Rock On

I expect by now everyone has seen the photo of a weasel riding a woodpecker.

I don’t have anything new to say about it. I just think it’s dangerously cute, and we all need more cute in our lives.

No, wait, I do have a couple of things to say.

First, most of the comments on the story are talking up how lucky the woodpecker was to escape with it’s life. True enough, but where’s the sympathy for the poor weasel? Consider that he took an unplanned flight with no safety gear and no in-flight meal, not even a tiny bag of peanuts. Worse, his image is being spread across the Internet and he hasn’t gotten a single cent in compensation. Shameful.

Second–but let one of the Slate commentator introduce it. Says siraulo: “Can you imagine the awesomeness if they learned to collaborate this way? Flying weasel-peckers would strike fear into the hearts of virtually all small animals, and would also be a kick-butt name for a rock band.

Who’s going to be the first person to claim the name Flying Weaselpeckers in Rock Band 4?

Yes, Harmonix has decided that the time is ripe to reintroduce the rhythm game. After all, it’s been two whole years since Rock Band 3 was officially shut down. We’ve got a new generation of consoles (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), and that must mean there’s a whole new generation of gamers to target, right?

Seriously, did we need a remake this quickly? Or even at all?

Yeah, I’ll grant that the Rock Band franchise has a lot of loyal followers. I’ll even grant that the new hardware will let the developers add new features that wouldn’t have been possible before. But is that enough to justify redoing something we’ve seen before? In a year that’s already inflicted a remake of the classic Odd Couple, how many repetition can we stand?

I enjoyed the earlier Rock Band releases, and if I hadn’t gotten rid of my PS3, I’d probably pull out that plastic guitar occasionally. I recognize the hazards of generalizing from my own experience, but I haven’t seen a large demand online for new rhythm games. The original Rock Band–and Guitar Hero 3–actually sold consoles. People bought PS3s and Xboxes so they could play the games. I don’t see that level of support, and I don’t see huge numbers of people who will be willing to fill up their living rooms with plastic drumsets and guitars.

I wish Harmonix well, but I really wish they had put more effort into trying something new, instead of revisiting their past.

2 thoughts on “Rock On

    • “Fish gotta swim / Bats gotta fly…” (One of these days, I’ll do a post on Tom Lehrer’s love songs.)

      I have this mental image of the weasel standing there, digging in his claws and thinking “oh god, don’t loop-de-loop, don’t don’t don’t”


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