How I Could Just Kill a (Virtual) Man

RPGs, simulations, and strategy games are my preferred genres, but I've played and enjoyed several shooters that prioritized story over gameplay (BioShock Infinite), explored the moral gray areas of violence as a solution (Spec-Ops: The Line), or whose sci-fi settings simply put things in a less problematic context (Halo). The timing of Hardline's switch from military fantasy to militarized police fantasy couldn't possibly be worse, either, in light of the ongoing problems in Ferguson, MO, one of the more egregious examples of a systemic cultural problem in this country that most video games either completely ignore or cynically tap into.

Mozer, Bethea and Me (for Veteran’s Day)

The original version of the poem, written back in 2003, was entitled Mozer, Bethea and I (as published in Handmade Memories), and it had a ranty, overly political ending that tried to be a little too clever and felt like a different poem from the opening, I tightened it all up, including a bit more nuance in Mozer's section, while heavily revising the closing to end up with what I think is a far stronger, more personal, more relatable work. Veteran's Day isn't a time for generic sentiments, positive or negative, but a time for personal reflection. I'm generally ambivalent about my time in the military because I met far too many people who defied easy stereotypes of what it means to be pro- or anti-war, and I've always had nothing but respect for anyone who has served, not to mention a fair bit of curiosity about why they did so.

Like Hope, But Different

[youtube:] (Warning: Put down any hot beverages you may be drinking before pressing play.) On a more serious note, via The Atlantic's excellent Andrew Sullivan, comes Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal and a post, "Wisdom from the Homefront", about some of the mail soliders in Iraq receive from American schoolchildren: favorite portion of the miscellaneous stack … Continue reading Like Hope, But Different

Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment

A number of new comics publishers have targeted specific niches over the years, seeking to better serve and/or exploit untapped audiences in an effort to carve out a viable niche for themselves. Whether its minorities, women, GLBT, pre-teens, etc., it's a topic I've covered specifically or peripherally several times in the past, so this latest … Continue reading Charlie Foxtrot Entertainment

Right-Wing Comics Conspiracy!

For all those who scoff at anything that even remotely suggests so-called "conspiracy theories," believing they're all far-fetched fictions made up by paranoid whack-jobs, here's a little something to chew on: right-wingers looking to inflitrate comic books! At Bill Jemas' zenith as President of Marvel Comics he commissioned "4/11," also known as The White Album, … Continue reading Right-Wing Comics Conspiracy!