Look, I hypothetically like the idea of Batman. You’ve seen the title. Over the past decade, Batman has become the patron saint of white male internet geekiness. That’s why I feel I have to jump on the defensive. I like Batman, I do. Just, he’s boring right now. Batman has stagnated since he was re-invigorated for the mass audience by Burton. The Batman of Keaton is only marginally different from the Batman of Affleck, or even the Batman of Bale. For twenty-nine years, Batman has remained a brooding, black-clad, boring bastion of a male power fantasy.
So recently I’ve been getting into this game called Warframe. I’ve heard it described as ‘Destiny, but good and free-to-play’. Interestingly, this isn’t my first attempt at playing Warframe. When I owned a PS4 at launch there wasn’t much to play so I attempted Warframe. Something about the game left me confused at the time and the whole thing just didn’t click for me. Returning to Warframe, however, has been a blast and the game turns for me in a way that it didn’t before. So, with all that noted, I wanted to look at one of the things that makes Warframe work for me. The movement system.
Sitting at a crowded intersection where Glittergold Ave and Dathos St meet, there is a small building. The building is about five floors and on each floor, there are twelve small offices. If one were to wander down the right-hand side hallway of the second floor, they would eventually find themselves standing in front of a door. This door would have inscribed on its frosted glass window the following epitaph.
Althis Sarren: Private Investigator
Behind that door, one might discover a lean and sickly-looking elf in an oversized suit. He would probably be smoking his pipe of tobacco, scanning over some photograph or obscure legal document. The particular legal document that he was perusing at this moment was noteworthy. Its noteworthiness came from the red typeface at the top of the document that read simply: Eviction.
I’m a big fan of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Look, there are plenty of reasons to not gel with this film. It has weird tonal problems, the villain wants to commit genocide and feels weird about his boner, it’s an adaptation of a French novel that seems largely concerned with architecture over people. In my younger years, I was certainly more of a Lion King fan but as I entered adolescence my tastes changed. Hunchback was now the film for me. There is a lot to like thematically in Hunchback of Notre Dame, and themes tend to pull me in. The tyranny of godly men, the oppression of minorities, don’t judge a book by its cover, and so on. When I was an angst-ridden teen, convinced that I was an un-loveable monstrosity, that last theme appealed a lot. Now that I’m older, there’s another theme that grabs me. How do the men of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame view and objectify Esmeralda?
So, a week or so again, Nintendo released a trailer for a new piece of tech they have coming for the Nintendo Switch. This is Nintendo Labo. Nintendo Labo is a set of constructible cardboard accessories for the Switch. The Switch and its JoyCons are placed within this cardboard and this set-up allows for strange and wonderful uses of the Switch. The base set includes a piano, a fishing rod, and a house among other things. The response from those interested in the Switch has been mixed to say the least. However, I have great faith in Nintendo Labo for a few reasons.
So, recently I’ve been listening to a podcast called Slow Burn. The podcast is about Watergate. The podcast’s thesis statement could be ‘what was it like living through Watergate’. Now, why would I care about Watergate? Well, there’s a certain poetry at creating a comprehensive look at Watergate now. In the midst of political scandals and suspected top-level corruption, it’s interesting to see the moments in which Watergate turned. Now, chances are, if you’re of my age or younger, you know some things about Watergate e.g. ‘the Watergate is a hotel in Washington’, ‘something about a break-in’, ‘Nixon’s secret tapes’, “I am not a crook”, ‘Woodward and Bernstein’, ‘Deep Throat’, ‘President Impeached’. (Though notably, articles of impeachment were never filed against Nixon as he resigned before then, and was pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford).
Alright! Welcome to 2018. Now, time to talk about a book that came out eleven years ago and a movie that came out eight years ago. Now, in case you missed the whole thing I am going to spoil the series as a whole. So, let’s recap. Harry Potter is the story of a racist dictator, obsessed with immortality who was defeated by a teenager. Voldermort’s belief system is based on a belief that only ‘pure-blood’ wizards are true wizards and that ‘mudbloods’ are dirty pretenders and usurpers. This, despite the fact that he’s a Muggle-born wizard himself. That little hypocrisy is part of the theming used within the series. Overall, JK Rowling is very wise with her theming. There is a general throughline in the text about respect for those are downtrodden and discriminated against. Racism is bad! Yay! Only the worst of the worst people would utterly disagree with that sentiment.
However, I believe that there’s another aspect of Harry Potter that falls by the wayside a bit. Now, before I talk about my issues with the epilogue of Harry Potter, first I’m going to talk about S.P.E.W. (more…)