Shelter in Place, Pt. II: We Can Do Good

Shelter in Place, Pt. II: We Can Do Good

If last week's post got a little dark it's only because considering the inability of the sitting American president to adequately guide the American people through the COVID-19 pandemic—a failure to do his job resulting from the sheer force of his staggering incompetence and narcissism—is enough to send me into a depressive thought spiral that I, [...]

Shelter in Place, Pt. I: COVID-19 and the Failure of American Empathy

Shelter in Place, Pt. I: COVID-19 and the Failure of American Empathy

Post-apocalyptic fiction rarely focuses on the fall. There's the initial outbreak, the surprising interaction between man and beast or man and nature that introduces some mutagenic pathogen to first one individual and then, rapidly, countless others. Then comes the smash cut to a hollowed out world of ghost towns and ragged survivors, a bombed out [...]

A Gaming Origin Story

A Gaming Origin Story

During a recent episode of Kotaku Splitscreen, the concept of gaming origin stories was discussed, the general idea being that every gamer can point to a singular gaming experience that convinced them that video games were a worthy use of their time. Co-host Maddy Myers made the important distinction that this experience doesn't have to [...]

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Everything is complicated and Thanksgiving is no exception. Setting aside the impacts of colonialism and systemic inequality—which are quite a lot to set aside and deserve more attention than I'm allotting here!—the idea of dedicating a day to reflection, to consideration of those people, things and circumstances to which we are grateful, is a good [...]

A Single Song from The Lord of the Rings Is Destroying Me

A Single Song from The Lord of the Rings Is Destroying Me

J.R.R. Tolkien was an academic with a vibrant interest in storytelling traditions and, because it was a lot easier for 13th century bards to remember rhyming stanzas than one long string of prose text, most of those traditions involve stories written in verse or performed as songs outright. Not content to merely translate and rewrite those existing verse [...]

Something That Was Mine

Something That Was Mine

Reading is an inherently independent activity so if there's anything unusual about my reading The Lord of the Rings every year, it's limited to the fact that I read The Lord of the Rings every year and not that I do so alone. Most years, after I finish that reading, I watch Peter Jackson's trilogy [...]

The Circular Ruins

The Circular Ruins

Let's just get this out in the open: Part of the reason that I write is that I want to live forever. I am not alone in that feeling. Surveying the members of any creative field will turn up an awful lot of similar sentiment. A brief (and highly unscientific) survey of some of the creative types [...]