Listening/reading log #14 (November 2020)

Well look, it’s December already and cold as fuck suddenly. I like winter better than summer, but that still doesn’t mean I like below freezing temperatures. I’m not that much of a masochist.

But what better time than to listen to some nice unplugged music, maybe around a fire with coffee spiked with at least 1 part whiskey out of 4? No, not even Irish cream, I mean whiskey. This month I’ve picked a few albums that I think fit that setting, along with the usual great, insightful posts from around the community here.

Please to See the King (Steeleye Span, 1971)

Highlights: The Lark in the Morning, Female Drummer, Cold, Haily, Windy Night

Last month, I started my post by recommending Steely Dan, and this month I’m recommending Steeleye Span. The names are remarkably similar, but these guys have absolutely no resemblance otherwise, because Steeleye Span was an English band playing originals and adaptations of old English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh/etc. folk songs.

Please to See the King mainly features singing and a bunch of acoustic instruments (but no drums, weirdly enough — even though “Female Drummer” is a song on this album.) Most of the songs are pretty catchy and memorable, with plenty of energy behind them. And they seem to deal with common problems from the old days, such as being a young woman disguising yourself as a man so you can join the military (“Female Drummer”), getting knocked up by a knight who runs away from his fatherly duties (“Cold, Haily, Windy Night”), and meeting the Devil (“The False Knight On the Road”.) And there’s even a nice innocent-sounding song about a bird that’s actually about something else entirely (“The Lark in the Morning”.)

I really don’t know anything about the folk music of Britain and Ireland — all I’m familiar with are these songs and Thin Lizzy’s version of “Whiskey in the Jar”, so I’m a total novice in this area. But I know I like this album. It’s good music, that’s all. A few good songs to drink and sing along to as well if that’s your thing.

Greatest Hits (Simon & Garfunkel, 1972)

Highlights: I Am A Rock, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Scarborough Fair, and most of the rest of it

Does recommending a greatest hits album fuck up all my credibility and kick me out of the serious music critic club? I guess it probably does, but hey I don’t care, because I was never in it and wouldn’t want to be anyway. And Greatest Hits is the only Simon & Garfunkel album I ever owned, and I’ve owned it for a very long time now, so I’m putting it up here. If you don’t know them, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were an American folk-rock duo who put out some great music back in the late 60s/early 70s. Simon was the music guy and Garfunkel the vocals guy, but they both sang in a lot of their songs and captured a sound that nobody else could imitate.

The songs are mostly really good as well, with some absolute classics you’ve probably heard like “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “Scarborough Fair” (the “parsley sage rosemary and thyme” one), “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Sound of Silence”. “I Am A Rock” is a great one too — I can really connect to the protagonist of that song, what a surprise. A couple of the songs here don’t do anything for me, but I like most of them, and I think these guys are well worth checking out.

I do have to single out one song with a terrible message, though: Cecilia. Your girlfriend cheats on you and you beg her to come home and then rejoice when she does? Personally, I’d change the locks and tell her to go to hell — and I’d expect to receive exactly the same treatment if I did that to her. You’re just asking for trouble otherwise, aren’t you? Maybe I’m the weird one in this case, I don’t know. I did mention I’m not a fan of NTR recently, so it’s no wonder I don’t like this song. (edit: I just found the other interpretation of “Cecilia” and I like that one a lot better. I had no idea about it until now, but then I wasn’t raised Catholic — if you were, maybe it would have occurred naturally to you. Okay, this is enough about one song, on to the next album.)

Das Lied von der Erde (Gustav Mahler, 1909)

Highlights: It’s all good

Okay, so maybe this one doesn’t fit the theme so much. Really, I’m just posting Das Lied von der Erde (or The Song of the Earth) here because I’m tired of some people dumping on late 19th/early 20th century Austrian composer Gustav Mahler.

Well fuck that. Just listen to this work of his, apparently produced at a depressive period of his life (which really comes through in the lyrics.) The song itself is supposed to be based on some old Chinese poetry that was translated into German and adapted to be set to Mahler’s orchestral compositions. The various parts hits all kinds of tones, starting with “The Drinking Song of the Earth’s Sorrow” which sure sounds like a depressed drunk dude yelling about the sorrows of the Earth, and then moves on to quieter, more contemplative sections, and then back to the sweeping material.

The performances in the modern recordings we have are usually great and the whole thing feels like a ride, even if I still don’t have much of an idea about what the point of it is. I guess to lament about how life sucks and we’ll eventually die anyway? If that’s the message, then I can completely understand it, but as with Magma’s Mekanïk Destruktïẁ Kommandöh, there’s probably something deeper going on here that I’m not getting. Anyway, this is one work to use if you want to show someone that classical music isn’t all stodgy, boring stuff. Maybe it still won’t work, but that is a misconception I’d like to blow up completely.

Now on to the featured posts:

Revisiting my view on Anime Gatekeeping (I drink and watch anime) — Irina again examines the issue of gatekeeping in the anime fandom(s). It’s a complicated problem, and one that I have my own opinions about (more on the game side, but some of the problems there are similar.) Whether you agree with her approach, Irina takes on the issue with a lot of care and insight, so be sure to check it out.

#Controversed: Don’t Attack Actors and Voice Actors, Be a Force of Positivity (Mechanical Anime Reviews) — Apparently some people have attacked voice actors online because they don’t like certain characters they voice, which is completely insane. Scott addresses this problem and calls for civility and positivity in this post.

Autumn Adventures in Kyoto (Part 1) (Resurface to Reality) — A tour of some beautiful parts of Kyoto in the autumn from browsercrasher. Again, I wish I were there. And it’s more than just the virus keeping me from traveling. But maybe one day. At least great travel posts like these can let me go there in my mind.

Why I love autumn (A Richard Wood Text Adventure) — Continuing the theme, Wooderon expresses his love for autumn. It’s my favorite season as well, but sadly it’s finished where I live because we’re below freezing here now. At least we actually had an autumn this year — it’s not a given where I live that it will last more than one week from blazing hot to freezing cold. I hate this place.

Watch Out, They Move, They Diss You Loud! The Persona 3 Retrospective, Part 6(c)-Characters: Akihiko and Mitsuru (Lost to the Aether) — Aether continues his ongoing Persona 3 analysis series with this look at two of my favorite characters from that game, Akihiko and Mitsuru. If you only know Akihiko from his appearances in the Persona Q and Persona 4 Arena, read Aether’s analysis to discover how much deeper of a character he is than the cardboard cutouts those games present.

I Love Meta-Gaming (in Hades) (Frostilyte Writes) — Frostilyte uses Hades and Monster Hunter World to illustrate how meta-gaming can add a lot of value to your gaming experience. It’s the kind of thing you might not actively think about too much, but it makes a difference!

Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019) (Extra Life) — Is the newest Rian Johnson film better than The Last Jedi? Red Metal gives his answer to that question in this thorough, indepth review of Knives Out.

The Anime Encyclopedia – A review (Reasons to anime) — If you were wondering whether The Anime Encyclopedia is worth buying, read Casper’s review. Really, any reference book that craps on anything Disgaea-related without even bothering to know who the characters are is fit only for $1 bargain bin hell, or better still a garbage dump.

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland – Meruru, Warrior Princess (MoeGamer) — And finally, if my review of Atelier Meruru DX didn’t convince you to buy that game right away, check out Pete’s feature on it. Anyone who thinks video games are lacking in strong but realistically flawed female characters needs to play an Atelier game, because the series is full of them, and Meruru is one such protagonist. (Now I just need to find the time to play Atelier Totori…)

And now for the final month of this cursed year. I have a few more post ideas to work on, and I’d like to finish 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim before the year is up — but no guarantees, since it seems like a very long game with a lot of twists and turns. It’s great so far, though. I also have a few VNs I’m still working through, including a certain newly released kinetic novel about catgirls working in a bakery. What could I possibly be talking about? Maybe you’ll find out soon. Until then!


14 thoughts on “Listening/reading log #14 (November 2020)

  1. Thank you for the shout-out. Know that I have a similar shout-out for you already penned into my November month in review once that goes live. XD

    Unplugged music isn’t typically my favourite, but I will say I rather enjoyed listening to Simon and Garfunkel. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard them before, but there is something oddly familiar about them though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

    Also, fwiw I too own a handful of Greatest Hits albums. In-fact, it was the Greatest Hits album of both Dream Theater and Rush which got me into both of said bands. Started with their most popular and easily digestible stuff and slowly worked my way down into the weeds of prog-rock/prog-metal. Sometimes those kinds of albums work as a great starting point for figuring out if you like a particular group’s music before you work your way through their whole back-catalog. Almost like playing a game demo before playing the whole game.

    • Thanks! Looking forward to it.

      I also tend to go for electric or electronic stuff more, or jazz or even classical sometimes rather than the traditional unplugged stuff like folk or some country or blues, but it can be a nice break for me sometimes. And greatest hits packages are really good for getting into bands, yeah. I just never got any further with Simon & Garfunkel than that. There are a couple of other bands that I also used greatest hits albums as jumping off points for, though. The demo analogy really works.

  2. Based on the name, I would’ve thought that Steeleye Span was a Steely Dan parody, but it turns out the former band is older, so it’s probably a coincidence. And hey, if Rolling Stone can put compilation albums in their top 500 list, then music critics can’t use that as an excuse to ruin your credibility. I’m not sure if I’d say it’s true of Simon & Garfunkel, but there are some artists out there who are better at making singles than LPs (The Rolling Stones continued to make good singles after their LPs dipped in quality in the 1980s, for example), so in many cases, it makes more sense to go for the Greatest Hits albums instead. Though that seems to be becoming rarer these days with the album format making a triumphant return as of late.

    On that note, I find that music critics are the only set of critics I find reliable anymore. In fact, music is the only medium in which I still tend to side with critics over fans. In every other medium, I take the critical praise with a grain of salt whenever it surpasses the fan consensus by a wide margin. I think that’s because music critics manage to be the most objective, which is ironic given that music is the probably most subjective medium out there. My guess is that music critics generally don’t want their personal beliefs associated with bad music (and who could blame them?), so you have to be at least decent at your craft if you want to great recognition from them; confirmation bias won’t help you out there. Plus, I think it helps that minimalism, which can come across as lazy and unambitious in other mediums (i.e. the walking simulator movement in games and the mumblecore movement in films), is just another style of music – and the closest equivalent idea to those two movements (lo-fi) actually has quite a lot of personality to it. If anything, I find people tend to complain more when albums are overproduced/go on for too long.

    And thanks for the shout-out! I had to backpedal on my original assessment of Knives Out because when I originally saw it, I gave it a straight recommendation (heads up: I intend to do the same thing with Uncut Gems). In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t write a review immediately after it came out because I would’ve been tempted to give it an 8/10. It’s not my fault; Rian Johnson has an amazing knack for making films that seem so cool in the moment, yet don’t hold up to any kind of scrutiny – and this was true as early as 2012 with Looper, so he can’t blame any criticism he receives on a polarized audience. Even the slightest critical intention is enough to make the integrity of his stories crumble into dust.

    He is something of a sacred cow with the mainstream media, but I attribute that more to his willingness to bend his knee to critical sensibilities than his level of talent. A lot of people consider him the film-equivalent of Neil Druckmann, and that’s a pretty apt comparison in that both individuals ascended to the upper echelons by giving critics exactly what they wanted when they wanted it. The problem is that it gave them the impression that they got that far due to their own talent, and that is why I think that, despite their progressive leanings, there are many unfortunate implications within their scripts. They’re also alike in that they are extremely overrated. Granted, when it comes to being overrated, I don’t think Rian Johnson is as bad as Alex Garland or Neil Blomkamp, who, at their best, are aggressively mediocre as opposed to halfway decent, but he is like Neil Druckmann in that when he succeeds, he succeeds in spite of himself.

    • I kind of feel bad about only knowing Simon & Garfunkel’s hits that well, because I’m sure some of the lesser known tracks are really good. I should get into those one day. And yeah, those 80s Stones albums certainly weren’t that great, even if they were still great live (at least so I’ve heard) and put out good singles.

      Maybe I was taking an unfair shot at music critics up there. I agree that they’re at least more trustworthy that film critics and certainly more than game critics from what I can tell. And while there are some highly regarded critics I don’t care for like Robert Christgau, there are others who are more open-minded about different styles outside their personal likes (and there are a few independent critics I’ve really respected, though they’re sort of outside those professional circles.) Minimalism does work in music too — I can think of some nice ambient pieces out there. Maybe all those environmental narrative developers were trying to make the game equivalent of a Brian Eno album? But it doesn’t work.

      Interesting to hear that. It sounds like Uncut Gems didn’t hold up, then? A lot of people were talking it up, but maybe that was the novelty of seeing Adam Sandler act in a movie that’s not complete dogshit or give a performance that’s not lazy.

      I wish these critics would look at movies more critically. I guess that’s the point of their job considering the title, but if they’re considering the political or social message to be a lot more important than the other aspects of the movie, that’s not that useful. I think movies can definitely make political/social statements, just like any other medium of art, and do it successfully, but that’s clearly not what we’re talking about with something like The Last Jedi where the statement isn’t effective at all on top of the movie being a mess.

      And speaking of Alex Garland, I got this sense from Ex Machina — that the movie was driven by this message Garland wanted to deliver, so story, characters, and logic got screwed in the ending, which in turn screws up the intended message. At that point, it’s better just to write an editorial or something.

      • Oh yeah, I definitely recommend their LPs starting with Sounds of Silence. There are some great deep cuts on those four albums. With the exception of Tattoo You and their singles, The Rolling Stones’ ‘80s output was pretty dire, that’s for sure.

        Granted, it’s not a high bar, but yeah, music critics definitely still come out ahead of film critics. Even the most dedicated activists know on a subconscious level that, as bad as having your causes associated with bad films is, having them associated with bad music is even worse. And I think Robert Christgau can be used as a benchmark for that. That is, one of the weaker veteran music critics out there still comes out ahead of one of the weaker veteran film critics out there (Owen Gleiberman). I would trust the words of the former long before I would ever consider trusting those of the latter (though there is no excuse for giving The Clash’s Cut the Crap a B+, one of Soulja Boy’s albums an A-, or his other embarrassing missteps).

        And the problem with that proposition is that we would need an environmental narrative developer with the level of talent of Brian Eno… yeah, good luck with that.

        Not really. Granted, I will say it comes out slightly ahead of Knives Out because its own problems are more abstract, and it isn’t nearly as dated, so if nothing else, Uncut Gems can at least claim to be a timeless misstep. But otherwise, yeah, it was a certifiable dancing bear in that the only thing it practicably had going for it was that Adam Sandler was in a film that wasn’t complete garbage. Really, he was to the point where a mediocre film could’ve broken his losing streak. Otherwise, it may be incredible in the moment, but once the novelty wears down, you realize you’re left with a character study about a man who, quite frankly, isn’t really all that interesting or dynamic. It’s very much a beneficiary of that “rude and crude = deep characters” mentality that everyone else moved past once the ‘90s came to an end.

        I definitely think films can be used to bring home a political message – just not the way these filmmakers do it. Writers like Rian Johnson and Neil Blomkamp don’t understand the importance of subtlety; their choice for crafting a work of art isn’t the chisel, but rather the sledgehammer. They were lucky that they happened to rise to prominence when critics’ standards began slackening because they wouldn’t have lasted a day in Hollywood’s golden age. Same with Alex Garland – all of them share the same weakness; they’re not good storytellers.

        Ex Machina’s case is a complicated one. Indeed, part of the problem is that everything got jilted in favor of getting the message across. It’s the reason why I can safely say that the 2010s was science-fiction’s dark age; the creators thereof really seemed to hate the very idea of science with every fiber of their being. I may have mentioned it before, but it comes across as right brainers failing to understand left brainers (I know that’s not how the brain works; I’m just using the classical definitions for convenience).The other problem is that Ex Machina is extremely anti-intellectual. All three characters are very intelligent, yet one is an immoral Bluebeard, the second an amoral machine, and the third would have been better off had he been an imperceptive dullard. Really, the takeaway I got from that is that curiosity is a weakness and that you should never take the initiative lest you make things worse for yourself and everyone around you, which is something I would normally expect from someone on the exact opposite side of the political spectrum from those praising the film.

      • Thanks! I’ll start from Sounds of Silence — I need some more music to accompany my work and that should do it.

        Christgau certainly has some weird takes on certain albums. His general dismissal of whole subgenres like prog puts me off, but he’s admittedly very far from the only one turning his nose up at prog. And after reading more of Owen Gleiberman, I have to agree with you that he’s worse. In any case, when it comes to bad music you really can’t avoid the fact that it’s just bad music no matter what its message is (or what message you intend to make by saying it’s good.) If it hits the ear in a bad way and sounds like shit, there’s no ignoring that. Maybe that’s not the best way to put it, but I hope that makes sense.

        I really like Pulp Fiction, but I feel like that movie and others like it back in the 90s might have had some bad influence in making directors think “I’ll just fill my movie with violence and some weird jokes and references and it will be amazing!” but then they miss what made those movies entertaining in the first place. I haven’t seen Uncut Gems, though, so I can’t say if that’s what was going on there. Certainly the sort of characters you bring up feel like they’re written as a shortcut to make an interesting story sometimes. But they’re not automatically interesting; there has to be more there.

        That anti-curiosity aspect of Ex Machina was one that was just baffling to me. Maybe this is part of why I hated the ending so much — Caleb felt like the only character even remotely relatable in the film, and his actions were totally understandable — even maybe the actions he was taking at the very end, though that’s a lot more debatable. For what happened to him to be satisfying at all, I think his screw-up needed to be more obvious. His ending didn’t feel tragic, but rather just stupid and random.

        As you say, though, this is a message you’d expect from the other side of the spectrum Garland is supposed to be on, making it all weirder. I’m putting together a review of an older anime miniseries called Time of Eve that deals with some of these potential future problems between advanced AI and humans, and while it doesn’t deal with them perfectly, I think it does so in a way more interesting and realistic manner than Ex Machina did.

      • I think that’s generally the reason I tend to let him off the hook; his dismissal of subgenres such as prog is bad, but he’s hardly the only music critic who makes that mistake. Plus, to his credit, he did latch onto rap before anyone else, and he did call out the homophobic undercurrent to the anti-disco backlash while many of his peers were likely cheering it on.

        If Owen Gleiberman ever did anything like that, it was because he was told to do so by his peers. It’s to the point where his praise of Joker and criticism of The Last Jedi come across less as “stopped clock is right twice a day” situations than they do out-of-character moments. I think what gets me about him is that he acts like he has this superior taste in films when, in practice, he tends to go for the lowest-common-dominator fare (e.g.: considering Green Book the best film of 2018, praising Epic Movie, etc.). At least Christgau is useful for finding overlooked albums; if you’re going to be a hipster, do it right.

        I never really thought of it that way, but I think you’re right. Granted, I would argue what’s really killing the indie scene films right now is that they *don’t* swing for the fences, and the mumblecore movement, which I can believe was not heavily influenced by Pulp Fiction, was the most responsible for that mentality. Still, you have a good point. Whenever you have copiers, they almost always miss the original context, which, more often than not, is irretrievable. Uncut Gems is more Scorsese than Tarantino, but your point stands. And it’s a shame because Good Time (the Safdie brothers’ previous film) didn’t have this problem, coming across as a love letter to Scorsese films rather than a paste imitation thereof. In fact, I’m not sure why A24 didn’t hype the hell out of that film like they did Hereditary or The Witch because that was one of 2017’s most pleasant surprises.

        And yes, if I were making a list of the worst endings in film history, Ex Machina’s would be a serious contender for the prize (it would be a very, very close call between it and Upgrade, which failed in almost the exact same way). I think Garland wanted us to think that Caleb got what he deserved in some way and that what Ava did was unavoidable, but you’re right in that he was the only halfway relatable character in the film; Ava and Nathan certainly weren’t. If he had been helping Ava for a more overtly selfish reason, then it would’ve worked, but as it stands, it felt like he was being punished for doing the right thing, which again, comes across as a stereotypical “altruism is for suckers” sentiment that would’ve felt at home in an alt-right forum. And that’s not even getting into the opposing forces of “Ogle this android!”/”How dare you ogle this android!”, which completely undermine Garland’s intents.

        Garland’s second film, Annihilation, is a slight improvement, but it manages to demonstrate his weaknesses on a macro scale the way Ex Machina did on a micro scale.

        I’ve noticed that a lot of acclaimed films in the 2010s only seem so when you’re completely unaware of other mediums. Knives Out wowed audiences, but if the plot were in an Ace Attorney game, it would’ve been a D-tier episode at best. The Last Jedi was praised for subverting expectations, but it has nothing on Undertale in that regard. Similarly, Virtue’s Last Reward also managed to touch upon many of the same subjects as Ex Machina far more competently and without its author having a total hate-on for science, so it appears that Alex Garland was late to the punch on at least two fronts.

      • Seeing the trailer, I can see how Uncut Gems would be trying more for a Scorsese feel, yeah. And mumblecore is something I hope is dying out. I can understand the idea behind it, but I like that weird stylized Tarantino dialogue better when it’s done well — of course a bad writer can really screw that up and make it embarrassing to watch. That “natural” style probably fits well depending on what kind of movie you’re making, but I don’t think it’s inherently better, and it seems just as easy to screw up in the hands of a bad writer.

        You hit it on the head with your Ex Machina review. That was how I felt about the ending, yeah. It hasn’t happened often, but when I’m watching or reading something that falls apart so badly, I’m taken right out of the story and stop caring about the characters (I know I harp on it, but the same thing happened with the last season of Game of Thrones, a show that for most of its run pulled viewers in on the strength of its characters — it’s no wonder GOT has disappeared so quickly from popular culture after fucking up so badly.)

        It’s too bad that a lot of both critics and viewers will never consider trying out something like Ace Attorney, Zero Escape, or Undertale. I went on and on endlessly a while ago about how the VN Planetarian did a lot better than Ex Machina at telling an AI/human relationship story as well, but many of them won’t read that either. Because you know, they’re just video games, how can they possibly tell good stories? Though to be fair, with some of the garbage the western AAA market has been offering, I can understand their feeling that way if those are the only games they’re familiar with. (Then again, I suspect some of these critics would call The Last of Us Part II a triumph of storytelling based on the message and how gritty and dark it is, so maybe I’m giving them too much credit.)

      • Mumblecore is one of those things where, while I’m sure there’s a good reason for its existence, it turns out terrible writers like it just as much. Just like how bad writers latch onto the idea that humans are horrible as an excuse to make their cast do anything no matter how stupid it is (well that, and it’s easier to say humans are horrible than it is to actually lift a finger to fix societal problems), mumblecore tends to get abused by unskilled directors because it means potentially getting praised for bad writing or bad acting performances. I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually dies out; because of how exclusive it is, it doesn’t really leave itself much room to grow. It has gotten combined with the horror genre (and if You’re Next is any indication, it is every bit as terrible as it sounds), but I wouldn’t be surprised if even critics get tired of it.

        I fully understand why you and others are still mad about Game of Thrones; it’s extremely insulting to have your years-long investment in a narrative be rewarded with a subpar conclusion. It’s bad enough to watch a film that ends up being a dud, let alone a television series. It’s simply not good writing when your characters stop acting like characters and more like plot devices to hammer the message home. There’s a reason I frequently bring up the concept of diegesis when parsing stories, after all.

        I honestly don’t think it’s just video games film critics have a problem with; film critics and film fans have a real superiority complex when it comes to their medium, dismissing anything animated, in video games, or in graphic novels as quaint when, in reality, filmmakers (knowingly or not) have been desperately trying (and largely failing) to play catch-up with them this past decade. If they keep going on like this, the medium is going to be irrelevant in the long term. Game critics have the opposite problem in that they have a distinct inferiority complex when it comes to their own medium, hence why they would latch onto games that downplay the “game” aspect as much as possible such as The Last of Us Part II. They also tend not to be well-versed in their own medium, which is why they can say The Last of Us Part II is a masterpiece in video-game storytelling despite the fact that Undertale predates it by five years and managed to do everything it tries to do far more competently and without any fluff or filler.

      • That old “humanity is shit” crutch, yeah. I hate that. I’m certainly not a big optimist about the future of humanity, but I still think this approach comes off as lazy and intellectually dishonest. And it’s boring, which is the worst part when it comes to fiction. Mumblecore combined with horror also sounds pretty awful.

        I’m still holding out hope, maybe stupidly, for the Song of Ice and Fire books. They seem to be taking the story in a pretty different direction, there are plenty of book-only characters and plotlines going on, and though the fourth and fifth books in the series had some issues, they weren’t nearly as dire as the show had (and weren’t really problems with general quality, more with pacing I thought.) It is a shame about the show, though — I feel I can’t recommend it to anyone now because of how it was wrecked at the end, despite the fact that there were a lot of great performances in it, even in that last season. And of course, the viewers were let down. I guess everyone’s moving on at this point.

        And you’re certainly right; these critics also seem to look down on both anime and manga and western animation and comics. They’ll make a very few exceptions — as far as anime/manga go for example, I’ve seen them talk up Hayao Miyazaki, and maybe they’ll acknowledge Osamu Tezuka if they even go that far. But that seems to be it. They’re missing out on a lot.

        It would be nice if game critics were able to get past that inferiority complex, but I’m not hoping for anything soon since they seem to have been in the same rut for a while now.

  3. Thanks for the link and shout out man. I feel like I should try my hand at writing more personal pieces like that one rather than just reviewing stuff all the time. But my life is just so boring I don’t have anything else to talk about.

    • Definitely. And I get you — my life is boring as shit, but there are still things we can write about aside from reviews. This is part of why I like the community aspect of writing here; we can share ideas and opinions and all that stuff.

  4. Thanks, once again, for the link here! And you know, I never realized quite how much of Simon and Garfunkel I’ve actually heard, but I’m familiar with most of the songs on that album. Guess those are real hits.

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