Show Trial

I’m writing this before the Chauvin verdict comes in, because there is a real question, and one that may not even be answerable: Is it a criminal trial, or is it a political trial – a show trial? This is one of those points in time where politics penetrates both culture and civics. At least for the actors outside the courtroom, the trial is not about “justice” in a particular case, which is what our criminal court system is supposed to decide in the lower courts, but rather a competition between “friend” and “enemy.” Chauvin represents a member of the…

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Blind Spots on the Right

Again, “left” and “right” are outdated, but quickly get to the point – friends and enemies. The American right has a huge blind spot, and that is the near-religious support of certain elements of the state, specifically the military and enforcement wings of the state, even when these elements are acting against their interests. I pointed this out in “Republican Bugmen” – that the republican bugman is still obsessed with state solutions to personal problems, just with a different focus – and it ruffled a few feathers. The defense of these parts of the state is a natural reaction, due…

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It’s Random

My phone vibrated in my shorts pocket. I was honestly surprised I felt it at all, given how much my motorcycle was shaking beneath me. The dirt road that wound up the hill had gone washboard after the recent storms and the constant passage of tourists on trucks and dirt bikes. My old Yamaha was made for smooth pavement, and it punished me for taking it off-road by shaking my hands numb. My phone buzzed twice again, and I knew it was Devin’s girlfriend, probably frantic or furious – or both. She would have to wait. Maybe all night. I…

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Republican Bugmen

I wrote a recent article on the profile of a bugman. Because this included many traits that have been recently associated with “the left” (for lack of a better term), a few people have wondered whether there are bugmen on the “right,” or as part of the republican party. There absolutely are. Not only are there Republican bugmen, they are a very large and vocal part of the Republican apparatus, which explains to a large degree why we are where we are. The real divide is between the corporate and the local, not right/left. That’s why we have the modern…

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Little Blessings

My daughter had a hard night. She couldn’t get to sleep until after midnight, then she woke up at about an hour later scared and crying. That woke my son up. I really hadn’t hadn’t slept at all, but I stayed up all night with them. I spent a few hours playing King’s Quest, a Sierra adventure game in the tradition of… Sierra adventure games, with my son, and we all had a blast with it, despite the fact that I was so tired. I was reminded of how things were two years ago, right after my daughter was born.…

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2007: Gaming Ground Zero

Maybe you’ve heard of cultural ground zero: 1997. Now let’s talk games, because unlike other institutions of culture, the games industry kept on growing and innovating for another 10 years. Then 2007 happened, and as far as the bigger publishers are concerned, games reached their peak and no more change or risk was required or even advisable. Gameplay seemed to stop changing almost entirely after 2007, and the extent to which it did change is usually in the negative, involving the watering-down of mechanics and general reduction of difficulty. Of course, there were plenty of amazing games prior to 2007,…

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Attempted Programming

If you are seeing crap like this all the time, you aren’t the one: Nothing is organic when it comes to legacy media. If you remember the Gamergate days, it was proven through a leak/hack that all the games journos had a big chat going where they would decide to, in concert, talk about the same game, same issue, or dogpile a target across all separate publications. “Dad bod” is the latest, but certainly not the most ridiculous, attempt at “narrative saturation.” If you were paying attention you’d have seen it before with eating bugs, living in pods, “amazing” child…

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Rabbits and Social Credit

Courtesy of Brian Niemeier, I read a great short graphic novel (available free and digitally) by Minna Sundberg this week regarding control, social credit, and human conditioning… through rabbits: https://www.hummingfluff.com/lovelypeoplecomic.html I think this is a great comic for a few of reasons. First, the subject matter is on-point and topical. We in the west tend to look over at China and their social credit system (sesame credit) and think we are much better when it comes to thought control, and in a way, we are. That is to say, the west is good at controlling thought in more opaque manner.…

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Profile of a Bugman

Yes, this is a stereotype and not every Bugman is going to hit every point, but most bugmen will represent some concentration of most of the following, including bugwomen: White Overweight Childless, even if married At least one bad physical consumption habit (drinking beer, starbucks, smoking, etc.) At least one purposefully unattractive physical choice, such as colored hair or messy beard Lives in a city No real religion Carries a large amount of debt Seemingly large amount of disposable income and budget for entertainment Somehow always has a new phone and other gadgets Low long-term planning and investment ability Moves…

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The Apostates of the Pop Cult

I’ve been talking about this since 2015, and I feel like a broken record, but here we go: A little context for the above: Zac Snyder, original director of Justice League went on a Geeks and Gamers stream dedicated to raising money for suicide awareness and more or less denounced them, saying he was not affiliated with them in any way and that there was “no room for hate,” with the charity, etc. This provoked some cognitive dissonance, as G&G had apparently been vocal for a long time regarding a “Snyder cut” of Justice League. Of course, lots of people…

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