Saturday, December 29, 2018

the axe hack

IT's just normal DND but the only weapons are axes. Everyone knows how to use axes and there are no other weapons. Everyone has an axe.

Friday, December 28, 2018

benefits of "into the spiderverse"

  1. undeniably a new success in combining film and comic mediums, on several fronts:
    1. visuals: there's a wide array of attempts and some of them are pretty successful. and most of them are used sparingly and for emphasis! and often quite elegantly. 
      1. in the early part of the film, Miles's teenage anxiety at highschool pairs his developing superpowers via the introduction of comic thought boxes... which Miles remarks on: "why are the voices in my head so loud" (paraphrased)
      2. the choppiness of the animation and a lot of the editing singles out poses etc. lends itself to the experience of reading across panels (compare to less-successful previous attempts by filmmakers who would use panel-shaped irises and stuff in like ang lee's the hulk)
      3. serialization: comics are by nature serial, and serial narratives have a lot of associations and freedoms. spiderverse summons literal serial dimensions to emphasize these associations and to play with them.
        1. it's different than just nostalgia, it's post-modern, we understand the formula and so the movie's often subversive to that understanding
        2. in this way the film shows a great understanding for the way comics work. familiarity and ease help u feel good watching it
  2. major failings: I get the sense that comic book movies main struggle is over sentimentality. U want that emotional connection to yr characters but if u fuck up the writing or pacing the long slow scenes with Aunt May or whoever are boring and saccharine. 
    1. Spiderman 2 (2004) has like an hourlong stretch where spiderman is going thru an emotional crisis and not doing any superhero antics (for example)
    2. I was in to most of Spiderverse's emotional relationships but they had 3, count 'em 3 father figures (arguably 4) and that just was too much father figuring for me. The cop father just showed up for no reason in the final extradimensional battle and didnt do anything and so we had to have that many more lingering reaction shots
  3. The film's animation techniques get self-obsessed and onanistic in the final fight scene, which takes too long as well... everything's abstract no grounding in reality unlike all the earlier scenes where it's like, Spiderman takes a bus to a forested area and swings around the trees (very good)
  4. The fight scenes of the first 2/3 of the movie do a great job of grounding the action in reality or comic book tradition, and play around with that tradition
  5. There are many funny jokes
  6. It's weird to watch a "kid's film" -style film and be entertained as an adult. Pixar
  7. Probably worth expanding the pixar comparison. Most pixar films have a better standard of quality than spiderverse did. Like a wide-eyed and all-inclusive attention to every element of the film, all the overtones neatly paired and the story well-revised.
    1. Spiderverse's good moments tho were as good as anything Pixar has done like it, and there's many good moments in Spiderverse
Overall, worth seeing, and a genuine appreciation for Spiderman reignited in my heart, albeit, yeah, by the end of the film, I was like "ain't got time for that". Plus they're gonna make a bunch more movies in this like cinematic universe within-a-cinematic-universe and they're gonna suck, all of the above is EXACTLY how I felt about the first avengers movie

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Yorgos Lanthimos "The Favorite" 2018

Oakay I figured it out folks. The issue with the film is Olivia Colman. The centre of the love triangle isn't really repulsive which is what she needed to be for this film to be on par with Y.L.'s other films. This is mostly the fault of the complete movie, Colman included, for not making Queen Anne truly terrible.

Because u see Y.L.'s other films always have that gripping disgust which they make hay with. Dogtooth Lobster Killing of a Sacred Deer all have it. The new film, The Favourite, is pretty well acted, good dialogue, great cinematography, some toppa lighting, costuming, good money but the most gross stuff is Queen Anne's gout, over-eating, and some romantic wounds like a facial scar and a hand burn.

The movie ends with a forced sex act which, to really push the grossness of it, interfades with Queen Anne's pet rabbits. That's not quite good enough dude, Dogtooth did much better, Lobster and TKOASD were much crueler. I need a Queen Anne who is fucked-up to watch, needs to be grosser. This is a less-gross film.

Image result for queen anne the favorite

Sunday, December 16, 2018

d100+ directions, higher numbers weirder

roll several times to get directions, uhhh vary it between d6, d10, d20, d30, d50, d20+25 etc., d100, as the higher numbers are wierder... example:
  1. go right
  2. there's a lot of Bandits in this zone so be careful
  3. crawl in the pipe there
  4. think really hard about ladders
...and you're there.

d 1 0 0 T A B L E o F s T R A N G E D I R E C T I O N S: 
  1. go right
  2. go left
  3. reroll (until applicable -ed) and add "two times"
  4. reroll (ditto) and add "three times"
  5. go north
  6. go east
  7. go west
  8. go south
  9. add "at the junction," and reroll
  10. walk twenty five steps thataway
  11. keep going until you see
    1. threatening graffiti
    2. the big hole
    3. all that moss
    4. fat Derrida
    5. the community board
    6. that church
  12. turn at the big rock
  13. if you see the ... you've gone too far. 
    1. big rock
    2. pile of horse skeletons
    3. stuck-in-wall guy
    4. magic fountain
    5. really large grass field
    6. hole
  14. take the less-trod path
  15. oh yeah, there's a shortcut: (reroll 5 more times) 
  16. "about a mile down the road" and reroll
  17. there should be double doors, go through those.
  18. a ... will guide you:
    1. a grey wolf
    2. a brown cat
    3. a fat dog
    4. a fat rat
    5. a talking bat
    6. a pretty lady
  19. you'll have to bribe the guard there. like $5
  20. staircase up.
  21. ...that'll get you most of the way there. (nullifies remaining directionsIf this is the first instruction: no directions necessary)
  22. at this point you should smell:
    1. bacon
    2. bread and iron
    3. waffles
    4. smoke
  23. at this point you should hear:
    1. screaming
    2. bees
    3. rushing water (a waterfall -ed)
    4. howling wind
    5. a sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, don't worry tho
    6. thunking
  24. reroll and add "...usually."
  25. you'll have to climb up that wall.
  26. there's a magic door there, to unlock it, you'll have to (roll d50 + 50, two times until applicable)
  27. should just be a hill or two before...
  28. there's a lot of Bandits in this zone so be careful
  29. there's a shortcut through someone's house... if they ask tell them 'Chinnie' sent you
  30. if you get that far it should pretty obvious where to go next.
  31. hug the treeline for a while
  32. watch out for broken glass, here.
  33. should be a red crank there, turn it, it will raise the portcullis, I think.
  34. you'll have to go and meet the jester there, I don't remember the rest (nullifies remaining rolls)
  35. follow the tracks for like a mile
  36. ladder up
  37. ladder down
  38. you'll have to go and find a ladder to get up, there.
  39. crawl in the pipe there.
  40. there should be a bridge directly above you.
  41. should be a large fuzzy crack in the wall.
  42. should be lava at this point
  43. you'll have to breeze up the way until you hit, like, pawn's five knight's gopher
  44. try to deliberately piss off Chinnie
  45. ok, there will be a delicious feast there, but don't eat anything, right...
  46. eat breakfast here, or if it's night, you're gonna wanna have some fruit and coffee.
  47. it'll be warm.
  48. .... keeps the key on their person but they'll give it up for liquor/sex/riddle/jewlery
    1. Bechelrose
    2. Donny
    3. Fat Matilda
    4. The Worst Case Scenario, Don Bluth III
    5. Chinnie
    6. A.M.Y.
  49. should be a sudden breeze, and that's when you have to drink the poison
  50. eat the
    1. meat.
    2. collected building supplies- bricks, two-by-fours, nails, wire
    3. lightbulbs (it's candy glass)
    4. cartwheels (actually a delicous cake)
    5. cake, made of wood :(
    6. fat angel
  51. dig through the sawdust
  52. some kids might try and throw rocks at you but all you really have to do is beat the shit out of one of them
  53. crawl
  54. reroll (until applicable) and add "until someone stops you"
  55. spin until you throw up
  56. hit a high note like a *imitate sound of high note*
  57. scoop water out of the dark pool, drink it, pass out
  58. kill a
    1. red badger
    2. woman wearing a blue dress
    3. known thief
    4. building (demolish a building)
    5. child
    6. fetus
  59. take the frozen path along the abyss with the falling icicles
  60. hunt some of the {minibeasts} and throw one against a wall, killing it, should knock over the wall
  61. walk down the hallway backwards
  62. jump in the pit (50% chance deceptive information)
  63. one of the screens has a door behind it
  64. pull on the chandelier.
  65. there should be a tunnel UNDER the dining room, try not to make too much noise...
  66. think really hard about ladders
  67. roll off veins table of interstices (use these for like 10 entries -ed)
  68. hedge maze! 
  69. use a tunnel under a river; roll off the veins interstice table.
  70. tunnel made of appliances.
  71. clear a path through the Room of Spoons (the auditorium from A Clockwork Orange) (next time rolled: forks, knifes, salad tongs, teapots)
  72. ring any bell.
  73. curl up into an egg.
  74. nestle into the coffin.
  75. zipline!
  76. if you're not underground at this point you miffed it
  77. thin bridge
  78. scenic bridge
  79. you'll have to find some way to move that rock.
  80. marketplace bridge
  81. shaky bridge will collapse 
  82. shortcut through palace of fire which requires arson
  83. strike the gazebo
  84. get in the coldest hole
  85. watch out for the paintings with the arms
  86. sleep
  87. jump out the window
  88. sign the guestbook.
  89. catch a rabbit to burn
  90. the guard there will ask you to get nude, but don't believe his lies...
  91. gravity switches there
  92. jump off the bridge at the part with the missing link
  93. fat cheerleader has the answers...
  94. {jerk off} into the bowl... free of charge, here's some porn... hehe
  95. come back, and find me, and hurt me.
  96. you'll have to take those pills I just gave you.
  97. you'll have to commit seppuku at this point.
  98. you can fit into the fat angel
  99. you have to let the fat angel suck someone's dick
  100. avoid the tarrasque

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

review of the carnegie international, 57th edition, 2018

Alex Da Corte's "Rubber Pencil Devil."

My brain might have to actually be different to find or read a book of poetry I actually enjoy. Maybe it's the friends I didn't keep up with or never made; maybe it's my own lack of discipline one way or another. I had a moment a few years ago where I thought I found some sympathetic poets, those connected to the Alt Lit movement, but shortly thereafter that whole establishment ripped itself apart.

Not 100% sure I would enjoy Alt Lit books now if I found them? Think for me that poetry has always been about something else, whether an idea of the "moment", like for the beats or contemporary writers, or for personal connections, or similar. Of course I've seen not a few pretty good live poets who do a good job; and I've seen a bunch of genuine good publications. But boy howdy I'm not feeling the energy to pick up anyone's book right now and get something out of it, I have to look for more online magazines that might be good...

Course with poetry it's like, one good poem can wear you out anyway. Went to the carnegie international today ended up not liking much of anything except "Rubber Pencil Devil" which lured me in. What I'm really into is surprisingly literary texts, things like comment replies, reviews, sports journalism, and yeah poetry which are short enough to shock and have something good in them. Fragments that are colorful. Video game writing like this, RPG writing, 'course for VGs it's all the critical work which is important, not the games...

... and finding something like "good writing in video games" is xtrmly difficult. Feels basically that I am touch with all writers everywhere and no one's producing anything good, or maybe just frustrated that those networks are closed off to me, the individuals hidden... a sort of dark presence like a roving eyeball, deep hands, pouring over the flat 'net... always remember that the best writing online is blog posts by grad students or dropouts...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

comparing rpg and poetry workflows

Was talking with my friends last night about how my workflow for rpgs is so much better than my workflow for poetry ever was.

Image result for workflow
that's a workflow.

trpg workflow:

1. draw on the osr/diy dnd community for good texts like books and blogposts
2. schedule gaming with any interested friends
3. generate fragmentary prep. post some of this on blog
4. run the game with resources from step 1 and 3 and improvise.
5. depending on what players did, set some prep goals. goto 1

steps 1, 3, and 4 will generate a constantly growing pile of resources which can be published via blog or used in future games, step 5 will generate weekly creative goals

1. read patrick stuart's "veins of the earth"
2. over like a month period got a group together
3. wrote up a bunch of veins stuff inspired by the book, mainly a starting locale
4. during our first game the players buzzed past the starting locale into some unknown tunnels, I used the veins random tables to fill these in
5. write up the tunnels proper for next week

I'm doing research, writing my own stuff, organizing it, sharing it with my friends, and contributing to the community; and I have little weekly goals.

my workflow for poetry is more like:

1. see someone else's shitty poetry
2. think "I can do better"
3. get on a writing kick and produce some stuff
4. potentially share the poetry at a pittsburgh reading
5. try to edit the poems a little. either produce a finished piece or move on

comparing the two, the biggest missing elements from my poetry workflow are:
1. a constant stream of writing that I actually like
2. a regular space and time to share the writing with friends, irl
3. regular writing goals
4. a welcoming community I can self-publish to (he has several of these, they just don't produce work he likes all that often -ed)
5. an organized space to amass all my writing
(6. the poetry workflow is completely meanspirited. -e)

#1 and #4 are pretty hard to find, I've been looking for years. #2 can be more readily arranged and like as I wrote this I put out feelers on facebook for a poetry group. but I know just like you know that knowing where to find good writing is pretty essential for an artist of any kind...

the other thing to immediately note is how important social media is. it can provide a constant stream of good writing to read, a community to self-publish to, and like google hangouts edges into a regular space/time to share the writing with friends.

there's also a lot of synergy with social media: sharing is the same thing as organizing and documenting. A constant stream of writing that I actually like is (in many cases -ed) the welcoming community I can self-publish to. etc

it would be good to find a social media community that did poetry I liked. but maybe I just don't like (other people's) poetry that much! who knows

Monday, December 3, 2018

deliverance by james dickey reviewd

deliverance is about as much as honest trying to get you into the body of a 1950 or I guess 1970s ad executive man's man like on the cover of Man's Conquest below. It's pretty much exactly that situation. But it's done honest and well, bc it it's quite openly sexual and advances that sexuality, like the guy pisses himself while he's climbing up a rock: "The urine in my bladder turned solid and painful, and then ran with a delicious sexual voiding like a wet dream, something you can't help or be blamed for." and all the prose and shit about the river's all well written that being said my eyes glaze over river descriptions. and the advancement of the rape scene is very fast.

Image result for cannibal crabs crawl to kill

It's also very OSR/DND bc members of the party get killed off, very suddenly, quite lethal, skill challenges, "I have to go kill this one guy, if I don't kill him he'll get the drop on us, I have only this one night to do it" (wholly paraphrased), definitive single attack rolls, climb checks, a hobby taken seriously...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

the house that jack built review

Why can't serial killers just relax? It's because we all must build our lives out of materials, local or no, well they become local, don't they.

Von Trier frames most scenes independently like they're little vignettes with versions of the characters, not necessarily continuous, and this is good, liberating, allows for more felt out acting I think, history between characters can be spun way or another to suit the scene.

Whereas u might imagine that the film is purely discursive for this reason-- shifting histories, tropes-- there is a literal physical piling up of these specific encounters, the titular House. More than anything feels likely to me that a good ("" -ed) man's life is a series of killed miniature lives. I feel like I've killed my family friends exgirlfriends and the same weariness a-piling up in a space beyond time. Somewhat clueless about what to do with these except the eventual, nonplussed destination of hell.

And not just friends family and ex girlfriends but protracted relationships with near-strangers. The serial killer life models our own when it comes to getting something out of it. The satisfaction is bullied by near future satisfactions and emptied by previous ones and that the various pleasures will sum up into something ultimately dead, over and over again...

(Although lately no, I'm just happy to be where I'm at... as perhaps Jack was)

critical addendum: this is as much as the above film has to say I think with the added benefits of gore and some uhhhh hit-and-miss comedy. Matt Dillon is beautiful but he's not the best actor, outclassed by "Thurm" Thurman