Never Forget

So this song came out and just pulled on me. I mean, who wouldn’t it pull on?

Who hasn’t had that one lover that was a best friend, everything in the world, and then they walked out? I mean walked out is a general term of something happened. And then they were gone and there was a massive hole where the heart was. But as the Script says, a heart never breaks even.

I love this song, though. It’s really amazing. When I first heard it, I definitely expected a different music video. The imaginary friend just added something really beautiful to it, even though she’s definitely not talking about an imaginary friend. They can’t walk out the door.

Check out Zara Larsson’s other stuff. She’s talented. So is MNEK, but I confess I haven’t looked up his music. He just definitely has a good voice.

You will always be by my side.

Voltaire’s Fight

I’m betting some of you saw what JK Rowling said about Donald Trump. Link attached for rock dwellers. Synopsis to follow for people who fear links. I fear links. More Link. But only if I decided to kidnap Zelda.

There is a petition going around to ban Trump from the UK. There are 500,000 signatures. They call him a bigot spreading hate.To be fair, most people believe this through how the media portrays him and half of what he’s said he’s never said. He’s still not a good guy. As a libertarian/conservative I’m not voting for him. But let’s be honest, none of our options are exactly noteworthy.

Anyway, despite this petition, despite Rowling’s general dislike of Trump, she said let him in. Let him visit the UK and say what he wants to. Why? Because the same principles defending Trump’s speech defends Rowling’s ability to call him a hate-mongering bigot. Because if Trump cannot say what he’s thinking, when will Rowling be told she cannot say what she is thinking? It’s easy to be blinded by this when you’re in the majority. It’s easy to whittle down the majority when they won’t defend others.

In a writing group they posted something on how we need more diversity in our writing. Everything is white folk, and we need to liven it up! White folk for miles. Ironically being preached by white folk.

I stuck my neck out. It’s a false issue. Who cares if the characters in a cowboy romance in Texas consists of all white people? Who cares if there’s a murder mystery with white people? Who cares?

Everyone attacks. These are fun attacks too. Because you stand up for that side of the spectrum, everyone drops down that you’re a hateful bigot who doesn’t care about diversity. Oh ho ho ho. Suck my wiener schnitzel (this isn’t even a sausage, but I really like the word and it’s absolutely delicious).

The thing is my first novel is inspired by the Middle East. They’re all Middle Eastern (aside from the blackamoor and delven). The third book is inspired by India, with the fourth inspired by Eastern Asia. There are only white folk in the second book which is inspired by the Norse.

So when I throw this down to their claims of I’m not diverse, they look at me funny. Or their screens. I imagine they look at it funny anyway. Then they ask, “Why are you defending this, you’re already using diversity?”

You know the problem? If I don’t use diversity I’m racist. If I do, I’m guilty of cultural appropriation. There is no win. And if I use diversity today, what if I don’t use it tomorrow?

More to the point: why am I telling someone else how to write their story?

 

 

We live in a society that if it’s not your opinion, if it’s not your issue, you must step aside and let the village mob burn them at the stake. You can’t have the forethought to think, “Well it’s them today, but who will it be tomorrow?”

A history lesson. Two actually, but we’ll start with one. Hitler started with the Jews. The deformed. The blacks. The church sat back and said, “At least it’s not us.” Despite society pushing that Hitler was Christian, he loathed religion. His closest advisers wrote about his disdain for Christianity. In the final days, just before the war finished? He started coming for those priests and pastors. When the Christians cried out for help, they were left looking around, realizing there was no one left to help them.

That’s not a jab at Christians. It’s a jab at weakness in the face of evil, and how we’re reliving it. We look at the people being silenced and whisper, “Glad I’m not that guy,” before walking away. One day it will be us. One day writers will be looking at an older world.

Which leads into the second history lesson. I’ve told this one before. I’m a big fan of it.

John Stubbs. I really hope he had a sense of humor, which it sounded like he did, so that at least he could take some pleasure from his horrid state. I mean, before he died many years later. This story happened in 1579.

Stubbs criticized Queen Elizabeth of England. In retribution, she had his hand cut off. What makes me think he was a man of humor is his pun, “Pray for me now that my calamity is at hand.” Either way, the man suffered (nearly execution), for speaking his mind. Just as Socrates did. Just as many others have.

We are turning into that world, and there are no Allies to help revert us. We are the Allies. We are the last defense for actual freedom of speech, and if we do not stand up for those we disagree with, it will only be a matter of time until we are the ones disagreed with.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Far Cry Primal: Verisimilitude

Well kids, we should have the talk. The talk where someone stretches verisimilitude to the point of breaking.

What’s verisimilitude you ask? I’m so proud of your inquiring mind! Verisimilitude is a writing term which refers to the believability of the work.

An example would be a book on the middle ages has machine guns. This would likely break your suspension of disbelief. That’s drastic, there are far simpler examples. Look at people who survive when they shouldn’t. Over and over again. At a certain point, they should croak, and you start getting to the point where you can’t believe they’re still alive.

Are there exceptions? Most certainly. Deadpool knows he’s not real. Any Mel Brook’s movie goes way off the top, but it makes sense in context. Robin Hood asked for the script at a point. Most of these are parodies. There are the less ridiculous alternate realities. Just enough anachronistic shenanigans to keep it interesting, but not enough to make us go, “Are you kidding? Please be kidding.”

Enter Far Cry Primal. I’m really confused on how to feel about it.

Who doesn’t like a trailer? Anyway. That’s the gist of the game.

Moving on!

The game takes place in 10,000 BC. You’re basically a caveman. And by basically, you literally live in a cave, though at least your village doesn’t. You’re beset by a group obsessed with fire and another obsessed with man-flesh. Not like, advancing the LGBT community man-flesh. Like…eating it. And really they’re gender neutral on the whole cannibalism thing.

You are the first animal tamer. Cool concept. I do wish I’d go out, tame some goats, and bring them back to the village for milk and meat, but apparently I only comprehend massive predators who can rip my enemies apart. Still very awesome, but what I’d do for domesticated goats. Let’s get these people some cheese.

They have different regions, which are cool. The landscape is impossibly varied, but understandably you only have so much ground, so I shrug at that. It’s a common component in sand box games.

Then I saw I get bombs. There is a bee bag bomb, which while stretching suspension of disbelief, it doesn’t entirely shatter it. Then there are fire bombs. They explode.

Wait what? In 10,000 BC? By conservative estimates that’s only like…10,800 years off? Why are things exploding?!

But that’s fine. I’m enjoying hunting animals. It apparently takes a while to get the greatest technological advancement ever known by cave men, and I still enjoyed just chilling in shadows or riding my bear into combat. And no, I’m totally okay riding a bear. I had hallucinations on how to tame him. Totally all within the world’s realm of possibility.

Then I got a new bow, instead of my crappy short bow, which was basically, “Look, a twig!”

Longbow. Wait….

Need a history lesson? The longbow was one of the greatest technological advancements. It gave Britain a huge advantage during the 100 year war with France. That’s right. Britain and France were official countries when the longbow was invented, which was around the 1300s AD. Only 11,300 years off this time.

From the fact that I’m not using bombs and the longbow was an improvement I didn’t really need (better range, though not actual longbow range, and a zoom feature because…I don’t even know), they obviously didn’t have to shatter these two walls. It just annoyed me that they would try to pass it off as something normal.

I still love the game and highly suggest it. There’s something about running around with an animal killing other animals, cannibals, and arsonists. Not that I’m really innocent on the arson.

They do a great job with the invention of fire. I love burning forests just to see what happens. I’m a horrible person.

Anyway, still pick it up. Lots of fun. I’m going to burn down a village before I get back to edits.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Did you see the trailer? The one that has Call of Duty collectively freaking out?

After watching the really cool Battlefield 1 trailer (I loved 3, enjoyed 4, didn’t even bother with Hardline), I thought I would watch the CoD trailer that was going to be the nail in their coffin. It’s the trailer that made people more excited at the remastering of Modern Warfare, a game that’s around a decade old, than it did at the next installment.

Mind you, I think CoD is for small children who love repetitive game play with entirely unrealistic gun mechanics. In Battlefield 3 and 4, I loved playing with the M249.

m249

The orange tip lets you know it’s wearing protection. I think.

The gun required me to go prone and use a bipod if I wanted to shoot anything smaller than a tank ten feet away. Why? Because my frail mortal coil can not handle a weapon which shoots over 100 rounds per minute.

Whenever I went up against another guy with an LMG (light machine gun, because it’s considered light if you can carry it), if I took the three seconds of not shooting to drop prone, put out the bipod, and then fire, I won. Every time. Why? Because he couldn’t shoot me in the time it took for me to set up, and once I was set up, by Ares and Mars combined, this is a destroy of men.

I went over to my cousins and we played CoD online. I went with the M249. Did you know you cannot go prone or get stability in CoD? It freaked me out, but it’s CoD, so I shrugged. Then I fired it.

It was like watching steaming urine shoot 50 yards out, this beautiful barely wavering line of lead. I lit it up. Sniper across the map? Sir…you better hope your one shot hits, because I only need 25% of my shots to hit and you’re dead before reload. When finished, I didn’t understand why everyone wasn’t running around with one of these bad boys.

Back on task. The new CoD trailer. Everyone is hating it. There are so many dislikes. I went and watched the above trailer, and I was impressed.

The last game, Black Ops III, played heavily with sci fi. It was basically magic technology. This is going to the next step. From what I can gather there’s a colony that is declaring war on earth. What? Are we in Japan!? This is an awesome plot line. It took forethought. It took creativity. It took space battles?! Where did these come from!? Why aren’t they in Battlefront? No really…who came up with the idea of a Battlefront game without space battles? EA could learn something from Activision. Space battles are cool.

Anyway, I was massively impressed, and I couldn’t comprehend why people were upset. The game play itself looked very similar to past CoD. Unreal Tournament fast with guns that handle so unrealistically they must have been conjured by a far more brutal Ratchet and Clank.

It’s a growing issue. We like to claim how bad American culture has always been, but honestly, we’re innovators and creators. We’ve been the hot bed of new culture for at least the past century. Our music, art, writing, movies, and so on. But lately? Sequels. There’s a good book, so opt that. Prequel!

Cultural advancements, advancements in ideas and veering away from the tried and true, are being penalized like never before. People aren’t excited by CoD exploring new fronts (I am), they’re excited that CoD is remaking an old game. They’re vehemently opposed to the new frontier.

I feel bad for Activision. They went out on a really awesome ledge, and now they’re getting bombasted because they’ve cultivated a core of small children afraid of new things. I’m sure they don’t eat their broccoli either.

Anyway, Activision when called out said this is pretty normal. The franchise will continue to thrive and even survive. All those people saying they’ll buy Battlefield 1 instead, will jump into it and go, “But guns don’t have recoil!” and they’ll shuffle right back.

As for Battlefield 1, I am very excited. They are placing it in World War I. We don’t talk about that war much, yet it changed the course of the world. It created/destroyed the missing generation. Warfare was brutal, unforgiving, and never in our history had life so thoughtlessly been slaughtered. Legitimately. Men ran across barren fields to get mowed down by machine gun fire. There was no defense against it.

My only fear is it’s a hard war to depict accurately. I hope EA and Dice do it justice.

Below is the BF1 trailer! Check it out. Very pretty.

Team Yennifer > Team Triss

First Note: This is a massive Witcher spoiler. Like anything and everything for the franchise.

Second Note: I can’t believe I’m doing this. Here’s looking at you, Mac. (You can find the Team Triss opinion at his website at this link)

Third Note: Mac’s post has more about the setting. I just kind of dove in.

yen

Today I present to you how Gerifer is the ultimate ship in the Witcher franchise. (Totally went there)

Is it Yennifer’s onyx hair which glistens like silk under the torchlight? Her porcelain skin which shimmers? What a delightful illusion Yennifer conjures with her sorceress skills, that could take a hunchback and create such a tantalizing creature?

While I argue that Yennifer is the better beauty of the two, let’s not stop our gaze with such base assets!

Geralt of Riva, the brutish stoic of a Witcher, is quiet and intense in most cases. He is burdened by the decisions he makes. His heavy soul can easily overpower the playful or light of heart.

Enter Yen. When they first met, Yen was hunting a djinn. Using numerous elves and humans, she was able to obtain her object of desire. Strong willed, she pushed all others aside so she alone could claim the bounty! So moved by her beauty of character was Geralt that when the djinn would certainly kill her, he wished for them to be tied by fate for all eternity. What a romantic! But for any other woman, Geralt has been notorious for brief beddings!

There are times where Geralt’s heart is weak, weighted by the millstone of morality and duty. When hunting his adopted daughter, Ciri, he had to destroy a holy tree to perform a ritual which would gain him information. However, the tree being holy and cared for by people he respected, he could not bring himself to do it. Yen took on the burden. She stripped that tree of magical energy in two seconds, knowing it would bring Geralt closer to a girl he saw as a daughter.

But there is more! When the caretakers of the tree approached, shunning Geralt and Yen from the island, Yen took all the blame that Geralt could keep in their good graces. What kindness, despite such a cold exterior.

My friends, Yennifer is not only beautiful, but prudent and strong willed. She knows what Geralt needs and will obtain it though he cannot dare to reach for his goal. Geralt is the moral anchor that reminds Yennifer sometimes the ability to do something isn’t the reason to do it.

So I argue, the true romantic ship of The Witcher, is Gerifer!

 

 

The Mosquito Stratagem

This is a fan fiction based off a game I’m currently playing. The game is Blight of the Immortals. Good fun.

“Sir, it looks like they’re going north. To the Thicket.”

Frog growled, itching his jawls as the trolls marched before him. He let out a heavy sigh and those around him could feel it quake. “Ogre spit.” He picked a piece of pork from his tooth and placed it so he could gnaw more.

“Should we pursue?” Gullet pointed to the burning goblin settlement of Coldbeep. All they would have to do is follow the road there, then go off into the wilderness. They would catch the immortal King of Coins.

The King had been a thorn for the beginning of the campaign. Somehow he was able to grasp every bit of coin within a hundred leagues, and it left the trolls broke. With him sitting in Coldbeep, they had a quick shot at him. He was on the front lines. Retreating to the Thicket meant he was hiding behind the undead army he helped put in place.

“There were goblin bowmen in the Tangle, weren’t there?”

Gullet snorted. “Are we running with our tails between our legs?”

“We have no money?”

“Correct,” he growled.

“There’s an army waiting for us. We’re intimidating, yes?”

Gullet straightened as well as he could under the ton of heft, then beat his chest. His sagging green flesh wobbled, then stilled. “We are damned intimidating, sir.”

“We’ll go get those archers.”

“But we can handle this on our own. We’re more than enough for the thief.”

“We need to conserve until we can get the immortals under control. We will reach Coldbeep, burn the corpses left behind, then enlist those archers, and the King of Coin will die in a volley of arrows.”

“But that’s not the troll way!” He stomped in the fields like a small child, beating his chest. Others rallied with him.

“The troll way worked when we fought men, elves, and dwarves. When we could put them over a spit when we were done and eat them. It worked when our fallen did not get back up. It worked when goblins gnawing at us meant nothing. Now they gnaw us to the bone in seconds.” He slammed a club down and the crowd silenced. “We will again eat man and elf, but it will not be today. It may not be in our life time. But our children will know man flesh, yet they will only know it if we swallow our pride to defeat the blight in front of us.”

Frog snarled as he paced a few moments. “It is the troll way to kill Gullet for insurrection. However, every troll here is needed. Every troll here can succumb to the immortals. And when the immortals get him, maybe not today, maybe not this week, but when they do get him, I will take incredible pleasure in removing his head.”

Gullet skulked off into the crowd, understanding he no longer held honors with Frog. Then Frog said, “We continue to Coldbeep. We then retreat to the Tangle for the archers. I want the King of Coin dead by tomorrow night.”