WN_18/11/19

//Begin Week Notes

This week was punctuated in a big way by a visit to London. The train snakes up toward the capital through beautiful countryside and the remains of when Kent had a more reciprocal relationship with London, rather than being gradually, gently subsumed into it. The squirrels in St James’ Park are ridiculously comfortable with the hand of man and the human traffic jam around Buckingham Palace felt like being in Walt Disney World, trying to make your way across the park as it grinds to a halt for the mid-day parade.

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Intrigued by blog posts from Awesome Lies and Zhu Bajiee, I’m working with this idea that Warhammer has a meta-timeline that shifts focus from King Arthur and Slaine fighting orcs at Castle Greyskull, to Slann fighting vikings in the Mysterious Cities of Gold to the Holy Roman Empire Vs Cthulhu and eventually Cthulhu wins and the angel  lightning space marines fight back. Reminds me a little of Erik Mona reconstituting whisps of D&D pre-history to inform the Age of Worms campaign. I love it.

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In and around my train journey I read chunks of two books. A Year in the Country is the kind of psychogeographic, recombinative pop-culture study that always fires my imagination, even if some of the subject matter trays far from my usual interests (I’m really not into horror movies for instance). It strikes me that Vapourwave is American hauntology, all youthful and bright and seemingly surface and knowable.

The other book was Gideon the Ninth, which came to me via both Kidron Gillen and Warren Ellis. It’s thus far really remarkable, and while I wonder how differently it reads if you aren’t familiar with Warhammer 40,000 or the influences that preceded it (in this case, mostly Dune), I am very impressed by how it pulls that slight of hand that these hyper nihilistic settings require: an insertion of understandable human needs that remain tangible and relatable amidst all the awfulness. It also made me think of other attempts at Warhammer-like backgrounds, and how they too often miss something; Rifts and Gears of War and what I remember of StarCraft for instance. It’s a peculiar alchemy that even the originators often fail to understand.

//Fragments

Our Souls in the Night made me ponder the desire for an option to halt a movie at a premature but happy ending.

Falling Inn Love was not a good movie, but made me wonder how Netflix’s “expansion into new markets” exposes viewers from the older markets to genre assumptions that they may not even notice playing out in front of them.

So Google Stadia. Isn’t it weird that the idea that Google is ever going away is impossible to fathom, but the idea that Stadia is permanent seems difficult believe? I wonder whether it’s about our 20XX relationship to corporations, and that Google, as a person, seems a little capricious and occasionally cruel (I miss you Google+, Google Reader, that Google homepage thing …) or whether it’s that mainstream entertainment seems to need an anchor in either the monumental structures of the past or the rebellious energy of the new – we’d accept Sega coming back, or that arty handheld with the crank (remember Ouya also?) but Stadia feels like if Tesco (Americans, read: Walmart) suddenly had console aspirations.

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Courtesy Kimimi

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