Elden Bling.

Fashion Souls gets a write-up in GQ because . . . why not, I guess?

For what it’s worth, I spent most of my ER playthrough wearing the same default starting Warrior chestpiece because everything else looked like junk. I eventually switched it to the Fell Omen Cloak and the Shining Horned Headband and spent the rest of the game running around looking like a feral deer man before yeeting off to the stars with the hat witch. Gods, that game sucked. What a waste of seventy hours of my life . . .

2022-05-22T14:43:24+10:0022nd May, 2022|Tags: , |

The interstitial.

This is ultimately a story about control. Burnout, particularly when interwoven with depression, makes it difficult to actually choose to do the things that you really do want to do — socializing, getting outside, reading the book on your bedside table, not canceling an appointment, showing up for someone, fixing something, just doing something that you choose. You often find yourself on the path of least resistance, whether that means binging a television show you don’t even really like or scrolling Instagram until you get a recharged life on Candy Crush. You revenge bedtime procrastinate. You feel passive in the flow of your own damn life — and frustrated that you can’t muster the strength to redirect it. [ . . .]

I don’t blame anyone who’s found themselves in that swirling eddy of exhaustion, and I don’t blame myself. So many of our online experiences are engineered to keep us in that passive position.

Anne Helen Petersen on . . . Candy Crush.

2022-04-12T06:25:45+10:0012th April, 2022|Tags: , |

I kinda sorta saw the sirens coming.

When you’re a young artist, you have this narcissism that you’re going to be understood. That people are going to understand you, and love you, because they’re going to hear the contents of your mind. Of course that’s not what happens. You turn into a product.

Max Collins on fame.

Eve 6 was something that just . . . missed Australia, apparently? I’d only ever heard them because once upon a time for Reasons That Will Not Be Examined I downloaded a compilation of every song featured in the first season of Smallville, which happened to include “Rescue” (a song I kinda sorta unironically love, and is very much a Liesmith song for me). But apparently they’re, like, a Twitter meme now? Funny, the way things go.

Anyway, here’s “Curtain“.

2022-02-12T21:43:33+11:0012th February, 2022|Tags: , |

Life as a target.

Specifically regarding the anti-woke comics today, the uncomfortable truths that they’re expressing are genuinely, almost exclusively, childish restatements of the status quo. Or they’re pining for sustaining the status quo that they feel is threatened somehow. I can’t think of a more tragic or trivial comic premise than: Things should stay the way they are. That’s the absence of creativity — it’s a void rather than a creative notion. It’s fundamentally conservative and anti-progress. And I strain at finding humor in the idea that things should not get better.

Steve Albini on creativity.

It’s probably not good for me but I’m always kind of fascinated by these “Gen X edgelord white guy realizes maybe he’s really been kinda shitty all along” wank pieces. But on the flip side, I’m not really the audience for them; other edgelord white guys are.

2022-01-09T18:46:35+11:0012th January, 2022|Tags: , |

Untrue crime.

Crime stories are a fundamentally conservative way of looking at the world. Republicans bleat about high crime rates in lawless liberal cities because someone stole a toothbrush from a CVS. Suburban crime paranoia is as old as the suburbs themselves — hell, it’s why they exist to begin with. The reactionary basis of true crime is how you end up with ostensibly liberal podcast hosts defending the death penalty and arguing against double jeopardy protections. It’s easy and correct to condemn Fox News for increasing our grandparents’ blood pressure, keeping them in a perpetual state of fear about roving gangs of MS-13 coming to their gated communities, but we should also consider that other demographics might be susceptible to fear-stoking propaganda. How can we listen to story after story of women being abducted or murdered and expect it to not have an effect on our psyche? A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that fear of crime and violence on television have both increased over time, despite crime rates declining, and that women reported more fear of crime on surveys than men. True crime runs on heightened emotion and fear, convincing people, and especially women, that every stranger is a possible murderer. I see women on Twitter questioning whether it’s safe to let a plumber into their house, or instructing others to rip out strands of hair to leave in cabs for DNA evidence in case the driver murders you. These are not sensible reactions, they are the thoughts of someone who has been deeply traumatized. So many true crime shows advise women to trust their instincts, but how can we trust instincts that have been hijacked by induced anxiety?

Maybe the “true crime” genre is not that great, actually . . .

2021-12-14T08:14:44+11:0019th December, 2021|Tags: , |

The Furryverse.

You look up some old internet thing, there was always a furry running it.

Changa on the then-new internet.

From an article about virtual reality (which is totally Happening For Realz This Time You Gaiz Honest).

2021-10-26T13:43:41+11:004th November, 2021|Tags: , |

Luxury for all.

In contrast, the Soviet chess players [in The Queen’s Gambit] didn’t have to fundraise. They are portrayed as a society of suit-wearing poshos honing their craft in gorgeous buildings — we are also told that these players had been learning since they were four, thus framing chess as an elite pastime. This is counterposed to an American queer orphan who had been fighting her whole life to get to that table. The show thus weaponizes disenfranchised identities in the United States to cast the Soviet players as having had it easy.

In a way, they did, but only insofar as the awesome surroundings put on display here reflect the original experiment in “luxury communism.” Far from Soviet players being aristocratic, here the very things that the bourgeoisie enjoyed in imperial Russia were given to the proletariat to be enjoyed as well. For the USSR also insisted on the importance of bringing high culture to the masses — including opera, ballet, literature, sports, health resorts, chess, and so on.

One of the American chess players comments to Beth, “You should see where the Russians play, while we have to play in this small college.” Well, there was a reason for that. Those beautiful buildings used for chess were either palaces expropriated from the nobility or newly built halls.

On pop culture propaganda.

See also: the subways in Moscow, which were very specifically built on the ideology of constructing glorious public spaces.

2021-10-26T09:51:12+11:0031st October, 2021|Tags: , |
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