I play a lot of games. Watch a lot of different shows and movies and have consumed and occasionally now, comic books and novels.
In my whole life I’ve consumed wonderful stories – everything from corny westerns, excellent dramas to pulp and mindless action.
Sometimes it becomes a lifelong friend; one with a bittersweet ending years later. Other a brief fling as the show either crater (and takes a piece of your soul with you – looking at you Firefly) or I give it up.
There are a lot of reasons why I lose interest and even weirder ones why I stay with it. Over the years I’ve seen some great stuff towards in end (but not always liked the ending) such as Castle, Psyche and Monk (among others) and given up on others (The Walking Dead, Grimm, lost etc). There is no specific rime or rhyme other then maybe expecting something more then corny fake human drama.
My wife however is a lot more loyal. She soldiers on despite admitting that it’s not as good anymore. Maybe simply out of wanting to know how it ends. Me I mostly watch or play games because of how it fulfill that need to emotional connection or dragging me out of the misery of normal life. I know that sounds a little pretentious, but normal life, in it’s repetitive state, isn’t all that fun. Our stages in life (for most people, not all – some are lucky to find passion and live every day in marvel and joy of that passion) is born, play, learn that the world is not just play, grows up, go to school and get thrown into work life.
Decades later you realize you’re a stuck in a cubicle, watching gray walls doing the same thing over and over.
Then you get older, your kids get older and you wake up one day and ask yourself when you look at who you are in the mirror, wtf happened and you want to scream. Except it’s 5am in the morning and you need to get ready for work. It’s Monday. Still dark outside. Your body creak with the stairs. Your eyes feel like someone blew sand in them and 10 minutes later your morning breath get a tint of breakfast morning blend coffee.
You dress, you prepare, you throw on some good smelly stuff, tries your breath to make sure you’re presentable and then drive to work.
You repeat that through the week until Friday comes along and now you promise yourself that you’re free and you’re going to die something. Like move the lawn, fix the house, drag your ass in the morning until you realize it’s Monday again.
So thank Gosh for games, shows and other means of distractions that allows me to forget that most of our lives are routine and artificial commitments.
Like adding a few more levels to my PK dualist. Like playing my Pally to grind for keys so I can do the Night Revels stuff so I can make a few augments for stacking Int and Wis.
So I can experiment with different build options as I wait for that moment when I think – or know – that I have reached a point of perfect contentment in my gaming needs (hope that never happens tho).
Or watch that show that fills me with simple joy, boundless mystery and ‘what’s next’. Like Lucifer. Genuinely excellent cast. Blacklist – hard for me to predict what is going on and how things are going to fit together. Longmire, very low key and down to earth. The strain – love the comic book and I love the show. Drunk History. I love history and it’s even better when told by drunk people.
So why did I write all this? I watched the 7th season premier (a bit of it) of the Walking Dead and I realize why I stopped watching it; corny evil.
This was billed as a ‘view of the human condition’ in extreme situation. And while it was okay at first, the corny even got repeated way to often and the failure to learn from past mistake too numerous. Like going from one similar situation to another.
The first few seasons the main characters police friend went evil bananas and then shot by the main character. Later on there was this governor that was evil bananas and went after the group and then it was the town of cannibalistic evil bananas and now you have this new bad guy and his bat and his cartoonishly evil bananas justifications.
There are evil in other shows I watch. In blacklist for example you have a ‘evil’ main character and a lot of other evil people, but they’re not corny or cartoonish. Their motivations are plenty and sometimes layered. But there are some that are simply silly. That is the one that comes across like he or she enjoys the mayhem. The one you’d expect to be the evil one, who’s motivations are simply to break bones and hurt people because it’s the perk.
Like the Walking Dead season premier.
I can’t remember one single historic figure that I know of that had this kind of cartoonish evil about them. Not even Nazis. And there were a lot of bad people among the Nazis. Evil.
You find these in a lot of silly movies. Like watching Commando the other day. Aaaanold being the hero with stupid one liners. The bad guy so over the top campy evil.
That is how all main bad guys in the Walking Dead reminds me of. The layer of reason why they do the things they do are almost all the same. There is little sophistication between their ‘evil’ actions.
Mankind are motivated by a lot of things. Fear, greed, ambition, mental flaws etc. But they’re not all the Joker out of Batman. Or the numerous early Bond Villains. Sometimes they are worse but with a strange sense of justification. Like Ghengis Khan, Hitler and Pol Pot. Other time mental, like Jeffrey Dahmer.
But you don’t see that many – in real life dramas, like the corny evil such as in that opener – and the same group falling into the clutches of another bunch of bad dudes. Over and over.
And if I really want over the top campy evil, I rather play some DDO and the many Xoriat quests. Because at least I can always clobber myself out of those.