Canadian Red Cross Sue-Happy Motherfucker: "I'm Not Really of a Generation That Necessarily Plays Video Games"
1.) We like Canadians. Love em'. We love their heated political debates on the radio, we love their ballsy journalists, we love poutine (the kind in styrofoam boxes, of course), we love beer; there pretty much isn't anything about Canada that Grandma and I don't like.
2:) The Red Cross as an international aid collection and distribution organization is one of the best. They do a lot of good.
Something that disturbs us, however, is Mr. David Pratt's crusade against the use of a red cross on health items within video games. Listen, asshole: we take issue with some of the comments you made in your interview with ShackNews, and you bet your ass we'll address them; but most importantly we have to wonder why you hate Switzerland so much. The Swiss have done nothing to you, leave them alone. You mess with Switzerland, you mess with GRANDMA.
Everyone knows that the little crosses on health packs in games has NOTHING to do with international aid. It is an homage to that beautiful European country whose stoic neutrality and brave, high altitude lifestyle gives us hope in times of need; such as in a video game for instance when your head is nearly chopped off by a six-armed steel-toothed she-demon. In such a scenario, you look for that one symbol that is recognized as the beacon of assistance, the almighty diplomat of health and hospitality: Switzerland. Why? Because only Switzerland can provide the necessary sanctuary for a calm, collected mediation between me and the she-demon. If peace talks break down, then at least I had time to reload and up my HP 50 points.
The people of Switzerland are some of the most friendly in the all the world; an amazing feat considering the droves of impolite power-tourists who visit the country every year to "climb big rocks." In truth, there is much more to Switzerland than visiting its majestic, Alpine peaks; or enjoying frequent, anonymous sexual encounters with foreign national college students in one of Zurich's many fine hostels; or celebrating a successful channeling of your inheritance from the death of Great Uncle Roger into a tax free shelter account by dancing the night away in a Bern trip-hop club, blasted on Ecstasy and delicious Swiss beer. SO much more.
Okay, so you say that the Swiss flag is a negated image to the Red Cross logo, and that I'm just being a Detail-Debbie about the whole thing. Let me tell you something, this little Detail-Debbie is going to come right back and call you a Negative-Nancy, so be warned: your ass is on THIN ICE. The Red Cross was birthed into this wretched world in GENEVA. The very reason your logo looks the way it does is BECAUSE of Switzerland. Oh, but it gets worse: if you really look at the Red Cross logo, you know just... stare at it for 15 seconds or so and then look away, what do you see? Go ahead, I won't laugh at you- get real close to the monitor, stare at your own logo for a while (try not to drool, it is difficult to get that off the keyboard) now.... wait for it....... OKAY! Look away! What do you see?
Unless there is something wrong with your eyeballs, chances are you saw a bluish cross, but you don't see THEM going around suing YOU because some shmuck stares at a monitor for too long and expects full dental coverage at your website, do you? And that's an INSURANCE company, man! They're SUPPOSED to be evil!
Alright, let's move on to your brilliant discourse on the horrors of inclusion:
"Our first step is education. It's letting people know that the Red Cross emblem is not just a trademark, It's also a protected emblem under international law. In that regard it needs special attention and information."
Translation: "I'll SUE!! I'll sue you in England!"
"I have personally been aware of this for about six weeks."
Huh. I seem to remember a certain Looney Tunes character being rescued by a certain St. Bernard under a certain banner you might want to be aware of. If you send me one of those cute little barrels of booze they tie around the dog's neck I'll help you catch the guy that did it. You'll need one of those nifty Red Cross Time Machines, though- it was in 1957.
"I'm not really of a generation that necessarily plays video games."
Grandma to douchebag: "Read a fucking NEWSPAPER, asshole; you can't use that excuse anymore."
"The Red Cross as a humanitarian organization is primarily focused on our international and domestic program. It's only within the last two months that we've done a lot more in the area of trademark protection."
THERE. That quote. That's the money shot. Think about that for a minute. The clouds must have parted and the blinding Jesus fire of goodness must have shone upon the earth in the past few months where nothing is more important than a god damn lawsuit against video game companies and toy manufacturers. Congratulations. You're making the public VERY confident about all that 9/11 relief money we gave down here in The States.
"Actually what happened in this case, is we have a receptionist, a fellow who's in his early 20s. He plays video games, and he's obviously involved in the Red Cross and aware of this issue, and he brought it to my attention."
Well, THANKS A LOT FOR THAT ONE. I can just picture the scenario:
"Travis, do I have any messages?"
"I said did anyone CALL today?"
[beep-beep-"KO!! FATALITY!!!"] "I don't know. Ask Steve."
"What are you doing? Are you playing a VIDEO GAME?"
"Hold on let me pause...okay what?"
"Travis, I understand you're new here, but you can't do this on company time."
"Dude, I was like um..... researching, you know?"
"Yeah, check it out, there are all these little red crosses and shit and... I think we should do something about it. You know, for the children."
"Oh! That's... that's good! I'll issue a press release right away!"
"Yeah! Cause it's um... copyright infringement, eh? People might confused or something and like, donate to the video game instead of us."
"Do you still want me to check your messages?"
"No! No, you keep doing what your doing, excellent work!"
"Based on what I've seen in terms of some of the blog sites I've briefly reviewed, the gamers seem to be split. Some say, what's the big deal, why are these people all bent out of shape about this?"
What's the big deal? Why are these people all bent out of shape about this?
"Others who have presumably doing a little more research are saying, this is a legitimate issue."
You got me there. Although I think ten minutes on Wikipedia and asking some dude I know a bunch of questions is considered "research" in many universities as long as one uses properly formatted MLA citations (Lowenburg, 1988).
"Whether the gaming industry should or should not exist is not something the Red Cross should address, one way or the other. We're not involved in political issues in any way."
WOOOOOO!!!! Alright!! The Red Cross isn't going to firebomb Take Two Interactive!! I was worried for a minute.
"But we do have a responsibility to protect the emblem. I hope that would be clear to people who buy and use video games."
Alrighty. It's a thick stick with a slightly skinny stick crossing it. It's red. It's your own damn fault for making it so common. Shit, if you wanted to make it hard to copy you should have made it an image of a intricate, multifaceted dragon spouting the healthy flames of good fortune through its flaring nostrils. Better yet, make it a tattoo on some guy's arm, just in case someone rips off the dragon. This way, if it's a dragon breathing health fire, and it's on an arm, you know to send the lawyers.
"[...] I think it's impossible to note that we're not in a position to license the use of the Red Cross. If people want to produce educational material that is subject to the approval of Red Cross society, then I can't imagine a situation in which we'd object to that."
See, now you're talking. Work those phones, get people on board, license that logo out and in two or three years Somalia will have a surplus of food and you'll have the fine, lavish offices deserving of the Canadian Red Cross seal of approval. Don't be silly, man! Go for it!! I understand video games are a bit "new" to you, but you can make a god damn fortune getting the industry on board! That is, unless you start suing people.
Then you're going to start seeing Amnesty International logos on first-aid kits in Metal Gear Solid 4.
Is that something you really want to see, Dave?