Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Putting the Melatonin Back Into Melancholia

Recently I watched Melancholia. Holy crap I spelled it right the second time all on my own. I am the excite. Anyway I watched it on thanksgiving with a group of people and in retrospect this was both the best and the worst idea imaginable. I picked the movie for two reasons, 1) I knew that the host’s girlfriend would like it. And she did. 2) I wanted to see it. I didn’t put a whole lot of forethought into my actions and instead just plowed on ahead with reckless abandon. Now that the movie is over I realize there is a third reason. While I love the movie and I look forwards to the time where I will watch it again I realize now that the movie would of depressed the ever living hell out of me. Kate’s performance more than likely would of rattled me into a pit of sadness with no reason behind it and with no clear escape. When my friend turned to me and asked, “We are ruining this for you aren’t we?” I found that wasn’t the case. It allowed me to enjoy the movie without it getting inside of me. Things can do that and when they do the effect me in strange unfathomable ways that both fascinate and terrify me. However, I don’t want to be depressed right now or ever so I consider this all to be a good thing.

Personal business aside I loved the movie. In many ways it is a movie we’ve all see before. The world is ending. If you’ve seen the first episode of sliders you’ve seen this. Yeah there’s a blast from the past eh? In recent years there have been a pretty solid trickle of apocalypse movies that depict the world ending in a startling violent way, 2012 is the last one I can remember excisting because it starred the ever so pleasant John Cussack. Personally I think the movie was a waste of his talents but then again I didn’t see it so who knows I might be missing out on something wonderful. The Signal could also count in here somehow but that movie is in its own league. Anyway elsewhere in the world that Meloncholia takes place in all these events are happening. There are people flipping out, looting, rioting, people screaming because the world is going to end as a rouge planetoid gets caught in our gravitational pull and murders us all. This isn’t so in Melancholia. The whole movie takes place in utter isolation as we watch one very broken family try to come to grips with the fact that the world is going to end. These people seem almost deliberately cut off from the world. The only other place that is mentioned with any frequency is “the village”. Now I am used to watching foreign films that are translated from some other language to me because I only knows the English. So the occational misplaced word normally goes under my radar, but village? Village gives rise to thatched huts and shepperd scooting sheep around. Or a group of people living off in the woods away from all society because the Amish are to progessive for them. Look at the way we talk about permenate gatherings of people here in America, Amish have communities, survivalist compounds, communes, towns, cities, suburbs, the world villiage simply isn’t in our day to day lexicon unless we are talking about some sort of remote place in a different country filled with sheep.

I started with mining the word village because the theme of utter isolation is one the pervades all aspects of the movie. It is literally everywhere in the wedding which is something I want to talk about at length because it gets ignored to often even though it is half of the bloody movie, and of course Kate. I shouldn’t have to explain Kate I think we all understand why she is the epitome of isolation though I’ll be revisiting her when I talk about the end if I don’t loose interest first and start playing Mount and Blade. The wedding is, well why is it there? Ask a room whoes seen it and you’ll likely get a room full of people with their hands in their pockets trying not to make eye contact. The wedding is entertaining from the Father of the bride with his Betties, to the poor poor groom who is literally the prettiest sweetest man in the world trying the cheer his bride up, to the bride’s boss being an absolute dooshbag, to the mother’s unalloyed bitterness, to a visit to the sand trap, angerly whispered secret conversations between the bride and her sister, and all crammed into 45 minutes of space. I love movies about snooty rich people being aweful to each other in petty ways. I have seen Gosford Park more times than I care to admit along with a smattering of other movies and this movie does it all in 45 minutes.

Anyway, First and foremost, the reason for the wedding is the utter contrast between the movie’s two sections. The movie itself is broken up into two chapters and one is overflowing with energy and life, not happiness mind you, but at least people are running around and doing things. The first chapter also takes place almost exclusively at night with the exception of the ill fated limo ride which has to be one of the most adorable things ever. Whereas the second part of the movie only has the main family and the buttler at first then even the buttler leaves. The second part of the movie does have a day/night cycle but overwhelmingly most of the action takes place during the day. It isn’t normal pretty day time either, the daylight is always very stark all throughout the movie.

Secondly the reason for the wedding is to showcase Kate’s depression and to show how she lives in a world that is pretty much totally cut off from itself. The utter solipsism of her wedding is one of those things that makes me more than a little ill. I am not going to list all the examples because once I get rolling you’ll see it for youself clear as day. So here we go! “I won’t even begin to say how late you are” The first words spoken to Kate at her reception, not, “Oh you are okay” or “Thank god you made it we were worried, or even a more callous but still converned, “What happened to you two”. No it is, “You are late and I don’t care that you had to walk over the stupid forbidden bridge”. There is the host who never lets Kate forget how much money the wedding and reception is costing her. Her mother. The guy refusing to look at her. There we go. The reception isn’t about their wedding, and I bet the wedding wasn’t about them either. Everyone wanted to be the center of everything and in order to be that way they would tear, kick, and insult the bride until she resorts to just randomly lashing out (Sex in the sand trap) and then telling her spandy new groom to take a hike. The whole thing is tragic because no one else would give them a chance. They were torn apart by people who didn’t care about them one way or another, with the possible exception of Kate’s sister. I say possible because my friend Kelly brought up the excellent point that her sister is an enabler extrodinair. Which is something I don’t know very much about but I can definitely see it. Though I would like to sat that at the end her sister’s husband died alone whereas the two sisters went together hand in hand facing the end with tenderness.

Ah yes the ending. The ending goes to show that is there is one handy thing about depression is that it makes the end of the world no more or less aweful than everyday existence. I suppose this ties into the world of solipsism that Kate inhabits but depression isn’t voluntary whereas most of the people were acting that way at her wedding because they are dicks. It is an important distinction to me. Regardless, Kate is uniquely unconcerned by the end of the world which ends up propping up her sister and being her final comfort bringing the second chapter of the movie full circle right as the world ends. It is nice. I actually don’t have much to say about the ending. It happened slowly, it was tragic as all get out, and it was a bittersweet as it could be. There isn’t much more to say about it other than it is powerful and takes you away leaving you feeling numb.

It is a fantastic movie and I wish it would get a wider release. With the ridiculous success of Black Swan I was hoping that movies like this would get more attention in the theaters or something like that. That some studio executive would go “hey these movies can be successful”. As we watched our own artsy independent film on thanksgiving 4 other artsy independent films were hitting the theater in a limited release and all 4 of them did very well. So just to be clear 4 artsy independent films are released at the same time in no more than 50 screen all across the US and all of them made money. This is going more into how evil the major studios are and I think I am going to stop here as I realize that it is about the first and there is chores I need to go do. Another day. Until then I am off.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

120 Days of Sodom A Seribian Film and the role of the artist

I am not sure what I want to write about today on my lunch period. I do have lots of little topics in mind. However, today I want to kick around the idea of what it is to be an artist. I am not an elitist when it comes to the word artist. For ease I'll include writers, poets, painters, dancers, sculptures, 3d modelers, miniature painters, and many others. The actual production is unimportant. What is more important to me is the act itself and the outcome of the act. I'd like to say right now that I am typing this during my lunch time and I am on unsteady ground so I might roll some or all of this back in a little bit.

Right now we are going to head over to A Serbian Film, and 120 Days of Sodom. Lets set aside the shock and horror that is inherent in these two works. That isn't to say that thous aren't valid responces because they are but both movies contain works within works and both of them leave a pretty interesting comentary on the idea of art itself. For a Serbian film it is the film within the film and while the movie is about the making of a movie most of the movie's most shocking moments comes from a film within the film. I am not just talking about the infamous birthing scene but also, the toothless blowjob scene, and while I am not sure of this I beleive that he sees what happened to his family though the camera but then the scene becomes his memory. I need go review to verify. Still at the very least 1/2 of the films most shocking moments comes through the mediated lense of another film.

120 Days of Sodom gets its art fixed through the oral tradition something that is sadly limited to roleplaying games in our current age. The idea is that they hire 4 prostitutes who will tell the men stories and as the stories get progressively more and more lewd the men are are allowed to visit more and more horrors upon the children they have kidnapped. They do this mostly so that they don't burn through their charges to quickly and partly because waiting can be lots of fun. Now the thing about 120 Days is that it almost reads like an encyclopedia of perversion. It starts with urine, goes to fecal matter, and then it stays there FOREVER before it blissfully moves onto other things. Almost 75% of the book is the prostitutes up there on their little pedastles telling the stories of their most infamous tricks. Summery aside the 4 men use the stories to get themselves all worked up before ravishing their hostages.

In both of these works are near the platonic ideal of perversion and I'll be perfectly honest they are both unusually hard to stomach. However, both them point the fact that art can and often times does swing both ways. That brings us to where I want to start talking but I am not sure where to go with this.

So lets start with my beliefs. I believe that art, all art, is inherently inert. Art only takes on meaning when we look at it, think about it, or give meaning to it. Kind of the same way Saussure believes that language is formed. If you look at a chair their is nothing about the shape of the chair that indicates that it should be called a chair. We knows this because the word for chair is different in every language. Art goes the same way. Ergo a certain art piece isn't degrading to women...umm oh I got one Highschool of the Dead isn't degrading to women despite its jiggletastic all encompassing fan service. I as an individual degrade women when I treat them a certain way. Now I can draw my insipration from the art I consume but I could also do it all on my own. The point is that we are ulimtatly the masters of our input even if we don't always choose to be masters of our imput and we just go with the flow.

Going with the flow is dangerous.

I think I am getting away from the topic at hand though. So lets dial it back a bit away from my pet issues. I think the fact that both of these works about art gone mad by artists is increadiblly telling. I mean we get warnings about art gone mad all the time from preachers, politicians, police okay well not the police but I had a list of p words and I wanted to keep going. Yet no one seems to be more clearly aware of what art and artists are capable of. I think the visual nature of A Seribian Film gets this point across very well as it forces you to look at the imagry instead of just glossing it over in your head. I also think that on this point the two works disagree with each other but both sides of the argument are really interesting.

I am also out of time. So in short. A Seribian Film maintains a sort of horrified awe at what the artist is capible of wheres 120 Day of Sodom is pretty much flat out boring. And through the boredom comes the true horror.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not gonna break my combo bitches!

Man the combo breaker. Such a simple thing of utter beauty. I wish it would make its way into other games.

Anyway it is lunch time bitches! And while I was unloading I came up with like 50 topics to write about I think I am instead going to wax poetic on the end of my novel the start of something new and some other things. I had a dream last night. It was very depressing. I don't really have nightmares anymore. Instead what I will have are these low sad little things that dredge up everything I feel bad about so that when I wake up in the morning I'll feel aweful. It also doesn't help that my alarm went off in the exact wrong moment in my REM cycle so that I feel tried and draggy all day. This is something that will pass and I am in reasonably high spirits, but I can't really express myself because I feel exhausted. Poo. This isn't a for real thing and I am not worried though.

In other news I will pen the final words of my novel tonight. It has been a month of me telling people no. Sorry about that but this is something I want to do. It will be just a tad bit over 50,000 words and it will be finished and mine. While I do very much want to do the serialized fiction thing it won't be with this story. It isn't that the characters aren't interesting or that the story isn't fun but it is more that I don't want to be tied down to it. I'd much rather produce a quality game session a week or something like that. Also the story itself? Well it started out as an idea that should of been a lot of fun. There are moments that are a lot of fun, but most of the books is very sad, and some parts of the book are very dark and that is not quite where I wanted to go with this.

I do want edit it up, put the spit shine on it and hell who knows maybe I'll get it bound. The binding idea sounds nice. I could shine up the first one too and put them in the same volume or something like that. The story I originally wanted to write would of been a continuation of my first novel. It would of taken place a little bit after Link's sucide and it would of been about the hippy girl, Sarah, and Alex moving on with their lives and growing up. In a lot of ways that is the story I did write I just used totally different characters and a different setting. Perhaps in a little bit I will bunker down and just write something else. It isn't like national novel writing month has to happen in november I can do it whenever I want. I am a god damned adult.

Ultimatly though while I had a great deal of fun, the novel isn't my preferred from of expression. I like short stories. There is something nice about them. There is a certain freedom in that just about any idea can be a short story. Far fewer ideas can be contained in the space for a novel. There is also something. This is a something that I am actually really embarrassed about. I have a highly liniear thought process. I mean sure that is nothing to be embarassed about but I don't like having it. I wanted to be a surrealist when I grew up. Not the dick hole surrealists but the actual pure sense of the word surrealist. The sort of person who can throw someone for a loop with a bizarre metaphor and some turtles made of doves. See what I did there? My favorite surrealist metaphor is "It was as beautiful as a chance meeting, on a dissecting table, or a sewing machine and an umbrella." God I love that. I love everything about it.

See I can do things like that but I can't actually do it. Essentially I am faking it until I make it. That is a good way to describe it. I also put my events in order. More than once over the course of the novel I realized that I could of imbued events with so much more meaning if I had certain things displayed as flashbacks or developed certain ideas earlier to be reffrenced later. This is why having an outline and a plan is important. To be fair I didn't know what was going to happen in the middle of the book when I started it. But hey it is national novel writing month and you are just sorta supposed to go with things.

Anyway I am not upset about it but the reason I like the sort stories is that they are contained. They are a unit and they are much easier to manipulate temporally and such like that. Well my lunch is over and am going to go back to work.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Disney and the question of Motherhood

So the other day I was randomly compilmenting people because they like it and I was going to call one girl a Disney Queen amongst princesses when all the sudden it hit me. Mother figures don't really excist in the vast majority of Disney's animated features. The two notable excpetions to this are both Bambi and Dumbo but Bambi's mother gets shot and well that's that.

It is kind of one of those stunning revalations that you would think means something. However, I am not sure what to make of it. For example because Geppeto's lack of wife was a plot point in Pinoccio which is why he had to wish for a real boy instead of just making one the old fashioned way. Similarly Lilo and Stich remove the parents from the equation by way of car accident. Go go texting while driving.

However it gets a little wierder when you get one twords things like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Where was Belle's mother? Did she die in childbirth or was she just around in the village somewhere when her dad let the beast take her? She isn't mentioned at all, not even in passing. While Belle's family life doesn't play a major role in the movie, Ariel's family life is the very thing that propels the plot fowards. Ariel seems to be mostly raised by Sebastian who plays the role of comforter and confider while her disatant and uncompromising father hands down orders from on high in regards to how Ariel needs to live her life, paticularly in how she is not supposed to interact with surface dwellers. Actually the Lion King fits in here too. Mufasa plays a major role in Simba's life and it is recognized that it is the female lions that are the great hunters and yet we see no indication of Simba's mother throughout the rest of the movie.

Oh yeah and Aladdin I mean, Aladdin himself is an orphan but what about Jasmine? Where is her mother during all of this?

The problematic thing is that the lack of a mother figure in the lives of just about all of the disney princesses is odd and while I would say that their absence is conspicuous I don't have any evidence to show that there is a reason they don't excist. Even more irritating the father figures also seem to fit a wide range of roles, from the villian in Huntchback of Notre Dame, to distant tyrant in the Little Mermaid, to caring gaurdian in the Lion King, to weak easily distracted men like in Aladin, to older rather helpless men in the form of Pinnocho, Beauty & The Beast, and Mulan.

I haven't really mentioned Pocahantas because I've only seen it once and that was a long time ago but I am pretty sure her mother wasn't around either.

I could try to formulate an argument about how daddy's girls make for better characters but that doesn't seem to work for Snow White, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty. It is also problematic for both Ariel and Belle who were both more "fish out of water" characters rather than Daddies girls. It also doesn't approach the fact that this pattern carries over into stories with male protagonists such as Pinnochio, The Huntchaback of Nortre Dam, and The Lion King. The total lack of cohesive family units within Disney movies is strange, not only is it strange but the lack is an opposite to the norm that is experienced by children, ie most children have an absent father figure and the mother plays a much larger role.

Kristen Nelson who randomly happened to be passing by as I am writing this informed me that it is because Walt Disney didn't have a mother. While this now accounts for all the older movies and the proliferation of female villains of the early movies the man has been dead for many dozens of years now. The fact that this is still something that carries over into today is something that I find incredibly interesting. Oh well lunch is over and I guess the mystery has been solved which is nice.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It is Lunch Time

You know the biggest problem I have with National Novel Writting month is that it tends to blot out all other projects in favor for one large one. Should I finish I am sure I will feel both accomplished and proud. Then I will move on like a titian to the next thing. One of those things will be a comparative essay to 120 Day of Sodom and A Serbian Film. Why? Well because these two things seem to excist so that they can stand up and proudly say we have nothing to add to society and the accumulation of human knowlage. There are certain books and movies that I believe that everyone should read because if they take the time with them they will become a better person. Some examples are Heart of Darkness, Great Gatsby, The Kindly Ones, The Instructions, Skippy Dies, Nightwood!, Catch 22, Republic Book Ten, The Poetics, some Shakespere, and a few others. I got a wide variety of books from a wide variety of eras in that list. I'm not saying you got to read all of these books, or if you do read any of these books you will become better. However, there are some books that have more to teach us than others and part of the process is taking the time to learn from them.

You won't be a better person from either having seen A Serbian Film or reading 120 Days of Sodom. You don't get a prize for doing it. I know I've checked. In fact some will argue that you might be a worse person for having seen and enjoyed these respective works of art. That is debatable but I gotta say they do have a pretty good point. So here I am. And I want to make this work in my head. I am aware that using Salo would be a more appropriate but I like using 120 days more. For one more children are involved and two De Sade wanted to be buried in an unmarked grave and forgotten from the face of history so every time I write about him I piss him off and I like that.

The point I want to make is that in 120 day of Sodom the four people were the Judge, The Priest, and two other people who I can't remeber at the moment. I'd look it up but I am at work and while I can look up porn on tumbler I can't wiki 120 day of sodom. Work is stupid.

Anyway when Grant Morrison reimagined 120 Days in The Invisables they added the general as one of the great criminals. However I believe that there is another implied character in all of this. And that is the artist with no restraints. And that is where A Serbian Film steps in.

In a bit for now I need to go back to work.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Projects and the future!

So I am nearing the middle of my national novel writing month novel. It is going pretty well though I have realized that having a decently large cast of characters means you can stall FOREVER when you want to. Unfortunatly, I think it is causing my already sprawling writing style to become even more expansive which is something I am not sure how much I like. It works for what I am writing now and I think I'll pluck out some fiction a couple of weeks afterwards just to see where I stand.

Every year I've participated in NaNo I've always thought that it will change things when I am done. The first year I finnished it didn't but I also thought it would be a good idea to take a month off. By the time that was over it was all over and I couldn't get my steam back together then I ended up in a relationship which is its own bag of potatoes. Then last year said relationship terminated in november and I was TO SAD to really go on.

Right now it looks like things are going to rumble onto their designated conclusion and I'll be wrapping it up on either the 24th or 25th. I mean short of some past girl thundering back into my life I think I am pretty relationship proof at the moment and with the other excpetion of horrifying medical debilitation, are the only two things that can really stop me at this moment. And that's great. So what's next?

This is important to me. Last year I dabbled with a weekly list of chores. I called it the 11, which ended up being a little much in terms of number of items but I usually got pleanty done on it. I like doing that and I think I am going to start it again once the NANO is done. I mean if I were to do it now it would be write, write, write, write, et cetera. Anyway I want to start getting a little more done time wise and having a sort of difinitive near goal is one of those things that helps me out.

The next thing I want to do is to write out some game sessions. No seroiusly. I want to have a small library of Paranoia, Eclipse Phase, SLA, Mutants and Masterminds senarios that I can go to, pull out, and use more or less on a moments notice. I want them to be both nice looking layoutwise and organized. You know I'd like them to be a real thing so that if I were to sell them people wouldn't feel ripped off. Not that I want to sell them mind you but I think they would be nice to have. D&D/Pathfinder has moduals and I don't see why the games I play shouldn't. So I'll make them myself. No biggie.

At the same time I want to do a different version of the week in review. Before when I did something like it, it was called the month in review and I would look at my 11 and I would see what I did what I didn't do and where I was going. I might still do this but we'll see. It is hard to be "on" all the time. This time I want to do either weekly or by weekly a media consumption post, similar to "Stuff I've Been Reading" which is an article found in the Believer. I think it would be interesting to track what it is I read, or watch on a week to week basis just to see what it is I do. I might just have lists weekly and then monthly I'd write about it or something like that. I don't know. Once I get my game session library set up, which will be awhile, I think I'll move onto something else.

More and more I am realizing that I don't want to do a serialized fiction thing with my novel. I am afraid it will tie me down to much. But I also want to keep my options open so I'll wait until Januaryish to make a final decisiton.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Twilight Imperium

I was going to write about A Serbian film but I am both short on time and sanity. Also I got to play Twilight Imperium yesterday and that was a god damn good time. We ended up starting at around 5 because Devon attracts cops. Jerk. We finnished just before midnight so we made some pretty decent time. We used Imperial 2, Distant Suns, Hero Characters, and some other things. We had the option of space mines and shock troops but no one ended up using them which is kinda sad. I was going to but space mines are a little expensive for what they do and the oppoenent I was most worried about had enough fighters so that it really didn't seem worth it. No matter.

Every other game in Twilight I've played I've made a decent start, I get up a pretty big fleet, and then I kinda end up languishing somewhere around the middle of the victory point track while people run all over the place winning. This time however, I was able to make some serious headway. James had coming in first pretty much on lock down. He had Imperial 2, he qualified for at least two victory conditions and he was at 6. I was at 8 and I could of gotten another two victory points if I could win two space battles. The player to my right and the player to my left both had medium sized fleets that I am pretty sure I could of taken. Especially since by that point in the game my fighters were hitting on 7's. I was close but the player to my right retreated his fleet, the player to my left used diplomacy and I didn't have the speaker token so James ended up winning even though I was RIGHT THERE. It made me sad. The game ended on turn 7 or 8 I can't remember.

Looking back, what I should of done was take Assembly, make myself the speaker, then take initiative, then take Imperial 2. I should of done that starting on turn 5. Then turn 6 I would of qualified for having ten planets and I would have three more turns to prepare myself for the final pile of victory points. This plan might or might not have worked. The player immediatly to my right had 6 victory points but he also installed himself on mecatol rex in such a way that it would be nearly impossible to get him off. He was the turtle race, he had at least one diplomat down there, more ground forces than you can shake a stick at, and a huge fleet above it. It was doable, especially since he didn't have a whole lot of technology, but it would of taken at least 4 turns to do so. So we started to make it so that no one could grab imperial 2. People were eying me nervously as well, James was on his way to victory, and Tyson was up and coming. I also made a mistake back at the start of the game. While exploring a planet I came upon some settlers from Travonta's race. The next turn I killed them. Now there was a victory condition that involved winning a ground combat against at least two people which I did. For some reason I decided to cash in my secret objective instead of that one. My secret objective involved me having 4 planets of the same research credit. My reasoning behind it was that I was afraid that someone would mug me and take some of my technology credit planets away. So I wanted it right then. Having that extra victory point would of made the end game much easier for me to win.

This was the by far the closest, most tense game of Twilight Imperium we've ever played. A few things contributed to this. One is having all the victory cards out on the table at the start. That really helped things along. Two is the victory cards themselves. We had 2 involving techonology, 2 involving having more influece than the people around you, 1 involving spending money, 2 focused around combat, one involved you having lots of planets, and one was taking over Mecatol Rex. This, plus the artifacts, gave people lots of different paths to victory. It was a fantastic game and it is great that we have enough people who are experienced enough with playing it to really get into some of the strategy and whatnot. I plan on grabbing the third expansion sometime soon as it gives the individual races even more personality than they have now and we all look fowards to the time where we will be able to play again. Hopefully with 8 people so we can get a truely epic game going.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ready Player One

I've read and loved this book. If you want to know more about it go look it up on Amazon or run down to your local bookseller and demand that they show you a copy. I don't feel like being your search engine today. It is a very fun book. It isn't great it isn't going to become a classic work of literature or anything like that but if it gets made into a movie I will enthusiatically watch the living fuck out of it. I will also happily read it again, unlike Under the Volcano which is a classic work of literature. You'd have to put a gun to my head to get me to read that again. Ugh.

Anyway the thing that strikes me the most about the book is just how wide the geek world has become. The novel itself draws most of its geekery from the 70's and 80's and believe me there is some classic stuff in there. Overwhelmingly the video game reffrences are games like Joust, Pacman, and Zork. There are references to dungeons and dragons, a cornucopia of sci-fi movies, and tv shows I have never even heard of before.

So there is no nintendo, Japanese culture isn't reffrenced overmuch, and much to my disapointment no shadowrun which is pretty much my rpg totem animal. It made me realize that our world has become huge. The second largest section in any major book store is the fantasy and sci fi section, and our video games. Now there is so much variety out there that pretty much no two geeks ever have to be built the same. There is magic, there is warhammer, and there is the whole galaxy of other games out there that cram shelves some of which to be played once and never again. There is anime and there is so much anime that two people could potentially spend far to much time watching, learning, and developing a library of favorite shows without having anywhere near a 100% overlap. I don't think people really appreciate how huge this is. back in the late 80's early 90's before a combination of the Sci-Fi Channel and Suncoast video really gave anime a foot hold in america the only way to really get it was through these weird underground back channels. Since we are still in the era of the vhs, and believe me that is a SHITTY time to be into anime, and the internet forum wasn't quite as ubiquitous as it is today people were watching these things untranslated sometimes paying over $30 for an hour long tape. Now it is everywhere, hell you can even get it in walmart now isn't that insane?

It is insane in a good way. Harry Potter, a fantasy series that is no better or worse than any other fantasy series took over the world for over a decade dominating sales charts. Its gone from me being made fun of in middle school for reading Wheel of Time and the Ice Wind Dale trilogy to me being considered weird for not reading Harry Potter. Something similar is happening with A Game of Thrones which is getting a major tv series treatment.

In a lot of ways it is a great time to be a geek. We have so many options open to us now that saying, "I like to play video games" has become meaningless. If I want cyberpunk roleplaying I have half a dozen major choices, instead of two. There are more games out there that I want to play that I could hope to have time for and I have everything from the past to draw upon. It is a good time, and while I love Ready Player One it definitely makes me feel more thankful that I am in the era I am now instead of the one back then. Tonight I can play Touhou an indie japanese shooter, while watching the new Dr. Who. Then I can take a break play Victoria 2 for a bit, hop on over to both City of Heroes and Glitch, before rounding the night off by working on any number of decks from any number of games I play.

I wouldn't trade it for anything. I know people have tried to get me to give it all up before and failed.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A post about nothing

There are a couple of topics I want to write about. One is A Serbian Film which brings new meaning to the words grotesque. I also want to write about the Neonomicon Alan Moore's new offeering. While I enjoyed it on a superficial level on an intelectual one we don't jive to well and I'd like to explain myself. I also want to write about Ready Player One and talk about some of the changes that have taken place in the geek world and how strange and different things are now. However it is 3:20 which means I only have 40 minutes and I don't really want to go all stopy starty on my novel. So I am going to bloggity blog for a few minutes rummageing around in my mind and kicking up some dust.

The novel itself is going pretty well. I wouldn't say it is good, and it is definetly a little bit darker than I intended it but I am okay with that. I think letting the darkness leak around the edges gives it a little more oomph and it certainly has provided an interesting avenue to explore. It also gives the charecter's a little bit more crunch to them.

I am still on the fence as of if I wanna do the serialized fiction thing. The whole point of me choosing this subject matter is to get ahead, WAY ahead I am talking 30 weeks ahead that is over half a year. Then all I would need to do is to set aside some time to do some editing before posting on sunday. After awhile I could do editing then like every other week I could write a new chapter and I would stay ahead of the curve for a very very long time. I could keep posting long after I've lost interest in the subject matter and still have stuff to post. I could make a conclusion to it almost at will and I could even take breaks from it and then catch up again by writing two new episodes a week or something like that. I could do this. The problem is that my free time is tight. Very tight in fact. I have all sorts of time consuming things I wish to do and not a lot of time to do it in. I am not sure if tethering myself to a weekly serialized fiction project is the best of ideas. Still it will be a long while before I am able to run Eclipse Phase, or any other game and finding a play group is going to be difficult so I guess I might as well. Who knows perhaps it will help focus my time usage a little better which is something I could use a little help with.

I also want to do a weekly media round up thing. I know I do it every once in awhile at random but I want to make it a thing. So I could have the weekly roundup posted on Saturday and the new episode on sunday. Both would be posted here in the main blog but other would be archived elsewhere. On that note I am considering moving to a different blog provider. I don't have a problem with blogger. Quite the opposite in fact I think it is pretty great. It is just that I got a lot of eggs in my basket as far as google is concerned and I am not sure if I should keep my blog here as well. Like...I am more or less worried about nothing that is the long and short of it all at the same time. I just thought that the migration would be nice. Also for whatever fucking reason facebook won't let me link multiple blogs from blogger which is god damned annoying. I don't know I'll decide later. What this means is that it prolly won't happen at all.

On another front we are gonna play Twilight Imperium on Thursday! YAY! It is looking to be an 8 player game though I am betting one or two people will drop out before wensday evening. Call it a hunch. I need to go to kinkos sometime soon and make some printouts, they will have things like turn order, expanded ship stats, heroes, that sort of thing. I couldn't find any one printout that had all the information I wanted. So some of them will have redundant information. I think it will be good it will make some information twice as easy to find.

Okay lunch is over now so that is that.