Seminal performance. I’m addicted to pop music of late. Things to note:
- I know nothing about Rihanna other than that Chris Brown beat the hell out of her once and that every last fucking thing about her in this video is completely on point. That little scowl she gives the camera before the second verse? Yow.
- That guitar lick.
- Little gravel in Jay’s voice makes this ten times better.
- This is right after Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the VMAs, so he’s off his rocker and completely tolerable.
- All black everything.
I am beginning to care about things again.
Yes yes yes yes yes. Though I’ve already heard the new record live (it’s a single, 45 minute piece titled “Behemoth”), the fucking production on this clip is stellar and I absolutely cannot wait to hear the rest.
Really, I have three days of the world / internet to catch up on and all I can do is sit and listen to this.
I’m on the Oregon coast.
Foxcatcher by Bennett Miller, 2014.
If we’re judging by trailers alone, this was my favorite movie of last year. But it’s actually quite a pensive, unnerving take on human ambition and failure. Some of the directorial choices are stunningly provocative in their ability to isolate. Capote and Moneyball are certainly fitting counterparts in Miller’s filmography.
Vice can be kind of hit or miss and while this is informative on what video games are doing differently in some regard (whatever, progress), what struck me was the following;
It’s a fascinating reworking of old ideas about progression and rebirth in video games, which has actually shaped how I think about mortality when I’m away from the controller.
Aside from the fact a good writer would identify that as the most intriguing part of the story and run with it, this is a major aspect of a sociological debate nobody frames properly.
Every time there is a massive shooting or Rockstar releases another Grand Theft Auto, everybody seems to wonder why video games are Satan’s handpuppets. In reality, violence in video games has no link to literal violence. But death?
Death has been a reset button since my first Nintendo in ’86. Death has been many things but the amount of times I’ve died—and I’m not much of a gamer, and haven’t played more than Portal in years—since then is too high to count.
My point is I’ve had a relationship with death since before I really knew what death was. As our society becomes more digital and language increasingly less important, the sentiments to death do not match the enormity of it. War is a displaced concept. We fight through computers. We lose our humanity one death at a time.
As a kid, the only other stories that society sort of ‘teaches’ regarding death primarily involve waking from it; I’m talking about Sunday School. From Mass on Sunday mornings to the massacres of Call of Duty on Sunday afternoons, death seems more of a practice round to life before you get ready to win.
This notion of having lives to waste is relatively new. While violence in video games does need to be attended to, what we should also consider is that death is a topic mostly avoided in terms of national discourse, and yet we’re allowing generations to be influenced by a rather free-of-consequence approach to it.
The concept as a whole is not something people talk much on; even as an adult, so few of my conversations revolve around death and most of those have some sort of awkward, sad silence to them when somebody at the table has had some harrowing experience.
Which is specifically why this is so important; death fucks people up. The living go on with these phantom souls lingering and your sense of priority and meaning gets all stretched out in scope. I’m not saying that video games will ever lighten the load of death’s impact, but they could sure go so far as to trivialize it less.
I have about four big projects that are all nearing the last leg of procrastination. The current lull in work progress will be sustained for roughly 4-6 weeks while I actually test my mettle. For now, I am trying to pick the last shards of winter from my soul and start wondering exactly which cuts will turn to scars; also called, getting a haircut.