I read a bunch of books this year in an attempt to make my brain bigger. Here are some of them.
1. 1984, George Orwell, 1984
I’ve never actually read 1984
before, although thanks to the magic of cultural osmosis I basically absorbed
the entire plot and most of the catchphrases at some point over my adult life.
In the last few years I’ve become an insufferably woke socialist so a lot of
the themes of 1984, which it turns out actually run a lot deeper than what if surveillance, but too much were
particularly resonating with me as I read it. The entire second part of the
book, where George Orwell basically uses the flimsiest pretext to drop in a
blatant self-insert character and writes an enormous essay called “HI READER,
IT’S ME GEORGE ORWELL, CAPITALISM IS BAD”, is especially great.
I started to wonder why this book was never taught in school
to me or any friends I know, but quickly realised that there were probably two
reasons for it. The first, that it directly asks the reader to question
undemocratic social hierarchies and the artificial poverty which is deliberately
created and maintained by a state of constant war and fear (hmm, doesn’t ring
any bells); and the second, that every time the main character meets up with
his girlfriend they absolutely go to town on each other and fuck like rabbits.
Continue reading Some Books What I Read This Year And My Thoughts On Them (The Books)
Off the back of the critical and commercial success of DOOM, Bethesda have formally announced their intention to continue with a policy of providing media outlets with review copies no earlier than 24 hours in advance.
Their announcement (which quite tellingly offers no justification for the change other than “the game sold a shitload of copies, so fuck you”) is being met with no small amount of criticism from games media who have correctly labelled it as anti-consumer.
That’s not the issue. Of course it’s anti-consumer. It’s difficult to think of something more anti-consumer than to proudly brag about how your game is 100 hours long or needs to be played twice to be properly understood, while simultaneously doing everything possible to make customers pre-order a year in advance and to prevent media outlets from reporting on any possible shortcomings until it’s too late.
The problem is not that it is anti-consumer; the problem is that the industry as a whole is anti-consumer. It has been for a long time, and Bethesda’s formalisation of that anti-consumer position is doing for the games industry what Trump’s racism did for the Republican party: scandalising the establishment by saying out loud the racist things that were previously only conveyed through polite smiles and racist policy*.
Continue reading Bethesda, Games Media, And The Uncouth Vulgarity Of Acknowledging Capitalism
This post comes about as a result of watching three people who I sincerely love and respect – Patrick Stafford, Lance McDonald, and James Pinnell — discussing stuff on Twitter, so I want to be clear that this is not aimed at any of you three specifically but rather something that has been sticking in the ol’ craw for ages and needs to be put down in words.
I absolutely hate the idea that one internet community is objectively better than another.
(Or to put it another way, I hate the subtext here: the idea that one place where Humans Exchange Opinions somehow either creates, or is automatically populated, by Better Humans.)
Continue reading Common People
Fear of the unknown has always dogged us as a species, ever since we first crawled out of the primordial soup. It’s this fear that drives us not only to build, to achieve, to mark our territory with our urine, but also to seek comfort in others. In the dark of night, the loneliness of the mind envelops itself, and so naturally it is in these times that we turn to others for reassurance. In asking if we will stay the night, Williams is the one reaching out: to us, to another human, for comfort.
What dark terrors are running through her subconscious? Is her hedonistic life catching up with her? Are her friends whispering behind her back? We may never know. What we can see is a woman in need, crying out for help, reaching out a hand in the hope of finding another human soul in the endless void.
Continue reading A Critical Reading Of “Stay The Night”, by Zedd ft. Hayley Williams
Last night, Jess and I joined Facebook, after years — years — refusing to do so.
Today, I woke up to a barrage of questions both on Facebook and on Twitter proclaiming the apocalypse and wondering what prompted us both to do it after so long in the wilderness. So here’s a bit of a rambling explanation.
Continue reading Why Facebook, Why