The Turtle in the Deep

A friend asked once how I was managing to heal after everything that had happened. It was, she suggested, a heavy thing to bear. And it was. It pursued me like a ravenous eel. Its jaws might have gobbled me whole. But something else was there, even in the deepest waters. Even that far down, where unknown creatures dwell.

15 Kills: Solid Perry, The Phantom Pain, Performance

Literary critics were once fond of stating that close reading’s obsessive attention to microscopic effects of language merely replicates the kind of detailed attention that the artist needed to write the work in the first place. As a form of analysis, exploiting faults in a game could bear the same justification: one plays the game like a designer.

Peril and Hope on Road 96

I got it because its pitch—you play as a desperate teenager in a totalitarian petrol state sneaking penniless toward the border, hoping to find freedom—resonated with the desperation that was bubbling up from the floorboards of my heart: a flood of the pandemic, climate change, growing rightwing violence and agitation, an Hieronymus Bosch painting’s worth of leering demagogues and sycophants. Worst of all, the people who should be helping fight all this from their seats of power seem all but absent.

Surrogate Father Simulator 2

I wondered, as I twirled the wheel on my controller, because that’s how you reel in a fish, if that’s the intrinsic appeal of RDR2. I wondered if the thing that makes the game more than a series of challenges and rewards is that it provides the player access to some imagined rendition of their father.


Holland has sent me an INSULT. I do not know what it is, only that it is rude enough I now have an excuse to start a war against them. I don’t want to start a war with anyone outside of the French cultural pentagon. I don’t know how to win a Big War.