Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Ghost Story

I was walking out of my office today, turned to my left, and ran into myself.

There was a boy there. I'd guess he was 11. Short brown hair, no shoes, just socks. I don't know if he belonged to a professor or an older student that was in talking with a professor. He was laying on his back with his legs sticking straight up, forming a 90-degree angle against the wall. He was holding and playing what I believe was a PS Vita above himself. Occasionally, he would kick vaguely at the wall.

Replace the Vita with a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure or a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories or an issue of Batman or the Fantastic Four, and it was my 11-year-old self laying there vaguely kicking at a wall.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Little Red Riding Hood

I am playing through a game featuring a "hot" Little Red Riding Hood, which reminded me of the much more amusing approach that Tex Avery took to the idea of a "hot" Red Riding Hood:

Oh, and while were at it, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs should play us out:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

White Night, American Psycho, and Economic Inequality, the Killer Who Devours America

I got to thinking about how Mary Harron's cinematic version of American Psycho is so clearly a horror film that is purely an allegory for the nature of the American economy, as I played through White Night for the last week or so. To me, the plot of White Night is clearly less interested in the literal ghost story that the player is investigating in the game than it is in the manner in which that story parallels issues of economic inequality following the Stock Market Crash of 1929.

The true American serial killer, according to White Night, is the "economic royalist" that FDR warned about in his 1936 speech at the Democratic National Convention.

White Night, American Psycho, and Economic Inequality, the Killer Who Devours America

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Best line from a video game ever.

"The attic must be up there."

Right. Because it's an attic.

Moving Pixels Podcast: This War of Ours

This War of Mine is The Sims game that Albert Camus always wanted to play.

Moving Pixels Podcast: This War of Ours

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Éirinn go Brách

Just to complicate the fact that I published a piece on a game that decries national identity markers and tribalism today...

The True Dogs of War: Nation, Language, and Identity in Valiant Hearts

The true hero of Valiant Hearts is Walt the Dog, the only character brave enough to ignore the myopia of nationalism and tribalism.

(Trigger warnings for discussions of dogs, language barriers, and T.S. Eliot).

The True Dogs of War: Nation, Language, and Identity in Valiant Hearts

Monday, March 16, 2015

George Lucas vs. the Apostle Paul (vs. the Buddha)

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

The above quote is, of course, from Jedi Master Yoda.

It occurred to me how this contrasts with a passage from the book of Romans:

"Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

And for extra credit, even more crazy philosophical contrast. Consider the Buddha's Four Noble Truths:

1. Everything is suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by attachment.
3. Suffering can end (the achievement of Nirvana).
4. The true path is Dharma (following the Eight-Fold Path of correct living).

In the morning he braved the sun. He needed to enrich his supply of Vitamin D and raise his arms sunward, petitioning gods, he said, even if it meant the stealthy genesis of abnormal tissue.

"It's healthier to reject certain cautions than fall in line. I assume you know that," he said.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

For decades, I have sung a version of this song with alarming frequency.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hung a new door on the house yesterday

It's crooked.

And perfectly lovely for being so.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My wife read an article today on Buzzfeed about a woman who makes a pretty good living by squishing men between her giant breasts, which makes me strongly feel that Americans have too much disposable income.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Still and not still

I was just running a search for an old article that had a reference to one of my articles in it. All I ran was a search for "g. christopher williams" in Google. Out of curiosity, I ran an image search for the same term.

In addition to the fact that the second image that came up in a search for "g. christopher williams" is Batman telling Superman to get out of his cave, the other thing that pleased me (perhaps, even more so) was that the eleventh image that came up was Pam Grier with a shotgun. Just feels right for some reason.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rilke on Memory and Poetry

I have been looking for the book that I read this quote from, but I can't find it for some reason. But, of course, I found it online eventually:

For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

The black sky was underpinned with long silver streaks that looked like scaffolding and depth on depth behind it were thousands of stars that all seemed to be moving very slowly as if they were about some vast construction work that involved the whole order of the universe and would take all time to complete.

No one was paying any attention to the sky.