Category Archives: Culture

The Surge: A Review

I’ve recently enjoyed applying an intellectual bent to an analysis of videogames. My most recent purchase was The Surge, and what better place to start than something so fresh in my mind?

The Surge is a third person action game focused on melee combat. It’s been (correctly) referred to as a Sci-Fi Dark Souls. What self respecting masochist wouldn’t enjoy Dark Souls in exosuits?

Deck 13 Interactive (the developers) have attempted to duplicate the success of the Souls series previously and failed. Miserably so. For those unfamiliar with the Souls series (and for those who are but haven’t conceptualized it in this way), its skill ceiling functions based off anticipation and committing to action. Enemies are too strong to trade blows with regularly, and must be avoided by anticipating their actions through the relevant animations telegraphing them. Similarly, the actions of the player proactively speaking (attacks, spells, stuns) must be done within certain time frames to avoid significant harm to themselves and maximizing damage against enemies. Stagger mechanics are present to afford players a greater degree of control over these windows of opportunity (and a greater degree of danger when enemies retaliate).

When Deck 13 last tried to emulate this, they created Lords of the Fallen. A fantasy world with mechanics of Souls-like games (high risk-high reward) with absolutely none of the polish. Weapon animations took ages to cycle. Anticipation was negligible and practically all enemies were faster in both movement and attacks than the main character. It was disastrous. While during interviews the Devs deflect, maintaining player choices related to armor and selected weapons were to blame for poor reviews of the game, it seems a performative contradiction is at hand. Virtually none of the problems with Lords of the Fallen are present within The Surge. It’s a contradiction to claim the customer is wrong and address the problem regardless, but a welcome one to be sure.

Attacks have weight and power in the Surge, and attack animations are furthermore disparate in their speed of attack, “impact” (likelihood or achieved threshold of triggering a stagger), and damage. 3 stats are managed; Health, Stamina, and Energy. Health and Stamina obviously measure your ability to survive a given fight. Energy is a very interesting gameplay mechanics; several implants (upgrades) rely on it, the finisher mechanics (which is triggered by the player) rely on it, and Drone abilities rely on it. Various abilities drain the bar and it’s regained through attacking enemies, very reminiscent of Bloodborne which reinforced the proactive rather than reactionary playstyle it was designed for. Various implants allow the player to consume energy for health or damage increases, or regain health when completing a finisher,. Individual body parts can be targeted within The Surge which is directly tied to the acquisition of crafting resources and blueprints for weapons and armor. Triggering a finisher on an enemy at low health on a body part significantly damaged and targeted throughout the fight greatly increases the likelihood of its crafting diagram dropping.

Note: the core gameplay does have some slight issues with the introduction of several ranged enemies in the latter half of the game.

Its premise is dystopian (of course, though its execution is admirable). While I generally tire of this sort of trope for its frequency usage as a crutch to uphold poor writing, the aesthetic reinforces the feeling of heavy industrialization and over-imposing degrees of technology surrounded by what looks like a wasteland.

Something that does need to be said is this game seriously reinforces the “evil genius cooperate dystopian dictator blahblahblah” tropes that occur far too often within games (I plan a full essay on this soon).  Demonizing the intelligent and successful members of society as potentially demonic evil tyrants the second the all seeing eye of regulatory bodies stops watching them is morally reprehensible. That trope aside (after all, being aware of it nulls any influence it will have over you), I would recommend this game overall. If soulslikes fit your niche, this is a must buy. If not, wait for the price to hit about $25-30 for this purchase.

 

Violence

There’s a certain unspoken rule in politics. Debate is the method of solving things. Even if it’s not particularly rigorous, logical, open minded, or providing a fair platform, debate is the way our free society works out the issues of our times.

Unless of course, you don’t pay taxes. Then men with guns come to your house and take your shit.

Unless of course, you don’t believe in class/race determinism. Then you’re fired from your job because you didn’t participate in indoctrination.

Unless of course, you happen to be white walking through a black neighborhood. Then you’re beaten (because you’re white) though it’s not technically racism (because you’re white).

Unless of course, you voted for someone the Left doesn’t like. Then bricks are thrown and pepper spray is discharged all over your face like the end of a Mia Khalifa scene.

Seriously, none of the events of the past few days should be surprising. Not in the least! The left has been engaging in violence to silence people for the past 3 years especially. Anyone who failed to keep up with the social justice agenda (much less surrender to it) was openly mocked, targeted, harassed, and even beaten. We’ve a tendency to think of Leftists as weak and irrational (and by no means am I going to contradict that), but we sometimes mistakenly view them as harmless. They’re not harmless; they’re cornered animals, though without the cunning animals typically display. Leftists are willing to beat you in front of a live camera all while calling YOU the Nazi, fascist, bigot. Keep packing heat wherever leftists tend to congregate, to the best of your ability.

It’s the time-tested means of putting down rabid animals.

Isolation and Controlled Opposition

I’m a big fan of Vox Day; he’s been a valuable source of information and inspiration, both needed in my search for a meaningful writing style. His book SJWs Always Lie is a must-read and well known to the right (which you can find here). One of the things he outlines in his book is the methods SJWs employ to attack their opponents.

The one that needs to be discussed in recent conflicts is isolation. The left is composed of weaklings and cowards. Divide and conquer is their only available method of success in their goals; that must be understood to fight them. If they didn’t pursue that means of attack they would lose and be crushed so thoroughly that they’d be pushed to the outer limits of political discourse.

The past election cycle has been one of leaders; from all around the Right, Anarchists, Libertarians, Paleocons, Nationalists, etc men and women stood up and placed themselves in the spotlight of public discourse. They spoke to each other and spent the whole cycle building alliances, putting their best cases forward, and finding common ground. The left crumbled before it.

Now they’ve set their sights on those same leaders; Mike Cernovich, Jared Taylor, Stefan Molyneux, Milo Yiannopolous, Chuck Johnson, Ann Coulter, Roosh, etc. What are they going to do? Divide and conquer. Look at what they’ve been doing. Vox was being pressured to disavow Roosh. Milo was pressured to disavow Vox. Why didn’t they? They know the game. They’ve been fighting these people for decades and knowing waiting out the whining and slander is more profitable and productive than attacking their allies.

Anyone trying to single these people out and pressure their friends to attack or ignore them is an SJW, or total moron that doesn’t understand the game. Regard them as wolves in sheep’s clothing and punish foolish behavior. Have a disagreement with a pundit? Voice it, explain it, and move on. I took issue with Spencer’s performance at the recent NPI conference; I called it stupid, explained why I thought it was stupid, and calmly went back to enjoying Radix columns.

It’s easy and simple to do.

2016; A Year in Review

2016 was an emotional roller coaster for myself and many others. it felt as thought the realm of politics had hit a fever pitch. I lost a few good friends, and gained so many more throughout this election cycle.

It seems incredible what the Alt-Right accomplished, in spite of infighting. Third parties have failed for decades. The Ron Paul Revolution came so close to seizing victory, but was shunned by a party leadership determined to lie and lose rather than give up their idols. The same was slated to happen to his son this year; the values of liberty would be discussed, but the scene would be flooded with opposing voices and the party would lose simply the retain the power structure. But, we made our voices clear that the same-old same-old was done for. The basic bitch conservatism that ignored culture, ignored factual reality, and did nothing but pander to select groups all while trespassing on every single one of their promises was no longer enough. No longer would we sit back and accept the Trotskyite neocon ways of viewing foreign policy and immigration.

Being conciliatory towards the left isn’t enough anymore; being nice because we’re “above them” isn’t enough. That was just the rambling of men who had no claws, as Nietzsche would say. The New Right has claws, and we used them.

Culture is making advancements as well. Alternative media is successful like never before. There’s still the outcry about jokes that are too offensive, or mean, or whatever, but so what? We stopped caring, and more and more people are following our example. Art and literature aren’t following the trend yet, but that’s okay. We had to save a hunt to focus on in 2017, after all. No sense overworking ourselves (except when we enjoy it)!

Here’s to trophy hunting next year; now with low taxes!

Millennials and Church

I’m writing this as a response to a recent article written by yet another whining millennial.

Is the Church in America hostile to millennials? Possibly. But probably not for the reason you think.

  1. Nobody’s Listening to Us
    No one needs to listen to millennials. They are by far the most miseducated, stupid, frivolous, petty, and useless. This isn’t entirely their fault, but I’m not going blame their parents for the shift to discivic societies in the west. They’re complicit, and everyone knows it. Millenials want to make a difference, I won’t deny it. But where are the cries for virtue? Humility? Empathy? Love? We don’t have those; we have cries for tolerance; ironically the only virtue measured by the others millennials have thrown to the side. Millennials have total interest in top-down enforcement of their views and little to no interest in fostering change by example. That’s Anti-Christian. If you create a special version of morality that always puts you at the forefront of virtue devoid of criticism, then your interests simply don’t align with the church.
  2. We’re Sick of Hearing About Values & Mission Statements
    Oh give me a break. Am I to believe every church is suited to the exact same task, or even the exact same multiplicity of tasks? No! Certain churches are better positioned by location, IQ, education, etc for certain tasks than others and to deny that is to spit on reality. We’re creative creatures and find different solutions to different problems that many of us aren’t even aware of. A church for the disabled is not equipped to develop irrigation systems in Africa. Deal with it.
  3. “Helping the Poor Isn’t a Priority”
    This in particular is a disgusting lie. The author complains about how “Americanized” the church has become. America happens to donate rather absurd amounts of money to charity, often leading the world in that area as a matter of fact. Millennials care so much about the poor, now do they? Where are “Millennials Against the Welfare State”? “Millennials Against Authoritarianism”? “Millennials Against War”? Based on the last election we know they don’t exist.
  4. We’re Tired of You Blaming the Culture
    Did she not just whine about Americanized churches? Our modern political dynamic stacks you with either an amalgamation of people attempting social reconstruction at the point of a gun or war-hungry wastrels, and the line between those two are often blurred. Our art is worthless, our stories boring and tired with not-so-subtle political messages. Our education system is a revolving door of worthless teachers paying dues to the same people their miseducated students pay their debts. Older generations have a habit of critiszing the new because our civilzation is in decline. If you’re not smart enough to assume you’re not impacted by the cultural rot of decades, you’re not thinking. You might regard yourself as heroic far beyond the average human being, but thanks to the aforementioned electoral map I have no reason to believe any such claim.
  5. The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Affect
    I will be kinder with this one. I agree that churches are cliquey, but that’s not because of the Church. People have natural (and I would argue good) in-group preferences. Cliques form naturally because people with common interests and talents attract each other. This fosters specialization, honing people’s skills for dealing with more specific problems and situations. It’s a good thing! Granted, people may feel like this is exclusionary, but if one desires to talk to people in a clique, why not explore their interests? You’re not going to find a terribly large number of religious Jews in church because their interests don’t align with the purpose of the institution. It’s similar with the cliques. I’d note this isn’t a justification for animosity between groups within the church, however.
  6. Distrust & Misallocation of Resources
    I don’t see this as a bad thing on its own, but given the author makes the claim that “Millennials, more than any other generation, don’t trust institutions” I’d invite the reader to re-examine the aforementioned electoral map. No, they most certainly do not distrust institutions. Quite the contrary, they worship them. The institution of college in particular is idolized, as I’ll explore more in the next paragraph. I’d note Churches being more efficient in the realm of finances would be lovely, and that community influence on those decisions (given that they fund them) would indeed be proper. A means of tracking these finances as the author proposes wouldn’t be such a bad thing in practice.
  7. We Want to Be Mentored, Not Preached At
    Yeah, this is a lie. All the craze nowadays is going to college to get a degree, any degree and on someone else’s dime. Professors do not hold your hand (try looking for compassion if you disagree with them politically). Lecturing is all they do! I’m absolutely in favor of church leaders and elder members setting the example and making a personal investment in the lives of the young. But this idea that the function of exploring some truth in the Bible, some fact or nuance relevant to current events, displaying the character of God, or better preparing church-goers to defend the faith is somehow worthless because millennials find it disinteresting is a travesty. This is the disgusting response of the stupid to the sacred, nothing more.
  8. We Want to Feel Valued
    The author complains here of feeling drained by the reliance on youth in ministry. I thought the church neglected ministry? Ah, but this was written by a millennial so I suppose consistency is just optional. Sad! “We desperately need the church to tell us we are enough, exactly the way we are. No conditions or expectations.” The problem with this it’s anti-Christian. You’re not enough! You’re flawed, corrupt. You don’t need a church that believes in you; you need a church and a God that molds you into something worth believing in. Your big crazy dreams are not the purpose of church. They’re not even the purpose of life, outside how they glorify your creator.
  9. We Want You to Talk to Us About Controversial Issues (Because No One Is)
    As long as they match with your preconceived notions of what’s acceptable, right? If they come to a different conclusion than you, then what? People talk about controversial issues all the time. The millennial response is playdough and safe-spaces. You don’t want the church to “talk” about controversy; you want the church to talk about your beliefs concerning controversy, and the moment they step out of line you’ll abandon them. The church is not your political platform, clear off if you don’t like it.

    Millennials: clearly the torch-bearers of civilization.

     

  10. The Public Perception
    I thought there was nothing wrong with the culture? Seriously, I can’t help it at this point. The church is doing a great deal in our communities to better life. The church will appear to be a force for good when people who don’t believe any such thing stop intentionally spreading the lie that they are not, or better yet simply have no platform with which to do so unchallenged. It’s that simple.
  11. Stop Talking About Us (Unless You’re Actually Going to Do Something)
    No, I don’t think we will. You will continue to be mocked, ridiculed, and criticized in the public arena until you stop acting like a spoiled mass of left wing zombies. We’ll continue watching your ever move and will critique it incessantly, because no matter what those who came before us will likely die before us; and many of them have no intention of letting you destroy what they built. If you insist on following in and even increasing the severity of their mistakes, you deserve to be criticized for the sake of those who will follow you.
  12. You’re Failing to Adapt
    You’re failing to comply.
    If you think yourself so god-like that you can warp the human consciousness to create some new sort of culture as opposed to the one forged in blood, sweat, and tears over 2,500 years to afford us the rights and duties we have today, go right ahead and try. You’ll fail, because you nor any other creature on this planet can do that. We have tradition because it sent us forward, that which did not already died out. We on the planet have the unique ability to disregard that which keeps us alive in both malice and mad idealism. You are no different and you will fail if you try to change that. You are here to serve the church: not the other way around.
    The traditions of man and God run deep in our hearts and souls; they came long before you or I and will last beyond you and I.
    There is nothing you can do to change that, and in that I find relief.

 

How Trump Played the Media (and Why You Can’t)

Is there truly such a thing as bad press? We’ve spent an election cycle watching the MSM flounder about with decreased trust from the public.

I’m going to be as straightforward as possible in saying this because it is a dynamic that will fuck us over if we do not understand it.

Donald Trump was able to trip up the media at every turn because he was familiar. Trump spent 50 years (longer than many in the media have even been alive) building up a brand. Everyone knew who he was. Trump was a household name for decades, his achievements in the workplace not unknown to the general populace.

Any lie told about Trump from the MSM wasn’t immediately consumed; it was immediately put under suspicion because the average American had a basis to believe otherwise. The entire hierarchy of media power over information was flipped like an upside-down pyramid. Every lie they told hurt them and helped Trump.

All of this, in addition to the rigorous work done by those in the alternative media creates a dynamic where no matter what the media says, they are met with distrust. This means Trump is free to say completely outrageous things without negative consequences; it gets him free media coverage and he has a private army to debunk the lies of an already delegitimized media.

Now, ask yourself before trying the bait and switch tactics with MSM; “Do I have what Trump has?”

I’ll let you answer that.