Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I linger in the doorway of alarm-clock screaming monsters calling my name

Okay, this one? There's just no other word for it beyond "bizarre".

This comment from Anonymous (and I'm getting very nearly tempted to ban Anonymous accounts past this point, save some friends of mine do post with Anonymous accounts, as it happens) I thought was actually well-written...save for the links:
Rihanna established her dance-pop credentials in summer 2005 with her debut smash hit, "Pon de Replay," and continued to demonstrate such hit potential in subsequent years (e.g., "S.O.S." in 2006; "Umbrella" in 2007; "Disturbia" in 2008). However, it was the singer's third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, that made her a full-fledged international pop star with a regular presence atop the charts. Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, she exhibited a certain star quality as a young child, often winning beauty and talent contests.
{link to a website purporting to show Rihanna naked redacted}

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born in the parish of Saint Michael, Barbados, on February 20, 1988. Growing up, Rihanna led a relatively simple, average life on her island home. She attended Combermere, a kind of technical high school, and, despite having a natural singing talent, she didn't give much thought to performing -- aside from singing with her friends for fun.
{link to that same website purporting to show Rihanna naked redacted}
Well, now. This is actually...literate. What's the world coming to?

Even better? It was originally sent to an entry from 2008 on steam rap, which featured nary a mention of Rihanna. Not one. At all.

(Though it did and does mention Tea Sea Records, and Tom Caruana, aka Elemental, who's been foundational in establishing Brighton rap as a geographical music style. Go figure.)

There's a Hellboy hoodie. There's also a Tron hoodie that glows in the dark, and a Green Lantern hoodie, and Aquaman and Flash versions. No, I have no idea why, either. I've never really "gotten" the whole hoodie thing. To me it's a sweatshirt with a zipper, big deal. I want a hood, I get out my cloak.

In related news, someone named KittyZilla has designed Watchmen felt badges and iPhone cases. I admit, the concept of low tech surrounding high tech always intrigues me. (Hells, my nifty state-of-the-art-at-the-time player? Is hanging from a hand-quilted, hand-embroidered pouch around my neck bedecked with buttons, beads, ribbon, and a cloth strap that buttons shut over the top.)

This is currently making the rounds, and as off-the-cuff as it is, it's not hard to see why. It's a little snip of Comic-Con that demonstrates several things effectively, all at the same time:

* Kids are cute;
* Geek kids are cuter;
* Ryan Reynolds knows the Green Lantern oath;
* but doesn't just know it, reads it with very little prompting involved;
* but doesn't just do that, since it's perfectly understandable he'd have to have it down for his character of Hal Jordan, but instead, reads it as if he, himself is a comic book geek;
* and happens to be a comic book geek on top of everything else.

Plus?

Ryan Reynolds,Blade: Trinity,vampires,action,movies

Abs. My gods, those abs.

*coughs* We'll move on.

Moments of pure beauty and pure joy and pure pain. Back in March of this year, Tale of Tales Studios put out an insanely complete postmortem of their latest title, The Path. It's an excellent, unabashedly honest, point-by-point cut-down of exactly what worked, along with what didn't, in developing, programming, and marketing the game.
"To some extent, those critics were right. The Path only wears imaginary clothing. You have to be willing to put yourself in the game, to let it touch you in places where you might not want to be touched. The Path is about you, your life, your memories, your stories. There’s an inherent risk in such a design that some people will not be able to enjoy it because they either have no life experiences that correlate with anything in the game or they are unable or unwilling to open up to the experience. Which is entirely understandable. And perfectly fine. And it doesn’t mean that The Path is beyond criticism. But if you’re going to judge the flavor of a dish, you need to chew and swallow. Even if it makes you sick."
They're not wrong. Moreover, reading through it--it's a long piece, to be sure, but if you have the time, even if you haven't played the game, I highly recommend reading through it--one gets the idea that The Path is akin to a smooth, polished rock chipped from a killing stone, tossed into a beautiful woodland lake where that one girl drowned when she slipped and fell from a high branch that summer day, and the ripples are still moving outward.

Farther, and farther still.
The Path was not an easy project to make. It delves deeply into our psyches and touches on some very sensitive bare nerves. Things that we have trouble talking about. We used the creation of The Path as a roundabout way to explore these things. And roundabout is probably the only way we can talk about them. Because they are complex and are accompanied by contradictory feelings. It’s probably good that language does not allow us to approach this. Language expresses these kinds of ambiguous feelings with difficulty. The Path is about fear and doubt. And about embracing both. It’s about control. And losing control. About a secret desire to submit, to let go, to fall, but proudly. A morbid fascination with helplessness. The fragility that becomes us because it makes us human. We are all like those girls, lost in a colorless forest. In search of our wolf. And in that split second, as his claws rip open our tender skin, like lightning in the dead of night, we are.

We know the intensity of these emotions. We know how disruptive they can be. That next to them, nothing seems real. And this frightens us. Because we cannot live like that. The intensity is unbearable. The truth of pain slits the night of life with blinding light. We seek shelter in the lie, in the mask, in the story, and in the game.
We are not ashamed.
It is the only path through the forest.
Let’s go.
How powerful a statement is that? It reminds me of another quote from Kenneth Patchen I first heard long ago:
come now, my child
if we were planning to harm you
do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path
in the very darkest part of the forest?
The expected answer to that is always "Well, of course not" because of the phrasing, but then, there's the words between the polite request and the end. They do get in the way from time to time...

And, beyond anything else, this essay does one thing with great, and perhaps deliberate, intent: reinforce beyond a shadow of a doubt my conclusion that The Path is not a game, according to Roger Ebert's rules. But it is a phenomenon. A year from now, I think people may well still be discussing what everything means, with no greater surety of their conclusions then, as now.
"We don’t know what everything in The Path means either. It doesn’t matter. Not anymore. Creating The Path was as much an intuitive experience as playing it can be."
Art, not game. Art as much as any live installation in a gallery. But art you can walk through, interact with, touch, appreciate, even if at times it does get under your skin and tug uncomfortably, perhaps even painfully, along the muscle fibers.

This? Is no more than it should be, and much more than I think anyone expected. And none of it would have been possible had the designers not strayed from their own set path, faced their own Wolves--and, by and large, conquered them.

I'll be very interested to see what Tale of Tales puts out next.

5 comments:

Magdalena Kamenev said...

Hoodies are great in micro-climates. Clear, crisp day? Whip on the hoodie, unzipped. Sun comes blazing out for maybe half an hour? Whip off the hoodie. Fog rapidly rolling in like something out of a Stephen King novel? On with hoodie, hood up.

It's a layer for people who don't like cardigans. That said, it's not an elegant garment. But as someone who hates wearing standard t-shirts, I <3 hoodies with cool messages ...

Emilly Orr said...

*cackles at the message*

I think really, it was part living in the heights of Northern Cal, and spending so long in the SCA. Cooler than expected? Good thing you wore that turtleneck under the tee. Warmer than advertised? Push the turtleneck sleeves up. Meld that with the standard trews-and-tunic of SCA eventing and you get an extremely eclectic, extremely layered wardrobe.

Just never got into hoodies. I think I've owned one my entire life.

Fogwoman Gray said...

And.......once again I hit Barracuda's Tasteless and Possibly Offensive web filter :)
I will check out the hoodie when I get home.
And we just called them hooded sweatshirts when I was growing up in Alaska, another ideal climate for them.

Fogwoman Gray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emilly Orr said...

Well, to be fair, the link leads to Tshirt Hell. They are Tasteless and Possibly Offensive by nature, most of the time. :)

I understand why it's a big fashion thing--and a relatively practical one, at that--I just never got into them. (I own exactly one pair of jeans, and one pair of sneakers, too.)