Barbarians in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

“Know your enemy as well as you know yourself and you need not fear the outcome of a thousand battles.”

GODS & RADICALS

This is the first part in Wolves in the Interregnum, a two-part series.


“The old world is dying, the new world struggles to be born. Here in the interregnum arises morbid systems.”
–Antonio Gramsci

“Increasingly, people are restless. The engineers group themselves into competing teams, but neither side seems to know what to do, and neither seems much different from the other. Around the world, discontent can be heard. The extremists are grinding their knives and moving in as the machine’s coughing and stuttering exposes the inadequacies of the political oligarchies who claimed to have everything in hand. Old gods are rearing their heads, and old answers: revolution, war, ethnic strife. Politics as we have known it totters, like the machine it was built to sustain. In its place could easily arise something more elemental, with a dark heart.”
–The Dark Mountain Manifesto

The Wolf Trap

In what is…

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Three Things That I Like, Two That I Don’t.

So I get home after a day of training at my new job, when I come across this article featuring pre-Alpha game play from one of my favorite classics, System Shock.
I played this game and couldn’t complete it.  Not because I wasn’t any good at it or because it wasn’t fun, because I generally am good at those kinds of games and I was having fun.  See, System Shock is and was a Dark, Violent Ride.  You never knew when some bioroid or robot with murderous intent was going to come around the corner, all being controlled by SHODAN, whose voice constantly mocks you.  This makes sense, since you (as the player) created her.

So here are Three Things I Like.
System Shock 2, Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite.

I Like System Shock 2 because it was one of the first Doom-style games that gave me more than just funhouse chills and weapons in which to dispatch mooks and bosses.  It was horrifying as you saw the remnants of what was once a station full of people reduced to mindless beasts or their victims.  And then you go deeper in and you see just how twisted it can get, all the while being taunted by a villainous AI that’s one part HAL 2000 and two parts Doctor Moreau.  With a survival mode way to function.  It realistically depicted weapon and armor degradation, you name it.
And then there’s Bioshock.  What first hooked me was that it was made by the same fine folks at what was Irrational Games when System Shock 2 came out.  It was a pure shooter, but it wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t play it or do well at it.  And it wasn’t just run and gun.
To take down a Big Daddy for its’ much needed Adam the Little Sister he guards has (whether you kill or heal) you had to use strategy.  And you had options based on what load-outs of powers you had ready.and what buffs you had slotted in.  And the story…oh the STORY!  A cautionary tale of selfishness without virtue, innovation without caution and a whole host of other ruminations on the nature of free will.  And speaking of..
Take Bioshock Infinite.  Simple enough.   You’re Booker DeWitt.  Okay, no Faceless Voiceless Heroes to impose ourselves on. You play Booker DeWitt, tasked to find the girl and repay his debt.  It’s where she is…Columbia.  Instead of space station or an undersea twisted funhouse amusement park, you have a city in the sky.  We’re talking a good sized town here.  First you have to strap yourself into a rocket chair to get there. And then it gets weird.  To say nothing of the girl.

Now here’s Two Things I Hate:
Bigots and Bullies.
I disliked W and his ilk because they encouraged us to behave as bullies of the world.  I dislike these Bigots in places like North Carolina where somehow it’s the governments’ business  who goes to the bathroom but it’s not the governments’ responsibility who should eat and clothe and shelter those who cannot feed, clothe or shelter themselves from the weather.
I dislike these bullies online who tell young men and women to kill themselves and how they should have been aborted because they are whatever oppressed group you hate the most is this week.

I dislike bigots and bullies.

Check Out David Letterman’s Star-Studded Final ‘Top 10’ List

As long as I can remember, there has always been Dave after Johnny. Then there was Dave and Jay, though I preferred Dave. I will miss him.

UPROXX

For the final Top Ten of David Letterman’s career, an all-star selection of guests came out to give their thoughts in the “top ten things they’ve always wanted to say to Dave.” Alec Baldwin, Barbara Walters, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Tina Fey, and a few surprises made their feelings heard, and Letterman couldn’t have been happier it seems.

It’s easy to say that you don’t see a lineup like this for just anybody. It’s a special night.

letterman_top_ten_all_star

(Via The Late Show)

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A First for the Second Time.

So I haven’t posted in a while, which you might have noticed from the lack of activity.  Life has been a bit more hectic than usual with job changes and the like.

I’ve also been struggling with what I’ve wanted to talk about.  Political is popular, but it’s well traveled ground.  I’ve been burning to talk about my new favorite book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline for a while now, but no one in my village of friends has read this book yet (though one is borrowing it, intending on reading it) has read it yet.

I could talk about some of the personal stuff that goes on in my head, like about my first love.  However, that stuff I feel like channeling into something else that’s more appropriate.

Firsts For The Second Time.

I remember the first time I had a second chance.
I was with my first love.
It was that kind of love that you never forget,
not like the first time you had sex, but something
deeper like you and this person are joined for life

Like no matter how hard they make it
there’s so much to like
and you know each others pains and heartaches
and lives.

And this one, lords and ladies, this one was The One.
I’m talking The One that you just know, through and through
balls to bones.  The One that you will do anything to keep
hope alive that you will get back in their good graces if you fuckup.

And fuck-up I did.  Epic fail to end all epic fails.  One in which you can’t take it back.  Can’t even get a message in a bottle lost at sea.

Yeah, that was some serious jazz.  Good night folks.

Too Big To Fail? Not Too Big to be Broken

The Growing Sentiment on the Hill For Ending ‘Too Big To Fail’ 

The fact that people in the halls of political power are talking about this and that people on both sides of the aisle are talking about this is a clear sign that maybe something might get done about this.

The cavalier “Hey, eat me, fellas.” attitude of knuckleheads like Jaime Dimon are clearly wearing thin.  Can’t happen soon enough, IMHO.

Because even a broken clock is right twice a day

Bible-thumpers and gay marriage: Bill O’Reilly is right about conservative fundamentalists. – Slate Magazine.

So apparently Bill-O the Clown has done something which I didn’t think was actually possible.  He said something that I actually agree with.
I’ll just let that one sink in for a moment, because I’ve never been what you would call a fan of his just for the sheer dumb things that come out of that man’s mouth, not to mention the airtime he insists on giving to certain conservative talking heads.

However, I think that it’s high time that conservatives get on the right side of this one.  No one, and I mean NO ONE, is saying that you should recognize a marriage that your faith doesn’t allow.  If your particular brand of worship says that homosexuality is a sin, that is your right and there’s not a damn thing that anyone should do to prevent you from expressing that.
That said, what your religion says is legitimate and what the State defines as legitimate are two entirely different things.  In the eyes of the State, what it should be is a contract, a civil union between two consenting adults (I will leave the polyamory folks out of this one.  One thing at a time, folks) that results in a union.
Remember, kids; at one point people in history married for expedience and not always for love.  Love usually came after the fact.  We live in modern times, however, and people marry because they love and want to commit to each other.  And in a number of states, good people who want to commit cannot legally do so.

I am one of those people.  Because of the laws in my home state of Tennessee, I cannot marry my wife (who is pre-op transsexual) because the state does not recognize marriage as anything other than between a man and a woman.  And that’s not right.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.  What’s yours?