As a documentary and irony enthusiast, I spent Black Friday watching “Waiting for John: An Island Cult Worships American Materialism.” The 2015 documentary centers on the John Frum movement on Tanna, an island in the archipelago of Vanuatu.
In retrospect, I should have known that “The Wicker Man,” billed as a relaxing, post-midterm movie screening for my Human Sacrifice course, would be anything but. When shots of pagans openly copulating in a graveyard and a cake in the shape of a young sacrificial victim popped up in the first 15 minutes I was certainly not relaxed.
On October 10, New Yorker columnist Jia Tolentino extracted one of the #MeToo movement’s many tenuous threads in her piece, “One Year of #MeToo: What Women’s Speech Is Still Not Allowed to Do.” Tolentino reflects on the one-year anniversary of #MeToo, but with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh still raw and national discourse no less barbarous or reliant on an attack/defense binary (to reference a certain op-ed published in the Orient a few weeks ago) she is hesitant to rejoice, as are many of us.
While struggling to think of a topic for this week’s article that would be neither an emotionally draining nor a repetitive account of the Kavanaugh hearings, I was directed by YouTube’s “recommended for you” algorithm to a video published on September 26 by “Plebs Play,” a podcast which tests up-and-coming video games.
Since his nomination to the Supreme Court was announced in early July, Brett Kavanaugh has deepened already bitter partisan divisions. Now with the nomination itself hanging in the balance, it can be hard to assess the full range of Kavanaugh’s significance for the future of the American government.
I often struggle to follow—and rarely attempt to contribute to—conversations that veer into the nebulous realm of “gaming culture.” From my clumsy “Mario Kart” skills that cost me a middle school friendship to the non-committal nods I give in response to “Fortnite” references, it is safe to say that video games exist firmly outside of my comfort zone.