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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Oh crap sorry! Extra Credits! Along with Heathcliff, I dedicate this story to the following people, in no particular order:

Ada Lovelace

Kurt Vonnegut

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Grace Hopper

Ray Kurzweil

Gabe Newell

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

The Fam

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Issue : Game : Pathology

Dead Rising 4 is a game about enterprise culture.

As I have mentioned before people love to call me crazy for how far I drive to work every day. I forgot to mention the reaction I get most frequent. People say, "Aren't you worried about the damage you are doing to your car?" This is a question I never have a good answer for because the math adds up. No amount of devil may care nullifies physics, which is the pith of the question.

A million little things have to go right to get through every single day of this waking life. For instance a meteor has to not hit your house while you are sleeping, when you wake up you have to not slip in the shower and hit your head, your car has to start, every belt, cylinder, and fluid in the car has to work properly, every driver around you has to not behave like a sociopath, and your place of work has to not be hit by a meteor so you will be able to make money and do it all again the next day. That sort of thing.

The car is by far the sketchiest bucket of variables in my day. I spend four hours a day in the thing and no amount of upkeep assuages my knowledge that it's only a matter of time. Roll the dice long enough you gotta crap out.

Recently I crapped out. Well, I crapped out a few months earlier as well when that landscaping van T-Boned me but that's another story.

It's an interesting feeling zooming down a stretch of abandoned highway in the dark and rainy night, hearing a loud pop, gripping a paralyzed helm due to loss of power steering, pressing down on the gas pedal and nothing happens, hearing the screech of car horns zipping around you. You think, "Oh, it really kinda is how it seems in movies." Anyway, that's what I thought.

While resigning myself to ignominious death like a dog in the street I noticed the coast highway offramp in Oceanside and adjacent California welcome center. I thought, "Oh, I could pop into there!" So I used the wild momentum the car still contained to drift off the highway, around the bend, through a busy red light intersection and came to a stop on street parking directly in front of the welcome center. I turned off the car, unclenched my butt cheeks, and thought, "Well that worked out."

The problem with being a misanthropic hermit is when adversity strikes and things fall apart figuring out survival is overwhelmingly on you, very few lifelines exist. A series of unfortunate events led me to spend my savings on other matters, such as being too slow to outrun creditors and trying to keep my psychotic cat alive. So a tow truck was out of the question.

There are many family, friends, frenemies, associates, and co-conspirators in my phonebook who would come to my aid, and I for them, but most if not all have hard and fast situational rules when it comes to dealing with me.

For instance, not allowing me to babysit their children (teach a kid to make one kitchen knife chandelier and everybody looses their minds), not loaning me money in the form of bitcoin, or not picking me up in random locations on short notice in the middle of the night, especially if covered in blood. I could only think of one person who has been game for all of the above scenarios, so I called him. He responded, "I'll be there in 25."

As we were pushing the car into an off-street location for later retrieval and rigging it with traps because why wouldn't we he asked if I wanted to head downtown the next day to watch the inauguration and drink every time that guy made that weird pinched finger gesture, insulted a culture while using words or numerology they invented, or referred to himself in the third person while referring to himself in the second. I told him nah, things falling apart ain't nothing new or party worthy. Tomorrow I gotta find a way to my car, then find a way to work, then start making the million little things go right again.

I felt compelled to thank him for helping me out, although such acquiescence to sentimentality are not required in relationships such as ours. But I did anyway and he responded, "I could think of better ways to spend my birthday, I'm sure my wife could." I responded, "She mad?" He replied, "Nah, she knows you."

I hope information understands how much I appreciate him and his awesome wife. I love how this misadventure wouldn't even make the highlight reel. And I talk about rolled tacos so much cause I fuckin' love rolled tacos, man. I'm eating them right now and I'm not even that hungry. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Dendrology

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Issue : Games : Inimical

The King of Fighters XIV is a game about engagement.

I'm a fan of battle rap. Shocker, I know. Battle Rap is a hip-hop activity where two humans stand face to face trading linguistically stylized boasts, observations, and insults for thirty minutes.

I ran across the activity as a kid and fell in love because I had (edit: have) a big mouth and the idea of saying whatever I wanted to someone without the threat of being beaten to death was my literal interpretation of Martin Luther Kings "I've been to the mountaintop" speech.

The activity was invaluable for my growth because I was taught how to physically defend myself but until battle rap came along I had no idea how to defend myself against the neverending crucible of microaggressions levied on a daily basis.

"You black so you ain't got no dad. haha." "You ride a skateboard and talk funny, you're white. haha." "You got long eyelashes, you are gay. Haha." "You play video games and read books for fun, you a nerd. Haha." That sort of thing.

Those may not be the exact words for everyone, they'll be bespoke. It will be in a cafeteria, or a classroom, it will be around a group. Classic fight or flight, these moments define a person.

Listen: It's inevitable; some day some kid is going to walk up and call you a faggot.

A school won't teach a kid how to address this. Parents wouldn't even know where to start. So a kid looks to his environment for strength or learns how to live with indignity. I could have gone a number of routes with it but I found my allies and heroes in battle rap. The biggest tool I took away is one I use in my working life to this day. My strength wasn't in the aggressor role but in the defense.

The battle is part what you say and part how you react to what is being said. The rule of battle rap is that if you react poorly to what is said (speak out of turn, look visibly upset, physical aggression) you loose the battle.

It was weaponized indifference, a style of verbal martial arts I never imagined existed. I had to learn it so I asked someone to teach me, and they did. It taught me to keep my mind about me, listen and process what is said without reacting immediately, and respond out of clear thought instead of anger. And once I had that lesson in the bag it became increasingly easy to manage aggressions levied on me. I could choose to respond if I felt the insult worth my time or I could choose to keep it moving if it was a craftless repeat of things I had already heard.

"You black so you ain't got no dad. haha." "Damn, I'm sorry Daquan stole your bike when you were nine. What else ya got?""You ride a skateboard and talk funny, you're white. haha." "Doesn't add up, good luck with that cognitive dissonance. What else ya got?""You got long eyelashes, you're gay. Haha." "Then I'm in good company. Gay people are cool. You aren't. What else ya got?""You play video games and read books for fun, you a nerd. Haha." "True, I'm smart. Great observation. What else ya got?" That sort of thing.

The only drawback is compartmentalization. As in getting so good at absorption, deflection, and counterattack you become numb to what truly hurts or run risk of misinterpreting a fair critique of things you should work on as an attack. It gets in and doesn't get out, which is a victory in itself for their side.

Anyway, I guess I mention this because at an event I sat with yet another kid broken by the internet. She had the audacity to open a Twitch channel and share with people, with predictable results. Most of the jokesters happened to be her classmates. Now she doesn't want to share, she doesn't want to go to school, doesn't want to live. This is a bug. I hope information logs back in, you have fans rooting for you and I'm one of em. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : Games : Pernicious

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