screenshot for Legend of Silence, the fictional game featured in Mike Meginnis’ “Navigators”
Their game was Legend of Silence, or LoS. LoS was different from their other games; whereas in Metroid or Zelda the player character became more powerful as he explored, the heroine of LoS was diminished by every artifact she found. The manual still called them Power Ups, but this was, father and son agreed, misleading: they should be called Power Downs, or Nerfs, or Torments, because this was what they did. The goal of the game was to lose everything so that one could enter Nirvana, where the final boss lay in wait, enjoying all the ill-gotten fruits of not being and not knowing.
-From “Navigators” by Mike Meginnis*
*(the best and most heartbreaking story about video games and video game maps I have read)
Allah-Las :: Busman’s Holiday
If you are not listening to this on your back porch in the dark while drinking a grapefruit soda and thinking about how you’ll be watching a meteor shower in the Joshua Tree desert tomorrow night, well. Sorry.
Edward Hopper, Room in New York, 1932
We see a man and a woman in a crowded apartment through the confining frame of a brownstone windowsill. Despite the cramped quarters, the couple remain aloof from each other; there is more than a round table separating these two. The man leans forward, not toward the woman but the newspaper that slants before him. The woman faces away from the man, leaning against an upright piano. The position of her knees and elbow makes it clear she doesn’t intend to play the instrument. Instead she picks at the keyboard with a single finger, producing the consolations of sound to fill the conversational void. The rectangular panels of the door repeat those of the three framed pictures on the wall, a repetition that becomes the visual equivalent of dull familiarity. The isolation is so enervating that the people seem to have lost their faces in masks of shadow. Hopper confounds the voyeur’s crime: our stolen glimpse into other people’s lives wasn’t worth stealing. What we witness is too impersonal to be private, too inert to be engaging. At their most intimate, people are disappointingly themselves.
-from “Edward Hopper and the Geometry of Despair” by Geoffrey Bent
Things I Will Make You If You Understand Without Having to Speak That Every Time Search and Destroy Comes on the Radio in the Car You Must Roll Down the Windows, Turn it All the Way Up, and Bang Your Fists on the Steering Wheel While Howling the Lyrics
First day of 4th grade, c. 1990
- Awards: Distinguished Scholar of Ancient Curses (Stanford Egyptology Summer Camp)
- Career Goal: Parapsychologist
- Favorite music: Bette Midler
- Hobbies: Climbing trees, writing and directing plays about tragic orphans (translation: holding neighborhood kids hostage & throwing tantrums), reading about orphans, floating in the neighborhood pool pretending to be a marooned orphan, anything having to do with orphans, really
- Favorite books: Anne of Green Gables, Les Miserables
- Crush: probably a long-dead fictional french orphan