Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
A lot of nuclear war stuff is piffle or worn-out literary devices, but every once in a while there's this little peak at the core fear: the idea that you will die, everyone around you will die, everything you built will be lost, the memory of you will be erased, and there will be nothing forever after.
While The Road isn't technically a nuclear war story, it does feature far more than just a glimpse of that hard sense of misery and dread over the slow death of not only civilization but every living thing as well. Strangely, I'm reading Blood Meridian right now, and if anything, it's even more depressing. Damn you, Cormac McCarthy. It's a lucky thing your writing is so good, or else I wouldn't put up with your lack of quotation marks and overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
First was Lars von Trier's Melancholia. Spoiler:
I haven't quite knit together all my thoughts about it, but I found it a companion piece to Antichrist. Some of the same concerns pop up, namely the depiction of nature as fundamentally evil, and of the defeat/destruction of rational, empirical thought in the face of irrationalism. (I've noticed that rational characters tend to be male, while the irrational ones tend to be female, but Charlotte Gainsborough is on the side of rationality in this movie. Personally, I think the gender issue in this particular case is a red herring, and that the primary matter is the destruction of people who try to be "rational", regardless of gender, but YMMV.)
Something that came through to me as I watched the movie was that our society (probably all societies, to some degree) has a hard time thinking about death. We imagine it all the time in a variety of forms, sure, but I've always had this sense that the final, complete termination of existence, of consciousness, memory, everything is something we put out of heads and rationalize all the time, something I think von Trier was trying to say in Melancholia. Maybe it's just a feature of individualistic societies; if you're part of a collective you can always "live on" if you have contributed to the whole, but even that's not immune to such fears, as even collectives aren't immortal.
I think this might be the reason I prefer nuclear war stories to zombie stories. A lot of nuclear war stuff is piffle or worn-out literary devices, but every once in a while there's this little peak at the core fear: the idea that you will die, everyone around you will die, everything you built will be lost, the memory of you will be erased, and there will be nothing forever after. I have never, ever, felt that when reading a zombie story or watching a zombie movie. Guess it just proves the old saw that action and character development are the opiates of the masses.
I also saw a vaguely similar, though more modestly ambitious, film called Take Shelter. In a nutshell, it's the charming tale of a blue-collar family man from Ohio who appears to be slowly going mad, and I felt Michael Shannon did a wonderful job balancing fear and taciturnity as said family man. The part that'll probably throw most viewers is the fact that Shannon's character continues building the bomb shelter in his backyard even though he admits he may be having a schizophrenic breakdown, but I didn't really have a problem with it. If you have a problem, it is often far, far easier to diagnose and propose treatment for yourself than it is to actually cure yourself, and if you're alone with your thoughts for a lot of the day, you'll act on them even if you know you shouldn't.
I mean, these guys must've been trolling to show how pitiable this kind of behaviour is, right? Right?
So naturally, the first comment in the Facebook box underneath it is a guy who in one sentence thanks the author for slamming all those Nice Guys and distinguishing them from genuinely nice guys, and then starts wittering on about the "friend zone" and life screwing people over if they aren't "jerks" with lines straight out of the Nice Guy ideology handbook.
Also, apparently there are enormous grey 1:1 scale models of Morrowind and Cyrodil in Skyrim which you can get to if you turn off clipping and head waaaaay off the map. This makes me very excited about the DLC/modding possibilities.
why is Glen Duncan being white an issue? Isn't him being a rather jerkish jerk more relevant?
Straight white men are a group most prone to wahhhhhh over "political correctness."
I've read Duncan. I, Lucifer is sophomoric tat in love with its own pseudo-edginess and misogyny.
white guy, Glen Duncan, scoffs at political correctness and the po-faced genre fans.
Well, if you didn't think Glen Duncan was a twat already...
Has anyone here actually read The Last Werewolf? Or anything by this guy? I'd be interested to hear what y'all think of his work.
The developers have ambition, I'll give them that.
You know what? The Hulk's writing style is annoying as fuck. If you have a point to make on the subject of Twilight, Eat Pray Love or whatever else, there's no reason to intentionally obscure it by TYPING LIKE CAVEMAN TYPE BECAUSE THAT MY ONLY GIMMICK. ALSO REVIEWER REFER TO SELF PERSONA IN THIRD PERSON.
You know what? There may be something worthwhile written about the movie in that review, *but I really can't be bothered to wade through it* to find out.
I am now sorely tempted to start a book review blog written in the demotic post-apocalyptic Kentish English of Riddley Walker.
Each review will be 500 words long, and will take me three months to write.