Tagged in: film

Three Things That Realigned My Electoral Demographics Last Week

X-Com: Four to Six Alien-killn' dudes.

1. XCOM Enemy Unknown

This game dug it’s hooks into me in a way that few games in recent memory have. I’m talking “stay up until 5:00 am because I need to play just one more mission and then I’m back at base and maybe I should just finish researching that one weapon tech, but oh no the global satellite alert just kicked in and sectoids are attacking Sao Paolo so maybe I should just real quick play that one too, only I have to restart that mission because my support dude from South Africa walked face first into a thin man ambush….” The turn-based nature of the game makes you feel like a tactical genius as you lay your forces out in an unstoppable line of crossfires and over-watching ambushers. That feeling lasts about as long as you go without encountering the enemy, as the game is intensely punishing at the harder difficulties and losing even one man can make it impossible to finish the mission. Things spiral out of control quickly and the wrong placement of a heavy gunner can mean the difference between victory and six dead dudes. That’s not even getting into the long term strategy of building out your base, researching alien technology, and training soldiers. You have a finite amount of resources and failure to use them wisely means that the countries that bankroll your alien-fighting unit will pull their funding. Launch more satellites!

2. Cloud Atlas

This movie is an adaptation of an unadaptable book. Love it or hate it, you have to admire the sheer craft that went in to creating such a dense narrative that interweaves six completely different narratives. The result is something that you can definitely see the seams on, but the fact that it holds together at all is amazing. From the creepy buck-toothed grin of Tom Hanks’ 18th-Century poisoner to the just-a-little-too-much patois of his post-apocalyptic shepherd every inch of the film is imbued with a stark attention to detail that honors David Mitchell’s novel even while it completely reworks the structure. Clocking in at three hours, the film does challenge you to keep all the separate threads straight but it is worth the effort.

3. The U.S. Presidential Election

It’s been a long, long, long slog to the finish line and it is finally over. Whether the outcome had you dancing in the streets with joy at the thought of four more years of glorious progressivism or rending your garments and gnashing your teeth as you booked your flight to Canada to avoid the soul-crushing slide into a socialist hell, I think we can all agree that we are glad to be off the electoral roller coaster at long last. People who paid attention to the raw numbers weren’t terribly surprised by the re-election of President Obama, but election night was still a fun chance to watch CNN’s Minority Report-esque holographic projections and touchscreen number crunching. Donald Trump’s massive meltdown on twitter following the election results was my personal highlight but the best thing about the election is that (after about 3-4 days to let the anger and resentment bubble out) it will be safe to go on Facebook again.

Even More of Me

In a move that is sure to do wonders for my productivity here at Semantic Drift, I have decided to join the team over at Legal Geekery. You’ll never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, if by “scum and villainy” you mean “law students and writing” and by “wretched hive” you mean “awesome blog”. I’ll be inflicting my more law-related writing on the unsuspecting public over there. That should free up more of my headspace here to talk about what I ate for breakfast and which movie I saw over the weekend. Lucky you!

Anyway, my first post over there is a listing of the Most Evil Lawyers from film and television. When I found out that maybe people don’t like lawyers and there were unflattering portrayals of them in pop culture, I was shocked, shocked I say!

Go check it out.

Internet Goodies for Sunday, January 11th 2009

Back in San Francisco and positively tingling with anticipation for classes to start, I still have a few links for my adoring public.

  • 9 Reasons Not to Attend Law School
    All true, and yet I remain undeterred.Filed Under [lawschool ]
  • People Who Deserve It
    Deserve what? A punch in the face, of course.”This blog is not written with malice or scorn, but with a sincere desire to witness the upward progression of the human race. And some people are ruining it for everybody.
    People who wear sunglasses inside.
    Savages who pee on the seat.
    This kind of conduct only perpetuates the acceptance of degenerate behavior.
    On this space log, you will find examples of socially responsible reasons to punch someone in the face. And remember, we do it for the kids.”

    Filed Under [humor blogs ]

  • Borges: Pathways of the (Postmodern) Mind
    Jorge Luis Borges and some problems of taxonomy.”At first glance, I was fascinated by the idea of so many academics being fooled by a supposed misquote. But then I saw: in these three paragraphs there are multiple levels of story going on. First of all, academic infighting: “they hoped to tear me apart.” Then the philosophical differences between Modernists and Postmodernists, which is interesting in itself, because really, their conflict is all about ways of thinking about reality. Which is, of course what Borges’ works all played with.”

    Filed Under [literature philosophy postmodernism ]

  • Zoom Baby, Zoom
    A panoramic photo with awesome details.Filed Under [photography ]
  • Is it Art?
    Re: the cultural significance of video games.”There is no other medium that produces so pure a cultural segregation as video games, so clean-cut a division between the audience and the non-audience. Books, films, TV, dance, theatre, music, painting, photography, sculpture, all have publics which either are or aren’t interested in them, but at least know that these forms exist, that things happen in them in which people who are interested in them are interested. They are all part of our current cultural discourse. Video games aren’t. Video games have people who play them, and a wider public for whom they simply don’t exist.”

    Filed Under [media videogames ]

  • NIN best selling cc-licensed music
    Lawrence Lessig considers the implications of Nine Inch Nail’s CC licensed album’s success.”Even more exciting, however, is that Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.”

    Filed Under [music copyright creativecommons ]

  • What WWE champion Mick Foley thought of The Wrestler Mankind talks about a movie I am dying to see, but haven’t yet:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “I even heard that I was one of his influences in preparing for the role. But what did Hollywood know about my business, anyway? Who had they ever beaten? (As we say in the biz.)”Filed Under [criticism film sports wrestling ]
  • On Language – Bleeping Expletives
    William Safire examines the media’s censorship techniques:
    “The need for today’s review is the coverage given to the participial modifier employed with great frequency and immortalized on recordings of telephone conversations made by the F.B.I. as its shocked — shocked! — agents eavesdropped on Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois governor. His favorite intensifier was reproduced in many newspapers and Internet sites with dashes as “—-ing” or with asterisks as “****ing” and was substituted in broadcasts, telecasts and Netcasts as a word descriptive of the sound called bleep.”

    Filed Under [media language profanity nytimes ]

  • Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: writing The Other
    “I think he does an overall good job with female characters. But the imperfections of a writer like Gaiman, however small, are infinitely more revealing to discuss than are the the glaring mistakes of writers who don’t even seem to like women.”Filed Under [criticism Comics feminist ]
  • Some Modest Advice for Young Law Scholars
    “If you want to have an easy tenure case, here are some modest suggestions”Filed Under [law lawschool academia ]