Fallout 3 :: Video Game :: Bethesda Software :: 2008 :: Brilliant. Simply brilliant. It took a long time for Deus Ex to be knocked off of the #1 spot of my favorites list, but it was worth the wait. Bethesda has crafted a satirical masterpiece, a post-apocalyptic look into a world scorched by nuclear warfare and world where survival of the fittest is pushed to its very limits.
Liam Neeson, the familiar voice of your father, immediately draws you in and welcomes you into a semi-recognizable future, locked in a steel underground bunker with a semi-functioning society—and then leaves. So begins your quest to leave the safety of this familiar setting and out into the real world, with all of its dangers.
To me, the most interesting thing to see was not the way groups of people managed to stick together and organize themselves in order to survive, but the bureaucracy that formed around them. The federal government still clings to control via robots patrolling the surface, though no one has seen a the president nor a functioning government for many months forcing a majority of people to fend for themselves. One town may have a sheriff, another run by slavers. One may secede from the US to form their own Republic, another may secede from humanity and live off human flesh. The kinds of details Bethesda reveals about these settlements makes these outlandish ideas seem eerily plausible.
This immersion grants going out and doing quests much more gravity. You actually want to protect this defenseless town from certain death once you learn they are all sixteen-year-olds expelled from another town by some other bureaucracy. And the pleasures of the V.A.T.S. combat system become all the greater. I love the ease of use and the satisfaction of using V.A.T.S. It’s simple, efficient, balanced, and a great way to improve your strategy by pausing and letting you think about what your next best move will be.
While the main storyline is merely adequate overall, it’s bad that they make the game end by completing it. This game is about exploring and doing what you want. Art imitates life, and Fallout 3 is a masterful example. You—not the designers—you prioritize what you want to do.
i’m growing one,
i need to know
will be justified.
I love beauty but have no idea why I seek it. Why I must see it, but for beauty’s sake. It brings me no love, only wants what love I give. For this, there can be no end!
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy :: Film :: Alfredson :: 2011 :: A deliberate, steadily-paced film that gives you just enough time to figure out the last clue before revealing yet another in George Smiley’s (Oldman) maddening search for a mole within MI5. Tomas Alfredson’s paranoid spy drama is soaked in lingo, leaving you puzzled as Smiley must have been. The gift here, alongside the already stellar ensemble cast, is the fine actor of Gary Oldman, who silently communicates with us, helping us piece it all together. He comes off as a brilliant man, thorough and subtle—completely committed to his profession of finding truth through the lies. You may want to come prepared, but I enjoyed having to work a little bit to figure out who the mole was alongside Oldman—it certainly helped gain a closer perspective of how it must feel to be in such situations with literally no one to trust and other people’s lives at stake. If you’ve got any envy for that, you may lose it after seeing this film.
:: The Aegis-Grin
«outward despair, private hope//outward hope, private despair»
HENRY MILLER’S COMMANDMENTS
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book youare writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Keep pretending. One day you won’t need to anymore. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Down By Law :: Film :: Jarmusch :: 1986 :: Jim Jarmusch directs this indie gem in gorgeous black and white, and we feel his passion for his work: this is one of those wonderful films where the characters are tailor-made for the actors portraying them. And what fine actors they are—Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni pour their essence into these three unfortunate men, and it is a treat to watch their personalities clash. But there is more beneath the surface. Each has their own story, their own reasons for innocence while in prison. It’s not their fault, they all say. And we can relate to them because, while flawed, they each have a spirit, a plan for the future if the world would get out of their way. We see them clash, but are they clashing? Or are they seeing their own flaws in each other and feel forced to grow? As they escape, we root for them not because we believe they will go back to their old lives of pimping, drinking, or cheating. We root for them because we want to leave our own flaws behind.
:: The Camel
I recieved the strangest thing in the mail
today. It’s a photograph of me riding a camel
in the desert. And yet I have never ridden a
camel, or even been in a desert. I am wearing
a jellaba and a keffiyeh and I’m waving a rifle.
I have examined the photo with a magnifying
glass and it is definitely me. I can’t stop
looking at the photo. I have never even dreamed
of riding a camel in the desert. The ferocity
in my eyes suggests I am fighting some kind of
holy war, that I have no fear of death. I must
hide this photo from my wife and children. They
must not know who I really am. I must not know.
I close my eyes, comfortable in my own darkness. No hate to ignore, no one to cheer. No fears to comfort, no reason to smile. I’ll sleep forever once I get the chance.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest :: Film :: Forman :: 1975 :: R.P. MacMurphy is sent to an asylum. He isn’t crazy. Watch what happens. One of only three movies to have won “The Big Five” Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay—yet this film is the only one that deserved them all. It is hilarious and often times frustrating to see MacMurphy struggle to connect with the patients in the ward. They are all just so used to droning away with their daily routine. MacMurphy (Nicholson) cannot and will not adhere to this and tries desperately to shake them free of it. He tries to teach them to take risks and stop being so afraid. Though at every turn, Head Nurse Ratched is there to reintroduce her brand of “therapy,” pacifying any sense of defiance MacMurphy instills. This film delivers in every scene and has one of the most memorable endings ever.
- UPON A PRECIPICE
- One: "What's really tragic is when the personified eclipse the persons."
- Two: "Sounds Marxist."
- Three: "Sound."
- One: "Obvious things seem well-known but little cared-for."
- Two: "Without the shackles to break, we feel free."
- Three: "Worse things are not made of metal."
- One: "What are they made of?"
- Three: "Nothing. Our essential Nothing."
- Two: "Not nothing--language. Our ideas are not nothing. Our inventions are not nothing. Our culture is not nothing."
- One: "Yet, individually, where do they all lead we humans?"
- Two: "The end is not the most important part. Do not treat others as a means to an end--that's a given. But time and again what is forgotten is to not treat yourself as a means to an end; whatever end you have in mind."
- Three: "One cannot ignore death when writhing."
- One: "I have to agree."
- Two: "Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. This is reality. Get ready for something different, because it's rising with the sun."
- Three: "Romanticism gives way to decadence."
- One: "And decadence to..."
- Two: "More progress."
- One: "I rather like that. Human consciousness and humanity in general is more like a wave than a mountain climb. There is no end, just a series of ascents and descents. How low will we sink? How high will we climb? As a human, can I truly view us objectively?"
- Three: "No."
- BY JOZEF CONAWAY
Top Five “Will Read” of 30 Books to Read Before 30
Top Five Favorite Books
Siddhartha - Hesse
The Catcher in the Rye - Salinger
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Hemingway
The Social Contract - Rousseau
Catch-22 - Heller
The Sound and the Fury - Faulkner
The Road - McCarthy
Grendel - Gardner
Saturday - McEwan
Breakfast of Champions - Vonnegut
The truth is cliche. You wouldn’t believe it the way I want to tell it. You want me to embellish because the truth is cliche. You would rather be lied to then to know how I feel. Trust me.
Minecraft :: Video Game :: Mojang AB :: 2011 :: An evolution, a challenge to the modes of traditional gaming, and an achievement unmatched by countless top-tier development studios—and it was all brought together by a small, independent game developer named Mojang. Yes, this little retro-gem that brought unexpected riches to a small deserving few also brings riches into every home it’s played in, because in this world, YOU are all that matters. Where other games try to hook you with a neat story or flashy cutscenes, Minecraft does not. Like all art, it imitates life, but in Minecraft’s case, much more literally. You are dropped into an infinite world made of small cubes and left to fend for yourself. In Minecraft, much like a silent film, a lot can be said without saying anything at all. There is no god directing you, no personified evil, no plot that threatens the beautifully styled world that you now gaze upon—nothing but the threat of starvation and shelter from the night. What is the point of life? Everyone has their own answers, based on their past and the way they were raised. Minecraft mimics this idea—along with your home and your tools, you forge your own destiny. Will you farm? Will you mine? Will you explore? Will you build? Will you kill? Will you destroy? Will you shepherd your earth, or will you rape it? Here, like in reality, there are consequences. Dig too deep, take too greedily and you may die in the lava-lit darkness under a pile of gold and diamonds, or drive a species to extinction. Minecraft will help you tell your story.
:: from The Sound and the Fury
If we could have just done something so dreadful and Father said That’s sad too people cannot do anything that dreadful they cannot do anything very dreadful at all they cannot even remember tomorrow what seemed dreadful today and I said, You can shirk all things and he said, Ah can you. And I will look down and see my murmuring bones and the deep water like wind, like a roof of wind, and after a long time they cannot distinguish even bones upon the lonely and inviolate sand. Until on the Day when He says Rise only the flat-iron would come floating up. It’s not when you realize that nothing can help you—religion, pride, anything—it’s when you realize that you don’t need any aid.
Top Five Saddest Movies
Top Five Stress-Relieving Video Games
Grand Theft Auto IV
Hitman: Blood Money
:: Stoicism is the real rhythm
Happiness? Is this a real thing, to be unflinchingly sought after? Satisfaction? If the goal is perfection, then this feeling will never arrive. Express something happy and you invite a shin-kicker. Express something unhappy and the world’s sadness is your fault. I suspect those who snarl through life once smiled at adversity. I see their path.