - People who look unapproachable might actually be quite approachable, on the flipside. - First time at a baclub, it may be best to go with friends that you trust. - Drink water between alcohol when out at bars. Eat food and know your alcohol limit. Pride in how wasted you get is for beginners. - Best to find out what your alcohol limit is by drinking with friends or family at home first. This is important because very drunk people can be taken advantage of. They can also die, frankly. - Overdose from alcohol is a thing. Or falling ovefalling asleep on the road. Be careful out there. - Most of the advice for drinking applies to taking drugs, too. (Though ecstasy and possibly other drugs can make you drink TOO MUCH water and harm yourself.) Do research before taking anything. I’m not condoning or shaming drug use here. But if you take any, take it in a safe place, with people you trust. Also, read the later section in this dump on drug use. - Consent is something that people think they know but it can be more nuanced than you assume. And it’s VERY important. I like the Tea Rule. If you wouldn't give tea to this person in this situation, don't do anything sexual to them either. They’re asleep? You wouldn’t give tea to a sleeping person, so no sex. They agreed to have tea earlier but changed their mind? You wouldn’t pressure them or force them to drink tea, so no sex. They want tea but not milk? Give them tea without milk! (In the metaphor, that’s having sex but not doing whatever sex act counts as milk.) Also, tea can be very hot. So, if they are too drunk or too young, they might not know this and scald their tongue. Likewise, young or drunk people can’t decide if they’re emotionally ready for anything sexual. No tea, no sex. - Even BDSM/rape fantasies stick to the Tea Rule. What is going to happen is generally agreed to beforehand. For most people, kinky sex is like a play. The submissive person is the scriptwriter. The aggressive/dominant person is the director who decides what happens within that script. Maybe pushing the boundaries a bit, but depends on the people. Again, best to talk about it. - People get boners and even cum during assaults. That doesn't make it wanted. It's an automatic response. - Don’t make false rape allegations. These make real claims harder to believe. They also ruin lives. False claims ruin lives more than anyone would want, even if they wanted revenge. Career destroyed. Everyone they know stops talking to them. Their trust in any future lovers is shattered. Even when it comes out later that the claim was fake, these effects remain. Seriously. The destroyed life doesn’t come back together after the allegations are dropped. Don't ever fake such claims. - That said, real rape allegations are MUCH more common. Like, the vast, vast majority. If a friend tells you that they were assaulted, it's statistically a VASTLY safer bet to believe them. - At this point, I don’t have advice ready for if you are ever the victim of an assault. I’ve got no doubt that there are amazing resources online, though. Look it up. Find the subreddits where people discuss it with each other. Reach out to those, plus friends and loved ones you trust. There’s a whole world just waiting to support the hell out of you. Kissing: - As with anything, kissing will improve with practise. - Lead with the lips. My opinion is: lips should touch at least a little before tongue. Like, all the time. It builds anticipation and avoids odd surprises. - Well-cared-for lips feel nicer. I used to deal with dry lips but the best solution I found is to have lip balm in my pocket all the time. I put it on my lips when they feel a bit dry, which is maybe once an hour? Fairly often. But you work out what works for you. - Pecking too much can be weird, it doesn’t give much sensation. - Mix it up. Peck just a little, maybe. Push lips together for a bit. Bring the tongue in. Back to just touching lips every so often. Mixing it up is great advice for any sex act. - Kissing the edges of their lips or other uncommon zones can be great but should be done in moderation. It’s more of a thing to add variety than fun on its own, in my opinion. Play it teasing and sensual if you want to do this. - I think hovering just before touching lips together is underrated. Tease them a little. Make them come get it. Use this rarely, though. It’s easy to tease someone so that it gets a little annoying. - Start small and low-intensity. Build up to passionate. - Use pacing, like is described below, under All-applicable Tips. Rimjobs: - A rimjob is where you use your tongue and mouth to pleasurably stimulate someone’s sphincter. - Obviously, the receiver of a rimjob should make sure they are very clean. - Again, this is all my opinion: A good rimjob is all about teasing. Building anticipation. I'm not big on them in general but I DEFINITELY don't enjoy it if they go straight for the hole with their tongue. I lose all sensitivity; I stop feeling it. Play around the edge, dip in. Build up to applying more tongue to the hole, then go back to the edge. - That said, I’ve seen some people really enjoy their butt getting eaten like someone’s life depended on it. Everyone is different. All-applicable tips: - Use pacing. Pacing like movies use. Google, "Interest curve, Star Wars." The intensity of what's happening on screen starts out high to grab interest, drops down, then goes up a little, down, up a little more, down, etc until it reaches the climax. It’s a classic, excellent wayto get the most enjoyment out of an audience member. Every sex act is improved by applying this. Same with applying pacing to the sex as a whole. Don't feel too much of a slave to this, but I definitely became a better lover when I learnt about the pacing in Star Wars, no lie. (It comes down to how human brains work. Specifically, the Law of Diminishing Returns.) - Like I said, mix it up. Variety stops someone from getting bored of what you’re doing. They stay keyed in and feeling pleasure. - Like I’ve mentioned in other sections: Build anticipation. Going straight for the most pleasurable thing is, ironically, not that pleasurable. There’s something about the tension between knowing something is coming and when it arrives that is just so fucking hot. If I learnt pacing from studying movies, then I learnt tension from studying music. Tension is what makes a bass drop so satisfying when it finally hits. - You could argue that how much you enjoy something comes down to a formula: (Results minus Expectations equals Enjoyment.) If something was good but you expected better, you don’t enjoy it that much, for instance. But if you went to see something kinda rubbish and it turned out to be good, wow! That was surprisingly fun, I enjoyed that! So, expectation control is important. Both in yourself and in others. Undersell, overperform is a good rule of thumb. Though don’t undersell too much. You’ll get a feel for it over time. Also, keep your own expectations low (on the quiet. No need to be rude.) - Like I said in other sections, and this is weird but true: People tend to follow how you act about things. If you act like a bit of poop or a dick going a bit soft isn’t a big deal, people will feel it isn’t a big deal. Which it isn’t! And then you’re more likely to be able to deal with the obstacle and continue with sex. - Sex isn’t everything, don’t base too much of your identity on being good at it or getting it. If you go that way, you’ll never have enough. Sex Anxiety: - A lot of us end up feeling anxious about if we'll perform well. I myself had a period where I'd worry if I'd get a boner, which is a great way to not get a boner! It really messed with me. But I managed to overcome it by following these steps: - Give yourself permission to not be into it. You may need to say something like, "Sorry, you're very attractive but my anxiety is playing up," and that's ok. Or give yourself permission to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t seem to be into this.” Then, once you’ve accepted those possibilities, focus on what you feel. How his lips feel. How his body feels. How his hand feels on the back of your head. Not trying to make it feel good, just notice what is actually there. When anxious thoughts return, acknowledge to yourself that they are there, then refocus on what you feel. Thoughts are like tar. Pushing them away only makes them stick more. Touch them with a feather, instead. They may just float away. - All anxieties are a bully. They feed on you arguing with them or trying not to listen. Distraction and accepting both yourself and the anxiety are your best responses. - If anxiety is ongoing, it may also help to reprogram your brain. This is done long-term with repeated effort. Whenever you think about sex and then worry, it makes the connection between those two things stronger in your brain. So, you go from sex to worry easier in future, which makes the connection stronger, etc. It builds into sex anxiety. But you can’t destroy connections. So, build a new connection and strengthen it! The old one will then whither. For me, that looked like this: Any time I noticed myself worrying about sex, I would focus my mind instead on whatever I was physically feeling at the time. Maybe rubbing my fingers together, for instance. Or playing with my boner in the morning. No judgement, just noticing. The more you do it throughout the day, any time you notice worry about sex, the stronger this new connection is. As an added bonus, learning to focus on your body can help you enjoy sex more. Relationships: - Communication on potential problems and emotions is key. If communication isn't solving all your problems, you just aren't using enough of it! Either you'll find a solution where you're both comfortable, or else a solution isn't possible. If the latter is the case, it's best to know now. - When you discuss issues, remember that it's not you vs them, it's you vs the problem. - Abusive relationships can happen to even the strongest people. In fact, abusive people use that very strength AGAINST you. "Thank God this is happening to me, not some young girl." "He's hurting, he needs me." Thoughts like that are common in the victims. - Another way that abusive partners keep you around is to have a cycle of abusive. Mistreat you for a while, then apologetic and lovely, then mistreat you again, etc. - Abusers may also isolate you from friends and family so it's harder to get help. Turning you against each other. Making you seem crazy to others. Having you move cities or leave a job. - Abusive partners are also often very charming. - Leaving abusive people isn’t something I have a lot of knowledge about at this point. But you deserve better and there are a lot of resources around to help you leave. Both information and actual, physical resources. Organisations in your area probably offer shelter, for instance. - More people should know about Coolage. It's a biological term and it's basically your genes fucking you over. If you put two rats in a cage, they'll fuck regularly for a while, then stop. Put them in cages with other rats and they'll fuck those rats. That’s coolage. Coolage is your genes saying, "It's been a while, you either have kids or it's not gonna happen. Move on." I believe humans often have this and it's a reason why people have less sex the longer they are together. You still like the look of your partner, you still enjoy it when you bang. It’s just that the urge to do it as much doesn’t happen as often. Coolage. Perfectly natural, don't sweat it. - We equate love with sex too much. The Greeks talked about there being several kinds of love. There's eros, which is sexual. There's new love and friend love and self-love. Then there’s what they considered the highest love: Pragma. It’s a more mature, realistic love. Pragma is based on compromise, understanding and patience to make it work long-term. If you have Pragma now, rather than a new sexy love? Well I think that’s pretty cool, honestly. - Another useful concept is the 5 Love Languages. We all express love in all these languages to different extents. Some feel more comfortable or feel it's more genuine to give gifts. Some prefer words. Some do tasks or spend time with you to show affection. Without understanding this, you may feel unloved when in reality your partner is sending love signals loud and clear. Talk about love languages with the people in your life. Look it up for a more thorough explanation. - I'm a fan of open relationships. You get cuddles and support while also flirting with dudes online. It also takes a certain pressure off of satisfying libidos for each other all the time. Say, if one person has a higher sex drive or you are dealing with coolage or injury. Some people find it easier to stick to an open relationship than monogamy. - Other people feel more comfortable in a monogamous relationship, which is also valid. - All open relationships have rules, even if they're unspoken. Don't bang their brother, for instance. Long-standing open relationship often have rules like, "No staying overnight." These rules may change as you both mature and discuss how things are going. - One rule I advocate is: Either of you can veto any guy even if it's for an irrational reason. So, you can always say, "Don't bang this guy." This always put your partner's feelings ahead of any dick. - Avoid breaking rules or cheating on your partner. I’ve broken a rule for something I found irresistible. I eventually had to come clean for two reasons: 1) Someone told me, “Everything comes out in 6 years,” and I was seeing signs that that was true. 2) Guilt about breaking a rule is a happiness tax. You can be having a good day and suddenly remember the bad thing. I personally just didn’t like it. No thank you. Avoid breaking rules. Coming clean may be the best option. It was for us. - Avoid being the person for someone else to cheat with. This is personal preference, I suppose. But I’ve slept with someone who was GOING to break-up with their partner. Then they didn’t. And years later I ended up shaking the hand of the man I had cuckolded. I didn’t tell him. At this point, I don’t think that’s my place. But I didn’t like that. No, I did not. 0/10, would not recommend. - Long distance relationships are emotionally difficult. Don’t enter one lightly. They also aren’t a long-term solution; you’ll want to settle in one place eventually. - I find this quote from Mr. Rogers useful: “Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active word, like to struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” - At the same time, sometimes change is needed. There’s a tension between that and Mr. Rogers’ great advice. I think we all must walk the line on that one. Accept someone as best you can but prod them to change if it’s needed. - Both partners must respect the others’ feelings. You will be happier if you can set and enforce reasonable boundaries in your life. Particularly on people wanting your time and energy. You will also have a healthier, happier partner if you respect their boundaries. - If someone ignores your feelings repeatedly, that’s a huge red flag. - Trust your gut, it often picks up on things before you do. That’s the word limit, so I’ll put the rest in comments below. I told you it was thorough! Which is a nice way of saying going on for way too long.
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