Cyberpunk 2077 Review: It’s Mostly Fine

I am sitting on a motorcycle parked behind a cab that is being controlled by a sentient AI run amok. It is one of many such AI that I have tracked down as part of a long term sidequest involving a sentient AI cab company trying to bring its “children” back into the fold.

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The Delamain AI is subjecting me to an endless litany of warmed-over Portal jokes, using the same kind of voice modulation that GladOS did in that game, over a decade ago. There’s a line about cake, references to testing, it is absolutely awful and I sigh out loud while I wait for it to finally be over. Continue reading “Cyberpunk 2077 Review: It’s Mostly Fine”

Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets The Virgin

Enough of this reflection and philosophizing, it’s time for more action!

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I do wonder if Melville was a bit self-conscious in writing this book, aware that he was a bit too heavy on the high-minded discourse, when his audience was expecting more of a rollicking action-adventure yarn. After all, his most successful previous books, Typee and Omoo were more in that vein. Thus, the sudden shift in tone here, to a good ol’ fashioned whale hunt. Continue reading “Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets The Virgin”

I Read Another Book: Mossflower

Another one so soon?

Mossflower Woods, by Nova Nocturne – https://www.artstation.com/artwork/oOPgLk

Yes, I’m catching up on stuff I’ve been reading over the summer. This is the most recent book I’ve finished, actually, so it’s a bit more fresh in my mind than the Pelican Brief. This time, the book is one I’ve read before, thought it was a very long time ago, when I was but a small child. My dad used to read books to me and my brother, and Redwall and Mossflower were among them. I read a few of the later entries in the series on my own, but soon fell off, replacing it with Discworld in my heart.

Continue reading “I Read Another Book: Mossflower”

Police Abolition: A Reasonable Idea

On its face, police abolition sounds crazy.

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After all, we need police, they help protect us from crime! Their presence in the community helps prevent crimes actively and passively, and they work to solve crimes and catch criminals after they are committed. Well, the problem is that none of that is actually true. The vision of cops that is presented in the media and the reality of their existence in the world could not be more different. Continue reading “Police Abolition: A Reasonable Idea”

Chapter 57: Of Whales in Paint; in Teeth; in Wood; in Sheet-Iron; in Stone; in Mountains; in the Stars

You thought chapter titles couldn’t get any longer? You fool. You absolute buffoon. Melville has no sympathy, and is following no rulebook.

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This chapter is kind of a transition into a different mood from the previous two. Instead of a critical survey of art from the learned eye of an expert, it’s of Ishmael as a man reflecting on the nature of art and the world it inhabits. So yeah, I think I can find something to talk about here. Continue reading “Chapter 57: Of Whales in Paint; in Teeth; in Wood; in Sheet-Iron; in Stone; in Mountains; in the Stars”

Chapter 48: The First Lowering

Here we go! Time to go kill a god damned sea monster!

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Or, make an attempt, at any rate. It’s really a very difficult thing, taking down such a large and powerful creature. Of course, we humans have made our bones on taking down things much larger and more powerful than ourselves. Perhaps the whale itself is not always the biggest obstacle, though. Continue reading “Chapter 48: The First Lowering”

Chapter 45: The Affidavit

Okay, let’s get back into it with a nice, meaty chapter. We’re getting into some interesting metatexutal territory here, blurring the line between Melville and Ishmael.

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Technically, I think this whole thing is just more of Old Ishmael, based on the general tone and tendency towards exhortation and exclamation. But it’s also very much a bibliography slipped into the text itself, and I must say it’s more pleasant to read than the ones you usually see!

Continue reading “Chapter 45: The Affidavit”

Chapter 40: Midnight, Forecastle

So, now that we’ve checked in on the officer class of the ship (minus Flask, who barely counts), it’s time to see how the rest of the crew is reacting. Since so few of them are actual, established, important characters, they don’t get whole individual chapters, not even the harpooneers.

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But, what they do get is a fun format change! This chapter is written entirely in the style of a stage play. I’ve never heard of it being staged, but I wouldn’t doubt that some high school or college that was particularly arts-oriented has done it once or twice. Continue reading “Chapter 40: Midnight, Forecastle”

Good Kings and Bad Kings

There are some things in media which only reveal themselves after you are able to articulate them.

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For me, one of the big ones was queer-coded villains. It was like having a veil dropped from my eyes, seeing the way that difference of identity was being codified as cruel and evil, the way that outsider status was subtly equated over and over again with being Bad, in one way or another. Continue reading “Good Kings and Bad Kings”

Chapter 24: The Advocate

Now that Ishmael has properly begun his fateful voyage, this book will freely shift between narrative and non-narrative sections with no transition necessary. Ishmael doesn’t need an excuse to go off on a tangent at sea, there’s plenty of free time to sit around and think his thoughts.

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This is the first chapter where we’re not following the narrative at all. This isn’t inspired by something in the last chapter. It’s not an anecdote connected to some incident that we get a glimpse of. It is purely Old Ishmael rambling about something. The narrative chain has been broken. The next time we pick it up, it may be hours after the Pequod left port, or months. We have no way of knowing.

Continue reading “Chapter 24: The Advocate”