Musashi Mix Inq

Generation-9.11

Posted on September 1, 2011

I've been trying to tackle this decade retrospective America is going thru for obvious reasons.

For me, 10 years encompasses all of my adult life.

Looking back, War has never been an abstract concept for generation 9.11…

I raise you 10 years and make it 20.

1991: As a kid in first grade, I remember waking up one Saturday morning to find that Ninja Turtles had been replaced by men and women in polyester suits talking to soldiers in dessert camo and black berets waiting for their satellite video-feeds to skip a beat. My toy tanks and planes rolled-out across an empty frame against an invisible enemy. The "bad guys" were long-dead by the time the steal-treads and boots and news-crews had arrived on the scene.

The interrupting kaleidoscope of war would jump out of the radio and television at all hours. Night-vision artillery fights in hues of green. The Six Flags thrill of riding the nose of a smart-bomb kamikaze-ing for freedom, liberty and oil. But just like revisiting a theme-park as an adult, the excitement of knowing that somewhere on earth an American war is being waged has lost its grandness. This is my "Great America".

We've inherited 100 years of a World at War.

Sometimes the Past must be put to rest.

The Future is worth fighting for, but not like this.

It's all been done before.

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Palliativity 129: Gas Mask Panic

Posted on June 29, 2011

To me, gas-masks are a sign that everything else has failed— That despite our efforts, the environment is so toxic that we must separate ourselves from it or succumb to the nature of our biology. Gas-masks are a red-flag marking that we have accepted the fractured world we've inherited. There is no cure, only treatment…

A century ago as depicted above, the mask was a necessary tool for surviving the cruel inventions of man.
Greece, Egypt and Syria demonstrate that its ontological nature has evolved:

Protest

We are Faceless, Fearless and on a Vendetta.

Oppression and Suppression in an eternal tango to the beat of combat boots and broken-bottle shards breathing flame.

Take a mask and run with it, because in this game there are no bystanders— only collateral damage.

Play safe.

They're expecting you.

(N/A)

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“The Myth of the Gun”

Posted on June 27, 2011

Pika-chk-Chk

I've been asked many times why Japanese and American made videogames are so vastly different, even within the same genre.

I generally shy away from answering for or agreeing with such sweeping generalities— but in the world of gaming, the distinct cultural differences from production to execution and marketing speak from completely different perspectives.

The video below does a great job of comparing the differences between Japanese and American culture in gaming, game design and violence:

 

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Snow Crash

Posted on June 13, 2011

Snow Crash, ©MMXI

"Snow Crash" is not only one of my favorite stories of all time, it also continues to inspire me to look at the world with fresh eyes. In 1992, Neil Stephenson created the Metaverse, Avatars, MMORPG elements and the constant threat of world altering cyber-terrorism. 19 years later, the novel shifts from speculative fiction to just another day of our lives:

We are all cyberpunks.

Hiro Protagonist and his accomplice Y.T. fight to save a world on the brink of implosion. Information is the currency and coding is the weapon of choice… when a katana, mini-gun or skateboard are not available.

The first page of the novel will force you to finish it, and the last paragraph hits the replay-switch in your brain so hard that I recommend some cranial protection and a sake-bomb. Welcome to the future, care of 1992:

"Why is [Hiro] the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a roll model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it - we're talking trade balances here - once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here - once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel - once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity - y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:

music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery"

—————————

Amen

I need a Hiro

Aleutian at Babylon

End of Days

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Purchase Print

Palliativity 127: Whale and Moonshine

Posted on June 2, 2011

drink up

A few years ago I interviewed a woman who was an adolescent in Japan during WWII. Hana's laughter and kind eyes belied her traumatic stories of a child's perspective in hell:

I learned from Hana that the Japanese obsession with eating whale is wrapped-up in her generation's nostalgia for the war years. As the war dragged on, the Japanese government realized that they did not have enough food to feed its people for the long haul.

The arrived upon solution was to use naval vessels to hunt whales en-mass and to ignite a propaganda campaign hailing whale meat as the healthiest food for the children of Japan. Almost everyday at lunch, whale was served in school cafeterias across the country. So began a deep longing for the last days of Japanese dignity.

During the war, sake was also in low supply. It was not uncommon for Japanese to drink grain alcohol or fuel and engine cleaner mixed with left-over rice-water. Even today you can still find mason-jar sake for sale all across Japan.

Hana recalled her school-days in Kyoto, early 1945. Up until this point, the children at her school were told that the war was going well and that Japan continued to gloriously prevail over the West. Suddenly, reports of failure and the imminent eradication of Japan drowned all hopes.

One day, all of her classmates were told to report to the schoolyard.

They were each handed a sharpened bamboo pole.

Classroom time was over.

Now they only drilled on how to kill Americans.

• • •

"Children might or might not be a blessing, but to create them and then fail them is surely damnation."

- Lois McMaster Bujold -

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Palliativity 126: Etiquette and Protocol

Posted on May 26, 2011

{x} Away, You may be disturbing

A difficult question of communication etiquette came up in conversation with friends a couple years ago. We had read on Facebook that our friend's grandparent had just passed away. My friends and I wanted to send condolences but were not sure just by what conveyance to send such a message.

Should we call? No, that's too invasive.

Text? Too casual.

Chat when we see them online? No, they probably just want some space to browse without interruption.

Facebook wall post? Far too public.

Facebook message? Possibly…

Nobody wants to video-chat when they're mourning.

Maybe just email them… hmmmmmm—

I used to laugh about the preposterously complicated Victorian fan and flower language or the far too cerebral courting poems of ancient Japan. The truth is that human communication has changed very little over time.

Referencing classic texts and spinning out variations of traditional idioms loaded with silliness and social-commentary has been replaced with wiki-consciousness and memetic humor.

People are people.

Communication is a battlefield.

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