Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shuttles and Guns

"I used to be somebody."

Such amazing writing today in my Twitter feed that I had to gush a bit. At The Atlantic Ian Bogost wrote a piece that perhaps only he could write. As a child of the Shuttle program, both chronologically and literally (he was an instructor at Space Camp), he has seen the glory and man’s achievement in space hollowed out and monetized. So much less now the journey to the frontier, now merely the incremental income of tawdry sales to be made. No longer the four year mission of the Enterprise, but an enterprise to justify itself.

“Elon Musk will take over the task of shipping sewage pumps and waste processing units and air filtration systems to the [International Space Station]. Richard Branson will sell Justin Bieber and Mitt Romney tickets past the Kármán line. Eventually, inevitably, Mark Zuckerberg will slip a bill to the surly bonds of earth and start his own space enterprise, just to keep up with the Rothschilds.”

His point of view throughout the piece is wistful, sad, melancholic. But it is also biting, sardonic, contemptuous. You can almost imagine the Shuttles gathering around the high-topped tables in a dark, smokey bar, their fedoras tilted ever so slightly to cover their aging foreheads. And like sad Willy Lomans they rise, take up their coat and case, and shuffle off down the street.

Ian is there, alone in a corner unobserved, the only man who sees and is proud of them for what they wanted to be--not what they have been reduced to.

Across the internet at The Wall Street Journal Yannick LeJacq places Borderlands 2 into proper historical context. The game transcends the irony of the genre, and it should be recognized for doing so. His piece is deep and thoughtful, if not concise then as thorough an analysis as you'll find on a game of any type. I would have never guessed that Kill Screen would do some of their best work at WSJ, but there you have it.

Both pieces today are real treats for me, learning experiences in research and composition, tone and grace. Something to aspire to. Bravo gents.

No comments:

Post a Comment