Showing posts with label oligarchs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oligarchs. Show all posts

Friday, April 28, 2023

A Fungus Among Us

May you live in interesting times.
Image by mikezwei from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device  

"Bureaucracy is like a fungus that contaminates everything." -Jaime Lerner

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

Much to my surprise, I recently enjoyed a TV series on HBO titled The Last of Us.  

It's based, I'm told, on a videogame of the same name that's been around for a while. I'm also led to believe that it's not Hollywood's first attempt to turn a popular game into a popular movie or TV show. 

However, I'm also told it's the best one of many attempted so far, that this is a RBFD, particularly to gamers, and that we can expect an onslaught of video entertainment based on all sorts of popular games going forward. 

{And who told you this?} 

I was speaking figuratively, Dana. I've done a bit of research and read a bunch of articles. I...

{As I suspected given the fact you tend to sneer at video games and the people who play them. While we're at it, let's talk about your disdain for movies and TV shows based on comic books.} 

Whoa, I don't sneer at the people who play video games and/or read comic books. To paraphrase what I once heard Louis Armstrong say (I think in the Ken Burns documentary Jazz), If you like it, it's good entertainment (music). 

I do tend to sneer at video games and comic books themselves. However, I loved reading comic books and playing pinball games when I was a child. In fact... 

{I'd move on at this point if I were you, while you still have a reader or two left.}

Good point.

The show's about Joel (fifty-something) and Ellie (a teenager) who are on a road trip from hell, trying to make their way across an America in which a fungus has turned most people into zombies. (I know, I know, but it's actually pretty good.)

There's plenty of graphic and gruesome violence (of course), but both of the actors are good at their craft, there's an actual more or less believable plot and actual character development.

{No boobies?}

What are you talking about?

{Didn't you say that movies and TV shows top-heavy with bouncing boobies and/or buckets of blood should come with B&B ratings? How about DP for male characters displaying dangling participles.} 

Gentlepersons, please ignore the (not necessarily) charming literary device.   

There's even dialog that doesn't sound like it was written by an algorithm that's missed one too many updates. 

For example, at one point Ellie asks Joel questions about what life was like prior to the dystopia she takes as a given and one of his answers is, "Some people wanted to own everything and some people didn't want anyone to own anything at all."

Gadzooks! A plug for the sane folks that try to walk down the middle of the path in an era in which people that drive down the middle of the road are often turned into stewed tomatoes by ideologues driving virtual 18-wheelers.

{How do you figure?} 

It's not just the subtle context of the quote itself, it's the context of the conversation within which it occurs. Occasionally, subtle dialog more accurately mirrors the real world than dialog composed using a hammer and chisel and delivered in like manner, and that's another reason I like the show. 

{What does that even mean?}

The writers/producers/actors etc. aren't all people with hammers in search of nails.

{Are we done? We're short, like, 150 or so words.}     

Nope. I want to expand on Joel's quote.

The reason I like "Some people wanted to own everything and some people didn't want anyone to own anything at all" so much is because it's true, but he could've added, most people just tried to get along and find a way to pay the bills. 

The outrage industrial complex (OIC), left-leaning division, would have us believe that the Earth is controlled by insatiable, evil capitalists who do indeed want it all. 

The right-leaning division would have us believe that the left side of the path is completely controlled by evil Wokies who want everyone to share everything equally like that commune your cousin joined where things ended so badly.

I believe that the oligarchs of both divisions play us against each other for power and profit, and that class war trumps culture war. 

I'm so old that I can remember when America's traditional left and right — a.k.a the center-left and center-right — used to be able to argue things out, sometimes just for fun, over a beer or a cup of coffee and get up the next day and get on with their lives. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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