Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Tag: election

Gearing Democratic Solace

There are various ways one might approach the US election results: a victory for the Democrats, African Americans or simply common sense. Others will slyly ponder that perhaps Americans have at last proven they can be trusted to elect their own leader. There is little doubt that the result fulfilled the desires of the silent majority, by which I mean the rest of world (inexplicably illegible to vote on some technicality), made clear by the flood of supportive global congratulations.

While people are not wrong to characterise Obama’s victory speech as sounding “historic”, McCain’s concession speech was also notably magnanimous and one can’t help but wonder whether, had he campaigned in that manner throughout, the finish might have been somewhat tighter. The fact Obama is “untested” remains the chief concern amongst many Republicans, but then this is a job for which there is no real test. For that matter, in what way exactly was Bush tested before he landed the role? Unless pretzel choking featured substantively, I’m fairly sure he would have failed. Obama’s campaign attracted some excellent minds and the people with which he now chooses to surround himself will greatly impact his effectiveness moving forward.

Quantum of Solace

Last night I headed out with Ben and Anna from law school to see Quantum of Solace for a second time, taking the bold move of actually remaining awake throughout on this occasion. While Ravi’s suggestion of an opening night screening last Friday had been conceptually good, the practicalities of end-of-the-week exhaustion and an 11:30pm start, possibly exacerbated by the beer in my hand, led to a somewhat inevitable conclusion. As it turns out, I didn’t miss much in the additional half hour and my original views were pretty much spot on. This way, however, I can proffer my review without risk of reproach. I can say with certainty: Quantum of Solace is definitely a film I have seen.

Gears of War 2

The flood of gaming titles continues with the much anticipated sequel to Gears of War. While already impressed with its improved graphics (less, though still some, texture pop but particularly more open areas and a brighter palette with actual colours!) and continuing cinematic flair, I want to take a moment to praise the design of the limited edition box. You heard me. Metal cases are becoming commonplace for collectors releases and they do look and feel great. However the oversize tins required to stuff in extras like artbooks end up unwieldy and seem slightly tacky. To get around this, The Gears 2 discs come in a slim metal case the size of an ordinary game, which is then packed with a book inside a larger card case and slipcover. It’s an elegant solution that I’d like to see other releases follow.

Forward Planning

Now that things have settled down, in both work and life, I should be in position to resume writing here more frequently. It probably won’t be regular because I’m still never quite sure when things of note are actually going to happen, but they do seem to. Which is nice.

Let The Issues Be The Issue

This post was actually written before the American elections finished so I will only touch on Obama’s victory briefly (at least until I can digest the results fully). While his platform of change became popular enough to secure the White House, actually effecting that change will still be an uphill struggle, particularly in the current economic climate where massive financial bailouts have left America’s national debt even more monstrous than previously. The rest of the world, however, is breathing a collective sigh of relief —arguably less that Obama is in and more that Bush(‘s cronies) is out and Palin wasn’t allowed anywhere near! I also particularly liked ad agency Grey NYC’s recent campaign inverting the races of the two candidates, urging voters to vote on issues rather than race. Londonders will likely have seen it on the cover of yesterday’s Metro. The posters quickly became collectors’ items.

Fallout 3

Currently I am preparing for the glut of high quality videogame titles heading this way. Although the numbers are roughly the same it seems significantly more daunting when combined with a job. Gabe and Tycho’s Operation Myriad is not far off. Better make those holidays count, I guess. I’m currently exploring the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. in Fallout 3 and the feeling of isolation they have captured is fantastic, travelling between small communities.  Rather than just being quest hubs, there is a real sense that these isolated pockets are just people trying to get by.

Mirror\'s Edge

I am also very pleased to announce that the demo for free running game Mirror’s Edge has placed it firmly at the top of the pre-orders list. I already loved the clinical art style of the metropolis and the videos they have released, but with jump puzzles generally being the bane of any first-person game, devoting an entire experience to exactly that would require a seriously impressive control system. Fortunately, that’s exactly what they have delivered with a surprisingly intuitive system for vertical interaction with the environment. The momentum you build up as you run is also key, particularly if you want to land on something soft after ziplining between buildings, since your momentum is conserved as you drop. The bottom line is that it can make you look and feel as cool as Assassin’s Creed, but without taking all control away from the player like that game’s one-button mechanic. I’m really impressed by this new EA, turned from churning out sports games, sequels and movie tie-ins to producing some really impressive and innovative new IPs.

"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

(CC) BY-NC 2004-2023 Priyan Meewella

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