1. First thing’s fuckin’ last: my first piece in Videodame’s Co-op Campaign is up, in which me and my buddy Sara start our discussion about Uncharted 4. I’d deliberately avoided talking about U4 in these pages because I knew this thing was going to start up, so go on and give it a spin, why don’t you?
2. I’m in a weird place, gaming-wise. I’m not playing anything with any enthusiasm. Work has been killing me and my three-year-old is a vortex of I’m exhausted, for one thing, and so if I do end up playing anything it’s not for very long; I’m inching along in Witcher 3: Blood and Wine for this very reason. (Also, I appear to be wildly under-levelled for some of the sidequests, and so I’m kinda just treading water.) I gave up on Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, because it was hopelessly dumb; one particular side quest has a broken Runner’s Vision thing which kept sending me off a ledge too high for me to survive, and it’s not like I particularly cared about what I was doing. I’ve more or less given up on Trials of the Blood Dragon, because the off-bike stuff is soooooo bad. My rental copy of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens should be arriving next week, but if the demo is any indication, it’s still the same old broken platforming bullshit that’s been plaguing this series for years.
I honestly can’t remember what else is on my plate at the moment. I beat the new Gauntlet mode in Swapperoo, my current iOS GOTY candidate; woo-hoo.
3. I’ve read a hell of a lot of books lately, though. Of note:
- I finished Justin Cronin’s “City of Mirrors”. Among the few friends of mine who’ve also read it, I probably have the highest opinion of it; I think, if nothing else, that it ends quite well.
- Victor LaVelle’s “The Ballad of Black Tom” is a very short Lovecraftian novella that inverts Lovecraft’s latent racist attitudes into something much more powerful.
- Joe Hill’s “The Fireman” is a really interesting premise and an absorbing read, though I wouldn’t call it a horror novel.
- Daniel O’Malley’s “Stiletto” is the 2nd installment of his Rook series, and it’s arguably more entertaining than the first entry; the premise is essentially if the X-Men were running the British Secret Service and defending the country from other supernatural forces. Very witty, very clever, and this 2nd book is very exciting indeed.
- Sylvain Neuvel’s “Sleeping Giants” had been popping up in my periphery for a while, and I started it last night on the train and finished it this morning. If this is the beginning of a new franchise (there is at least one more book coming next year), consider me signed on.
- And now I just started Emma Straub’s “Modern Lovers”, which is very much NOT action/sci-fi.
4. This eulogy for Other Music is hitting me in the feels. I might as well have written it myself.
…My scramble for self-identity was tied up in records, and Other Music was where I went to get myself sorted out. What did I like? What did I want? Which section did I want to start flipping through first, and what did that say about me? The classification of a person via her cultural preferences and proclivities—maybe that’s something we should be glad to wave goodbye to. One is no longer either a punk or a goth, In or Out; one merely is.
But it’s also why I think of Other Music as an integral player in my making, and why witnessing its end feels especially personal. We all experience some version of this dissociation a million times in a life: a drawbridge being raised behind you. The sense that you couldn’t re-create yourself now if you tried. When I needed it to, Other Music turned the whole notion of “Other” into something prideful—it forced me to make a choice about who I thought I was, or could be—and for that I’ll always be grateful, beholden.
And just like that, the day job is busy again. Until next time! [Exits, pursued by a bear]