Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About Gormongous

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  1. Is Steam (Valve) Good? If not, what then?

    One would hope that immediate, aggressive, zero-tolerance moderation would keep toxicity from taking root in the community, but looking at how people talk about the Fortnite community it seems like Epic is just as uninterested in that kind of moderation as Valve is.
  2. I Had a Random Thought (About Video Games)

    (Oh wow, The Mask looks really bad now.)
  3. anime

    Yeah, I'm not saying that the end result came as a particular surprise for me. I was already cynical about how big production companies, Production IG in particular, have made it a policy of consolidating legacy properties and giving them to young writers and directors in order to help them get their sea legs with a product that basically can't fail. In the abstract, I even approve somewhat, given that the first generation of anime creatives has begun to pass away and the second generation is looking to retire. I just wish they'd had something more to say with it? As it stands, the two sequels feel like a business decision rather than a passion project... which I know they were, but still. I guess anime's catching the fever for obligatory sequels, same as every other creative industry, and I guess that it's good that it's just as much to train the next generation as to make scads of money. I just want more, especially from something as storied as FLCL, and not for it to serve merely as a loose thematic framework for coming-of-age stories. At least, after making a dog's breakfast of Ghost in the Shell with the awful ARISE OVAs and The New Movie, it looks like Kenji Kamiyama's coming back to the franchise, hopefully to direct a third season of Stand-Alone Complex rather than to continue the over-grim, over-dramatic world of ARISE.
  4. anime

    I finally got around to watching FLCL Alternative yesterday. While it was much better than FLCL Progressive, which leaned way too hard into the "pseudo-scientific lore" and "deliberately exotic and ambiguous imagery" axes of the original OVA series, it still felt just as weirdly lightweight in its themes and their presentation. It's like Motohiro Katsuyuki (best known for Psycho-Pass), Uemura Yutaka (best known for Saga of Tanya the Evil), and Iwai Hideto (best known for... nothing? He's written for and acted in some live-action horror movies, I guess) had a great idea for the first episode of FLCL Alternative (which is really, truly wonderful, the best thing to come out of this revival) and a good idea for the last episode (which has its charms, sure), and they just had to kill time for the middle four episodes because it has to have six episodes to be FLCL. The aimlessness is really reflected in the adult characters, especially prime minister and the head of the agency, who come off like they're waiting around for the finale from the first episode. Even Haruko's just kind of... there, like she's a permanent fixture of the FLCL world now rather than an agent of chaos in it. Still, the shift in focus from age 12 to 17 and from a single alienated boy to a group of anxious girls was welcome, albeit shifting from well-trodden ground to even more well-trodden ground, and I didn't finish the last episode regretting my time in their world like I did with FLCL Progressive's stupid dueling Harukos and magical Transformer headphones. Overall, the two new versions of FLCL aren't as bad as I was worried that they'd be, but they're still amateurish efforts to copy a work that's unrepeatable, not just because of the level of creative talent that went into it but because the landscape of anime has changed enough to make a trippy mecha adventure as coming-of-age allegory feel... well, rote. It doesn't help that Production IG seems determined to grab these landmark properties like Ghost in the Shell and FLCL and then hand them off to neophyte teams that struggle to make their own voices heard in them. Much better to let them make their own names with new adaptations, like Nomura Kazuya (who made the execrable Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie) is doing with Run with the Wind.
  5. Bloozzard

    I am also a bit leery that Blizzard's general tendency in remasters towards "excessive detail as art direction" will make Warcraft Reforged look theoretically better but practically worse than the original (which, I agree with Deadpan, still holds up marvelously), but I think that Blizzard's going to Blizzard and I'll probably buy it anyway because Warcraft 3 made my teens.
  6. Movie/TV recommendations

    Nah, I think the special spice was the interaction between Pizzolatto's writing and Cary Fukunaga's directing, but the two clashed repeatedly during the filming and seem to have parted on bad terms, at least to gauge from the inclusion of a primadonna film director wearing Fukunaga's trademark braid-and-bun in the third episode of the second season of True Detective. Pizzolatto also seems to have taken steps to keep another director from exerting the same level of influence on the production, given that no director helmed more than two episodes of the second season and most only got one. I was glad to hear that Jeremy Saulnier, the director behind the excellent Blue Ruin and Green Room, was on board to direct an unspecified number of episodes in the third season, but then he exited the project after only two and Pizzolatto stepped up to co-direct the remaining six with Daniel Sackheim, a fairly rank-and-file TV director. It seems like Pizzolatto has trouble sharing his toys, which is unsurprising given that his only other experience before True Detective was working in the writer's room for The Killing and disliking the lack of control there, and I can't help but wonder if the lack of a strong directorial vision between the episodes of the second season were what made it so underwhelming for many people. Who knows, maybe sharing the directing chair with a guy who's done everything from Law and Order to The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones will be enough to help Pizzolatto achieve the vision that he clearly feels he has. I'm certainly open to (and would welcome) that possibility!
  7. Movie/TV recommendations

    It was dead for a while, but I think HBO is looking at a near future where Game of Thrones is finished, its spinoffs don't take off, and people continue to not really care about Westworld, so they're flinging as many balls into the air in the hopes that some of them stay up there long enough to catch people's attention. That's why Deadwood's getting a movie sequel, for instance. There was a bunch of noise six or so months ago about how Milch was joining the revived show in a major production role, but of course it was just a stunt and the show's actually looking quite severely undercast except for Mahershala Ali.
  8. Movie/TV recommendations

    Ugh, I just read that all David Milch contributed to the upcoming third season of True Detective was a co-author credit on the fourth episode's script. Otherwise, it's the same authoritarian grip of Nick Pizzolatto that drove the second season into the ground, down even to forcing a popular and talented director out of the project over creative differences. Bummer.
  9. Cyberpunk 2077

    I think there's a "silent majority" element to it, as well, as there is to most reactionary bigotry since at least the Goldwater and Nixon years. These racists, homophobes, and transphobes think that the general public (and especially the gaming public) overwhelmingly think that race, sexuality, and gender issues are a ridiculous fad and therefore they're only offending a hundredth of a percent of the people who'll view Cyberpunk 2077 tweets (and most of them are faking that offense because... reasons). That entire population is contained to Tumblr and a few SJW-aligned gaming sites, and the rest of the people who see the tweet probably think it's really funny but they're afraid to speak up. It's all a sick, self-reinforcing worldview.
  10. Looking for pacifist games

    That's a great suggestion, especially now that there's an unofficial patch that's fixed a lot of that game's bugs and made there be a bit more flexibility in the One True Build Order to beat climate change.
  11. anime

    I hate promoting my content on other sites here, but I've got an OP- and ED-review series called Wednesdays Watching Anime on my personal blog, something that I'll be winding down in the next month or so as I transition to a Mad Men rewatch with a friend, and I'm really proud of my write-up on Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water and the spectre of Hideaki Anno in the fandom. Read it if you like! Golden Kamuy is highly arc-driven and some of those arcs appear to go nowhere, but I think the first cour finishes strong and the second is a good start. We'll see! It's not like they lack for source material.
  12. Life

    Spoilered because this isn't the cat thread:
  13. The Good Place

    Yeah, I think that's the best thing about The Good Place, as others have observed. It's got the perfect setup to dump any premise that isn't working or is taking too long.
  14. Life

    Thanks, Osmosisch. I'd forgotten how little I've been sharing on here, honestly. Yeah, 2017 was a big pit of depression because of political and personal things, and 2018 has been a little better with the latter, at least. I have a job and a cat and I bought some new furniture that makes my apartment look less like a sad person lives there. I have also been trying my hand with Tinder since early spring, but haven't been really pleased with the results: four months of dating an incredibly neurotic lawyer who ghosted on me when I cancelled a date because of a migraine and... the second date that I'm going on tonight. I keep feeling like I'm having trouble with connecting with people, but part of that is probably me still healing from what was a six-month breakup with a multi-year fallout and part of that is Tinder being full of goose eggs (which, honestly, is some of the appeal, because there's less pressure).
  15. Life

    All of that sounds really rough, and I'm glad you got to a place where you could notice the pattern of abuse and break out of it. It's not remotely comparable, but my last big relationship had a similar dynamic where something bad would happen with her, it'd have to be someone's fault lest it be hers, and I was usually on hand and involved enough in her life to be a good patsy. The immediate cause of our breakup was Trump getting elected, because she was furious at me that I didn't support Clinton enough, but the proximate cause was me telling her that she had deep issues with anger and trust that she needed to get help with. She also went to a therapist after our breakup (I guess because I actually got through to her that being so stressed and angry all the time wasn't normal) but that therapist also just enabled her issues and let her spend her sessions complaining about minor work gripes. We don't talk anymore, but I'd be surprised if she kept going after we stopped. I think there's an dynamic in our culture that can lead women dealing with severe anxiety or anger issues to dump in their relationship in a way that can become abusive, and it's hard to maintain the relationship as a safe space for both partners to feel their feelings while also being like, "I'm not your punching bag for when life gets you down." It's good that you've found a way to move on and find some happiness for yourself, since it doesn't seem like it was in the cards for you to be happy with her.