This essay/poem, which I somehow managed to miss for almost a week, belongs in whatever kind of fucked up museums we’re going to be building in fifty years.
If, around that time, a grandchild or parole officer is grilling me about what it was like to inhabit the internet/media/technology typhoon of the 2010’s, this thing will answer a surprisingly large amount of the questions that don’t have to do with either online dating or my surprising-even-to-me susceptibility to faddish alcoholic drinks.
it’s like that movie with kristin dunst where the world is upside down and two people fall in love and no one can reach out to each other that movie is called “bring it on”
Hey Hey: Head and The Monkees’ Attempt to Get Cool
by Joe Bernardi
After seeing Head just once, I began telling people it was one of my favorite movies. It’s not one of my all-time favorites now and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t then, but Head is one of those films so dizzyingly…
The always-excellent Bright Wall Dark Room just re-ran a thing I wrote a few years ago about the Monkees movie Head. I’m not sure why they did that, but I remain pretty proud of how this came out, and Head remains one of my favorite movies, so high fives all around.
I thought I’d written here about this earlier, but I did not.
Around two months ago, I reconnected with my old friend Jana Kinsman via a joke I made regarding my winning the infamous Rob Dubbin Twitter Lottery while the Academy Awards were going on. I’ve eaten pizza with Rob more than once. Jana knows Rob somehow. Video games. It’s all really complicated.
The important thing is that Jana and I originally befriended each other as young teens and members of the Sockheads. The Sockheads were the official fan club of the television show Sifl & Olly, a program which either means nothing to you or just made you yell “Oh shit!” out loud. We exchanged ideas about music and learned important concepts from the older Sockheads about bongs and the band James. Things that would become useful as we advanced into high school and college, around which point Jana and I lost touch until the RDTL did what it does best and brought people together.
Without giving too much away about our respective lifestyles, one thing that became clear during Jana’s and my series of catch-up emails is that there is a very, very wide gulf between our understandings of what goats do and how goats work. Our newfound awareness of this gulf coincided very nicely with our awareness of the video game Goat Simulator. The gulf, the strange and sudden reconnection, and the existence of Goat Simulator made too much sense, so we decided to collaborate on a review/discussion of the game, which Paste was kind enough to print.
Next time the internet is dragging you down with its seemingly indomitable mountain range of hate speech, passive-aggressive Facebook RSVPs, and news of enemies’ successes, remember that it can also allow you and a person you got to know 15 years ago via a television show about sock puppets to make a little bit of money by talking about a video game where a goat’s tongue can get stuck to a hang glider.
Stand in front of your bathroom mirror at the stroke of midnight and play the first fifteen seconds of “Hold On Loosely” three times. An ice-cold can of Bud Heavy will emerge, as if thrown, from your mirror. If you manage to catch it, toast the mirror, and take a good-sized sip in time to sing along with the lyric “good lovin’ gone bad,” you will be rewarded with a lifetime of good fortune. If you fuck it up, your ears will render the sound of electric guitar as total silence for the rest of your life, and those cool black southern rock hats will feel like a crown of thorns. This is known in some circles as “The Rocker’s Gambit.”
Like a month ago, I went to IndieCade East, a three-day conference concerning issues such as independent video games, what “independent” means, and what “video game” means. The conference was held at the Museum Of the Moving Image in sunny Astoria, Queens.
I wrote about the event in my usual timely, literary style for Paste. Nidhogg sure is fun. Rami Ismail and Auriea Harvey sure are smart. These are facts we know already, but I got paid to shore them up in print, so joke’s on you.
After Bennett Foddy’s excellent closing speech I trudged, completely exhausted and having eaten a Subway sandwich for some reason, back to Brooklyn. As the sun was going down and I was looking back on this, the first Games Thing I’ve ever really attended, all of the storefronts on my way back to the Steinway Street stop, all of the hair salons and particle board furniture stores and whatever else they have going on up there in Astoria, were all playing what I assume was a radio station that was playing “Shake that Body” by Technotronic. Really loud. Good going, Astoria.
Broken Age has a joke in it that was funny enough for me to try and explain it to my friends. Pretty much no mainstream video game has ever done that.
Seems like all I ever use this thing for is to write about stuff I already wrote. In the interest of fairness, I should mention that other writing exists, too. My friend Leigh, for example, recently published a really good mini-book about growing up alongside the nascent era of the internet. It was definitely a deeply weird time and place (“place”) to have been that age, and Leigh recalls it with her usual brand of soul-baring lyrical gusto.
Hey, Tumblr. I have been given the all-clear to reprint my essay about Michael Jordan: Chaos In the Windy City that originally appeared in The Classical's digital magazine. You should still subscribe to it, though. In a life fraught with daily, almost constant regrets, not once have I second-guessed my decision to subscribe. Plus @weedguy420boner and @mobute have pieces in the same issue as mine, and everyone likes those guys.
I have an essay in the new issue of The Classical. The Classical is mostly about sports, and the new issue revolves around video games and play, so I wrote about a terrible, unplayably difficult Super Nintendo sports video game called Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City. It’s weird that one of the most dominant athletes of all time stars in a video game where he can fall into a pit of acid and die, basically, is what I wrote about.
Cheers to my old roommate Dominic, who briefly dated a girl about a year ago who worked at the restaurant up the road from our apartment and who allowed himself, in a fit of drunken infatuation, to be convinced by that girl to purchase MJ:CWC on eBay for like two dollars. The girl eventually broke Dominic’s heart anyway, so when he moved out he left the cartridge in the living room. As a result, I could play this game the way it was meant to be played.
I have never published a piece of writing that was not readily available to be read online, so I’m not sure what the protocol is here. Everyone should totally subscribe to The Classical, though, because this issue contains pieces by people smarter than I am, it’s not very expensive, and it’s a publication named after a song by The Fall.
I wrote about the Xbox One launch event for Paste Magazine. It was a quietly overwhelming few hours. Smothering? Maybe it was smothering.
Shouts out to Beth, the Xbox social media honcho (honcha?) I met who seemed to be the only person in the entire area who was genuinely having a good time (and not in a fake “social media honcho” way). Her optimism kept me going through the thick, sour-apple-green miasma of inedible snacks, armored trucks, and confused-but-friendly Japanese telejournalists.