Watching Yellow Brick Road is like being allowed to gaze upon the Mona Lisa while being forced to drink a mug of hot piss.
I was the heir to the Branson fortune of Non-Honey, honey based products such as, ”Honey, I can’t believe it’s not honey”, ”Honey are you sure this isn’t honey?” and ‘‘Honey, I’m definitely sure this is honey, you lying fucking bitch”.
The year of my birth was said to be the pinnacle of human civilization. Wars were ended, friends were made and everywhere smelled faintly of stale, sweet popcorn. My conception was, unusual to say the least as I was actually grown inside a cannonball, which was a popular custom at the time.
Two individuals, each of different genders, would ejaculate lovingly inside the ball before nodding, giving a faint shriek, then sealing it up for the next eleven years.
Inside the cannonball I became a patron of the arts, spending weekends at the local theater and encouraging the despondent youths to turn away from gang culture and find purpose on the stage. However this whimsy ended when my cannonball was fired and launched thousands of miles into the air at breakneck speeds. Yet as I flew over the English countryside I felt no anger, no remorse for what was lost, as I had convinced myself that this world needed me. Moments later my cannonball fell open after striking Stonehenge.
My morning routines began with unabashed acts of self-love. My release, forceful and timely, would propel my duvet onto the ceiling with a great gusting force. Where it would remain glued to the roof above my bed for several hours. I’d then open the window to catch my morning intake of oxygen. One or two deep breaths is normally enough to suffice my and entire day of activities. My medically unique respiratory systems has been a mystery of the universe for many years.. Scientists and doctors had kept me in underground labs for decades until they became convinced that, I was in fact, the messiah, and so they began worshiping me in a cultish fashion.
However I soon bored of the routine rituals and daily virgin sacrifices, so I left to start my own nightclub in the East end of London. The next few years were a daze of ketamine driven parties and indulgent soirees. Nobel peace prize winner, Jimmy Carter and his entourage of Jazz Goons frequented my establishment. This is where I became familiar with the Jazz-Funk scene, otherwise known as Junk. To say the least these groovy new tunes blew my mind. So much so I immediately suffered from an aneurysm which paralyzed my right arm permanently. Yet I still toured with Jimmy and the Goons for several years, acting as a backup vocalist and occasional trapeze dancer.
In 2004 I died, yeah did I not mention that? What a twist hey!? It’s like finding that this has all been written by the woman who got killed in desperate housewives that one time.
I died ticking off the last item on my to-do list. Here is the last page of that list.
As I ticked the last box and felt my heart began to shrink a familiar Crow landed on my fingertip and said, ”PB, you have been a loyal friend to the Crow folk and I have one final quest for you… A war has broken out between the Shrews and the Lemurs, as an arranged marriage has led to blood feuds.’‘
Tutting softly I pinched shut the tiny beak of my dear friend and said, ”I’m sorry, but a battle between Shrews and Lemurs is simply too wacky. What? Are they killing each other with kale or something? Get fucked you little Crow cunt.”
With that I puked on his head and died.
Although I died alone in a deserted pub toilet, the ripples of sadness echoing out across the universe. Mother’s held their children, not knowing why, old men quietly huffed with tears in their eyes, and the Crow-Folk watched helplessly as the Shrews and Lemures, massacred each other with kale.
I guess I can’t say anymore, so here’s a picture of some sick.
Don’t watch Interstellar.
Authors Note: Bare with me as I regress into illogical preamble and madding, irrelevant thought.
It was a woozy weekday evening and the light was a hazy autumnal brown. I hadn’t eaten all day and the pit in my stomach began to plunge my work ethic as low as the v-cut on Kelly LeBrock’s dress.
I had been aggregating a collection of Heinz salad cream sachets for months, delicately storing them above a loose fitting roof tile. It was a mischievous form of entertainment that kept me from sustained periods of unbearable boredom. I’d imagine, years after my absence this collection, ripened and rotting with the smells of broken enzymes and bubbling fats.
It was a grotesque, evil image that removed me from the mind numbing mundanely of filing. Cardboard boxes towering higher than my own head each held documents that were so important and held so information that one person could absorbed it all. So they just had to be shoved carelessly onto cramped shelves and left forever in a dark room.
I watched a spider dance around a web of shining thread imagining my own life as a Black Widow. I’d sit lazily on the fringes of my Spider friend’s webs, eating their bait and complaining about my bad back. I’d insight hateful comments on twitter over the Spider government and talk about my xenophobic hate against the False Widow Spider and the rising number of Oak Processionary Moth immigrant workers taking good honest English homes and jobs.
I’d click on link bait articles that furthered my preferential beliefs that I am in fact the image and likeness of God and the world does in fact revolve around me. I’d make a Tumblr blog and write about how soft we are on women, calling for harassment on all public displays of progressive thinking while harking on about privilege. I’d write as a white male, militant atheist stuck in the friend-zone and reblog gifs of jiggly boobs and cartoon cats.
I’d copy wistful quotes onto Instagram pictures of sunsets and bastardize Francisco Bulnes with an elite sense of political centrist snobbery. Because anyone with any real political ideals is easy parody but in my almighty grace I’d end up punching down and already demoralized groups.
All dissenting opinions on my own beliefs can and will be ignored because I’ve found myself in a space that encourages preference. The systems that our social media uses focus on our preferences and disenfranchise us from engaging with things outside those circles. Facebook makes you ‘’like’’ things, there’s no wiggle room there. It’s a binary system that enforces binary beliefs. Either its good or not.
It’s become the grammar of the internet, this dichotomy of binary appreciation. Youtube, WordPress, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit and almost every freaking blog under the thinning atmosphere of our suffocating planet including this one! There’s been this push for us to strip our preferences down and brazenly wear them like scout badges. Big business has always wanted to aggregate the perfect, marketable profile of you for the sake of specifically targeted ads, and guess what? You’ve been doing that job for them. You’ve aggregated the perfect footprint. The perfect, saleable picture, the white man in his thirties that drives a ford car and watches the Simpsons and likes pictures of dogs and now he’s being sold a Simpsons dog lead and seat covers for his car.
This, rant, this preamble, this concern for the grammar of the internet is all borne from one disturbing comment I read.
”I’m sorry, but your opinion is in the minority’‘
I sat dazed for a moment trying to decipher the meaning behind these words. There must be something. People valued it. It was highly rated and many replied, agreeing with this dismissive statement. At the time I was trying to write about cynicism, specifically my own. I was reading through my own text and comparing it to the horrifically scary online disinhibition effect. A reaction where, because of the internet’s lack of social restrictions and inhibitions that are otherwise present in normal social interaction individuals are able to peruse in and out cynical, hateful behavior without the fear of any kind of meaningful reprisal.
That’s why we get this spiteful brew of cynicism from our web going hours. Like the consequences written by Jean Baudrillard when he discussed hyperreality in Mass culture as a set ”of ritualised signs of information, with no actual content.’’ Just because someone can discuss an issue doesn’t inherently mean they are capable of doing so and more often than not they fail to even frame their argument, causing a growing web of straw-man conclusions to develop along the recesses of more informed debate. This sort of baggage is ultimately more harmful than good and personifies that ‘’disappearance of intensity’’ in dialogue described by Baudrillard.
What’s most disturbing about this statement, ”I’m sorry, but your opinion is in the minority’‘, is that it frames the opinions of those who are not represented by the majority as invalid. It invalidates all discussion that’s separate from the general consensus. Now of course this statement isn’t adhered to in any fashion by the journalistic press, at least those with somewhat reputable standards. Yet it’s still growing and expanding as a more common belief and the scary thing is that people haven’t even noticed.
We now live in tiny preferential realities where we can design our own truths and easily surround ourselves with things that prove those truths. Yet it’s just an aggregated fantasy, like my collection of hidden salad cream in the rafters, a day dream to seep the mundanity of real life away. To distract us from the real issues. The piling boxes and paper work that surrounds us and gobbles up every complex thought we want to explore. It’s a lot easier just to live that fantasy, to hit the like button. To exist in a world without challenge.
Call of duty has been a long running franchise that mainly consists of shooting people in the face for varying reasons. Most of these reasons revolve around the loosely defined concept of ‘freedom‘ getting hampered by some terrorist group of an ambiguous nationality. However the new upcoming release for the franchise intends to do something different by putting players in the shoes of a seventeenth century Swedish Goat Farmer.
The game starts out in early Autumn as the insufferable winds of the year’s deadly winter begin to settle in and our character, Arvid, has to maintain his family life and homestead without succumbing to this brutal depiction of seventeenth century farming. Arvid is a fantastically flawed individual who has to not only come to terms with his gambling problem but also has to rely on his twisted family despite their constant miscommunication. However don’t assume it’s all sunshine and gumdrops, Call of Duty Goats is a fatalistic game with a dark atmosphere that’s not only disturbing but intrusive. It makes efforts to punctuate the difficult question over what is a choice, and how we trivialize them in games. I know this meta dialogue games have about themselves can be tiring but fear not as Call of Duty Goats operates with a subtle grace and tenor not known in the industry. In fact Goats seemingly wants to break every convention present in the modern shooter. You don’t even hold a gun or a weapon for the entirety of the game, well unless you count a rusty hoe as weapon. This is a drastic move for Activision and the COD franchise. The game that single-handedly redefined the modern shooter is trying it again, but do they pull it off? Well as always the story campaign delivers in both emotional depth and presentation. The story may start off slow for some but every scene is brimming with rich subtext.
Yet it wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game without Multiplayer, and Goats is no exception. Instead of the typical deathmatch, or rehashing of the campaign you find in most games, Goats has a completely original concept under its multiplayer hood. The game consists of four players, all of whom are unable to communicate in the typical manner. Yes, headsets are forbidden. You take control over one of four deaf and mute monks as you try to orchestrate the brewing and fermenting of your monasteries’ alcohol supply. How you do this is up to the player, some sign, others direct but most dance. Yes interpretive dance is used to express both direction and advice. It’s a tough thing to do and the online stranger watching you can easily misinterpret your smooth moves. Yet that’s the beauty of it, it’s not about what you want to say or how you say it, but how they see it. It’s this beautiful view of how others perceive you and it causes you to constantly re-frame yourself in other people’s eyes.
This self-conscious approach the game forces you to take can make newer players rigid and nervous at first but the warm and supportive community helps ease newbies into the swing.
Call of Duty Goats has a different vibe from the rest of the series but it still stands strong as a triple A monolith in both quality and substance. If you asked me a year ago if this was possible I’d laugh you out the room but Goats defines the next standard of games. It pushes boundaries both in the industry and our society at large. Player creation and interpretation is at the forefront of this sizzling title.
Certainly competitor for game of the year.