Starbuckfm’s Blog

Updates every time you blink. And First Amongst Equals

There is even hierarchy amongst the lowest of the low. Almost anyone over the age of sixteen who is savvy as to gaming culture will know that games ‘journalism’ is entirely insipid. Infantile to the point where it becomes a matter of course to place air-quotes around the word journalism. For me, this isn’t even a case of derision. Journalism implies a sense of professionalism, both in the way that the journalists conduct themselves and above all, in the manner in which the articles are written. Good journalism should:
(a) Be expressed in a lucid and literate manner
(b) Serve a purpose

Obviously we’d all like it if, at the same time, journalism could be witty and insightful, but we are talking about games journalism here so let’s not aspire to more than those first two.

Gaming has spawned a culture filled with vicious backbiting, neuroses and an obsession with review scores. Not that I would ever suggest that the literary world or the field of movie criticism is any better, far from it. Given the choice, I’d rather have an IGN bullet point summation of GoW2 than read a New Yorker puff piece about Cliff Bleszinski. Again would I prefer to be told that the Halo 3 multiplayer experience is great than have the ‘mighty pantheon which Bungie has constructed’ described as ‘magisterial’. Better bad information than drawling word salads.

However, mired in idiocy and sycophancy as they are, it’s hard to argue that other critics cannot express their opinion in a literate, erudite manner. One up on games journalism, then.

Do we have this established yet? I could talk about the fact that games journalists are the dregs of other forms of journalism, incapable of better. Or that even that fetish of those who would argue that gaming is serious business, N’Gai Croal, seems to know very little about the games themselves and is merely capable of putting together a coherent piece of writing. This is not noteworthy, though. Gaming is a field in its infancy, the journalists who chronicle it even more so. It is trite and all the synonyms which can conjure for that. In this sense, it is a field not worthy of criticism in itself.

Which is why the fact that subsists entirely on criticising games journalism all the more infuriating. That’s right, the past 400 words or so was all to establish the culture in which gaming finds itself, so as to allow me render my hatred of in the proper context.

Eegra is a wellspring of smug pointlesness. It is an onanistic haven for self-important wankery. Looking now at the front page, I see that gurning moron Dan Staines cleverly pointing out the absurdity of creating an action game based on the distinctly non-action oriented Inferno. And oh, what a damned witty observation it is. Is that source material at all suited to the creation of a new IP in the action genre? You’re right it isn’t at all! Furthermore, you’ll notice that he hasn’t actually written anything of note himself, but rather referred the reader to an assuredly ‘hilarious’ thread on the forums which I can only assume are populated by equally conceited sentient supermassive egos.

I could compare this brand of smugness with a variety of archetypes: the Hybrid owner, the smoked salmon socialist, the PETA member. But I won’t have to go so far afield. We in games are familiar with people of Dan’s ilk. We’d know them as hardcore fanboys, fighting phantom enemies with post counts that spiral into the tens of thousands.

Reading down the page I see in order:
(i)Sycophantic plug for A Magical Wasteland.
(ii)Breathless fan exhortation to Capcom
(iii)Two seperate M.Bison comics. I’m not sure if these are intended to be submersive or downright stupid. I suppose I’d prefer the latter and suspect the former.
(iv)Plug for Ellie Gibson and reference to ‘Golden Age’ of British journalism. Golden provided you liked reading uninformative, unprofessional and uninsightful in-joke ridden slagheaps with ever so idiosyncratic references to Phil Mitchell. I can only assume then that Dan purloined his opinion about this Age That Never Was from RAM Raider, a site which can be generously described as Satan’s own bowel movement.
(v)Killzone 2 review wherein brown and gray and lack of imagination is complained about.
(vi)Patrick Alexander writes about obscure app for the iPhone. Alexander at least has the decency to be diverse in his inanities.
(vii)Hilarity Comic. Edgy, submersive, exposing the seedy underbelly of gaming as Fight Club did for modern life.
(viii)The breasts of Lara Croft. Or ‘breasticles’, as I’m sure Eegra would refer to them.

Essentially, eegra is criticising a culture not worth criticism with essays written in the manner of the culture they are criticising. They are writing nothing badly. Going through the archives I’m left with one mildly amusing Phoenix Wright skit and a Pac Man comic as the only things which aren’t pointless, snarky and moronic.

So what was the ultimate point of all this? Surely if I have such contempt for the site then I wouldn’t deign to squander my time in criticism thereof? Long story short, self-affirmation is where it’s at. I’m reaffirming my factitiousness by attempting to make unnattractive, bearded twats attempt a paradigm shift within themselves. Maxing the envelope.


The Continuing Saga of John Wayne: Mighty Towers

John Wayne was stumped as a decapitated midget. Confusion had brought him here, it would not return him home. There rose a wide plinth in the centre of the square, iceberg tip of a Mayan temple. Cobweb holloweyed interlocutor adressing a nothing audience. The sky was of lurid turquoise. Intermittent volleys of refulgent blazing magnesium flew overhead with a sound of rent air, eviscerating gulls which fell to the groung like portents of some great empyrean cataclysm.
“You’re a long way from Texas, John Wayne. Best find yourself a yellow-bricked road,” said John Wayne walking.

The man had a taste for mindless violence. His world of sanguinary wanderings and this parabola plane had codified his thought into a barren mindscape best seen through sinful eyes. This was a place of shorn scalps where the violence was constantly at its apex. So came the days of wandering for John Wayne, wandering where no sane soul save he set foot. In his nimbus of silent arbitration he saw all things from all men here.

Bela Lugosi now lived in the lived in the upper echelons of a bureaucracy contrived, improvised and recognised by him alone. His was a world of rote, and a deserted, unhale skyscraper made for him an appropriate citadel. As John Wayne found him, Lugosi was judging games between dust motes.

“John Wayne?” His voice was as blank and gaping as the head of a sperm whale.
“Yeah. That’s me. How you been keeping?”
“John Wayne? John Wayne Searchers?”
“That’s me.”

Wayne followed him down to the fourth floor jakes. Lugosi’s walk down the stairs was lumbering and here did Wayne see the ancient origin of the slumbering gigantic wrath myth. As Lugosi pissed he leaned against the wall and he may well have fallen asleep if Wayne hadn’t shouldered him back upstairs.

“This is my kingdom.”
“Sure it is, Bela.”
“All those who are here owe me favours.”
“Oh yeah is that so.”
“John Wayne’s gun. I want John Wayne’s gun.”
“I can’t give that to you, Bela.”

Old race gypsy memories. He had loomed in doorways, loured of face. Who could have thought that anything passed in that mind. Here, in a world of his own contrivance, all things codified to the primal prefired man.

“You give.”
“I’m going to leave, Bela. Don’t make me hurt you.”
“I will take from you.”
“You can try and fail, Bela. Or you can let it be.”
“I want he gun.”
“I’ll give you the bullets.”

John Wayne moved from the path of Lugosi’s lightning bolt attack and shot the simian in the forehead. Then he began to wander here again, ultimate goal not yet immediate.

The Continuing Saga Of John Wayne:No Country For Old Men

“Nothing worse than a dead blog,” thought John Wayne. Bereft of product which once was a hive of minutiae humdrum and worries miniscule. Foetal work, horse chestnut prematurely seized from shell. John Wayne sat, the dark at his back and the unnatural flicker at face. Outlines of the soon to be revenant cowboy, cigar held as an artificial extention of being.
“Time to go to work,” said John Wayne rising.

Gable spent his time prising the fillings from fresh cadavers in the seedy purlieus of the town. Haggard, the iron paling which held the dead’s small necropolis was his new home. Ironically, he now has all the time in the world for fishing. John Wayne turned past the Union Hotel, up by Garcian’s trailerhouse and down by the Revue where the harlots beckoned like garish phantoms and the irony was too much for Wayne who began to laugh uncontrollably. He yelled to Gable nearby the sepulchre and Gable’s tweed elbow patches were ragged at the edges.
“Clark Gable.”
“John Wayne. How’s she swinging? Waxing or Wayne-ing?”
“Still haven’t lost your way with words I see. Though your moustache is decidedly less sharp than your wit.”
“Time is a cruel dame with a damn cruel streak.”
“Don’t I know it.”

John Wayne stood and lit up, allowing the voluminous billow of smoke to diffuse about him. Gazing down at this wretched star of ages passed, resting himself on the tabernacle of some avaricious soul.

“So, John Wayne. I assume you didn’t just come here to chew the fat.”
“At that I’m not. I’m wondering what happened to Eva.”
“Eva. Last I heard she was clacking boots with John Wayne.”
“John Wayne Gacy?”
“John Wayne Gacy.”
“Well goldarn. Never would have thought it at that.”
“So what’s your angle in this?”
“Eva’s internet diary.”
“I know the one. ‘Beers and Blondi’?”
“That’s it. Well she stopped updating.”
“You want to hook up with her again? Hell, that baby vamp is all balled up. It’s later now and I don’t mind telling you that you’ll be left holding the diamonds if you keep after her like you were.”
“Eva’s problems are her own. I just need to check on her.”
“Sure. And the Pope jumps dames in the Vatican. “

Gable reminisced with a wistful look in the eye. It agitated Wayne, men with no iron in the bones thinking back on times that never were.

“If you really need to find her, you’d better get with John Wayne Gacy.”
“Eva mentioned some things in her last post. I’m gonna sound them out for you, see if any of it sticks?”
“Try me.”
“Wuthering Heights.”
“Bad book.”
“The Spirit.”
“Worse movie.”
“And this one really bamboozled me. ‘John Wayne Gacy and me are going to go explore the crawlspace in his basement tomorrow so if I don’t come back assume that he asphyxiated me like all those young men.'”
“Damn. You’d need some master of capers to make heads or harps of that one.”
“That’s what I said.”
“Your best bet is to just go shoot up the place. That’s what you were always best at, wasn’t it? Not a soul ignores a crasher like you, blazing with a chopper like that, keeping things copacetic in a fly boy hat.”
“You’ve still got a flair for the-“

John Wayne was cut short by bullets. Bullets from a gun. Hell, they were just raising the dead with those irons of theirs. Might’ve thought they had a whole ironworks up there. Cool cat that Wayne was, he returned the fire like Prometheus Unbound and back with a vengeance. The Pantheon’s dead once John Wayne’s done.  Clark Gable didn’t have the same natural advantages that John Wayne did. Or the unnatural ones. Wayne supported him, a twisted pieta in this necropolis.

“Suppose there isn’t much I can say to help you now.”
“Just being here is enough, John Wayne. I always admired you like a big brother, John. I know that doesn’t mean much to you, but now’s the time if ever is for deathbed confessionals. You know, Chandler sent a lot of guys after you when he left. He kept insisting that you were alive, that he could feel it in his bones. That trick knee wasn’t much good at predicting rain, but damn if it didn’t have some kinda coffin varnish fueling it. So now you’re back and John Wayne-“
“John Wayne Gacy.”
“John Wayne Gacy is on the warpath.”
“Don’t speak, you’ll only bleed more.”
“No, I gotta say something on Chandler’s behalf.”
“If it’s for Chandler, then let me do all the talking from now on.”
“You never were much good with words.”
“Yeah. But Messrs.Smith and Wesson are damn interlocutors.”

Broken fleshy seals releasing pent vapours potent as those diffusing from a violated grave. Yolky discharge with the regularity of an internal machination. Even on the vellum taut canvas atop the torso there is release quite anathema to the undersea calm beneath tsunamis like a steppe with the bowels of Hades raging under. Miasmas like heat on hot tarmacadum of unguents and salves and offensive scents designed specifically to assault the olfactory faculties. And oh, the one almost too obvious to include. Taking the smallest amount of animus and swelling themselves turgid, exploding from the haunches. Even then the swelling, the sheer sense of industry and constant output of that being. They’re constantly voiding themselves, throughout their lives, an engine of voidance.

I was birthed from an octogenarian hanged from an ash tree. A last voiding yielded contents among which was I. Occasionally I don’t wonder if my grotesquery isn’t some divine template to be drawn upon as a wealth of ideas for a deity intent on moulding creatures that should not be but are interesting in spite of this. I wield arms, a shillelagh bored and brimmed with lead hewn from the tree from which hung she who begat me.

Benjamin Keane rotated in the space above his desk. Head acting as the pivot, dome of his head buffing the wood, shoes bound to the working ceiling fan. Cornwallis Smith, the man who provided himself with both an introduction and prior to that a discourse on the nature of women, entered the office. See him, he has eyes to play a fundamental part in the exodus of this period in world history. Keane arced into his seat which also swivelled.
“Care to play a game of Russian Roulette?” said the principal.
“I’m not much for games,” replied Smith.
“That is disappointing.”
“I think you misunderstand me. I’m not much for games. Perhaps if you can relate this Russian Roulette of yours to my current predicament then I’d be more amenable to your request.”
“Your predicament being?” prompted Keane for exposition.
“I’m immortal and an agent in the descent of man.”
“Six bullets in the chamber. Provided we do not load the bullet in chambers one through five then each of us will take three shots. The Trinity. Three times six shots is six-hundred and sixty-six.”
“Yeah. Now I can play.”

Had there been music it would have begun playing. A staccato piece, punctuated and consistently moving towards a crescendo inevitable as the course of shrapnel. Smith questioned as to the stakes and was told that should he win he would progress through means unknown and should he lose he would then be required to corrupt the youth of the nation.

Keane held the pistol to his temple, the prospect of death causing him little anxiety which to him seemed profound and potent.
“You know, it has to be a sick species that could invent a game like this. I like to think about the human condition and more and more I seem to be drawing towards the conclusion that we’re all degenerates.” His body quavered as if he might imminently break wind and pulled the trigger. There was an empty click and the release of the pin. Smith could scent nothing, but Keane seemed pleased with himself. He proffered the gun to Smith, eyes filled with wonderment at the prospect of what might now transpire in front of him.

Smith held the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger and returned the gun to Keane. The music upped tempo in the slightest.

Keane gaped and there was little more he could do in the situation.
“I should have gone into politics. This kind of thing is unseemly for a man who deals with children to indulge in. That never stopped mankind though, sick bastards that we are. No, I see governance as like a good plague, that will inevitably spread. Democracy, Voting, Houses and relay of information. These are the things that will elevate us.” He quavered as if he might imminently yield his bowels and pulled the trigger. There was an empty click and the release of the pin. He proffered the gun to Smith like a Janus-faced supplicant expecting reimbursement from a man who is later to say that he has no more use for him.

Smith held the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger and returned the gun to Keane. The music upped tempo in the slightest.

A look of delighted recognition spread across the face of Keane. There are few who would not be excellent men if they were facing their death every instant of their lives.
” What does it all mean anyway? I just wanted to make it to the top. It was absurd and I knew it. We all know it. Yeah, we all see how damn stupid this rat race is but we keep running it? Why do you think that is? Beneath all the hormones and chemicals we’re just machines. And machines crave order.”
Benjamin Keane was one of the few. He quavered as if his faculties might imminently experience catastrophic failure. He pulled the trigger and there was the empty click he so desired and again he proffered.

Smith held the gun to his temple. The music stopped. He pulled the trigger and returned the gun to Keane. The music resumed having upped tempo significantly.

The principal queried in a manner not worthy of transcription. Smith had only one answer.
“The gun doesn’t have seven chambers, if that’s what you’re wondering. Now I believe it’s your turn.”

I’d Pay To See It Twice

“You do not hire Samuel L. Jackson to play a character. No, fool. You hire motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson to play motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson.”

Just get him to repeat that at the screen for ninety minutes. Don’t ask him to change his inflection, because as we know you do not hire motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson for his mofoing diction. Just that line, ad infinitum. Gentlemen, you have your Titanic-killer.

Conversations I Intend To Have

L: All plots inevitably lead to death. Perhaps that’s unfair to say, but certainly all plots lead to a resolution. This resolution is more ofthen than not death. A death resolves action, solves loose ends. In the rare case where a plot does not result in death then what purpose do the dramatis personae have upon resolution of said plot. Without a plot, they have no animus or purpose. They’re left to decay. So perhaps that’s fairer still to say. All plots lead to decay. In their inception to their death rattle, juggernauting towards that ultimate end. Death is merely a formality. Everything leads to decay. Everything is inevitably decaying. A humbling thought. True for reality also.
M: Can I take your order?
L: I will have 12 McNuggets. Actually…
L:Better make that 24 McNuggets. Two orders of 24 McNuggets.

Look Kids! A Clown!

H-Hey kids. It’s John Wayne Gacy here, taking time away from my busy schedule of roasting on a spit in the Fifth Circle of the Abyss. Or was that the Seventh Circle? I do apologise for that, sometimes I get temporary memory blanks. You know how it is, you go to pick up a couple of brews at the 7/11 and then *BLAM* nothing but this bombardment of panasonic blankness and then it all ends with another *BLAM* and suddenly you have to sift through mounds of semi-necrotic flesh to make more room in that damn crawlspace. Crawlspace is something of a misnomer actually. You couldn’t crawl in there, even if you were a supple bodied young Adonis with ruby-red ambrosia running swift as a mountain stream beneath your tender, toned flesh.

Where was I? Ah yes, the fact that I get temporary memory blanks. Well, it’s not strictly a fact. More of a lie, actually. Had you going there though, didn’t I? If only you’d been as gullible as that Prosecutor, eh? Nice man, bit of a silver fox. If he were twenty years younger and had his back turned in a dark alley…

But yes, my memory is sharp as the rusty shank I had planned to use on the Kinks. Which wasn’t very sharp as all. In fact, I had actually blunted it slightly, in preparation for the ritual, so that I could draw out the sweet excruciation as I twisted it within that divine corpus, drawing the internal into the external, watching as that tenuous balance between life and beyond is crossed and re-crossed and sometimes I find it ironic that they only truly feel alive as they were dying, screaming to reaffirm their existence…oh God, I’m packin’ heat up in here!

Again, I apologise for the temporary memory blank. The blank that isn’t really there. Gacy, Gacy, give me your answer do. No! I’m here today for a purpose, and damned if I amn’t going to to do it. Oh yes I am.

Cheats. I’m here to give you cheats for games. You kids. You kids these days, you like video games? Playing, playing with yourselves? Darkened rooms? Nightly Fantasy? Share and Share Alike? Friends Share we’re all Friends? I drew up near him on the couch and there was a fumbling between he and I over the belt buckle.  I was strong, stronger, had steel in the sinews. His resistance only cursory. I could feel it, his blank acquiescence. Waiting for it to end, waiting for me to be done. No resistance no feeling I’d shattered the feeling just shame. Waiting for me to stop. He clamped his hinds together and lay, waiting. Then he could feel it seeping in, slowly, insidiously. I think he wanted the nail board frankly.

Er…in Fifa 2006 to unlock Giancorlo Ronaldo all you have to do is input circle, circle, square, tringle and three other buttons at the title screen. I can’t tell you what they are here. The internet is so impersonal. So dark, so many recesses. So many seedy dens inhabited by like minds. So much a reflection of the soul. John Wayne starred in The Searchers. I’m searching, searching for them always. So basically, if you want the last three buttons to press, come visit me in Hell. We’ll knock back a few drinks, stick some Elvis on the Juke, chat over our school days…

You know what, screw the pretense. If you want to, come visit me in Hell. I’ll handcuff you, spin you around the room naked whipping you, violate you and then strangle you to death. I mean you’ll *die* of *erotic asphyxia*. Just like the other 32 did. Oh, that’s always a good one. I still can’t believe my attorney thought that would work. Sometimes, me and Stalin just spend hours laughing over it in the Penitence Engine.

Wel, that’s it for about now. Before I go, I’d like you to know that my malevolent spirit is working on a way out and that the whole incarceration thing should be cleared up around some time after the fiscal year end 2012.

Later, Dudes!