katherinestasaph

“Mrs., my ass!” our caller exclaimed. “That’s why I’m calling. The president is a liar! As he knows perfectly well, since his Secret Service thugs argued with me for five hours yesterday, I’m as single as the day I was born. And I have no plans to get married, either.”

This was news. Minutes later we were on our way to an exclusive interview with Ruby Tuesday, the last unmarried person in America. We caught up with Ruby, who makes her home in an empty car of the Lexington Avenue IRT, at the Union Square station. She was a striking-looking woman. It wasn’t the green hair so much as the fact that instead of the one scarlet S required by law—a requirement we had naively imagined was obsolete—she wore a see-through satin jumpsuit made entirely of scarlet S’s sewn together.

“Come on in,” she said. “Have a quiche. It’s okay—I make my own.”

Ellen Willis’s dystopian satire on our national marriage anxiety, from 1981, is up at Flavorwire. Another one of my favorites from “The Essential Ellen Willis.” (Only 9 days til publication! Yay!)

Fact of the day! The second hand on clocks at German railway stations run slightly fast, each ‘second’ is marked for 59/60ths of a second so that the clock can have some time to periodically make adjustments and sync with all the other clocks via a radio signal. So usually the second hand pauses for 2 seconds at the top of the clock. “The waiting position also increases the attention for the jump of the minute hand and the scheduled time of departure. The train must not depart too early.”

Today I spent spare moments playing the demo of Bravely Default. I’ve played a few JRPGs in my time but not for many years, and a few hours spent trudging around whacking imaginary animals reminded me why. This is a genre of game that is pathologically awful.

In some ways to play a JRPG in 2014 is — for someone not already steeped in that tradition — to feel how a non gamer must feel playing a more mainstream title. i.e. utterly baffled by nonsensical conventions. ‘What i just have to fight these battles at random with no warning?’, ‘What now, I just basically select the same attacks over and over again?’, ‘And I have to watch the extended animation of each of my guys hitting a rat for 3 damage over and over again?’ none of this makes sense. The decades old innovations of e.g. Chrono Trigger (you can see the enemies before you’re ensnared in a lengthy battle) and Panzer Dragoon Saga (the battles are actually enjoyable and tactically interesting) are still being ignored.

There was a whole thing last year about whether Dear Esther could be called a game or not, if that’s a live question it seems to me we should also ask whether things like Bravely Default (and Final Fantasy (N), Dragon Quest (N), etc ) are actually games.

The graphics are pretty lovely though and the design is all Sailor Moon the All Saints years.