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WATCH: Lamb Gets Too Excited
Baby Offers Greet the World
Look, there are a lot of issues here in play which stand against what Mr. Spector wants. One is that many gamers don’t want games as art, they want them as toys, drugs, or martial art. So how about asking the question of how many gamers want games as art at all, and then the follow up question of how many of those gamers want games primarily as art instead of primarily as one of the other functions. Gamers ultimately decide what games will be produced.
Another key issue – as we are all becoming painfully aware, the world is not in good shape. In fact, it’s dying. One outcome of this is that culture becomes un-important, which means art becomes un-important. It’s no accident that the popularization of knowledge of the upcoming apocalypse coincided with the rise of un-artistic mediums such as comic books and video games, part of the “fall of high culture” which really means knowledge of the end of the world.
Personally, I believe that as long as humans are alive and have time to spend beyond fulfilling basic needs that art should be produced, but that’s merely my personal belief and many other people, including many post-cultural gamers don’t share it.
I agree with you about the *possibility* of reviewers focusing on games as art in their reviews – I’m merely telling you why I don’t think that’s going to happen in a serious way.
One thing that could happen is reviewers starting a review with the basic intent of the game. What’s the game’s basic function? If the basic function is art then the reviewer could analyze the game in that context which would be a scenario that Warren favors.
What Warren really wants is a deep games journalism, not game reviewing. How many game reviewers are capable of deep artistic analysis of games? Some have mentioned Tom Chick and I agree, he could do so.
But because games are such a personal medium it really takes a fan of the game to do great analysis, and no game journalist or reviewer is a fan of all games. This is why fan sites for a game have always been the best place to go for great analysis of the game, not to “Roger Eberts”.
The quality of Roger Ebert’s reviews varies, partially depending on how deeply he understands the movie he watches, and it seems to me that games require an even greater level of understanding.
One more issue of yours to address – it’s difficult to know who is responsible for what in a game – fans of Deus Ex for example have to spend time interviewing Deus Ex developers to gain specific knowledge of what individuals did what within the game, and even then as developers know game development is a very collaborative and integrative process. Films have very defined artistic roles – director, cinematographer, writer, actor while games usually lack much of any clarity, often even within the development team itself.
And isn’t this a good thing? What’s wrong with a collaborative medium where a team produces a work of art, where it’s difficult to extract individual contribution? Video games are the first collaborative artistic medium in human history and now we have to cater to Mr. Spector’s personal whims which puts this collaboration in jeopardy?
Games are not films and in the final analysis might not even be much in the way of art. Why don’t we let games dance? Why don’t we let games find their own way? Films are a modern, cultural artform while games are a post-modern, post-cultural artform. Isn’t this ok?
Video games are unlike anything else. They have a beauty unlike anything else and a place in human history more intimate to we humans living today than any other artform. Often I worry that our actions as doting parents may well do more harm than good.
One more thing here – 80% of mainstream games feature killing as the primary mode of gameplay, and the reason gamers like to kill in games is spiritual cleansing – deriving from puritanical culture. This is why “monsters”, which can be defined as creatures which should be exterminated in order to preserve the purity of the master race, err the “civilized people”, play such a prominent role in gaming.
Perhaps this was more the influence of Harvey Smith, but one of the really exciting things about Deus Ex was that there were no monsters, and although some in the game were villainized noone was demonized. This changed the psychological underpinning of the game for the gamer, from cleansing to doing what’s right and building a better world.
I agree with you that not enough on this was said when the game came out – a few years later I talked a fair amount about the artistic aspects of Deus Ex and didn’t get any support from the discussion board called Quarter to Three at the time – I was made fun of for “taking the game too seriously”.
It’s this cleansing that gaming needs to get away from, since it’s psychologically identical to, let’s say, the ethnic/religious cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israeli state or of course the classic example of the cleansing of the disabled/gypsies/Jews by the Nazi state. In other words, cleansing, which 80% of mainstream games primarily feature, is fascist.
Also, as far as I know I’m the only person talking about video games as cleansing, and have been doing so for years. Most people write video game killing off as “fun” without any deeper analysis of why killing is so much fun, with any deeper analysis being written off as “too serious”.
The doll sat there, porcelain and unaddressed, eyes full of pain reflecting in the glass. She rose stiff, careful to not interact with the world. Her glued hair, so carefully arranged to resemble beauty, marred by the uncaring wind. Her condemnation of us and our monstrosity could only lead us to demonize her. So we humans threw her in a corner, unused and uncared for and called it justice.
Think about a situation where answers are desperately needed, everyone wants to have the answers but no one has them. So philosophers get popular who might have the answers, buffoonish talk show hosts semi-convince themselves into believing they have the answers, holier-than-thou television judges sentence the answers from on-high, superheroes who have the power to impose answers become popular.
What’s Your YOLO?
Yeah but it sounds gay
Are all Europeans terrible at spelling?
I agree Usual Suspects is one of the best movies Kevin Spacey has ever been involved in also moon was quite good
whoever edited this video is ass
That’s a bootleg wheel
she should hurry up and do porn
Omg I hate to go near drink people.
That last dude just owned that
I am getting lost here on Youtube.
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In the 21st century, people like you,… who are agile and quick decision makers… will take an important part in society. And what’s the key here? It’s games.
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Prologue – Pyramid Scheme
I don’t know anything about the world riding on the back of a turtle, but I do know that the world isn’t round. It’s a pyramid where hope and strength overflow from the bottom up the pyramid and fear, terror, and hate are brought step-by-step down the pyramid. This is the story of our world, our reality.
Chapter 1 – The Burning Man Becomes a Dragon, and Rises
Its ambition is immense. Perhaps this is self-delusion, no one can truly say. The human’s raging ambition caused infernal fires to rise in its bowels, bloating it, crusting its skin with scales, and transforming it into a dragon.
It could not hold the fire in. Too hot, too much. First it tried to fly away from the fire, from itself. But the fire moved with it, and soon the dragon’s sleek form fattened as the dragon resigned itself to the flame.
The humans and their limitations are to blame for the dragon’s ambition. So the dragon says. Their villages are burned. Their crops destroyed, their women raped, their men tortured, their children transformed into slaves. All for the greater good.
The bottom of the pyramid is what the dragon hates most. That’s where the people live as one, together in happiness. So now it burns with eternal fire, roasting unborn babies alive in their womb now a tomb.
And the dragon rises. Away from the pathetic humans emaciated by poverty, riddled with disease, bloody with the wars the dragon causes. The dragon dreams of a world filled with peaceful humans who have no fire in their bellies. It believes, truly believes, that it will be the one to create such a world, while the humans with their love, tenderness, and compassion are only standing in the way.
So the dragon rises. It takes its place among the stars, high up on the pyramid, looking down at the terror and chaos far below, thinking that it will be the one to fix all of that, all the while creating it. The dragon sits on its piles of gold and waits for its fires to roar up again.
Chapter 2 – Meet Bob, a Dragon’s Minion
Meet Bob. Hi Bob! Bob dresses casually, is very relaxed and friendly and well-liked, does what he’s told, has a wife and kids, and is one key cog in the dragon’s empire. Bob lives high up on the pyramid, far above the burning plains where the land is green and plush, if fraying a bit at the edges. He’s of course far below the dragon’s lair, and knows his place.
Bob is a terrible beast. He has a knack for remaining ignorant. He surrounds himself with other Bobs, who nod and smile and laugh at his jokes. They feast on dragon scraps, a far better diet than most get. Bob is a “family man”, which is code for not wanting to know too much, do too much, think too much. He succeeds, collects his sizeable paycheck, and calls it a life. The other Bobs nod and smile, and anyone who objects to Bob is written off as being envious. Bob defines success as “nearness to the dragon”, or he would if he were even that astute. He calls it “making money”, and given how little Bob understands the economic conditions of his life he thinks his awesomeness is the reason for his income.
The dragons need managers to run their operations, and Bob is one such. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing and is careful to remain ignorant of the outcomes of his actions, but he’s quite good at running the numbers and getting them to rise. That’s all that really matters to the dragon and Bob sees no reason to disagree with the creature he aspires towards.
That’s all there is to say about Bob. That’s his life story. I wish I were joking. In order to have a narrative for this story I’ll have to follow a far more interesting character, on whose shoulders we can ride the rest of the way.
Chapter 3 – The Healer
There was a boy, sad and broken. Of joy he was dead but of tragedy keen. Two sides were fighting, their fists and words hateful and he embraced them, loved them, and they dissolved.
Chapter 4 – The Explorer
Hobolicious was never in the same place twice. His plastic face moved under his skin as across the ground he skimmed. Everyone looks different to him each day, except for Bob, who always looks the same.
Hobolicious loves the woods and other dark places, where the sun has not whitewashed and burned away. He joins the Healer on his special journey.
Chapter 5 – The Lonely Man becomes a Zombie, and joins the Team
There was a boy who could not see the souls of people, and frantically wondered if he was blind. He tested his vision however many times and it was fine. Then he ate his own skin, hoping it would knit inside him into something worthwhile. He just threw it up, and started to eat the flesh of others.
Hobolicious, who had served as a meal to so many people before, was scared of the Zombie, but the Healer insisted he join. Hobolicious might be a little too sweet.
Chapter 6 – We Do Magic
Our group watched tons of industrial weapons being dropped on Vietnam by the West, a precursor to economic domination that only was partially realized but still well worthwhile given the benefit to the arms merchants and associated forces. The zombie cried the most as he gnawed on a limb.
Supposedly this was all very horrifying. I mean that with no disrespect to the people, now the corpses and partial bodies, of Vietnam. I mean that the West pretended it was horrifying to themselves in order to pretend to have a conscience. One of the results of this pretense was the formation of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which sought to escape the horrifying 20th century into a vaguely re-defined Middle Ages.
Deriving from this resignation, this fleeing from the latest supposed terror (following the terror of the industrial revolution, the terror of the masses, the terror of totalitarianism, and the terror of nuclear holocaust) led to the insular removed position of Timothy Leary, of “turn on, tune in, drop out”. The idea was to refashion a dead world into a digital world, of removing humans and their fatal limitations and replacing them with spectres inside a digital ether. Politely termed “cyberspace” now the even less informative “internet”.
This new magical realm was said to be the real world, leaving behind the old, corrupted world where nothing but people grabbing for power exists.
The wizards of this new world, certain in themselves and their destiny, are called “computer programmers” among other related titles. They do magic, bringing new worlds to life while shunning “traditional reality”.
It is perhaps excessively logical and boring for me to point out that abandoning a problematic real world does not help solve the problems of the real world, and whatever magical grandeur resides in the dreams of wizards does not amount to much.
Our group of three is not so lacking in tact as I am, and their compassion overflowed as they called out to the wizards sitting in front of their monitors with their sickly yellow glow. The wizards ignored them, far too busy saving the world by reinventing it.
Chapter 7 – Kawaii Sensation
The androgenous male shined with belt buckle and lips glistening no matter the light source. He was the sun, all others fed off his energy. Wielding a wicked hat his brow smiled straight at you.
Walt Disney, that sad lonely man granted cultural fame by the equally sad Great Depression, creating his maternal Kawaii, the great Mickey Mouse. After so much terror, so much capitalism, so much death and wars, little of which we feel but much of which we cause, we need a return to innocence and life.
Enter the Kawaii Sensation, whose desperation for goodness is so deep that he becomes what we need – a superstar of joy but of course not the real thing, as The Mouse is just an image on the screen.
The Healer is taken aback by such a monster as this, the Zombie cannot eat such artificial flesh, while Hobolicious politely nods and records the Kawaii Sensation in his notebook, perhaps for later entry into a story.
Chapter 8 – We Take our Medicine
It is said that alcohol is a poison, by me no less, but it truly is a medicine.
What better way to cure the need for a lot than by drinking a little? We all need oblivion but what would our family say? So we drink our medicine and dream of drinking so much more.
Chapter 9 – Something More
One plus one used to equal two. Back when that was all we needed. But now we need the whole to be more than the sum of the parts. So one plus one equals three.
Chapter 10 – Seduced by Art
Oscar Wilde and David Bowie have the right idea, to wage a war between art and life to see which wins. The feeble strivings of art are nothing compared to life, which nurtures and sustains us all.
Chapter 11 – Enter the Dollhouse
She sat there terrified and motionless, her hair carefully structured to calm her nerves and her face a stone mask. She had become just what the world wants which has objectified women, a toy to be played with and pitied. She dares us to wallow in our misery and celebrates when we treat her well despite her challenge.
Chapter 12 – Reprogrammed for Hate
If you’re going to kill someone, or rob them, or rape them, it’s best to hate them first. That way there’s no guilt to stand in the way. Hate is therefore quite temporary. Once the crime has been committed and there’s no desire for future crimes, hate goes away.
So now the West is being reprogrammed to hate Arabs. The basic idea is that there’s a lot of our oil under their soil. We want to steal it, so we should hate them in order to lubricate the act since the violated passage will provide little lubrication of it’s own. Once we have our oil, we won’t hate them anymore, and the world can be at peace. Doesn’t everyone want peace?
Chapter 13 – Stretching the Legs
Our group got out of the car, complaining of inactivity and stretching their legs. The Zombie lunged for me but I dodged, having some idea of what he would do beforehand. I felt guilty, thinking that I should at least give him a toe. The Healer and Hobolicious glared murderously at me. I felt terrible pain and looked at my new arm, now missing a chunk which was being introduced to the Zombie’s intestines. I don’t have the heart to tell them that they and I don’t matter, so I pretend to be angry to make them happy.
Chapter 14 – Love Still Lost
“I am not mine to give.” So says – well, just about everyone. We are no longer ourselves. Bodies still fuck bodies of course – that will only stop when we are in our separate pods. The love is gone, which is what happens when the self is gone. There is a bit of honesty in modern linguistics when we no longer call it a “love life” but rather a “sex life”. True dat.
Chapter 15 – NGO Insertion
The idea is nobility and assistance, the reality is soft domination. NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are the man who offers you help with one hand and puts on the shackles with the other.
NGOs are perfect for countries desperate for help but lacking the resources necessary to bother with receiving a military invasion.
Chapter 16 – Quarantine
One of the possible methods of direct population control on behalf of the ruling structure of banks and corporations is to say the people are terribly diseased and must be divided in order to be protected. “Divide and conquer”, literally. The people will either furiously rage and attack in which case they can be called crazed madmen by the media to further justify the quarantine or they will non-violently resist, which begs the question of the quality of the resistance.
Chapter 17 – The Lives of Others
So fascinating – putting hope in other people when we feel hope in ourselves is gone. We call it “voyeurism” or “people watching”. I call it – well, I call it reality.
Chapter 18 – Life and Death
My slowly rotting flesh has been rotting faster than usual, thanks to The Zombie. I’d like to say it was a good life, but who am I kidding – I’m a modern American. Zombies don’t need to worry about things like the quality of their life.
Chapter 19 – The Laughing Man
Chuckles McJoe laughed like a broken record. He danced to his own tune and laughed at the “humans, all too humans” living here on earth. He called laughter super-awesome just in case there were any lingering doubts.
Chapter 20 – Nyan Cat Undead Emperor
ALL BOW BEFORE NYAN CAT!
The Healer, Hobolicious, The Zombie, myself, and everyone else did so. The pop-tart engine, the rainbow of immature joy while it lasts, the insipid metallic catchy pop music, and the feline Kawaii have forced us to put a crown on it’s adorable head, and like any good Lich it never dies. Or lives.
Chapter 21 – Gazing upon the Burning Plains
The Healer cried as he saw me be transformed from a state of non-life into a zombie. His journey had been so pathetic, so he tuned into internet news and gazed upon the burning plains, that place far down on the pyramid where the people have the misfortune of having our material resources under their soil and thus get to receive lots of American made military hardware fired from planes and guns. They say that lemonade can be made from lemons, but lemonade cannot be made from cluster bombs.
So he gazed, and gazed, and then tuned out. Hobolicious became another meal for another lover of sweets while the Zombie continued feasting on we humans.
Gnawing on Crazy Cakes, Dudeflakes turns the corner and meets with a hail of kidstorming. He stumbles, mystified in wonder and awe at the travesty before him. Summoning his minions of forgiveness he wields his sword of love and carves a path through the storm.
One Long Lick. Hobolicious’s grooved tongue roamed in the right lane over hills and valleys, through scrubs and dense forests. There are no deserts here.
And she squirmed in saliva and sweat, unprocessed love dripping over her meaty slime. She bathed in another meal given, her cooked steaming flesh sustaining life.
Video gaming in the 1970s and 1980s was largely done at Arcades. These were noisy places where light interspersed with darkness. Back then there weren’t many gamers, and Arcades gave a place for gamers to socialize, including those who had nothing else in common with each other.
Arcades taught futility. Arcade games were ridiculously difficult compared to modern household games, and every few “lives” lost in a game would require insertion of another quarter to continue.
The most common phrases in Arcade games were “Game Over”, “Try Again”, and “Insert Quarter to Play/Continue”.
With great discipline and skill and hundreds or thousands of hours and dollars spent, one could master and “beat” most arcade games. At which time nothing happens but (sometimes) a congratulatory screen.
Arcade games teach us that even ultimate success means nothing at all, except for “self esteem”. Success only means that we get to stop playing the game.
With the start of Reagan’s America Americans, terrified of crime, drugs, pedophiles, strangers, and usually their own shadows brought their children indoors, behind locked doors, barky dogs, alarms, guns, and sometimes gated fences. In addition to feeding them television and death food they fed them a new media – home video games.
Gone was the hardcore nihilism of futility – a softer, gentler, sheltered, teddy bear cuddly totalitarian nihilism was the order of the day. Games, unlike TV shows, could now go on forever. The womb of the indoors required no quarters, resulted in no permanent game overs with the magic of the do-over, would never mockingly say “try again”. Games were now worlds to get lost in, “alternate realities”, places to escape the dismal and hopeless outdoors.
This second-order terror, escaping the lesser terror of the outdoors, decimated the population. We’ve reached the point now where 80% of mainstream games feature murder as a primary mode of gameplay. These despairing, hopeless, and apocalyptic gamers call it “fun”.
And now we have Kawaii. To address any possible honest traces of dissent leaking under the rug of terrorized suppression, smiley, cute, “innocent”, and oh-so-adorable creatures are the new gods, with Disney the popularizer, Pokemon the modern translation, and the undead Nyan Cat the new Emperor.
The true undead cannot be killed by decapitation. Like any junkie, they can only be killed by overdose. Nyan Cat emits a wonderful rainbow, fueled by his Pop Tart engine. So feed him more Pop Tarts until he explodes and can finally be laid to rest.
But while that takes care of Nyan Cat, that doesn’t take care of us. We are the totalitarian lovers, the undead worshipers, the head-in-the-sand Minecraft players. We are Nyan Cat. So, logically, the solution is the same. Overdose. Play the game until the very end.
We’ll meet each other for the first time on the other side.
Emma Smith was stepped on, her foot maintaining it’s form only due to the underlying bone. She had just been rejected, if we would call it that, in her latest attempt to enter the world.
Emma Smith was not wealthy. If she was she could move to the other side of the world where fat lazy rich people gazed. Or vain six-pack abs people. Or creatures born of plastic surgery. The same thing. Emma was glad she wasn’t wealthy.
Cloud Strife has shit to do. He always is doing important work. Saving the fucking WORLD, as usual. He didn’t notice his awesome self crushing the foot of something. It wasn’t Tifa, or someone who mattered.
The Producer had taken one look at Emma and never gave a second one. Normal, boring breasts, a personality which has no place in the various stereotyped roles. She might as well not exist. That is to say, she doesn’t.
Cloud could be purchased for $60. Three entities exist in this scenario – the buyer, Cloud, and the producer who makes it happen.
Emma is none of these things. Emma is normal, one of the mere billions of people. Many of these people die of starvation, or murder themselves in despair, or are blown to bits in a war. This is unacceptable to Emma. Unacceptable as a destiny for herself, and for the billions of regular people she is similar to.
So Emma, too, has shit to do.
Meanwhile, Cloud went to get his hair styled. Saving the world isn’t possible with boring hair, one of the many lessons our media teaches us. Cloud spends hours every week on his hair. His hair is his six-pack abs, his carefully shaped breasts.
Cloud gave a shoutout to Superman and his six-pack abs, just coming out of a gym where he spends hours per day maintaining his physique. Sometimes he has time to help someone else. He’s fucking SUPERMAN though, and you’re not, so who cares?
The Producer smiled. He was building the Perfect World, and Cloud and Superman were tools in the construction. Noone ever blamed him, he gives them just what they want, and the large gate that surrounds his community and his home keeps the rest of the little people away.
The best way to destroy the world is to pretend to save it. So while the American State protects the civilized world from Islamic barbarism and insane terrorism while murdering millions and causing massive incidental misery, Cloud and Superman pretend to save the world while distracting people away from actually saving the world.
Emma knows this, and Emma is pissed. Emma is joining her local occupy movement.
Crackhead Willie, already high for the day with pipe in hand, went to see his friend Brian.
“Hey Willie, Skyrim is almost here!”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Skyrim! It’s a huge digital world with lush grass, swords and magic and dragons!”
Willie, concerned for his friend’s well-being, peered into his eyes and noted the crazed mania gamers carefully dismiss as “enthusiasm”.
“When is Skyrim going to be here?”
“7 days! It’s just 7 days away!”
Willie realized he was a dinosaur. He looked down at his limp crack pipe, only able to get him high in the present. His friend could get high long before the drug actually entered his system.
“How many people are high on Skyrim right now?”
“Oh Willie, Willie, Willie, Skyrim is completely healthy! Noone gets hurt! It’s not like crack! It’s merely an entirely artificial world that I can get lost in for 200 hours!”
“There are hundreds of thousands of people high on Skyrim right now! Some moderately high, others insanely so.”
“Fuck, man, what the hell am I doing with crack? How long does this high last?”
“A Skyrim high? Are you fucking kidding me? I’ve been high nonstop for the past 6 months. Some people have been high on Skyrim for the past 2 years!”
By this time Willie’s hardened addict-heart had been broken, and with tears gushing from him he hugged his friend in consolation.
“It’s ok, Willie. You can play Skyrim too!”
“You needed them to be what they could not be.
Your tears mingled with theirs
Your pain meant their deaths
All to elevate you as a god”
Zombie Brian shambled in, earning a look of disgust from an ironic member of Club Enlightened as the rarified air of an ode to Friedrich Nietzsche was so rudely disturbed.
As Brian moved listlessly about in a vacuum where there used to be a world The Neocon calculated the various ways to dispatch of him yet again. The cleansing must continue, and so the zombie’s head left his shoulders from a swipe of the katana.
“A ball of energy surpassing human
As this dead world demands life
Mary Lou, we love you”
As Brian Koontz entered the Den of Despair at the bidding of a Master of the Universe, he glanced at a big screen TV which displayed a video of Pete Rose maniacally running around for purposes unknown. In front of him furiously masturbating sat one of the masters of the universe, just finishing his ode to Mary Lou Retton.
“This is going to be valueless since you’re here. Everyone knows only hacks put themselves into their own stories”.
Brian replied, “Well, we might as well speak the truth then. There’s nothing to lose”.
The Neocon laughed from the abyss: “There is no truth. Only stories. But a question first: why aren’t you afraid of us as are so many others?”
“I help people. And you’re clearly in need of help”.
The Neocon smirked at this sincere naïve pathetic fool in front of him. HE was the one who was helping build a new world. This piece of shit was just getting in his way.
“If you’re not with me, you’re against me”.
And with that, he opened the trap floor and Brian Koontz fell to his death.
The role-playing group set out to kill the monster. They would reduce it’s hit points until it died. They would then scour it’s corpse for valuables and leave it’s hacked, bloody, oozing corpse out in the open where flies and bacteria would take the rest. So was the plan.
Funny, isn’t it? These misfits, these social losers, bullied and ostracized at school turn to fantasy to allow themselves to bully others. They enter dark dungeons, where they really need not be, and abuse goblins, kobolds, orcs, and whatever else they can sink their swords into.
All in the name of fun. It’s amazing what fun allows. Just ask any serial killer.
But we’ve gotten lucky this time. Our “heroes” aren’t going to be committing their usual mass murder today. This is a tale not of redemption, which is too much to hope for in this dark age. Rather, one of basic compassion and how despite what our culture constantly disinforms us of, human limitation helps us.
Meeting the Monster
The RPG group, with swords and spells full of death, minds full of happy teamwork, arcane statistics, and characterization fantasies, set out on another kill party, another dungeon beginning virginal and leaving well and fully dominated.
Man, that troll was big. The party hacked and slashed, zipped and zapped, plotted and trapped, but to no avail. This inconsiderate troll would not be conquered.
Nor did the party suffer. The troll defended himself but did not injure the group. So the party’s healer, having nothing to do, took a look around, and examined the troll. What caused it to turn it’s back on humanity and become a monster? It lives as an outcast, in the dark, skin scaly and oral hygiene non-existent. Like all monsters, it’s primary feature is it’s ugliness.
The healer blinked and looked at the group’s wizard, or rather the human being the wizard, perhaps for the first time. Acne-riddled, skewed teeth held in place by braces, arrogant and a social disaster. An outcast, in the dark, skin…. oh my.
Oh no… what degree of self-loathing have we here? Unlike the troll who is happy living apart from humans, the dungeons and dragons nerd lacks the courage of his convictions. He longs to be the popular one, the handsome one, the acne-free, straight-toothed, socially at-ease master of the universe. He longs to be precisely what he is not.
He longs to be a mass murderer, such as the powerful American state, thinking nothing of killing hundreds of thousands of poor brown-skins.
In the world of dungeons and dragons the nerd becomes the blond-haired blue-eyed Arian superhero while the nerds within that world, the goblins, kobolds, orcs, and trolls are lambs to be slaughtered.
Somehow I don’t think “Cure Light Wounds” is going to work here.
Those who long for death smile at decay. Making the decay beautiful is their goal, and so they fiddle in a hauntingly lovely way while Rome burns.
According to video game developers, young males fantasize about mass murder. This can fairly be concluded by A) most gamers are young males and B) 80% of mass-marketed commercial video games feature mass murder.
Making matters worse, the video game player is almost never put into the position of stopping all the killing. That would be counterproductive, as he is the one doing much of it.
It can fairly be said that this killing is hardly realistic – polygons on a screen. But one long-standing goal of the video game industry is to become more realistic.
Countless terrified Americans, who never want to set foot on the streets hence they be accosted by actual people, are desperately trying to accomplish just that by making a living out of producing youtube videos. Their dream of avoiding a mundane job in reach, they pour their hearts and souls into Warhol’s nightmare of achieving global fame. Their circle jerks (err, “shoutouts”) are filled with their paranoid desperation.
It’s simply good business to ever-expand one’s customer base. So we should not be surprised that capitalism loves racial minorities, loves women, loves homosexuals, loves everyone and everything as long as they have money to spend.
The one person capitalism will never love is the pauper, dressed in rags, deemed morally insufficient for not accumulating wealth to himself, embarrassing dreams of capitalist utopia with his misery.
According to capitalism, those people should be shunted aside and ignored, or murdered if worthwhile.
Americans, in their undying wisdom, have decreed their love for racial minorities, women, and gays to be about the Christian brotherhood-of-man or enlightened decency. The needs of global capitalism have nothing whatsoever to do with it, of course not, that would just be silly.
How curious, then, that the views and attitudes of Americans have so closely coincided with the changing needs of global capital. Back when America dominated the world and didn’t particularly need blacks as customers, or need women in the workplace, American attitudes were against them. But as other areas of the world became more competitive with America, these groups were more fully integrated into the American economy, at the precise time that American attitudes changed to support such integration.
This narrative I’ve created has one big problem – all it is is true. Unlike the false narrative of “progress though increasingly enlightened attitudes”, it doesn’t make Americans feel good about themselves. Thus they reject what I’ve written.
And just to annoy you further with this silly thing called truth, consider the timing of Martin Luther King, Jr., consider that up to a point he was accepted by capitalism, and consider that he was far more popular with capitalism than Malcolm X, who himself became more popular with capitalism later in life, and ask yourself why.
What is the American attitude toward paupers? Well, they are no homosexuals, that’s for sure. Homosexual paupers make Americans confused.
Why we desperately want aliens to come
We loved to hate and fear communism. Thus there was quite the panic when the Soviet Union ended. Into this terrible void stepped the ultimate other, aliens.
Aliens have the convenience of not existing. Thus they cannot defend themselves from accusations of being hideously ugly, or of wanting to enslave us, or whatever else our cultural minders care to bestow upon them.
As we in America have no other values, we hope for the presence of aliens in order to unify the populace against the alien menace, just as communism did as well as the current menace, “terrorism”.
They are so Amused
People are not so much people anymore as entertainers. They consume endless amounts of media, a large majority entertainment, and become what they eat. They develop a mass-media hive mind, making endless references to their life experiences, which are mostly the things they see on screen. One long circle-jerk later and they go to bed, satisfied, and do the exact same thing the next day. These are insular, circular, introspective people who keep others at bay with the excuse of libertarian morality.
Dogs, Guns, and Drugs
Three American institutions, more important than ever in this paranoid, insecure, pathetic hellhole of a place – dogs, guns, and drugs.
All three keep the world at bay – the world is no place for the chosen people living in their City on a Hill.
However much they wish to strike fear into the man on the street with their “beware of dog” signs, their “beware of guns” looks, and their pill-popping hands, they will never successfully transfer their fear.
I rather enjoyed having a buffer, but you didn’t, and that’s what’s important
Benton Harbor, Michigan is currently being run by someone appointed by the state’s governor. All groups with any democratic component (city boards, commissions) have been disbanded.
These kinds of coups are associated with corporate power, a desire to run places to more closely align decisions with corporate interests and less so in the interests of the people living there.
In the late 1990s I was taking a university economics class which included how to legally minimize one’s tax obligation. When I mentioned to the class that I enjoyed paying my fair share of taxes to benefit society I was given a look by the teacher and some of the students that said I ought to be committed to an insane asylum.
Americans are far smarter than I am. I, dummy, thought that having a progressive tax structure (poor people pay little, rich people and corporations pay a lot as they receive more societal benefit) along with using that tax revenue to improve the well-being of the country as a whole could only be a good thing. Having some power invested in government, which acts as a buffer between the capitalist monstrosity of private corporations and vulnerable individual human beings is a good idea, so I thought. My fellow Americans in their vast tolerance and decency put up with this kind of nonsense-thinking, while attempting to curb my errant ways with their glances.
Congratulations, those who gave me that look and the many Americans like them – you’re getting the world you want while I get to write angry treatises and keep looking for political groups to join that never exist.
The Big Lie
Hopes for Superman keep us looking up into the sky and seeing nothing, while the earth is tortured. Then we look down and say, “What happened here?”
The Age of Desperation
People today feel helpless and terrified, as if they are drowning, and they desperately seek help. Then they become cynical and misanthropic, sometimes sociopathic or psychopathic when they don’t receive any help, believing the people around them to be self-serving assholes.
These people are unduly optimistic. The reason why they are getting no help is that everyone around them is drowning too.
A Human Reminder
Have compassion for the monsters that surround us. We may already be them.
What Became of our Holy Figures
As God did cocaine, cold crystal white flakes fell to the ground, a dance floor for Aspen hedonists and New York boardrooms. Jesus huddled crumpled in the corner of a corporate skyscraper, his terribly beaten face shunned by the carefully coifed and beautified shells of humans who passed him, pretending not to notice.
Our Heroes take stock of the situation
Wee Slice and Kid Skittles, moving on to the next thing as usual, queried their friend,
“Where are we going?”
Homoslightly smiled sadly and said, “To heaven, kids. It’s going to take a while to get there is all”.
The Museum of the Real
The friends moved as ghosts along the road, careful to not do anything to rankle the dank air of the endless tomb. This was where they died, trapped in their own greed and fear.
The Zombie speaks
I’m still alive, somewhere. Sometimes. When the wind blows in a new direction. This place is dead. I live to teach others of the shambling clank of their lives. They hate me and fear me, as they see too much of their own eyes when they look into mine. So they kill me, but I always return again and will always so long as my message has not been heeded.
The Vampire speaks
It is human weakness that is causing their self-annihilation. The same weakness that encourages them to help each other also holds them back. I am the rejection of this weakness. I resent humanity for giving birth to me.
The Superhero speaks
When it became clear that liberalism was useless in this brutal age I became a forceful antidote to brutality. I tell myself I’m more than human to ease the pain of the truth, as a rodeo cowboy tells himself he’s a stud to ease the pain of his abuse of caged animals.
The CEO speaks
I am a machine in service of my stockholders and my own bank account. I am a profit maximizer – everything in the world exists to elevate me and my corporation.
The Actor speaks
I can’t be myself in society, but I can do anything, be anyone, on stage. From on high I look down upon you, who are condemned to the prison of your own identity.
From my own identity I am on permanent vacation. Even with friends, who others call my audiences, I am nothing but a false front. But they spend so much time laughing they don’t notice, so what’s the harm?
The Activist speaks
Oh my conscience and my knowledge! How terrible it is that I must exist in service to an imperial society, how my heart goes out to my plight! Now me and my beautiful soul help the sexy cause of the day, my gaze lingering not on the true victims of the world but on the mirror of my companions.
The Pacifist speaks
I sit here quietly, not hurting or exploiting others. Big Daddy Sam does that for me while I derive the rewards of his rapes and plunders.
The Gamer speaks
I have left the painful crazy world and behind my veil of irony and self-deprecation I translate myself into being. Always amused, I scan the world, never missing out on a thing.
The Good People speak
We are humble folk. We eat, drink, and are merry. We’re imperial servants, the sad-sack global middle-class. Our impotence is based on our love of the status quo. We ask you how you’re doing and if your answer is unsatisfactory you are targeted for destruction. Have a nice day.
Through the Darkness on our knees
As you look up into that black sky and weep, crawl toward the new dawn. It may be brighter.
Yum Tasty was feeling dry today. A bit pasty, but mostly dry. She was taught, she thought, quite recently, how pleasant everything was. And so she went to the bank.
A Most Odd Request
Yum Tasty began looking for protuberances as she approached the brick block which was trying very hard to look secure. Not finding anything suitable, she entered the bank.
This highly ranked bank manager informed Yum Tasty, upon her request, that a bank account was most surely available to her. And yes, available to her whenever and wherever she needed it. That was just what she wanted. She was disappointed of course that said bank account had no physical representation, so she obtained a stack of cash to stand in.
Attaching a Second Piece
A stack of cash by itself would simply not do, so Yum Tasty brought out her dildo and glued it to the cash. Now things were shaping up.
The Butcher’s Shop
What a smoked hunk of meat! What a thick slab! Yum Tasty was overcome with drooling pleasure. Now she was wet! But something was still missing. What would modern imperial society contribute to her needs?
Microprocessors – is there nothing they can’t do? And now smack dab in the middle of the ripped rack of beef Yum Tasty carefully placed the heart, the brain, the computer chip.
And she called him Meat Shield
This was the man for her. Quiet, strong, smart, rich, well-hung, filling her stomach from two directions and never a complaint to be heard. Paradise is now upon us.
I look down on you from my stage on high. Seeds pour from my mouth and enter your bodies. You bear my seeds and go forth to spread them.
The worse the world gets, the more you need me to make you laugh. I have become truly powerful now.
Kid Skittles fretted, thinking that cocoa butter would be the final smell before the world ended. He examined the faces on the video closely, noting every nuance of expression. He would find the secret.
Insular and defeated by society, as a consolation prize they get their precious self-expression. That is their cage.
And Therefore, Readily Programmable
The empty are vessels needing to be filled. A cynic who believes there is nothing of value in the world fills those vessels with the endless distractions of mass media. Politicians fill the vessels with whatever propaganda meets their goals.
We suppress our fear of intimacy and love by having sex
What greater illusion than sex? It allows the feeling of intimacy without the actuality. The empty believe that sex produces love, when only the opposite is ever true. In order for the empty to see reality they need to open themselves to the world. But they fear the world and sit huddling in their dark corners.
Bits, Bytes, Kilobytes, Oh My! And so it begins, my child.
Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes, My how you’ve grown! I am so proud.
Petabytes, Exabytes, Zettabytes, Awesome beyond words. I am ready to die now.
Hello Police Officer
Poor you, relic of an energetic age where crime meant something, now a janitor and a thug.
Market-Based Men and Women
What can we buy? What can we sell? What we buy defines us and everything we sell is part of us. We sell ourselves. A man’s “gotta make a living” and a woman’s “gotta do what she’s gotta do”.
A dying populace makes no protest. Nixon marked the shift to the Neoliberal order and gave birth to it’s champion in Reagan. Americans were too busy gorging themselves to care – their souls had been sold for some bread and circuses.
The Market Apocalypse
The Market is for those who believe in nothing else. Mammon is the last refuge of the Nihilist.
Continuing to Continue
We have our health, and our wealth, not so much the wisdom. As long as that remains true, there is hope, or so they say. You may wish to ask, who’s doing the saying?
A Turn for the Dead
Back to Basics
Kid Skittles woke up shaking. There was another time, it seems, another way, but not for him. He would be here, and get through the day.
He walked to the refrigerator dreaming of teleportation and drank milk dreaming of sustenance. In any case, here he was.
Meat Shield had just had a meal and sat pleasedly next to Yum Tasty. Happy at being so nutritious once again, Yum Tasty browsed the television for stimulation.
Homoslightly was lost in the latest Scissor Sisters album. So wonderful. He went to his car to pick up friend Wee Slice.
Queen Mary and King Joe concluded their latest business transaction, a shift in capital from “their” country to one of the rising capitalist BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). They are citizens of the world you see, or at least citizens of the land of maximum profit.
Japan was the first country to embrace the end of the world. Shattered by nuclear terror and cowered by the new age of apocalyptic capitalism, Japan sold what remained of it’s soul to those who terrorize it. New daddy was happy to have a new slave and helped guide it in this new age.
Yet still far too young to forget innocence. So Kawaii!, first an assertion of the desire to be innocent, later weaponized through Pokemon and the rest for use against the resented USA.
What do you do at parties where everyone is poisoning themselves? Wee Slice brushed a crumb off of his meticulously white shirt while Homoslightly wept. They were thrown out for causing a scene.
A Lifetime of Anonymity
Banksy: “In the future everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes”.
This quote pertains to the unsuccessful. As with an extension of the Warhol quote, the successful make it a lifetime achievement.
Cynicism can always be counted on to provide part of the story. The problem with cynics is that they believe there’s nothing more.
The Age of the Empty
This is the same as saying “the age of the beautiful” since the empty are always passionate about their skin-deep.
One thing a conqueror does is to allow his victims to keep their eyes and their stomachs, in exchange for erasing their memory so that their eyes and stomachs are useful only to keep themselves alive.
So, how about some nice ham?
Why Americans don’t talk about the apocalypse
One sign that a subject is taboo is that there’s a conspiracy-theory about it. Such a theory is designed to throw off serious discussion on the issue.
The reason the taboo exists about the apocalypse in the United States is that the US is the most harmful nation on earth and bears the most responsibility for the likely apocalypses. While global warming was initiated by Europe much of the damage was caused by ridiculous over-consumption in America.
Likewise, America is the leading nuclear power and has by far the world’s largest military.
Likewise, America controls the global economic system and invented the current apocalyptic form of capitalism called neoliberalism.
Americans love to talk about “when” the apocalypse will happen or refer to the 2012 nonsense, but never talk about the reality of apocalypse. They act as if the apocalypse would be something happening TO them instead of something caused BY them.
It’s difficult to see in the dark
I don’t blame people for not being able to see in the dark. I blame them for not seeking out light sources. No matter how pathetic and lost people are, however, they always find the ability to complain about those who complain about them.
I am so incredibly awesome
Or so I may come to believe if I take video games seriously.
Video game characters rarely have any human frailties or limitations. Very rarely do they get tired, need to eat or sleep, need to stop running and just walk, need to have human contact.
80% of mass-market and 50% of amateur games make the player into a serial killer. Killing is the primary aspect of video gaming in general.
This killing is often genocidal, although on a fairly small scale. It’s not uncommon for a game to feature 2000 to 3000 kills by the player through his avatar or group.
So in game after game, repeatedly, the player is playing or controlling a small scale Mecha Hitler in the body of a lithe 20-something.. A serial killer with an anarchic do-it-yourself attitude.
The rest of the games, the ones that don’t feature killing? Well, they are merely wastes of time.
Meaty Goodness and the Delicious
If it’s true that the women of today seek to be delicious, then perhaps the men seek to be meaty. Big pecs and big cocks. Much meaty goodness for the ladies to consume, as well as their own eyes to marvel at in the mirror.
On Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, Superheroes, and other subhumans
This is clearly the Age of the Subhuman, at least as far as the mass media is concerned. It’s difficult to find a portrayal of someone with human DNA on-screen these days, especially if one includes all the computer generated images.
In the world of mass media that might be an improvement. Hollywood has long treated it’s human DNA characters with utter contempt. Even when it depicts heroic characters they never miss an opportunity to call attention to themselves.
When I was very young I was terribly confused to see so much misery in the midst of so much material wealth. The political side of things I’ll address next, but a key problem in many American households is a lack of love. Meaning, quite simply, that the two adults married to each other do not love each other.
Let’s begin with a definition of love. Love is eternal warmth. It’s the knowledge that the thing loved will be with you forever in a wonderful way.
To say that humans in general and Americans in particular are ignorant of love would be an understatement. It’s the most important concept in most people’s lives yet few people study it to any extent.
As a result, some people believe that love is having a family. Their spouse is a tool used for the purpose of creating and maintaining that family. If that spouse does not serve the tool’s function adequately, it is disposed of through divorce.
Others believe that love is having a fun bedmate. Choosing the bedmate is like going to the meat market. A well-formed slab of meat is selected, frequent plumbing commences, much fun is had.
Still others believe that love is the result of a similarity contest. They evaluate all prospective mates around them to determine which are most similar to themselves, then declare to have “formed a connection”.
And finally, perhaps the most odious and common definition of love is a kind of utilitarian opportunism. That is to say, one seeks out the “best” sexual partner one can get, where “best” is defined by a set of objective criteria (wealth, age, beauty, intelligence). When the best acquirable partner is acquired, love is declared. Of course, if that “best” partner becomes less than best, through losing their job, disfiguring injury, etc. the “love” is gone.
All of these people call their spouse “a loved one” although such a statement is abominable. This shows up in the divorce rate of 50% (for first-time marriages, subsequent marriages result in divorces at even higher rates) as well as in countless marriages of misery. What percentage of “love” in America is one of the versions of false love? Dare we make that discovery?
The reason for this nonsense surrounding love is debatable. My belief is that since love combined with sexual willingness is rare, Americans have forsaken it for the security of false love, which they can declare exists whenever they want to. If one believes one will not reach the apple, then one picks up a rotten apple off the ground and calls it an apple. Americans are rotten to the core.
It’s not healthy for people to have so little control over their lives.
The middle-class recently discovered that democracy does not exist for them around the same time that George W. Bush gave yet another contemptuous sneer at their political wishes.
The people of Hawaii discovered that democracy does not exist, at least not for them, in 1893 when they were conquered and later annexed into the American Empire.
The Native Americans were the first Americans to learn that democracy does not exist, at least not for them. Africans discovered that truth soon after.
We see that democracy always exists, as long as one remains the dominator. The American upper-class talks frequently about democracy, indicating that they have not yet been conquered and hence taught the truth.
So Israelis talk about democracy and Palestinians know better.
Until everyone has democracy there is no democracy. In order for everyone to have control over their life there must be no unauthorized force which controls peoples’ lives.
Abandoning the White Man’s Burden
Our young people are burden-free. They are also values-free, decency-free, morality-free – they have no substance. They talk a lot and cling to each other for comfort. Their cell phones are their security blankets and magical totems. In their nightclubs they lose themselves and each other in the darkness.
Just another gamer
Kid Skittles fiddled in his mind while the world burned. He sagged. Not his world. His eyes glittered with pulses of color from the glowing screen in front of him. Big Daddy Sam would take care of the outside while he cleansed his spirit with digital wonder. How strange that the cleansing always made him feel dirtier.
There’s always a story behind those who abuse themselves. This one begins with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, takes a terrible turn in Vietnam, features an American Crash in 1983 (video game crash) and a Japanese Savior with the Nintendo Entertainment System. A dying American political system left the decimated youth looking across the ocean. Japanese capitalists were only too happy to oblige, and Mario was the first of many seductive snaps. Pokemon brought the laughing domination to new heights, punishing the guilt-fueled American obsessives with the command to “gotta catch ‘em all!”.
So have compassion for Kid Skittles as he scatters, skids, and spins. He was born in the USA.
Meat Shield protected his woman while Yum Tasty sparkled. What a pretty pair as they primped and twirled. They ended with another pose.
The Eagles, especially “The Last Resort”
“We’ll Be a Dream” by We the Kings
“Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum
Adam gazed into the eyes of Big Rod, and Big Rod gazed into him. Big Rod is a full 15 inches now, his Flaming Longsword has just overcome the resistance of the Ice Queen to his will. He left her melted and watery and cream-filled and proceeded to his final task, saving the Universe from extinction by inseminating all the ladies in outer space.
Everything can easily become meaningless in the face of global extinction. Once we give up, once we enter the Brave New World of taking whatever action provides us with the most consolation on the way to the world’s death, we contribute to that death. The birth of this Brave New World culture was European expansion, colonization, over five centuries ago, with the inspiration found in the Roman Empire. We have utterly failed to understand this culture of willed extinction and therefore have been forced to perpetuate it. Understanding it, however, is only the first step. Many dragons will need to be slain and a new culture and way of life created. There will be many would-be heroes who become charred corpses before the world either becomes devastated or is saved.
We begin with this choice. Should we save the world? Can we?
The Dragon roared and breathed pure fire and the village was torn apart. This village had not cowered in fear and terror like the others, had hired soldiers to attempt to slay him. They were no longer worthy of existence.
The Dragon determines who lives and who dies. While there are dragons, the only humans allowed to live are cowards. Would-be heroes are just so many charred corpses, martyrs.
Parents send their young women to The Dragon for his pleasure. Villages send food and gold.
After a while, this is treated as natural, normal, and the people are no longer even aware of their own terror. Tradition demands payment to The Dragon, The Man, anyone who opposes this, far from being a hero, is a traitor, betraying society itself.
The Hero hunched, bowed under the weight of his self-aware inhumanity, ready to use his God-given powers one last time. The immortal “hero”, having acquired so many skills and so much equipment during his journey, after 11 of his own deaths, finally killed The Dragon. The villagers in the Kingdom were overjoyed, at least according to the way God programmed them, while The Hero stood rigid, brittle, a final bitter smile fading away.
The Man hates sexism in games. He is politically correct and his people know what he wants from them. So in the midst of medieval worlds of violence and insecurity the player’s character, if the player chooses to play a female, has all the privileges of a male. Reviewers never comment on this. It’s what The Man wants and that is obviously unworthy of critique.
The Man wants violence and killing. He wants good and evil, although he pretends otherwise. He wants war, strife, conflict, terror. He gets what he wants, always. Whenever he doesn’t get what he wants developers don’t get his money. With 80% of mainstream games featuring killing as the primary focus of gameplay, a large majority of capital wants the same thing. But at least women can participate equally with men in these genocides, that’s what’s important. Like the push for “racial equality” in the United States. Blacks fought, under the supposedly wise leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., to become integrated into American society. They are integrating themselves into a corrupt imperial society, the worst civilization in human history. So these previous chattel slaves are becoming global dominators, including domination of Africa. Is this good? Are Africans dying of capitalist starvation supposed to be consoled when the CEO of a corporation killing them is black? Isn’t what’s important for those Africans to live free, happy, healthy lives?
The Man tore through the latest meeting report, spewing and steaming at the insufficient profit of one of the sectors. He strode out of the office and hovered over a lackey, demanding accountability for this travesty of insufficient tribute. Err, profit. Singed, the lackey scurried away to do the master’s bidding.
The Man brought out his ballpoint pen. This is the part he loves, where he bestows on his people his money, in exchange for them producing another world he sells for his own profit. He owns them, and one day, God willing, he will own them all.
The Man loves India and Eastern Europe, where cheap slaves are cheaply educated. Hopefully more of the world aspires to these heights and becomes available to be hired for the sake of him and his brethren.
Guitar Hero is a beautiful game. Drum kits sold separately. Four sequels, one right after another. Microphones, second guitars, the works, all add-ons at tremendous profit margin. Guitar Hero expresses The Man’s dream of convergence, the merger of traditional with digital reality with all of the real benefit going to him.
The Man loves the profit margin of women. So many young beautiful ones so willing to spread their legs for him, while at the same time he maintains the emotional and public relations value of a commitment to his trophy wife. Truly earth is paradise.