Monday, December 9, 2013

Heretical Babblings: Winter Has Come

Hello and welcome to the inside of my skull. Don’t mind the clutter! I’ll clean the place out someday. Someday. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, as I’m about to enter finals territory and it’s cold cold cold. But still, I’ve carved out some time to read a couple books and watch some TV and just generally be a lazy bugger. So here’s the scoop on what’s been floating around in my head lately. I’ve slapped this together with absolutely no concern as to narrative flow or any of that jim-jam. Deal with it. Also there’s no pictures. Deal with it, I sez.

Having recently dug my e-reader out of storage, I decided to check out a few books. So I loaded up this series called Dragon, Actually by G. A. Aiken and popped myself some popcorn. Well. Suffice to say, if I recommended erotic literature involving dragons to someone, I’d suggest Aiken. That said, it’s a bunch of books about beautiful and well-endowed dragon men boning beautiful human ladies. Not exactly my normal choice of genre. Credit where it’s due, Aiken’s characters and writing are better than Twilight. That’s not saying too much, but if you like dragons and magic in your erotic reading… Me, I’ll stick to A Song of Ice and Fire, which has about as much sexifying, but fewer shirtless men on the covers.

After the unexpectedly romantic Dragon, Actually, I decided to try for some grimdarker fare. Of course, this means Warhammer 40K. It’s been a while since I’ve read a Warhammer novel. And I remember why now. Save for a few gems, most Warhammer fiction is…mediocre. The only Black Library authors who are consistently good are Dan Abnett and Sandy Mitchell. Well, this particular specimen was by neither of those writers. Suffice to say I got bored pretty quickly. The only things really keeping me around for Warhammer anymore are Abnett, Mitchell, and fan writing. /tg/, for all that it’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy, churns out some pretty good work and manages to make Warhammer ALMOST coherent. Almost. Between Mat Ward and general idiocy, Warhammer is pretty mucked up.

You know what saddens me? That, aside from Sergio Leone’s work, most spaghetti westerns are pretty pleb-tier. So many follow the rough plot of A Fistful of Dollars, just with poor acting and filming. And A Fistful of Dollars with poor acting and filming…isn’t much at all. When my next-favorite group of films next to Leone’s is the Terrence Hill pseudo-parodies of the genre, that says a lot.

I tried—operative word “tried”—watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, got to the part where Shinji complains about being asked to pilot a giant robot to kill aliens and having to live with three hot girls, and stopped watching. Nope. I can handle unrealistic breasts, asinine plotlines, terrible voiceacting, atrocious animation, but that? NOPE. Can't take it. NO ONE. And I mean NO ONE complains about piloting a giant robot. A GIANT ROBOT. I can maybe understand not wanting to live with three girls, but the robot… I’d do anything to pilot a giant robot. Even if it meant I’d never have sex (notice how there’s no “again” in there) or my body would be permanently grafted within the robot, I’d jump for the chance. It’s a GIANT ROBOT. A GIANT ROBOT. GIANT. ROBOT. Look, Shinji has lots of legitimate reasons to complain. His dad is…pretty eh. And I expect protagonists of pretty much any media marketed at teens to be somewhat angsty. But you shouldn’t be whining about piloting a giant robot. That just breaks my immersion to an intolerable degree.

Oh, hey, speaking of giant robots and dragons and Warhammer—I’ve been looking at a lot of album art lately. Particularly album art for metal bands. And there’s one pattern that’s stood out. Anything that’s painted/drawn/photographic looks INFINITELY better than 3D-generated covers. I mean, no matter how childishly “evil” a black metal band’s amateurish artwork is, it’s still better than some CGI monstrosity. Here’s an experiment: Google (or Bing or whatever it is you search things worth on the intertubes) Iron Maiden album covers. Heck, I’ll do it for you! You may have to zoom in a bit. Peruse these covers. Does one stand out? Yeah, that’s right. “Dance of Death.” It’s CGI. And it’s terrible. The artist himself said so. The rest are classic pieces of metal history. But “Dance of Death?” Hideous. Don’t use CGI covers. You love your music. Fork out the cash to a good artist, get a cover that had as much care poured into it as your album. Unless you suck. Then go ahead and use CGI. It’ll warn me away.

For some stupid reason I’ve taken to scribbling Anti-Flag and Rage Against the Machine lyrics on blackboards. Yay! Inefficient and ineffective rebellion against an uncaring apparatus that will grind me, you, and everyone everywhere up and spit us out upon the charnel heaps of the world! Isn’t it all just so terribly terribly funny?

Last week, I learned that you can delete your graphics card driver. How or why you would do this, I don’t know. My assumption is that the process involves virgin sacrifice, the blood of goats, and lots of chanting about Sathanas and the mighty Shai-Hulud. Also babbling in tongues and black robes and red candles, the whole nine yards. Heck, given the level of insanity required to think deleting the thing that makes things show up on your screen is a good idea, there’s probably quite a bit of overlap between Cthulhu cultists and graphics-card deleters. Perhaps Slaaneshi devotees are the ones who get tons of viruses from porn sites? This theory could get me a scholarship…

For my British Literature class, I’ve been reading Yeats. “The Second Coming” in particular resonates with me on a level poetry rarely does. I find myself reciting to myself “Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; The center cannot hold” day after day after day. Perhaps some ancestral consciousness is being triggered by the themes held therein? Some hereditary memory of that which Yeats remembered also? Who knows. I’m no psycho-babbling smart person, just an English major. And not a good one, at that. Who cares? It’s a beautiful poem. Go read it.

In preparation for playing A Link Between Worlds, I started playing Link to the Past. You’d really think Princess Zelda would know better than to trust Hyrule’s safety to someone named MOOOO. But who am I to question royalty? Technically, this is the third Zelda game I’ve played (the first two being Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask). However, I stand a chance of actually FINISHING Link to the Past. And then OoT and the rest. Eventually. I’m a busy man, okay? I’m really enjoying the music—something Nintendo excels at—and while combat is still a bit flakey for me, it’s a ton of fun. If I had a genuine SNES controller rather than some off-brand USB controller, that might help too, huh?

Oh well. I’ll have plenty of time to game while I’m in Ireland. Oh. That’s right. I’m going to Ireland in less than a month. Pardon me while I freak out. It’s exciting, but so so scary. I’m not good at being an adult!
Would you believe that trying not to swear is fuc—surprisingly hard! I’ve got no moral qualms about dropping a few profanities, but I don’t like offending others. Also, I feel it makes me seem less professional, and professionalism is something I need to worry about eventually. Barring this blog and my writing making me some sort of literary millionaire, which…is pretty unlikely, I think.

On the spur of the moment I downloaded some black metal. Then I remembered I hate black metal. (Well, most black metal. There’s a few bands I enjoy). Whee. Kill me. My vow to LISTEN to every band I download(ed) was poorly-thought-out.

My school is so awesome. (BRAG~). I can take a class first semester of my freshman year, and have the prof greet me more than two years later, by name, with a smile and a reference to the class. That sense of community is so comforting. People CARE about you. It’s nice. Even to a lunatic introvert like me.

On that note, the moon’s coming out and I can feel the change beginning. So long, all you lovely delicious people. Stay tasty.