Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hold Down B to Run: On the Importance of Velocity to Video Games

Thoughts on how variable speed changed the face of video games.

As I have said in the past, I think that speed is one of the major factors that defines this medium.

Hold Down B to Run: On the Importance of Velocity to Video Games

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Silver Dollar Games: Playfully Punk

The obnoxious games of Silver Dollar Games and their possible punk aesthetics.

Silver Dollar Games: Playfully Punk

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hush

Hush's subjects are clothed in words, sometimes blinded by them.

The clothing, the words comes first. The figures emerge from them.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

First comment on YouTube: "he was and still is the best musician who couldn't play or sing."

Amen, brother. Amen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Danganronpa Considers the Consequences of Paternalism and the Horrors of Boredom

I've spent the last week and a half off and on with Dangonronpa and Danganronpa 2. I've finished the first game, and I'm about halfway through the second, I think.

I'm really in love with the series, which reminds me in terms of its character development and tone of Persona 3 and Persona 4. It isn't a JRPG, resembling something much more like the games in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, but it really is like Persona or some of the better Final Fantasy games (like VI and VII) in its ability to balance serious scenes and themes alongside the zany and absurd.

The games aren't especially innovative, just examples of really good storytelling.

Danganronpa Considers the Consequences of Paternalism and the Horrors of Boredom

Monday, May 2, 2016

Only three lives left.

But that's all one ever gets anyway.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Notes on Viveros

Viveros is really interesting. His works are clearly in part influenced by pin ups, but they aren't pin ups in any traditional sense. There is none of the flirtatiousness or the cute, "Oops! Am I revealing myself in a sexy way?," of the Gil Elvgren school of the pin up, whose work defines most of the era of the classic pin up.

One might be tempted to call them images of femme fatales, due to their sexuality, but they aren't that either. They generally don't call to us (though the above image may be an exception to that rule), nor do they present a clear image of someone with the desire to seduce and destroy. They are simply making us aware of their presence.

He often mixes female sexuality with uniforms that are associated with male aggression and brutality (the soldier, the matador, the boxer). He likes these women to have blood on them (I am especially fond of the blood on the above image's hands). He also likes to include markers of endurance and experience that are usually associated with men, wounds and bruises. The blood on these women is both someone else's and their own. However, they don't look like victims of violence. They look like participants. Like men with scars, they look like women who can endure.

This isn't typical of the two schools of appropriating masculine forms of dress for female figures. He is not doing the girl with bedhead in her man's button down shirt, nor is he doing Madonna or Demi Moore appropriating business attire and shoulder pads to ape civilized masculine power. These aren't images of women especially connected to men (besides in their uniform and association with violence), nor are they feminist. If they are "empowered," the model being used here does not fit the definition of female empowerment typical of feminist philosophy, associated as their uniforms are with working men (the matador, the soldier, the boxer), not powerful white collar men.

I, of course, like the trademark Viveros cigarette, emblematic these days of the dirtiest and most unacceptable kind of rebellion, since even counterculture often rejects these seemingly former markers of cool. They are emblems of self destruction, though self destruction taken on knowingly and confidently in this case (some of his paintings include a cigarette pack whose brand is apparently called simply, "Fuck It").

He rarely does full body images, mostly face and shoulders, which is interesting since this is the way to distinguish 1940s era pin ups (full body) from glamour girl images (face and shoulders) of the same era. Glamorous women (starlets of the era) were painted face and shoulders only for the most part for magazines and often for poster art, while the calendar girl was featured as a full body painting (Monroe, Bardot, and the like may be the bridge between the two worlds, whose publicity photos often included both types of shots).

They are probably also related to tattoo art, especially as it used to more often define the lower class. These women, perhaps, have more in common with the trailer park, the biker chick, the 1980s stoner girl in a Def Leppard t-shirt.

I have no particular thesis here. Still thinking about them more than anything else within these clear contexts that Viveros is drawing from, but is also upending.

Additional works by Viveros and a brief discussion of the ubiquity of the cigarette in his work