Driving Blind: Fake Geeks and a Dying Middle Class

Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, gamingvulture.tumblr.com. And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

Related Post Roulette

14 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:

    Curious to see “Curb” so higher given that it was largely improved.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    Yes: Get Knights on your iPad and realize that it came out around the same time as Episode One.

    Marvel at the quality of the storytelling.Report

  3. Zane says:

    I know that Knights of the Old Republic was celebrated and I’m intrigued. Does anyone have an idea of how the gameplay will be in an iPad? I’m thinking particularly of the limitations of tablet based play (no mouse, keyboard, or controller).

    I’m one of those people who really adores Lovecraft’s stories. I have to admit that his racism pops up fairly often, though not every story. To some extent, I find them interesting as historical science fiction/horror. Part of what draws me is that they are of their time. Not only do I get a sense of this one man’s particular (and interesting) mythos, but it’s all happening during a 1910s and 1920s that is otherwise not very accessible to someone almost a hundred years later. It’s a very parochial, insular, and indeed racist and classist perspective, but it’s still pretty fascinating. I think Elizabeth Bear has it right at the end of the cited article.

    The fact that Lovecraft’s stories spawned the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which is really well-done, also plays a role in my admiration.Report

    • Ethan Gach in reply to Zane says:

      “The fact that Lovecraft’s stories spawned the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which is really well-done, also plays a role in my admiration.”


      • Will Truman in reply to Ethan Gach says:

        Here is as good a place as any to mention that finding out the copyright status of Cthulhu has been a real pain in the arse.Report

        • Alan Scott in reply to Will Truman says:

          Yep. Which is a shame, considering Lovecraft’s own approach to his fictional universe.Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to Will Truman says:

          The unhelpful curator of the Special Collections at Miskatonic U. got very snippy with me, pointing out That Which Ought Not Be Named ought not be copyrighted, either.

          Thereafter the trail goes cold. Dark and slimy, too.Report

          • Zane in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Our best defense against the Outer Dark? Copyright attorneys?

            Fire with fire, right?Report

          • Glyph in reply to BlaiseP says:

            Heh…I’m picturing polite little placards on the display cases indicating to visitors “That Which Ought Not Be Photographed”.

            Lovecraft is cool because, IMO, it’s a new sort of mythology (or maybe the return of an extremely, extremely old one), and one explicitly pitted against the Age of Science/Reason. In the old myths and horror stories, monsters and gods are usually more or less comprehensible – Zeus wants to sleep with a human woman; Grendel/Dracula is hungry.

            Lovecraftian monsters are incomprehensible – not even evil as we normally think of it, just massively powerful and in opposition to (or at least outside of) what we see as “order/causality” (that is, our only frame of reference as rational beings); they may in fact be no more aware of our existence, than we are aware of ants.

            That is why they are so resonant – they represent the complete untethering of rationality.Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    It may be thin, it could be a lot shorter, but I do like they went off the beaten path for some picks (like Sesame Street)

    The Shield and Oz are way underrated on that list, Roseanne criminally so. Longer running shows (>5 seasons) are all overrated except maybe the Sopranos (and Sesame St.)

    Most of the list is filled with either stuff that found a formula that worked and stuck to it well (Friends and pretty much every other sitcom*), or had some moments of brilliance, but was wildly uneven (Star Trek (either one) & LA Law come to mind). There’s very little on that list that had consistent taut high caliber writing. And it seems to me the only way to keep high standards is limited seasons the way HBO and now PBS** do it.

    *I Love Lucy and to a lesser extent, Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore, because each invented the formula they used.
    **via UK, so throw BBCA in with them to do it.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Kolohe says:

      “It may be thin, it could be a lot shorter…”

      I dunno… it seemed like it had the perfect number of entries for a list of 101 shows.

      They didn’t say all of these were great and simply include every show ever. They ranked the top 101 and, necessarily, had 101 shows. My hunch is they did this because doing a list of only the top 10 would have led to fans of shows 11-101 to wonder where their show was. At least now they know, so instead of saying, “What? No ‘Will & Grace’?” they can say, “Why’d you have “Will & Grace” at 98?” You end up with much better conversation that way.Report

  5. John Howard Griffin says:

    I really enjoyed that Elizabeth Simins’ piece. Thanks for the link.Report

  6. BlaiseP says:

    Robert Reich predicts economic storm clouds ahead. There’s a great surprise…

    Of course this economy is in the doldrums. Of course it’s only the financial sector which is making any headway. Until the world economy gains some confidence, only a few speculators will do well.Report