Derik Badman's Journal

2020-01-30 07:17

My review of No longer Human went up at The Comics Journal yesterday. Already got some comments criticizing me. Apparently if I understood or researched Japanese culture a little bit I would have felt differently about the book, I guess. It's a frustratingly specious argument for multiple reasons. One of which is I have a pretty decent knowledge of Japanese culture. I've read a lot of lit, I know a bunch of art, movies, hell just yesterday I was reading a travelogue about part of Japan and received another manga in the mail. Seems like a weak excuse to try to excuse awfulness to women via the old "it's a different culture thing." Anyway we'll see if I get any other comments be nice to hear someone with a decent argument for or against what I said.

It's hard to get criticism of something you did, but it's worse when the criticism is so stupid.

Forgot to mention, I did finish Bergman's Summer with Monika. It was an interesting movie. The ending felt off to me. It's about these two older teens who hate their jobs and are unhappy in their family life so they take the boy's father's boat and run off, basically spending the summer camping on the coast. It's never explained how they keep having enough gas for their boat, but I overlook that bit. Of course she ends up pregnant. They go back to the city, she has the baby, and then she kind of does that thing where she doesn't care about the baby and she's mad at him all the time and sleeps with someone else and he's just all working hard and trying to be good and then they break up. I'm not really sure what the message is and it didn't feel particularly relevant or moving to me, but I did enjoy the compositions. There were a lot of good ones. One great shot is following the boy as he's walking to the right and on the right side of the screen the girl comes into frame standing on a rock silhouetted against the sky posed, one leg crooked raised a little bit on a rock, and just for a second and she's not moving and then she runs off to the other side of the screen.

There's one weird part of the movie where this other guy camping nearby to the young couple goes into their boat and starts throwing stuff into the water and then breaks a window and makes a fire from a bunch of their stuff on the boat. He and the young man then fight and he runs off. It's strange, this outburst of violence and unexplained craziness in the middle of the movie. It's not at all clear why the guy is doing that. First you think he's just going to steal their belongings or the boat, but then he's just kind of causing chaos. It's almost like he's not really acting as a real person, he's just a metaphorical symbol of their imminent declining relationship.

There are utility workers appearing around town. They seem to be maybe shoring up the telephone poles. They drill a couple holes around the base of the pole going down. They seem to insert some kind of epoxy (maybe), cylindrical kind of clear, and then they put in these big screws, black, long, in the holes. They went all the way up my street the other day now they're on the street I walk to the library on. Guess that's some kind of new thing to do. In some sense it seems like putting more holes into these old poles will make them less stable as far as the wood goes. I don't know, I guess they know what they're doing.

I don't think I mentioned it before, I ended up ordering a Nintendo Switch the other day, so I could play the Zelda Breath of the Wild game. I've been playing it a little bit slowly over the past few days, trying to figure it out, how it works and not totally sure how I feel about it yet. It's still in the early section where you're learning how the game works. One thing I find certainly frustrating is that the Switch'a generic controls for okay/yes and backwards are the exact opposite placement of the buttons on the PS4, so I keep going back when I mean to okay something, and okay something when I mean to go back. I'll get used to it eventually, but it's been pretty frustrating. The game is nicely open world even the small section you are stuck in at the beginning as you learn the game is pretty big and varied. You can just run and climb and swim all over it. You don't seem to have any of those places where it just blocks you like in a lot of games where you can't climb so they just put up stuff you can't pass. In this one, as long as you can maintain your stamina level for climbing you can just climb up things. It's pretty neat. There's also a cooking system that I'm still experimenting with to make food and potions that have different powers. Something I don't particularly like is the way weapons run down and break fast. Feels like you fight a couple monsters with one weapon and it explodes into pieces, so you're constantly having to pick up new weapons and manage your weapon inventory which is a pain. I hate doing a lot of inventory management in games always seems like an unnecessary burden.

I sure do go on with this when I'm voice to texting the drafts. I guess this is a better way for me to work. I do always have to go back and clean it up and fix spelling and add punctuation clarify things (though not as much as I could). But it really is a good way to just get get my thoughts on to "paper" that I don't forget about them, neglect to revisit them later.