Friday, March 23, 2012

Old Games

I wonder why no-one complaining about how The Hunger Games ripped off Battle Royale is talking about how Battle Royale ripped off Vengeance on Varos

Or the three other Doctor Who stories with the same basic premise, one of which even preceded The Running Man (The War Games). Then there are episodes of Star Trek, gladiator movies . . . I guess Battle Royale is at just the right depth for the belligerent hipster.

But speaking of unwanted audiences for our bloody Sci-Fi/Fantasy battles, my computer abruptly shut off by itself last night at around 3am. When it came back, I found my anivirus, Avast, warning me with a big red box about an infected exe file brought to me by Steam, something Avast recommended I allow it to isolate before the computer booted up. Now I can't use Skyrim, Fallout: New Vegas, or Batman: Arkham Asylum because they're all wired up to Steam, which insists on trying to install its possibly infected exe file every time I try to use one of those games. Steam, glorious, Steam. Because we all just have to be connected at all times, don't we? I read aniviruses sometimes read normal Steam doings as threats, but Steam has been hacked, though not as infamously as Sony's Playstation network. But that's the price we pay for the assuredly essential inclusion of Steam community into our lives.

So I wasn't able to watch a movie on my computer last night because Avast takes around an hour or so for its pre-boot scan. I watched Excalibur on the old tube television. The old, fuzzy image actually made me feel nostalgic. I kind of get now why David Lynch likes using low quality digital cameras.

When I opened my browser a few minutes ago, my homepage set to Wikipedia's "random page" gave me this page on Nazi official Wilhelm Kube. Just this one guy's story illustrates the erroneously simplistic perspective American culture often tends to have on Nazis. This guy served at the Dachau concentration camp and ordered exterminations of Jewish populations and yet when SS slaughtered Jews without authorisation he reacted in horror, submitting a protest to Heinrich Himmler from which Wikipedia quotes;

The town was a picture of horror during the action. With indescribable brutality on the part of both the German police officers and particularly the Lithuanian partisans, the Jewish people, but also among them Belarusians, were taken out of their dwellings and herded together. Everywhere in the town shots were to be heard and in different streets the corpses of shot Jews accumulated. The Belarusians were in greatest distress to free themselves from the encirclement.

One wonders at the strange labyrinth of justifications and compartmentalisations that must have existed in this guy's head. Yet I was immediately reminded of the recent news about American army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales murdering civilians in Afghanistan. And I realised Wilhelm Kube may well have been horrified by the actions of Robert Bales. Kube, who oversaw the extermination of Jewish children, who threw candy to them as they were being buried alive.

All this, I think, mainly points to the human capacity to will simplicity into apparent existence where really only complexity exists. The story of Bales reminded me of the Mai Lai massacre, too. I would not be surprised if we heard about more atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq, committed by men who wove in their minds little Rambo tales.

Twitter Sonnet #367

Unsung sock savants sheath the harder feet.
Foreign foundries drip unending elk pee.
Drunkenness does not visit the wet beet.
An eyeball without legs can never see.
Fungal books bloom from the great central oak.
Female lists remove slices of the chart.
Toucan noses know the rectangle's broke.
And soon there will be only one K-Mart.
Lines of skywriter cocaine start the bet.
Companions canned by camera covered steel.
Bin arms retract to the terrace unmet.
Robot body paint makes a silver heel.
Brightly dyed felt absorbs at a brisk rate.
Ravenous Muppet exiles dehydrate.

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