Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About Gormongous

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  1. Star Wars Episode 8

    The Rebellion has become the New Republic, but the coalition that formed the basis of both is beginning to fragment after five years of relative peace amid rearguard actions from Imperial remnants. A Imperial Grand Admiral returns from the Unknown Regions with an expeditionary force to discover that the Empire has fallen and the Emperor is dead, seizes power among the remnants, and scores a series of stunning victories against the Republic, often involving surprising uses of obsolete technology. The heroes of the original trilogy, now important figures in the Republic's government, find new allies, Luke confronts the need for a revived Jedi Order, and all is resolved in a series of cataclysmic confrontations. Honestly, although I love the old Star Wars novels, most of them wouldn't be suited for adaptation. They're full of obvious callbacks and overcrowded with the ten thousand semi-canon characters of the Extended Universe. Zahn's Thrawn trilogy, though, is something different, partly because Zahn was probably the most talented author to write Star Wars novels and partly because his were the first Star Wars novels and hence connect most directly with the original trilogy. Even with Disney's attempts to refashion the Star Wars canon into its own creature, you can still see touches from Zahn everywhere: Interdictor cruisers, ysalamiri, the Emperor's Hands, and Thrawn himself are things from the novels that have been confirmed in the new canon. It would have been nice to see the whole thing in action on the big screen, but we'll get it in drips and drabs instead, as Disney discovers that it's not as easy as they thought to craft a new Star Wars canon out of whole cloth, and I'll try to enjoy moments like Thrawn being the laughably mustache-twirling villain in season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels for what they gesture to than for what they are.
  2. Star Wars Episode 8

    Me three. I've just come to a place where I have to accept that Disney's Star Wars (and, for that matter, George Lucas' Star Wars) is not my Star Wars. Granted, my Star Wars came out of almost a decade of watching the original trilogy, reading the Bantam-era books, playing the games, getting the toys... the whole experience. And that's just how every franchise is supposed to be experienced in the twenty-first century, so it all feels rote now. I watch the trailers and there are moments where I thrill, but it's almost entirely a combination of references to the old designs and the old musics. The new films just can't stand on their own for me. Some of the ancillary material, like Star Wars: Rebels, fares a bit better, but it's still instructive for me to compare my impression of, say, Grand Admiral Thrawn in that show versus in Timothy Zahn's books. It's all so safe and derivative, in a way that even the prequels didn't feel.
  3. anime

    I can't believe that FUNimation licensed boobs-and-butt-wrestling anime Keijo!!!!!!!!. Regardless of its actual quality, deep down, it's the kind of anime that should be totally toxic for an American company to pick up and sell, but here we are. I was also pleased (and, tragically, almost as surprised) to find out that FUNimation has the rights to my favorite anime space opera, Crest/Banner of the Stars, speaking of that anime in the above post... and they've had them since 2013. Why? Who can say. Honestly, if those series get a remastered box set of Blu-rays at a reasonable price, they'd be a day-one purchase for me. I wouldn't even wait for a sale!
  4. Yeah, it's just weird that no one who's reviewed it seems to think that it's that funny, and the Galaxy Quest comparison is largely spoken of as a red herring.
  5. anime

    It's for the good of the podcast for you to take notes in a public space! Looking back in this thread, I talk about Space Battleship Yamato 2199 at least four times, having started to watch it at the instigation of Rodi, but I said very little substantive about it — mostly just that it played like nationalist propaganda from the future and that the plot was surprisingly enjoyable for how repetitive and predictable it is. I remember very little, except for impressionistic takes of various characters, so I'm looking forward to getting reminded of the good parts when we next record! Also, if you're into space submarines, there are multi-episode arcs in Crest/Banner of the Stars and Starship Operators with your name on them...
  6. The warmest (amateur) reviews of The Orville that I've seen praise it for its slavish recreation of TOS plotting, but with better visuals and some slight winks to broader sci-fi trends. Professional reviews are overwhelmingly less charitable, like from Vox or Alan Sepinwall.
  7. You realize that we live in a society that's thoroughly racist and that, in part because of that, it's fully possible to do and say things that are racist without intending to do so? I'm racist, though I try my hardest not to be. It's the stain of white supremacy that has been passed down through our culture and history. It's not a death sentence, it's a fact of life that reasonable, mature people should be able to discuss and improve upon, instead of making melodramatic (and, as Jenna observes, extremely reminiscent of bad faith) parallels to pedophilia and rape by way of a defense. It's really the sign of an argument that can stand on its own merits when it has to be associated with unrelated things just to make a point, don't you think? Also, it is very, very suspicious to me that you are so desperate to shame Rob into silence or apology for suggesting that some of the game's design design may be informed by an internalized culture of racism, while simultaneously exhibiting no discernible interest in investigating the validity of those suggestions first. You don't care if Rob, me, and at least three other people in this thread alone think that there is some truth to them. You've already arrived at your own conclusions, and now you just want to shut Rob up with your feeble brand of mockery, because calling someone's design decisions racist is so much worse than actually making racist design decisions. Finally, even if you are correct that Rob is making an unjustified and political attack on a game in the name of ideology, which you most certainly are not, how are you any better for criticizing his discussion of Shadow Tactics as a catspaw for your beef with him on a completely different game? Aren't you doing these developers just as bad of a disservice by feigning concern about their depictions of race and culture in their game, just to score what you must imagine are points against Rob? On your own terms, you are a hypocrite who seems willing to do and say anything to get back at someone for making a negative comment about a game that I hope to God Almighty you are head-over-heels in love with, and that's just sad.
  8. Also, and this goes without saying, but if suggesting that a developer's design choices are informed in part by internalized racism is enough of an "injustice" for you to make a forum account and repeatedly post about it, whether or not it's relevant to the conversation, I sincerely hope that you're exerting similar amounts of energy to counteract actual injustices in the world right now that involve the suffering and death of your fellow human beings. Because, again, this is a video game, not real life, and it'll sell just fine whether or not a reviewer brings up issues of racism in it, judging from the performance of other games with similar issues.
  9. Wow, you really can't tell the difference between a fantasy setting, where the developers can choose to make any choice with regards to race and choose to reproduce a sanitized and artificially "white" expression of race in medieval Europe, and a game that is explicitly set in Edo-era Japan, a historical context that explicitly excludes non-Japanese characters? You really need some perspective, my friend. Here, let me help you out. I'm a professional historian, currently finishing my doctorate. Message me and I'll send you my credentials on Academia.edu and Linkedin.com, if you need them to be convinced. My focus is twelfth- and thirteenth-century imperial Italy, namely the activities of the marquises of Montferrat at home and abroad, but the vast majority of my dissertation, especially in the first two chapters, directly pertains to the internal politics of the Holy Roman Empire, at least under Frederick Barbarossa and the subsequent generations of Staufer kings and emperors. From what I've read online, heard in the podcast, and played in the alpha demo, I think that the developers of Battle Brothers electing to depict an exclusively white and exclusively male cast of characters in their fantasy game inspired by medieval Germany (which, whatever white supremacists will tell you, was not all white) is suspicious at the very best and probably expresses some internalized and unexamined racism on their part. Criticism of that is correct and in keeping with the current scholarly trends in the field of medieval history. Now, if you're willing to say that a professional reviewer of strategy games and a professional historian of the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages are both wrong and that you're right, I'm willing to argue that you're the one being irresponsible by making your conclusions against the determinations of experts. What, exactly, is the basis for your belief that the depiction of an all-white Europe in a fantasy setting is not informed by racism, however unconscious? To think so is, of course, your prerogative, but maybe you need to examine the reasons why you're so sure about it?
  10. Wow, you hate-listened to an episode of Three Moves Ahead just so that you could take a weak potshot at its host for having an issue with Battle Brothers' racism and sexism a month and a half ago? That's sad, it's just a game. Also, never gets old when "calling out racism" is the real racism. Cheers, you weirdo.
  11. Movie/TV recommendations

    I just watched the trailer for Annihilation and I mostly enjoyed it? I wish Portman had a crew cut. Some of the imagery is exactly what I expected and some of it's absolutely not? I wish there were less rainbows, but otherwise I can deal with it. I want to be deeply, deeply distressed by the experience of watching this movie. I know that's a big ask for Hollywood, but if anything can do it it's Alex Garland and Annihilation.
  12. Hot In Space: Heat Signature

    Nah, it's entirely randomized. My closest stuff was subverters, slipstreams, and armor-piercing blades (which are a godsend and make the game half as hard).
  13. Left 4 Thumbs - The Homethumbing 2

    I'm monitoring this thread.
  14. Hot In Space: Heat Signature

    Yeah, I didn't realize at first how there are some really powerful unlocks on the liberation screen. Prioritizing ones that complement your playstyle or give you more options with the harder missions is essential.