The obviously bored propagandists for Hugo Chavez' increasingly bizarre regime, are taking a stab at multi-media assymetric warfare, by taking on Bono the lead singer of U2 over, of all things, a video game. The regime itself seems to have good programmers and content creators if as recent accounts increasingly suggestthat ,millions of virtual voters appeared in the the country's computerized electoral system, in a spectacular game of "lets pretend we had free elections".
Chavez propagandists in Venezuela through their paid shills and assorted fringe allies, are making light of the fact that Bono is a shareholder of a private equity firm that invests in media and intellectual property, and it has bought into Pandemic, a succesful video game company with its well-knownStar Wars games, which according to PC Gamer, allow you the opportunity to blast enemies into oblivion with the Star Wars’ universe’s best known vehicles and weapons is a dream come true."
Apparently the Chavistas don't seem to have a problem with the Jawas but do have issues with the sequel to Mercenary, the game where you play Mattias Nilsson Swedish national and Slayer fan, who is an "elite bounty hunter covertly dispatched to a Korean peninsula that is swiftly plunging into anarchy," no doubt something that Chavez talked about with his friend Kim Jong Il. Mercenaries 2 World In Flames, currently in production, finds our hero, joined by new mercenary character, Eva Navarro,heading South of the border where:
[A] power-hungry tyrant messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a warzone. But for you, international crisis is all upside: You are a mercenary, and you profit from chaos. Mercenaries 2™ features a slew of potential clients, all willing to pay you to do their dirty work. Dirty deeds, done for exorbitant fees. These are world powers with deep pockets, deep grudges, and enough arms and ammo to start World War III. This is your kind of environment.
You are not a soldier. You don't have to play by anyone's rules. You have your own code: you will fulfill the terms of the contract, no matter what. Not everyone in the world of Mercenaries is as honorable. Everyone will try and screw you, given the chance. They think they can get away with it, because they don't know rule #1: EVERYBODY PAYS.
"Work for the highest bidder! Clients will offer you money, information and other resources in exchange for your services – provided you haven’t done anything to piss them off!"
Hey, sounds almost as fun as getting a choice to be a TIE fighter or X-Wing!
Still Haven't Found....
In Venezuela, the Chavista propagandists headlines are screaming out that Bono is "Tacitly Supporting Bush's Invasion of Venezuela" through his involvement in the company. Further north, the Venezuelan Solidarity Network calls the unreleased game a "piece of anti-Venezuelan propaganda that serves only the U.S. military, pure and simple." Adding that it is "another sign of the racist, interventionist, arrogant, and uncaring attitude of the United States and Europe toward Venezuela." And they are outraged why "Bono has failed to respond to concerns raised....about his funding of this project." Those "concerns" are detailed in the letter signed by Charlie Kauffman of VSN. Kauffman is not only the president of the Chavez fan club, looks like he gets to hang out with the band! The Venezuelan governments paid lobbyists routinely work with Kauffman, and with several individuals in the groups listed in the "coalition."
Let's Get It Started
The video game is not even officially released! They have not seen the final version, only screen shots. Its like complaining of a movie whose script you haven't read.
El Imperio Contra-ataca
Now this is sure to chill the hearts of Venezuelans everywhere. This is so strident and over the top that it is funny.
The game is designed to demean the Venezuelan people, to undermine the democratically elected government of Venezuela, and to strike fear in the hearts of ordinary Venezuelan citizens who, through this game, can witness their very neighborhoods, villages, and capital being blown up and their virtual selves being massacred by a band of marauding mercenaries, who are clearly working for foreign interests who want to take control of the country’s oil industry.No doubt many young Chavista Gamers will be distressed -- that is if they manage to break away from marathon sessions of Grand Theft Auto III. The same game where anyone in the world can blow up cop cars in a city that is a carbon copy of New York. Many of the thirty thousand, over-100 year-old voters, will no doubt be horrified by the virtual destruction of Caracas, as they fire up their Playstation 3's.
Burning Down The House
So now, Kauffman starts really feeling offended, particularly "in one of the scenes in downtown Caracas one of the buildings being blown up belongs to the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela." This concern for a video game demolition of a company from the biggest apologists for the regime that has demolished it!! The government that fired thousands of the company's most experienced workers, replaced them with crony's and hacks, who have mismanaged even with current oil prices it can not even pump its OPEC quota requirements, and which has so little financial control over its own multi-billion dollar operations that it can not file its SEC paperwork in time. Talk about shady "interests", how about the blatant way oil money is spread around Chavez cronies, and rich opponents who are bought off with juicy contracts. Some Venezuelans would say that the company is being "blown up" by the same regime these clowns love.
VSN Killed The Radio Star
The solidarity committee then tries to play the guilt card - briefly - before pretty much saying that this negativity could affect U2, meaning of course lower CD sales for U2's next magnum opus - some malpensados suggest that at this stage U2 would benefit from ANY publicity..
that you would want to give some consideration to how this “game” will be received by people in Venezuela, Latin America, and throughout the world. We can only imagine that the general impression will be very negative and this negativity will reflect on you and on U2. s?
It's Only Rock N' Roll
And not only will CD sales plummet, but Bono's well known activist causes and charity work - and ultimately his legacy! will suffer according to Chucky. Yeah, financing a controversial video game company gets you the undying enmity of the Hollywood establishment, large charities, relgious groups, and NGO's. Get realwe are not talking about a politician he is a rock star!! He is Keith Richards with more live brain cells, nowhere near the number of really cool stories, and a slightly smaller investment portfolio. Proper rock stars and rappers do things like die of drug overdoses and shoot it out in nightclubs. If they get past the age of 40 and are reasonably coherent they are treated like geniuses.
Potentially, all of the work you have done for the causes mentioned on your “Hearts & Minds” page could suffer because of your association and ownership of this game.
Bono actually does good work and is very focused. No sane organization is going to drop him from being its unpaid-celebrity-fund raising-friend who sticks around long-term. And this is not over some of his own work as an artist, it is over mainstream entertainment content produced by a company he partly owns. Maybe Danny Glover will get pissed, but most Hollywood types tend to be pretty uptight about people resticting what gets put in DVD's and CD's, because they want to make sure their own DVD's make it to Blockbuster. And the liberal churches and activist groups that feed off the entertainment industries guilt money don't generally care what the money was made off, so long as there are no mistreated goats or sweatshop kids, involved in the production.
In God's Country..
Outside of Hollywood, conservative churches only seem to get fired up about video games if they involve S..E..X..between consenting virtual characters, as well as the occasional violence between virtual Americans - virtual foreigners probably don't count. And the Rev. Robertson doesn't seem to like Chavez too much anyway. That leaves the U.N. and Unicef....who are they kidding? Koffi Annan has to deal with Kim Il Jung, whose idea of entertainment is kidnapping movie directors and actresses from neighboring countries, I am sure Koffi Annan would much rather deal with Bono with his sordid video game.
Be All That U-2 Can Be?
Seems that Bono has suddenly stopped being the Bono of Pride In The Name of Love and is now a big militarist. Wow, not only that, but part of the US Army's new recruiting campaign, through the game. Maybe I am confused I thought the Nilsonn character was a Swedish mercenary, not a U.S. soldier. But no doubt Bono is promoting mercenaryness (sic) with these games. Mike Hoare-wannabees everywhere, are answering the call to join the rising ranks of soldiers of fortune, and if we go by Pandemics portfolio, also in the galaxy chasing after Wookies and their wayward co-pilots. One shudders to think if the Imperial Stormtroopers are also enjoying a recruiting bonanza, thanks to the efforts of the charismatic crusader for debt forgiveness.
One would think that you might also give consideration to how this video game, like many others, may be used as a recruiting tool. The game is targeted to teenage and 20-something males, the same target market for military recruiting. Bono, are you now joining the recruiting efforts of the U.S. military?
In addition to impressionable young people who may be stimulated by this to join the military or become mercenaries,
Stop In The Name of Hugo
So this game must never see the light, or Venezuela's resources will be plundered - any further than they already are being plundered is anyone's guess.
We realize that for you this may seem like a smart investment and you may not even be aware of the nature of this video game. That said, on behalf of reasonable people everywhere, we appeal to you to re-think your association with this game and your ownership of this company. Please take steps to stop the release of this game.
Our hope, and that of many, is that you will do the right thing and stop the release of this virtual rape and devastation of a small, developing country. Would you see fit to release a version of this game set in South Africa, Haiti, or Ireland?
So the little voices in Chucky Kaufman's head are pretty loud by now, tin foil hat is on, and suddenly it becomes clear. Behind Bono's shades lies a dark and evil conspiracy....sort of like that Mephisto character from that really bombastic tour in the 1990's.
If that would be objectionable to you, then why are you singling out Venezuela? One can only conclude that there are motives beyond the immediate profit that may be gained by selling the game.
Wow, that is harsh stuff. Obviously he is still pissed about Rattle and Hum.
And this coming from a collection of luminaries including CISPES, created by the old line Communist party in the US, specifically to support the Marxist-Leninist groups guerillas in El Salvador. The same guerrillas who were armed and trained by Eastern Block governments, and were trying to overthrow a freely elected government, and who who Human Rights groups said were guilty of killing small town officials and indiscriminate use of land mines. So they actually support the kind of things in real life, that they accuse a video game of doing. How absurd.
What would be hilarious is Chavez going full bore on his show against Bono. And I have that feeling that he will, how can he not say something???. Either that or he is too busy playing the role of Eva Navarro, on the demo version making the rounds.