Articles of Secession

A spoken word piece by the Seeming, Meredith Collins, and myself, and the inaugural release of the Ithaca Psychogeographic Liberation Front.

Download the song along with a PDF zine containing an extended version of the text here. It's name your own price, and all proceeds will go to locally based charities dedicated to safety and opportunity for disenfranchised people. 

The Comprehensive History of Injustice

A guest post by Seth Aaron Hershman.

...the entire world might be poisoned. This, however, seemed unlikely, as the world, no matter how monstrously it may be threatened, has never been known to succumb entirely.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a book series, and currently a Netflix show, about three orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, who are chased from place to place by a man named Count Olaf who manipulates (and if necessary knocks off) anyone who might try to take them in so that he can have them--and their inheritance/trust fund--for himself.

Count Olaf is a rich man looking to get richer, who relies on transparent lies and cheap theatrics to get his way, casually uses and discards people, has a roughly third-grade literacy and vocabulary level, and works in entertainment.

It’d be easy to go that route, wouldn’t it?

The issue of timeliness is a difficult one for A Series of Unfortunate Events, a franchise which actively avoids setting itself in a specific era in a way that should be familiar to fans of, say, Archer or Batman: The Animated Series. Because the series goes out of its way not to take place in any ...

The Nintendo Switch Presentation: The Beginning and the End

Here's the thing about cycles. The wheel turns, but that does not imply that history will repeat wholecloth. Time, of course, does not exist. History doubly so: History is a patriarchal fiction. There are endings and new beginnings as the seasons change. Recognisable archetypes reiterate and reincarnate, but each spin of the wheel is an event of its own. Impermanence is all part of the cycle.
 
We in video game journalism appropriate some of this truth when we use terms like “hardware cycles” to describe the passing of the console generational torch (“generation” and “torch”, of course, both being metaphors taken from patriarchal master narratives). Video game consoles do not so much go out of date as they get supplanted. A history of invasions and conquests, or a season for everything?
 
Were I to do this normally, I would go through my notes and recap the Nintendo Switch Reveal Event Presentation beat-for-beat. But on this occasion, normality doesn't seem appropriate. Nintendo did indeed flip a Switch with this event, but I doubt highly it's the Switch they wanted to flip. Over the course of about an hour, my entire world was turned on its head ...

Build High for Happiness 7: The Witch (2015)

wandering in subterranean catacombs forbidden to the public

Many roads lead here, but we are unmistakably off the map. Like High-Rise, Robert Eggers’s film is firmly rooted in both place and location: the edge of a New England forest during the Puritan era. This in turn situates it a mere step away from A Field in England. Other distant reflections will flicker through the trees as we progress. Make no mistake, however, Whatever this belongs to, it is not our comfortable hypercube, with its cool brutality. This is somewhere else. Somewhere the land is cursed. Where the crops wither, the hunts fail, and the beasts turn against their masters. Where the sky is as stark as the muddy, useless soil. And that’s outside of the forest. Within its canopies there are even more horrors to be had.

At the heart of this malaise is the eponymous witch, a fact that led to an easily dismissed but frustratingly widespread reading of the film as somehow concerned with validating Puritan anxieties. It is tempting to dismiss this by asking whether this logic applies to all horror movies, or to point out that for all the film commits completely to the presence of ...

The Final Problem Review

I know, I said this wouldn’t be up for Monday. But then my weekend plans got spoiled by a stomach bug and I ended up home and watching Sherlock anyway. So it’s entirely possible that I’ve got a sour mood to match my stomach. Nevertheless, what a complete and utter disappointment this season of Sherlock has been.

The crux of the problem is one that plenty of franchises have fallen afoul of, which is thinking that you can introduce a character like Eurus and have her matter to the audience purely on the mythic weight of who she is instead of having to develop her. But it doesn’t work. She’s a distressingly one-note character whose characterization consists entirely of Mycroft asserting things about her. More to the point, her supposed powers are all bizarrely undersold: we’re told that she can effectively enslave someone by talking to them, but nothing about her comes off as particularly persuasive or charismatic. Mostly she sits around talking like a Markov bot fed on mediocre nihilist philosophy. And this is a real problem - the episode depends on her being the unholy fusion of Sherlock and Hannibal, but instead she’s just a generic megalomaniac. Which makes ...

Pex Lives 38: Power of the Daleks

Very quick and somewhat late, as this has been up for a bit and I just forgot to post it cause I'm dumb, but there's a new episode of Pex Lives out in which Kevin and James talk about Power of the Daleks, celebrity deaths, and The Return of Doctor Mysterio.

Get that here.

Faeces on Trump 6

This is the final part of ‘Faeces on Trump’... which now seems a peculiarly poor title for this series… all the worse for being so nearly right.  Still, I daresay I shall have more to say about Trump and related issues in the years to come (if I’m spared).  But this first line of thought draws to a close.  This post is, as a result, a kind of ‘summing up’.  (God, I sound pompous, don’t I?)  Further thoughts, or lines of thought, will have to stand alone from now on - and so I’ll be able to retitle for more relevance when I arrogantly shit them all over the internet, as if my opinion matters.  But anyway, this is the last squirt of diarrhea from the bellyache that Trump’s victory gave me.  Further dyspepsia will doubtless cause more and different effluvia to rain down upon you, because clearly I can’t help myself.  (And you’re not even paying me!)  Watch this space, you poor doomed motherfuckers.

 

Fuck it, let’s not bother with any more piss jokes.  Let’s have some Lenin.  We might as well, in a world in which making a Ghostbusters film with a female main cast is ...

Hyrule Haeresis 5

Patriarchy is built on epic time. Learned male history requires exhaustive documentation of political kingdoms and dynastic successions. The Chosen Warrior-Hero God-King must come of age, become anointed, take a throne and lead his people to victory in battle before retiring and passing his crown on to the next generation. Rise, fall and rise. In our language, we call this canon, and the canon of the aristocratic literate patriarchy stands in stark contrast to the cyclical deep time of the feminine and feminine understanding. This is, in fact, the true first war in the world, and its battle scars have played out across the visage of our ideaspace since the start of all time.

And so, deeply fraught and conflicted is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Like the Celtic mythology from which it draws its inspiration, the tune this Ocarina plays is a melancholy one, a lament for a world that was lost before history began. Its story opens as if a folk tale (perhaps a fairy tale). The narrator speaks in the voice of a storyteller relating events to an enraptured audience, presumably comprised of children. Ironically, or maybe inevitably, this is a story about having childhood ...

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