I posted this comic on the video games thread of 4chan talking about games that it applied to, saying that I preferred playing with a female avatar when I had the option and that I too found the skimpified armors frustrating.
I was banned for violation of Rule 3 (Inciting a flame war).
Obviously that place is a shithole but it was the only shithole I had where I could discuss video games.
…[some] may not remember what made Iran-Contra such an extraordinary scandal. The Reagan administration “raised money privately” by selling weapons to a sworn enemy of the United States. Why? Because it wanted to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua. And when I say “illegal war,” I mean that quite literally—Congress told the Reagan administration, in no uncertain terms, that Reagan could not send money to the Contras. Period. The Reagan administration, unrestrained by laws and the Constitution, did so anyway, and much of the president’s national security team ended up under indictment.
Reagan knew everything. However, I bet this Time magazine piece doesn’t get into the juiciest part of Iran-Contra, which is that in the 1980s the CIA put into operation a crack cocaine pipeline to import narcotics from Central and South America and distribute it in US inner cities. This is not a “conspiracy theory”, this is a documented conspiracy, most rigorously researched and reported by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Gary Webb, whose series in the San Jose Mercury News and subsequent book “Dark Alliance” literally got him killed. To me, that’s the story of Iran-Contra: not that Reagan sold weapons to Iran, but that the US government imported and sold crack to Black America, as part of an arms and drugs trade which funded war in the Third World and which devastated lives and filled prisons in the USA.
I’m playing this clash of clans game on my ipad and when people attack my little town I have the opportunity to seek revenge.
From what I can tell of their military strategies, most of these people are like twelve years old.
They send some barbarians to attack my shit and they don’t even get through my fucking walls.
But then I have the option to seek revenge and I send in like a dozen giants and twenty archers and wreck their poorly defended shit.
They lose money and troops trying to attack me, and then I take all of their gold.
And it’s probably the highlight of my life right now so that’s why I’m posting about it.
There’s a reason you find that ‘S’ everywhere, from Indiana to Islamabad. There’s a reason little boys and girls still take a red blanket or towel and tuck it into the back of their shirt, thrust their arms into the air, and raise their chins to the heavens as they leap off the sofa into imagination and adventure.
Words like “realism” and “dark” and “gritty” get bandied about Hollywood as if the only merit a story can have is in its verisimilitude, but that’s a lie. Emotional honesty transcends reality; it’s what allows disbelief to be suspended, and yet what makes a story stay true. When Superman: The Movie was released, Richard Donner promised us we’d believe a man could fly. We did, but it wasn’t the wire-work alone.
Superman is precisely what we should be teaching our children. Superman inspires us to our best. I haven’t seen Man of Steel, haven’t read the script, and I’ve assiduously avoided spoilers. I genuinely don’t know if this “reality” will be present or not. I want it to be brilliant. I want it to be glorious. I want it to be inspiring. I am keeping the faith.
But that PG-13 on Man of Steel is making me nervous. I don’t know what it means. I don’t know if it’s a warning that there’s another k-shiv coming for the kidneys, or if it’s just the cost-of-doing-business, or even if it’s an MPAA-bias against all superhero violence. I don’t know if this is a genuine caution to parents, or a marketing decision aimed at a demographic too-cool for Superman’s brand of hope and idealism, yet embracing of Batman’s self-loathing rough justice, to assure them their ticket will be money well-spent. I don’t know if that PG-13 is there out of sincerity or cynicism or politics.
I just know that if you make a Superman movie you can’t take kids to, you’ve done something wrong.
Three Hydro-Electric Commission workers stand in front of the Lea Tree - estimated between 2,000 & 4,000 years old - that they chainsawed and drilled-and-filled as a reprisal against Franklin Dam protesters, South-West Tasmania, 1983.
I wrote about the Lea Tree on this blog before, but I can’t find the original entry. To bring you up to speed though, the vandalism of the Lea Tree - an ancient Huon Pine (Dacrydium Franklinii) - is detailed in this chapter from the Australian Institute of Criminology. The key paragraphs, though, are as follows:
[After the High Court handed down its decision that the construction of the Franklin Dam would not proceed] officials were still concerned that the rainforest area at Warner’s Landing might be vandalised in protest against the High Court decision.
These concerns proved to be well founded. Near Warner’s Landing stood a Huon Pine tree some 9 feet in diameter. It was a sufficiently prominent landmark to have acquired a name - the Lea Tree. Three men, all over six feet tall, found that they were unable to link arms around the trunk. The tree was so old that it had been left by the convict cutters of the 1820s as of no use for boat building. Given its size, it was quite likely more than 2,000 years old.
On the night of 5 July, 1983, the tree was chainsawed, holes were drilled in it, oil was poured in the holes, and the tree was set alight. The fire continued for at least twenty-four hours.
Whilst it has been suggested by some that the tree was burned by conservationists to attract publicity, a more plausible explanation is that the tree was vandalised by pro-dam interests as an act of reprisal.
Allegations that HEC personnel were responsible for the incident are supported by photographs of HEC workers holding placards bearing various anti-conservationist messages in front of the charred tree. One photograph shows three workers posed next to the smouldering trunk, on which the words ‘[Expletive] You Green [Expletive]’ were painted.
When I initially read that chapter, I could not find that photo anywhere online. Today I stopped by Readings however and found that it had been published in Alex Hungerford’s “UpRiver - Untold Stories of the Franklin River Activists”.
Seeing the picture really brings a whole new level of uneasiness to the story itself. Reading the tale without the image allows it to somehow remain something of an abstraction. There was a tree; some men; the assumed smell of diesel and noise; but all faceless though.
With the image, though, there are no longer abstractions. The embers of the tree glow in the background. What you assumed the expletives to be are laid out bare. They look like my father’s friends, they have the faces of people I know. The lit cigarette. The stubby of beer. Hell, I own helmets with earmuffs like that. There’s that line in that song by Okkervil River, ya know:
Now, with all these cameras focused on my face
You’d think they could see it through my skin
They’re looking for evil, thinking they can trace it, but
Evil don’t look like anything.
30 years ago in a little over a month.
I hope those fuckwits all ended up suffering really, really painful diseases.
I…I googled Daario Naharis