Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rock Novel

So here's the novel I want to write.  It will be called Rock Novel in order to trick people into buying it.  But it's not about rock music; It's about a rock.  It follows this rock from the beginning of the world to the present-day (I'd definitely have to take some sort of geology class for this).  Here's the thing: we want to invoke sympathy, or at least some kind of emotion, for this rock.  But it isn't a sentient rock, or anything like that.  Just a plain ol' rock.  And there can be NO sneaky attempt to humanize it with pathetic-fallacy-type language.  It's just a rock.  It just sits there.  And I want it to be a character that invokes emotion in spite of having no characteristics that would make it relatable to anyone in any way.  If you have any tips for me, I'd love to hear them.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Brian Moriarty, Wishbringer (1985)

Ha!  That's TWO Infocom games I've beaten!  Now we're gettin' somewhere!  I chose Wishbringer because it's billed as an "introductory" sort of game, designed for children and halfwits.  I mean, A Mind Forever Voyaging is billed as "advanced," but that's clearly more for thematic reasons than for the mostly non-existent puzzles.  This seemed like a good opportunity to get into the swing of things.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rape Culture and its Discontents

There's been a lot of heated blog debate about this Steubenville rape trial, where these two asshole high school boys raped an unconscious girl and were sentenced to several years in jail, mostly focused around the question of how much blame should be apportioned to them personally, and how much to the culture in which they were raised (see here for representative comments).
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Steve Meretzky, A Mind Forever Voyaging (1985)

It really can't be overstated what a radical departure A Mind Forever Voyaging--Infocom's sixteenth text adventure/interactive fiction--was when it came out in 1985.  1985!  True, text adventures had been edging in more plot-oriented directions before this, but AMFV is a real qualitative leap: the story--with its strong political message--is the entire focus; it's not just there to hang puzzles on.  In fact, there are hardly any puzzles in the game at all.  I wouldn't want all IF to be like this--I like puzzles--but it's undeniably a daring accomplishment--though not, of course, without its flaws.
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Saturday, March 16, 2013



Sunday, March 10, 2013

A REAL milestone.

Yeah, getting the PhD was nice and all, but that's NOTHING compared to the fact that as of today, my gamefaqs account has accrued five thousand karma, giving me the official user level of "? Block" (for those not in the know, you gain one point of karma per day you log in).  It's been a looooong time since I actually used my account to actually talk about videogames, as opposed to just compulsively logging in to gain karma, but I feel weirdly satisfied about this achievement.  It took twelve and a half years, after all.

The other bonus is that I now can post on the five-thousand-karma-and-up message board, called "The Mushroom Kingdom."  I'm telling you, it's pre-tty sweet.  How sweet?  Well, right now there are eight topics there: five of them are people (including me) going "I just achieved five thousand karma!;" one is people talking about how we should get some sort of bonus for our lofty karmic ratings; one is people posting when they reach a palindromic karma level; and one is people talking about how topic-purging works on the site.  That place is out of control.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Duck Comics: "Grandma Duck, Homespun Detective"

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

"Ladies in the Know"

For the first time on the internet, here are the extremely hard-to-make-out lyrics from the Slim Cessna's Auto Club song, transcribed from the art/lyric book Everybody Sings.   I'm also posting them to lyrics sites so I can get some CREDIT, dammit.

You know we have been banished from most counties, states, and towns,
From Ottowa to Paris and we made that list of Mao's.
We gathered up a group of gals to do our bidding low
The gals they lay with all the men; it seems they can't say no

No milady, no milady, no milady, no
No milady, no milady, no milady, no

While our girls are laying down with these jackanapes,
We crawl from underneath the bed, hunting down our take
Finished up, slow and spent, they spent more than they know,
And thank our girls for their cheap fare, they guess they can't say no

No milady, no milady, no milady, no
No milady, no milady, no milady, no

Once in DC City, the mayor came for a see,
Proclaiming his importance he asked for one for free.
Our best said "sure," flashed a grin, and lifted up her skirt.
He bared it all to the city press when they asked him "where's your shirt?"

A Catholic township in the north a priest asked for a spin,
We robbed him of his rosary before he did begin.
He fell upon both his knees, cried "gentlemen, be fair!
"Either way, it's a sin," so we we gave him his share.

So he did…

know my lady know my lady know my lady know
know my lady know my lady know my lady know
know my lady know my lady know my lady know
know my lady know my lady know my lady know

No milady, no milady, no milady, no
No milady, no milady, no milady, no

We've learned the traits of all the men who leap in for a go,
They spy us hidin' 'neath the bed but still they can't say no
Diamond rings and money clips and men's teeth made of gold--
Nothing's quite as valuable as our ladies in the know!

No milady, no milady, no milady, no
No milady, no milady, no milady, no

No milady, no milady, no milady, no
No milady, no milady, no milady, no