Le mani sulla città.
Calgacus, Caledonian cheiftan (from modern day Scotland), on the Romans. Quoted in Agricola by Tacitus. (via concepthuman)
Plus ça change.
Indie music has its Brian Wilson fixation, Indie cinema has its Intimate Dramas and Social Realism; Indie gaming has 8-bit aesthetics and sidescrollers. While the return to a less aggro and less self-serious era of gaming wasn’t the worst starting premise, the aesthetic quickly calcified to a degree that it became as opressive and predictable as that of state-of-the-art mainstream gaming. There is something deeply reactionary in this longing for the platformers of yore, something manchildish about holding up the games of one’s youth as the definitive Gold Standard of what the medium should aspire to. And while mainstreaming gaming’s focus on photorealistic graphics, sub-Hollywood blockbuster storytelling and general douchebaggery is certainly disheartening, it is at least trying to move the medium forward instead of tolerating nothing but slight tweaks of an ancient formula.
(This insight brought to you by 2008)
(Also I’m currently in the middle of playing Sonic Adventure - again - so who the hell am I to judge?)
Is there no situation terrible enough that we cannot appropriate it for sappy Hollywood One Man Dares Speak Up narratives and cynical clickbait capitalism?
White Feminist Science Fiction as Cinéma Verité, or what else is fuckin’ new: vulnerable white girl aesthetically brutalized at the hands of stock character Asian crime mobsters (apparently in Taipei, but the boss seems to be played by Choi Min-sik,…
I mean sure this is Luc Besson who has always been known to be dumber than a bag of hammers and only just smart enough to be able to pass this off as self-conscious tongue-in-cheekyness, but this analysis still goes hard.
‘Township Funk’ by DJ Mujava
This classic’s been showing up on random mixes and sets for me lately. Total belter.
hey dragon. you’re not supposed to be here.
Conception of Alexander the Great, Les faize d’Alexandre (translation of Historiae Alexandri Magni of Quintus Curtius Rufus), Bruges ca. 1468-1475.
British Library, Burney 169, fol. 14r
Ok, so there’s a lot going on here, between the tone-deaf rendition and Merkel herself basically dissing the crooner who had expected her to chime in (for her own birthday song? Who does that?), but aside from the delightful cringeworthyness of it all, this is indicative of a pretty awful tendency in current journalism, as alive in Europe as it is in the USA.
Journalism, as a profession, holds few rewards. It is not especially well-paid; you are not likely to gain much sympathy (people will only really comment on your work if they find it not up to scratch), and it is a stressful, tiresome lifestyle. Small wonder, then, that journos tend to fall like hungry wolves on what perks their profession does hold - free dinners, “exclusive access”, the chance to be close to the powerful and the famous. Political power is well aware of this, and deals with the press accordingly - setting limitations for what journalists can and cannot ask, pampering reporters to stifle their critical thinking and encouraging the illusion that, due to their proximity to the elite, they are actually of it - that Obama, or Cameron, or Merkel, are their pals, their work colleagues, people who will write something down for them in their fucking high school yearbook.
"Mountain out of a molehill", you might say, and indeed the clip I’m posting is far from being the most egregious example of members of the press being giant synchopaths. But I post it as representative, rather than as a cause celebre - these small personal interactions matter, because they build a culture lacking in critical thought and combativeness. The idea that journalists can ask the tough questions and then switch over to a fraternal friendliness is about as misguided as the idea that centralist “civil discourse” is the answer to our current political woes - political decisions have immediate impact on people’s lives and as such we cannot turn the settings in which they are taken into tea parties (no pun intended). Interactions between the press and political power may be civil, even respectful - but they must also be antagonistic, because that is the role of the press in a functioning democracy. And there’s no room for birthday chants there.