Breaking News and Updates
- Abolition Of Work
- Alternative Medicine
- Artificial Intelligence
- Atlas Shrugged
- Ayn Rand
- Basic Income Guarantee
- Chess Engines
- Cloud Computing
- Conscious Evolution
- Cosmic Heaven
- Designer Babies
- Donald Trump
- Ethical Egoism
- Fifth Amendment
- Fifth Amendment
- Financial Independence
- First Amendment
- Fiscal Freedom
- Food Supplements
- Fourth Amendment
- Fourth Amendment
- Free Speech
- Freedom of Speech
- Gene Medicine
- Genetic Engineering
- Germ Warfare
- Golden Rule
- Government Oppression
- High Seas
- Hubble Telescope
- Human Genetic Engineering
- Human Genetics
- Human Longevity
- Immortality Medicine
- Intentional Communities
- Life Extension
- Mars Colonization
- Mind Uploading
- Minerva Reefs
- Modern Satanism
- Moon Colonization
- New Utopia
- Personal Empowerment
- Political Correctness
- Politically Incorrect
- Post Human
- Post Humanism
- Private Islands
- Quantum Computing
- Quantum Physics
- Resource Based Economy
- Ron Paul
- Second Amendment
- Second Amendment
- Socio-economic Collapse
- Space Exploration
- Space Station
- Space Travel
- Teilhard De Charden
- The Singularity
- Tor Browser
- Transhuman News
- Victimless Crimes
- Virtual Reality
- Wage Slavery
- War On Drugs
- Zeitgeist Movement
The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Survivalism
Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:16 pm
Do you like sci-fi? How about making tough decisions based on limited resources and risking the fate of the human race? How about a game that takes a few minutes to play but has a butt-load of endings?
Its also free. You can play it in your browser right here.
Seedship is a text game made in Twyne, an engine used to make text games with branching paths. You can make your own game today.
The premise is classic sci-fi. The human race sends an AI-helmed ship full of cryo-frozen humans to choose a suitable planet and continue the species.
The game loop revolves around making tough decisions (do you sacrifice the cultural or tech database to survive?) and choosing whether to settle on a planet that is lacking in a key area, or push on for something better at the risk of losing all humans on board.
Once youve chosen a planet, the game ends with the story of how the humans move forward based on the decisions you made getting there. If you sacrificed the tech database earlier, they might live a much simpler life. But the consequences can also be unexpectedly dire in fascinating ways I wont spoil.
Seedship succeeds at conveying the best part of sci-fi: Exploring how humans are affected by fantastical scenarios. It also succeeds as a fantastic captain simulator, forcing you to constantly sacrifice for the greater good. Its not all negative survivalism either, as youll get a chance to make upgrades that increase your chances of finding a hospitable home.
The game is free, you can play it in a browser, and it only takes a few minutes to complete a game. If you have any interest whatsoever, I cant recommend it any higher.
If youd like to support the author, he has a Patreon (on a per-game model). Hes a published sci-fi author and this is his first Twyne game under the Patreon model.
Mathew is a huge fan of Space, Strategy, and Shadowrun (Genesis version is #1). When it comes to games and films, hed much rather experience a 10/10 classic from yesteryear than a 6/10 modern blandfest. He does feel were living in a gaming golden age with the power of indie developers at an all-time high, but wishes AAA publishers would take more risks. Mat believes its only a matter of time before the pendulum swings the other way and new ideas take their rightful place above reboots.
Read this article:
Posted: April 27, 2017 at 1:59 am
Do you catch yourself thinking about the end of the world? What prompts these thoughts? And are they all they seem? The idea pops into my head from time to time and I try and dismiss it quickly but it wasnt until writing this feature that I realised how these unwelcome imaginings manifest themselves. I’ve now worked out that, shamefully, what Im actually doing is playing a few frames worth of tsunami from the end of 2012 or running a mental GIF, culled from some other half-remembered CGI-blockbuster of skyscrapers falling down. On other occasions Im conjuring up a stark image from the television of my childhood: the usual suspects are Threads or a Protect And Survive public information film (and the latter image is probably remembered via the secondary medium of the 1980s pop music video).
In reality (if you discount certain religious or cosmological predictions) the fall of man is too big a concept for us to envisage with any great clarity. When the end comes for our species it will probably happen in so many different and complex stages that it is all but impossible to second guess. (As much as the tabloids during the Cretaceous were probably constantly full of comet-based scaremongering, I bet none of them predicted a post-impact future where dinosaur survivors slowly morphed into birds who got smaller and smaller until the monkeys took over.) The (entertaining and lively) Homo Deus: A Brief History Of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari is the latest product turned out by a publishing industry that caters to our still unquenchable millenarian thirst. Admittedly this book is unusual in that it actually has a relatively upbeat prognosis for us – homo sapiens is giving way to the god-like homo deus who will make war obsolete, conquer disease and achieve amortality – but like the rest of the literature dealing with the end of mankind as we know it, its no less far-fetched than most fantastical works of science fiction. Mapping out the future of man is like predicting the weather: experts can give us reasonable suggestions for the very near future but anything mid to long term is a fools errand due to the complexity of the model were talking about.
This publishing trend – a facet of a larger cultural obsession taking in TV series, magazines, films and comic books – services a large and amorphous client group of tens of millions who either believe that the world is about to end or fear that it could. These are the people who dont push the thought out of their minds immediately but rather spend a lot of their waking time grappling with it. But if the end of our species is essentially unfathomable, what are they actually thinking about? In 2012, when talking about religious predictions of the end, the neuroscientist Shmuel Lissek suggested that large numbers of people found comfort and validation in the fearful ancient bias provoked by the idea of doomsday. This would be the ultimate example of misery loving company, or, as Robert Smith of The Cure summed it up succinctly in 100 Years: It doesnt matter if we all die. Counterintuitively there is also responsibility absolving relief to be had in knowing when ones time is due. It can seem bewildering to outsiders that many people under the sway of apocalyptic religions and cults are willing to believe the very precise warnings of the end of the world (down to exact dates and times) when literally all of these predictions so far have come to absolutely nothing. But perhaps its not hard to see the attraction in knowing exactly when you are going to die. For some people the sheer existential exhaustion they suffer comes from not having this knowledge. The complete failure of Earth to crash into the non-existent planet Nibiru on December 21 2012, will not stop people from getting in a flap over Sir Isaac Newtons predictions of Armageddon when 2060 rolls around.
Eschatological and apocalyptic thinking is not just the sole provenance of followers of certain religious cults though. These ideas are often linked to those with poor mental health. Im not talking so much about paranoid schizophrenics here. While its not unknown for the unhappy souls blighted by this condition to develop delusions – some of which may be apocalyptic in nature – in nearly all cases these beliefs are clearly irrational and in-all likelihood not persuasive to anyone other than the sufferer themselves. More relevant here are the paranoid, who have relatively more rationalised fears, which are often easily expressed and shared, especially via the internet. (It is a common belief among hardcore conspiracy theorists for example that their government has information about an immanent disaster and are purposefully keeping the population in the dark so as not to cause panic.) And then there are the traumatised. There is evidence that people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder – especially those who have first hand experience of war itself – can buy into the mindset of apocalyptic survivalism becoming preppers. These characters are now so prevalent in American society that they have become a stock archetype of pop culture, with prominent examples such as John Goodmans survivalist character Howard in the smart sci-fi movie 10 Cloverfield Lane and the Indiana doomsday cult leader the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne from the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In the States, bookstore shelves are heaving with titles on the subject of ultimate survivalism and there are even several popular magazines designed to help people with their preparations.
And all of this is before we get onto the beliefs of some folk who are simply very very depressed or fatalistic.
In some of these cases the standard pop-psychiatric explanation of apocalyptic thinking would be something along these lines: the damaged mind is unable to process its own collapse and projects its own chaos outwards onto the world. But – to paraphrase Tom Waits – just because youre crazy and thinking about the apocalypse doesnt mean the end isnt actually nigh
It was reported in the news recently that the notional big hand on the Doomsday Clock, a symbol which represents the likelihood of a human-caused global catastrophe, has been moved to two and a half minutes to midnight. It had previously been at three minutes to midnight for two years which was the closest it had been to 12 since the height of the American/Russian nuclear standoff in 1982. If youre having trouble interpreting what this recent change means, the Science And Security Board of The Doomsday Clock had this to say last year: The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon. They have amended this statement thus: In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and half minutes to midnight, the clock is ticking, global danger looms.
As their name suggests, the Science And Security Board are not so much concerned with religious predictions as they are manmade disaster. But some these scientific scenarios are no less baroque when you read about them…
Phil Torres, author of The End: What Science And Religion Tell Us About The Apocalypse, lists a dizzying number of ways in which we may shuffle off the coil en masse. There is the threat of super-intelligence, grey goo nanotechnology run amok and the appalling idea of catastrophic vacuum decay (if youre excessively existentially nervous and dont already know what CVD is, I really wouldnt google it). And then we have the only slightly less bleak but all too tangible climate change and nuclear war scenarios – which rather than threatening to wipe everyone out in one fell swoop would light a long and complex touch paper on the process.
So, given this looming danger, Ive found myself wondering recently, why isnt more music being released in 2017 about the apocalypse or the idea of post apocalypse?
Now, this being the internet I have to explain very carefully what I mean here. First of all, I dont mean that no music at all currently deals with the idea that the world is ending. There have been quite a few examples of musicians indulging in apocalyptic thinking recently. Ed Harcourts album Furnaces may use the concept as a metaphor to explore the transcendent salvation offered by love but his vision is still mired in fire and brimstone. His manager, the critic Sean Adams, says that despite offering the listener the possibility of salvation Harcourt still imagines a world of terminal pollution and dissolution. And last November ANOHNI released ‘4 Degrees’ as the lead single from her latest album Hopelessness a stark and lacerating ecological warning. But for the most part these sentiments are conspicuous by their absence in the mainstream – especially when TV channels, cinemas, computer game stores and bookshops are so replete with apocalyptic and post apocalyptic fiction and entertainment.
We also need to recognise the few hardy souls who have been proclaiming the end of the world for decades now. As such we should pause here momentarily and doff our caps towards Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke. This year marks the 35th anniversary of his departure from these shores for Iceland convinced of the coming apocalypse. Much mocked in the music press at the time, Coleman now lives in a jerry built house on an island in the relatively remote Hauraki Gulf of northern New Zealand (mythologised as Cythera by Coleman). His attitude of wishing to live as remotely from major cities as possible seems a bit more sensible in 2017 than it used to, not the least now that the idea of relocating the family to Canada, Patagonia or, yes, Reykjavik has supplanted house prices as the number one subject at dinner parties all over the UK. But it should be said that by their own standards at least, Colemans lyrics seem slightly less apocalyptic than they used to be and recently, in a Q and A after a screening of The Death And Resurrection Show Killing Joke documentary, when the subject of his initial stay in Iceland was mentioned, he brought up a life-long struggle with depression suggesting that there is perhaps a mental health aspect to at least some of the bands end time concerns.
For the sake of brevity we’re going to have to give heavy metal a free pass here. The subject of the genre’s obsession with the fall of man is enough to generate several volumes of scholarly work and cannot be generalised upon to any useful degree. There has been more amazing metal concerned with the end of days than from all other genres combined. From Black Sabbath’s ‘Electric Funeral’, recorded in 1970, onwards, it has seen many towering peaks of achievement such as the foundational Viking metal album and poetic 1991 masterpiece Twilight Of The Gods by Bathory (named by Stephen O’Malley as one of his favourite meditations on the subject).
However, it is worth pointing out to the non-partisan and metalphobic that apocalypse doesn’t always mean apocalypse when it comes to metal. Even after skipping over the heavily metaphorical nature of this music, things are not always as they seem. For example, the mushroom clouds on the cover of a neo-thrash LP by Reign Of Fury or Havok might seem in poor taste to someone with little interest in this genre, but to a metalhead of my age (mid-40s) this is primarily a nostalgic, comforting image, more redolent of a carefree adolescence lit golden coloured by rite of passage first beers and enjoyment of records by Megadeth, Nuclear Assault, Iron Maiden and The Cro-Mags, than it is symbol of imminent global destruction.
And its also worth bearing in mind that there can often be a disconnect between lyrical content in extreme metal and the art the album comes in. Take Texan thrashers Power Trip for example. The sleeve of this year’s Nightmare Logic on Southern Lord is all demonic soldiers marching through a post nuclear cityscape with a deathly face surveying the carnage but the lyrics of singer Riley Gale – who has a sophisticated line in identity politics – are mainly about the effects of globalisation and neo-liberalism and what can be done to resist, inspired in part by UK second wave punk. Nothing is necessarily what it seems when it comes to metal.
One recent metal act that has really stood out to me because its entire aesthetic over several releases seemed to be exclusively and persistently about the end of the world was the Botanist. Even by black metal standards, the Californian who goes by the name of Otrebor and plays drums and hammered dulcimer while singing, is a complete outlier. He has released six albums proper as the Botanist – a character who represents the nemesis of mankind, his work: allowing plants to regain control of the planet after humanity has died. The intense lyrical devotion to this messianic eco-terrorist character, married to the transcendent blur of music, wrenched from non-standard instrumentation, marks this music out as totally unique.
Most other modern genres pale in comparison to metal in the apocalypse stakes. Some producers of noise, techno and dark ambient talk a good Omega game but the lack of lyrical content makes this little more than a colouring agent in my book. Elsewhere, I can detect a subtle millenarian undercurrent to hauntology – probably because of the shaded section on the Venn Diagram that crosses over into Protect And Survive booklets, public information films, Threads and so on. I asked Simon Reynolds if he believed these hauntological fetishes were totally removed from modern day worries about nuclear war: I dont think its to do with apocalypse or nostalgia for nuclear war or anything daft like that, its an aesthetic thing [people] love of the look and sound of those Public Information Films as little capsules from another time. Theres also a sense of wonder that such creepy, unnerving things were shown to children.
And even then, when we put our heads together my initial assumption that there would be untold numbers of hauntological recordings about impending doom seem to be somewhat fanciful. There is the Civil Defence Is Common Sense track on The Advisory Circles Other Channels album and the nuclear war inspired Tomorrows Harvest by Boards Of Canada (again, as much as an instrumental album can be said to be about anything).
A recent album he was keen to mention was A Year In The Countrys The Quietened Bunker, before adding: But again that is more about the bygone long-ago vibes of Britain at a certain time in post-War history than anything to do with current concerns.
So actual sonic hauntological artefacts dealing tangibly with apocalypse as we might fear it today are quite the rarity. A notable example would be the Radiophonic play, Eschatology, which the Langham Research Centre and Peter Blegvad performed on BBC Radio 3 in 2014. The full play is fantastic – like the shipping forecast broadcast from a vessel scuttled at the lip of oblivion, and mixes spoken word drama, musique concrete, vintage synth-scaping and tape experimentation.
When listening to this play again recently, the idea of a story told from the POV of the last people on Earth after an apocalyptic event, set to non-standard musical backing put me in mind of one of the jewels in the crown of American rock group Shellac – The End Of Radio. Over a tense solo snare beat that inexorably creeps up to double time and then beyond into a puncturing drum roll over a rigid, metronomic bassline, Steve Albini barks out the story of the final broadcast of a Modern Lovers-obsessed radio DJ who finds himself the last man on Earth broadcasting his final show to no-one. Is it really broadcasting if theres no one there to receive? asks Albini plaintively before eventually unleashing the riff of all riffs, which sounds like Link Wray on the deck of Event Horizon. As different as they are, the power of both pieces can be found in specific effects achieved by the combination of (non-standard) music and spoken word, but more on this later.
Now, anyone reading this article would be well within their rights to ask, why should people even want be reminded of the parlous state of international affairs or impending ecological destruction when theyre listening to music? Why shouldnt they be allowed to enjoy pure escapism – an attitude I have a lot of time for. But one only has to look back 35 years to when the Doomsday Clock was as perilously close to its terminal engagement as it is now to see how much things have changed. In the 1980s – when Russia and America seemed likely to engage in nuclear warfare, it wasnt just the thrash metallers, goths and punks who were obsessed with doomsday – it was everyone from Frankie Goes To Hollywood to Heaven 17 to Ultravox to Morrissey to David Bowie to Blondie to Queen to Nik Kershaw to Sting to Prince to Genesis to Nena to OMD… Name a top ten single from 1983 – theres a fighting chance the theme was nuclear annihilation.
So something has changed but what?
Recently, after the untimely passing of the theorist and music critic Mark Fisher, I had reason to go back and re-read his essential text Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? In his opening gambit he claims the idea that it is easier to picture the end of the world than it is the end of capitalism (attributed to both the erratic Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek and the postmodernist Frederic Jameson) as the essential motto for Capitalist Realism.
There is a difference between 1982 and 2017 according to Fishers book and that is now there is simply no alternative economic system we can imagine to the one we’re saddled with. In the 1970s and 1980s – no matter how naive, how unrealistic, how compromised, alternatives in name still existed to capitalism. Socialism existed as a genuine force, anarcho collectivism existed as a genuine possibility etc. Now that the after effects of Thatchers second and third terms have settled in comfortably – so the argument goes – we simply cannot imagine anything other than the system we have now. Fisher described the state of inertia we find ourselves in: What we are dealing with now… is a deeper far more pervasive sense of exhaustion of cultural and political sterility For most people under twenty in Europe and North America, the lack of alternatives to capitalism is no longer even an issue. Capitalism seamlessly occupies the horizons of the thinkable.
World destruction, of one kind or another, is the inevitable end product of capitalism. It is now a near global system predicated on continual and aggressive expansion of markets by any means necessary in a world of finite resources that has only a limited capacity to cope with our core rapaciousness. There is no other way things can pan out. So it struck me as being quite funny that its now equally as hard (for musicians at least) to imagine the end of the world as it is for the rest of us to imagine the end of the system thats causing it.
Im not sure what I think about the paucity of this kind of music in the mainstream these days. After all, even if it was widespread and popular, surely it would just be an example of pre-corporation (the pre-emptive formatting and shaping of desires, aspirations and hopes by capitalist culture). Just another temporary trend. And by the way, this isnt some semi-occluded old man cry about a so-called lack of protest music in the 21st Century. There is enough of that stuff about – Im aware that it doesnt look like it used to and most of it is now guided by liberal humanism rather than a naive desire to save the world from nuclear or ecological destruction.
But popular or not, the more music struggles to get away from the cultural exhaustion of late capitalism – the more it resists mere revivalism and straight up pastiche – the more effective I find it on several levels. I dont need music to be sui generis, I just need it to fight its own fucking corner, god damn it. And so it is with apocalyptic music. As with all of the examples mentioned above, Ive found myself returning to the self-titled debut album by Manchester based artist Vanishing time and time again recently.
Vanishing is a project led by Hull-born and Manchester-based poet and musician Gareth Smith (who is, among other things, a regular collaborator with LoneLady). His music isn’t as overtly obsessed with the coming collapse of civilisation as that of the Botanist, say, but it has been riven by millennial angst. (Smith has only talked in very general terms about how Vanishing is concerned with “alienation and claustrophobia”; about “this terrible feeling of dread”; and “the madness of the current time” but it seems to me that it could present a means for him to articulate extreme sensitivity to modern life, as this music jangles like a symptom of generalised anxiety disorder.)
On this debut album, released recently on Salford’s Tombed Visions, he has created a cast of characters such as The Forger and The Cleaners, and to breathe life into them he does the police in different voices. His words come flowing dynamically out of him in an East Yorkshire accent as heavy and blunt as a cosh; a necrotic black metal shriek; a granular baritone drawl; a tremulous whisper that rises and rises towards an ever ascending note of anxiety ringing clear like a struck bell. And his words exit him like ten thousand cubic metres of silt, suspended in the garbage rich, caramel brown waters of the Humber flowing right out into the desalinated and mercury poisoned North Sea.
Its not a particularly easy listen. But it is thrilling.
Vanishing by Vanishing, is on first listen heavily portentous, achingly pompous, grindingly dour and massively out of step with the current cultural times. Of the few who hear it, no doubt more will be annoyed than pleased by it; certainly more will find it wryly amusing rather than harrowing. It does however despite all this reveal itself on subsequent listens to be quite brilliant.
Vanishing is not an exploration of something that has already happened or something that is going to happen but something we are currently enduring. It is a sonic metaphor for how we are refusing to feel right now. The stab of panic late at night when anxiety stalks the hallway outside the door, when no amount of digital distraction will quell the thought, “What have we done?” Smith isn’t saying what we’re all thinking, he’s saying what we’re all desperately trying not to think.
Musically, this is a muscular and psychedelic mix of post rock, industrial, dark ambient, dub and other, less-easy to classify, fractured and cosmic sounds, provided mainly by Smith with Paddy Shine of GNOD. (Shine’s bandmate Alex Macarte also turns up on synths at one point while Julie Campbell and Elizabeth Preston add a hint of Godspeed drama on cello here and there.) The churchical organ drones of Brighton 84, the brittle Suicide-beats of Night Vision, the nerve-jangling dub effects of Fountain, the future spiritual of The Forger and the reverberant, agonising power electronics of The Cleaners all thrill… Bronze Misnomer is a quirky but threatening reboot of Jack Kerouac, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims Blues And Haikus from 1959. Behind all things is glitchy electronica like the sound of the machines stuttering and failing for the last time. Over all things is a scree of noise as long since abandoned buildings eventually crumble, undermined by encroaching plant life. If I have one major criticism of Vanishing it is that, like TS Eliots Strawmen, it whimpers out of existence instead of ending with a bang. On final track Glacier, the guitars – bum notes and all – meander aimlessly about the track and for once the music is not really a match for Smiths simmering intensity. But perhaps this is an apt way to end proceedings.
Vanishing isn’t going to change the way I vote. It’s not going to affect the way I do my recycling. It’s not going to make me join the Green Party. Listening to this album is not going to make me go and live in an island shack near the Hauraki Gulf. It isn’t even going to make cross the room so I can turn the light off that’s currently switched on needlessly in the hallway. But this album (along with the music mentioned by Langham Research Centre, the Botanist, Shellac and The Advisory Circle among many others) serves as a concrete reminder that there is respite to the cultural malaise created by late capitalism for those who are determined to seek it. It makes me think there is a glossary of effects begging to be written detailing how various literary techniques combine with certain musical processes to create dramatic new sonic spaces. And I’m not just talking about apocalypse music now, but songs about love, death and birth as well. Songs about cars. Songs about nightclubs. Songs about buildings. Songs about food. One really only needs to feel the surging connective potential when listening to something that doesn’t sound quite like anything one has heard before, related from an angle one hasn’t considered before – as infrequently as this may occur – to realise there is still everything left to fight for. Those who claim they’ve heard it all before? I lament their inability to see anything but the broadest of brushstrokes when the rest of us know the devil is in the detail. They say: “We’re doomed! We’re doomed!” I say: “Not a bit of it, there’s enough hope left yet.”
Continue reading here:
Posted: April 25, 2017 at 4:51 am
TWIN FALLS A day to remember lives lost was also a day to celebrate renewal.
A baby girl in pink tights, hat and coat wobbled on two chubby legs near a plaque in Twin Falls City Park. The plaque surrounded by red roses, yellow tulips and pink carnations pays homage to the memory of those lost in the mass killing of Armenians and the contribution that Armenian Americans have to made to the community.
About 30 community members gathered around the plaque on the 102nd anniversary of the genocide of Armenians that occurred in present-day Turkey. Around the world, people of Armenian descent also commemorated the 102 years since the genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. April 24 marks the day when the mass killings started.
The event in the park included a prayer and remarks from those in attendance. Before the prayer, children were ushered in front of the plaque for a group photo. Above their heads, branches with white blooms swayed in the early evening breeze. After the gathering in the park, a candle vigil for Syria was held at the St. Ignatius Orthodox Church, followed by a traditional Armenian dinner.
During her remarks, organizer Liyah Babayan noted how the tree symbolizes they way she and other Armenians have laid roots in Twin Falls.
Every year we do this, Babayan said. And every year there are new babies. Thats what true survivalism is about.
Violet Nahapet also found joy on the sad day. She loves how the Armenian community in Twin Falls grows with each young child. Nahapet has two grandchildren who are half Armenian and half American.
We have a mixture of cultures, Nahapet said. It enriches the American culture. The culture is becoming more multi-face. We are so happy to be here. It is home.
Winnie Christensen attended with her two small children. Christensen said shed like to see more people in Twin Falls attend the yearly gathering.
We should all be educators to others, she said. Its up to me to educate my kids. Thats why I bring my kids with me everywhere. Let us not be victims, but survivors.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that tens of thousands of people took part in a march and rally outside the Turkish Consulate. Southern California is home to the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia with more than 200,000 people of Armenian descent live in Los Angeles County, according to U.S. census data.
Today, Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide. Nahapet pointed out the harm of denial in her remarks before the group. She brought up Adolf Hitlers speech to commanders before the German invasion of Poland, which is a quote inscribed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The ending of the quote says: Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in readiness for the present only in the East with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
We are not here to spread the hatred toward anyone, Nahapet said. We are here to say no to genocide. We are here to remember history so it doesnt repeat itself.
President Donald Trump issued a statement on Monday to commemorate one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, but declined to call the mass killings genocide.
I was very disappointed I have not heard any remarks from our president acknowledging a genocide took place, Babayan said. I expected him to be more courageous and anti-establishment. Hes shown how deep the suppression and control of the Turkish government is in the United States.
The Turkish government has spent millions lobbying Congress on the issue, the Los Angeles Times reported. It succeeded in persuading President Barack Obama to reverse a campaign promise to label the killings a genocide. Trump was the first Western leader to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone after a referendum last week granted him sweeping new powers, the Los Angeles Times also reported.
Babayan is working to get the movie The Promise to show in Twin Falls. It stars Christian Bale and is set during 1915 at the start of the genocide. Babayan said the movie, which opens Friday, is not scheduled to show in Twin Falls.
For her, the movie is a step in the right direction to further acknowledge the genocide that took place.
Its important for several reasons, Babayan said. It becomes part of dominant culture and it opens up conversations in mainstream culture.
Posted: at 4:51 am
British football is undoubtedly dominated by the fiscal might of the Premier League; that is an irrefutable fact. The team finishing in 20th place this season – more than likely us – will walk away with over 100 million, all thanks to television rights which afford us access to astronomical sums of money. But is relegation from the Premier League genuinely as dismal a prospect as it currently seems?
Relegation is without a doubt symbolic of failure, that goes without saying. Essentially we have been unable to solidify our place as one of the countrys top footballing teams, and losing that privilege has to be considered a failure. However, in the apotheosis of my footballing life thus far I have seen clubs sink, swim and come full circle – so whats to say relegation will be such a horrific ordeal? After all weve been here and experienced it all several times before, and after every low weve found our way back to those highs which we so desperately crave.
I think everyone associated with the world of football is trapped in the world of short-termism – something financial growth in the game has exacerbated. Just look back to our 1996-97 season, promotion under Peter Reid had us hoping for the best, yet within a season we were relegated. Did we sack Reid in a desperate attempt at solidifying our stay in the top flight? No. We believed in Reids vision for the club and gave him time. Im not saying Moyes is in the same exact position, by the way, Im just merely pointing out how much times have changed in the meantime. How many managers are allowed to take their team into the Premier League, be relegated, and then guide their club back to the big time once more? Very few.
Reids tenure saw us promoted once again, followed by successive 7th-placed finishes. Sunderland were a force, a team on the up striving for improvement and the dizzying heights of Europe. Surely Reids Sunderland were destined to evolve into a solid Premier League side? After all, we had just missed out on Europe twice within two seasons. Alas the world of football isnt quite so definite.
Since those halcyon days of pushing for Europe back in 1999-2001, Sunderland have managed to finish in the top half of the Premier League just once in the following 18 years. Most people will agree that years of battling against relegation simply cannot be a positive thing. How can a club progress if year after year they are fighting for their lives? How can a club grow if we have to constantly pay extortionate sums of money to find so-called top talent to help us merely avoid the drop? How can we, as a club, develop if the very essence of our being is mere survivalism?
The simple answer is: we cant.
And so we find ourselves staring down the barrel of the gun, suddenly embracing that cathartic moment we have been dreading for so long: were going down.
Should we be angry? Yes! Should we demand answers and look for progressive thinking to ensure the future of our club is a positive one? Yes! Relegation is not akin to a sentence for death-row; it is a wake-up call that must jolt this club back into action, and we the fans can aid this redevelopment… but only so much.
Its clear to see our recent plans for the club havent worked – we need something more sustainable, and in a way revolutionary. We need a plan for this club that ensures constant growth without the all-in approach weve seen over the last decade or so. Club figures need to stand up and be counted. Ellis Short needs to stand up and be counted. If he is this uber-Missourian Lads fan, if he holds dear everything about this club that we do, if he wants success not purely from a financial viewpoint, but from the same level as we do – due to pride, passion and pure love for this club then Ellis Short must come forth and embrace this moment. If he doesnt, then we cannot place our faith in his governance.
Yes Martin Bain is the man in de facto control, but we all know its Ellis in control of the purse strings. He is the man with the power, and nothing can improve unless he reconnects with us – the fanbase. Unless he gives us confirmation of our future, nothing will matter. Ellis, you simply have to talk to us.
I want to buy into the concept of Short being a rich man who wanted to solidify his being with a statue to his life. I want to buy into the notion that Short wants purely whats best for this club. Yet I cant. Where is his voice of reason? Where is his passion? Where is he? Surely he knows how devoted we are, so why not engage?
We dont mind the relegation, and the abject misery of recent years because, you see, for us this is merely a blip – a bump in the road. Ive supported the Lads since before I was born, as have countless others and we will support this club beyond the grave. Ive cried when Whitley missed that penalty, when my dad snapped a Charlton fans flag over his knee, when Sorensen, Phillips and McCann left us – and other fans will have times of disappointment to tell from years beyond that.
However, something you must surely know by now is that very few of us choose this life, and even fewer have the opportunity to have an impact on the way in which our club exists. But you do, Ellis, because you have total control.
We know youve poured money into this club, but was it to improve us? Or merely to improve our worth? Are you genuinely as engrossed in this club as we are? Or do you see this as some sort of asset that, distressed or not, acts merely as a pawn in your quest for fortune?
We want to believe in you, in fact we want to believe in you as much as we believed in Murray and Reid when they promised us a future to be proud of. Yet all weve encountered thus far is pain and suffering. You havent been the man we so desperately thought you would be.
You see, despite football being engulfed by the world of economics and investment, we the people remain. We are the ones who will continue to return in the face of travesty and doom because this club is more to us than some distressed asset on a balance sheet. For us this is our life. We talk about it day after day, we devote days, weeks, months, years of our lives to it. We worship it in an almost perverse fashion, for who would genuinely invest so much time and effort into something that brings them such little joy? This club to us is beyond fandom, and Id argue it goes beyond fanaticism.
Yet we have been seemingly abandoned, by this man who claims to want whats best for us. The relegation doesnt hurt, its the seemingly darkened abyss that symbolises our future that truly worries us. We sit in hundreds of millions of pounds of debt with absolutely no clarity on our future – we the people who enable this club to exist! Its beyond outrageous.
All that we need is clarity. We dont need a manifesto, but we do need you to come forward and speak. We need to hear your voice, and we need to hear you tell us that things will be alright.
Like Ive said, this relegation isnt the be all and end all of this club, but it is a genuine concern. Weve failed to create income and weve failed to progress as a club – something has to change.
Ellis Short, you are the only person capable of calming our fears. You are the only man capable of assuring us we can return to the big time, and you are the only man capable of reassuring us of our fate.
Even if youre not particularly fond of being a public image, we need to you kindle the beginnings of a meaningful relationship. Youve seen our might and youve seen our dedication, wed die for you if youd only give us the chance to love you.
If you love Sunderland as much as we are led to believe and you want to carry this club forward, you simply have to.
Posted: April 23, 2017 at 12:40 am
Photo: Hany Rizk/EyeEm/Getty Images
A few weeks ago, I agreed to see a movie Id heard nothing about. Kristen Stewart was in it; this was all I needed to know. The film was Personal Shopper, in which Stewart plays a sullenly hip assistant to an older actress, not unlike her role in Clouds of Sils Maria both movies were written and directed by Olivier Assayas. I liked Clouds, but I hated Personal Shopper. So did everyone I saw it with: my girlfriend and another couple, Caroline and Laura. (I tell you our entire viewing party was queer women only because there is no demographic more likely to give any Kristen Stewart vehicle the benefit of the doubt.) It wasnt just us, either; people around us shifted uncomfortably in their seats, and snickered at lines not meant to be funny. A scene revealing a series of incoming text messages meant to incur dread made my theater giggle, not gasp. I felt okay about whispering baffled feedback to my seatmates Im sorry, did the ghost just ride the elevator? because I could hear other peoples confused and incredulous murmurs too. It was as if our entire theater took a silent, psychic vote, and together ruled Personal Shopper very bad.
When we left the theater, I Googled reviews for the movie, and was surprised to find a pretty positive critical reception (80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Were we crazy not to like it? Whose taste was bad: the critics, or an entire audience at the Sunday matinee? I asked another trusted friend whod seen the movie what she thought, and she said she liked it. Then I asked her how her theater had reacted to it did they laugh? She said no. They were quiet, almost reverent. I wondered if our divergent crowds had affected our ability to enjoy the movie.
The answer, apparently, is more than you think. Weve all seen a blockbuster comedy that seemed funnier among a raucous crowd than it did upon a second rewatch at home, but this phenomenon isnt just social its biological. According to research done by psychologist Uri Hasson, movies can have a synchronizing effect on human brains. People in a theater tend to blink at the same time, and in some cases, fMRI scans revealed that viewers brains were active in the same areas, at the same times, when watching the same movie together. This unifying effect is particularly pronounced in highly cinematic films movies that make heavy use of quick cuts and camera angles meant to direct our attention, like Gravity, or Mad Max: Fury Road. Hasson admits these effects dont necessarily speak to the quality of the film, or our enjoyment of it, but they do suggest a tendency toward like-mindedness in the movie theater. A group of people watching the same movie are, after all, responding to a set of shared stimuli.
Then, too, there is the human tendency to mirror the emotions of those around us. A.J. Marsden, assistant professor of psychology at Beacon College, refers to my Personal Shopper experience as a kind of emotional contagion meaning that human beings are always transmitting our emotions to those around us, to be picked up unknowingly, and sometimes unwillingly.
If youre in a theater and everybody in there is just rolling and having a good time, chances are, those positive emotions are going to rub off on you, and youre going to enjoy it more than if you were in a quiet theater or by yourself, says Marsden. Even in a dark, ostensibly quiet room, we are constantly picking up cues from the people around us: Hearing even one quiet giggle or muffled sob can affect the way we process the movie in front of us. For my theaterful of Personal Shopper viewers, it might have been over from the first skeptical Ha! From there on out, everything was (inadvertently) hilarious.
Part of this behavior is more or less assimilationist: People want to share the popular reaction of the group around them. You want to fit in, you want to be part of the social crowd, says Marsden. You dont want to be an outsider. I tell her this sounds a lot like middle school, but she says its something closer to survivalism. In order for us to survive we have to understand what other people are thinking and feeling, she says. Its a form of empathy or emotional intelligence. In a way, its also a coping mechanism by laughing with my fellow audience members, I bonded with them, and I enjoyed our shared experience more than I would have if Id had to sit through it in silence. When I saw Deadpool a truly awful movie, I dont care what anyone says the mutual eye-rolling and sighing shared between my girlfriend and me made sitting through it tolerable.
For me, I dont think a silent, adoring theater would have been enough to save Personal Shopper a crowds reaction might supplement or enhance your own when they align, but when the two dont match up, youre more likely to leave the theater feeling contrarian or confused. If the general vibe of the group doesnt match up with how you feel or what you believe, you can actually go the other way and become very reactive against the crowd, says Marsden. Either way, you get to leave the theater feeling sure that youre right, and your taste is impeccable. How nice is that?
The Internet Isnt Making Us Dumber Its Making Us More Meta-Ignorant
Dont just fill the time change the way you think about the time.
A new study linked diet soda to stroke and dementia.
Scientists arent entirely sure why allergies make you fuzzy-headed, but they have a theory.
People with severe mental-health problems really are suffering, and it doesnt make sense to scrub the language we use to pretend they arent.
Its great for your fitness, but it has other, more surprising benefits, too.
The psychology (and biology) of watching with a crowd.
Most of the time, your nose cant detect your own body odor.
Psychologists deconstruct the power of the most popular girl in school.
The best thing I can do for my surgeons is to try to be a book of knowledge.
There seems to be a recent, nobly intentioned uptick in parents insisting children play and dress in gender-conforming ways.
It covers a lot of ground, from the best messaging approaches to how to get people to act in more energy-efficient ways.
Done right, it can actually be a pretty useful activity.
New census data shows that this trend really has grown staggeringly, but that most young people living at home are working or in school.
It can be draining. But it doesnt have to be.
A new study found our social networks can encourage us to exercise.
If you want to relate, it might be better to admit that youre a little lost, too.
A new study explores what plenty of parents already know.
In a country plagued by really poorly thought-out criminal-justice policies, this is a nice departure.
It can actually be a useful way to spend your time.
A new study found taking antidepressants when pregnant has fewer risks than previously thought.
Posted: April 21, 2017 at 2:16 am
A version of this article originally appeared in the Texas Jewish Post
The man sitting across from me at the pizza shop was a religiously liberal individual for sure but also very much a person who wore his Judaism on his sleeve and whose life was dedicated to promoting Jewish values as he understood them. We were meeting to get to know each other and to share our personal stories and communal goals with each other.
In between bites of pizza he shared with me his philosophy on Jewish practice, one he knew I stood in strong opposition to. I follow the moral commandments of the Torah, was the way he put it. It was code for, only part of the Torah remains relevant in this day and age. Thou shalt not kill and love your neighbor as yourself still led the moral way, but the kosher dietary laws or the command to don tefillin (phylacteries) daily had long ago lost their spiritual value and resonance in daily Jewish practice.
What about Shabbat? I asked him. Do you consider Shabbat a moral commandment?
I knew he did not keep the laws of Shabbat and was curious as to what he would say about the place of this most central of commandments.
Hmm I cant say Ive thought about that one, he replied, but, I dont think that I would categorize Shabbat as a moral commandment.
It was hard for me to fathom, but in but one short statement, uttered after a short moment of consideration, Shabbat, the fourth of the Ten Commandments, had been wiped clean from my friends Jewish hard drive, and so, he believed, should it be discarded from the rest of the Jewish peoples national consciousness.
I couldnt help but wonder if my pizza-mate recognized the ramification of his philosophy. He was surely aware of what the great Hebrew essayist Achad Haam (1856-1927) had to say on the subject: More than the Jews have kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews. And as Judith Shulevitz writes so beautifully in the Forward (Remember the Sabbath, 2010), What he [Achad Haam] meant goes well beyond Jewish survivalism. He meant that the regulation of time through the laws of the Sabbath gave the Jews the chance to regroup in communities at the end of every week, and that that regrouping sustained their Jewish identity.
Even if Shabbat were to be categorized as a ritual commandment alone, does the Shabbat not act, then, as a sort of Jewish preservative, ensuring that the totality of the Jewish world-vision remain intact?
What did he think would become of a Jewish people for whom the Shabbat had become nothing more than a piece of national nostalgia, something a modern Jew could read about in history books or glimpse in old broadcasts of Fiddler on the Roof?
More than that, it felt important at that moment to illustrate the fruitlessness of an endeavor to categorize the Torahs commands into those that had moral bearing and those that did not. For as much as the Torah itself groups certain commandments as chukim (commandments whose rationale is hidden) and certain commandments as mishpatim (commandments whose rationale is obvious), the Torah never suggests that any of its commandments are free of moral constitution.
It would be the mitzvah of the Shabbat, then, that would serve as the example for my lunch date that robust moral DNA lies in every one of the Torahs commandments, both the chukim and the mishpatim.
Imagine the newly freed slave-nation that was the early Israelites, I implored my lunch-mate to consider.
They had been long been indoctrinated by their Egyptian taskmasters that their sole worth lied in their economic contributions to society. A man who worked long hard hours building storehouses for the Pharaoh had worth, but a sick or elderly individual confined to their bed was not worthy of the sustenance it took to keep them alive.
The command to rest on the seventh day of the week, was not only an invitation to dedicate a day of the week to the more important things in life, like faith, family and self, it was a national re-education of sorts. The Sabbath was G-ds way of letting His people know that their worth was not tied to their workload or any other metric of personal productivity. The fact that they were endowed with a divine soul, created in the image of the Almighty Himself, was reason enough for every person to be treated with respect and worthy of honor.
If thats not a mitzvah laced with great moral instruction for mankind, I said, I dont know what is?
My friend shrugged. I had never thought of it that way, he said.
I dont know if the lesson I shared that day changed my friends mind or perspective on Judaisms place in the modern world, but its a point that needed to be said and must continue to be shared in a world increasingly adrift from the commandments.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.
The Forward’s independent journalism depends on donations from readers like you.
Read more here:
Posted: April 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm
For various PC problems, we recommend to use this tool.
This tool will repair most computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Quickly fix PC issues and prevent others from happening with this software:
Conan Exiles is coming to Xbox One in the second half of 2017. Will it successfully stand out witth all the survival adventure games in the picture? The title shares the same engine, gameplay mechanics, and genre with ARK Survival Evolved, for instance, so lets see if theres anything new the game is going to bring on the table in this world of crafting and survivalism.
Conan Exiles is set in the fictional world of Conan the Barbarian. Age of Conan was launched in 2008 and the game is still enjoying updates even now, 10 years after its release. You can currently find Conan Exiles in Early Access on Steam. In Conan Exiles, youll find survival very familiarif you have previously played ARK: Survival Evolved.
The game allows a large amount of visual customization to build abarbarian just the way you desire, and youre provided with some great-looking character options that perfectly suit the Conan world. The games universe awaits you and after youve finished building your character, you find yourself freed from crucifixion by Conan himself and then dumped into a vast desert.
Combat in Conan Exiles consists only of clicking, unfortunately. You only have to click on your enemies and theyll explode into rivers of gore and blood. So, the combat is a bit basic as youll be able to see for yourself. On the other hand, the monsters are awesome: giant spiders, eldritch beasts, even hyenas and gazelles they all create a world abundant in biodiversity.
The games construction engine is awesome and might be the most rewarding element of Conan Exiles. You can practically build anything anywhere as long as its not on someone elses structure. You can even build up on top of rocky pillars and on the sides of mountains!
The game has a rudimentary religion system that allows clans to worship various gods. If theyre provided enough offerings, theyll help you sack enemy settlements. The system looks extremely promising even if its currently in its infancy.
Funcom has promised some future improvements of the game, and they include the following areas: avatar defense, sorcery system, farming systems, The Purge NPC raids, new biomes and more monsters, dungeons and new features.
Follow the upcoming news on Conan Exiles as the game has a lot of potential. You can now find the game on Early Access on Steam for $29,99 and on the Xbox One in just a few months time.
RELATED STORIES TO CHECK OUT:
Tags: Conan Exiles
Top Windows 10 Games to Get You Started [Desktop]
Why Windows 10 Needs to be Free for Windows 8, 8.1
Toshiba Encore vs Dell Venue 8 Pro: Head-to-Head Fight
Best 8 Windows 8, 10 Gamepads for Playing Games
Windows Store Gets a Facelift and Its Gorgeous
Top 30+ Games to Download From the Windows Store
Microsoft Sudoku Game Released on the Windows 8 Store
Discounted Windows 8 Apps & Games This Week #4
Here are the best Windows 10 weather apps to use
Read the original here:
Posted: April 13, 2017 at 11:38 pm
Adrienne Truscott made THIS, a solo performance which may not always be a solo, created specifically for Live Arts stage. The event took place April 5-8.
THIS was a small or large or medium act of artistic survivalism and an ever-evolving work that writes, in real time, the libretto of the performance the artist is attempting to do which changes with each performance to reflect the new context brought by the performance at hand.
Check out the video below!
For more than 15 years, Adrienne Truscott-choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, and as of late, comedian-has been making genre-straddling work in New York City and abroad. In April she was one of 20 artists selected nationally as recipients for the inaugural 2014 Doris Duke Impact Artist Award. Her evening-length solo comedic work and group choreographic works have been presented variously at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs, Darwin Festival, PS122, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, Dublin Fringe, Danspace, and Dance Theater Workshop among others.
The Wau Wau Sisters, her neo-vaudevillian collaboration with Tanya Gagne, have been presented by such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House (Aus), Joe’s Pub and CBGB’s (NYC), Victoria Arts Center (Melbourne) and The Roundhouse (London). The Wau Wausisters are fixtures at among others, the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Brighton, Adelaide, Perth and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals and are seen regularly in the international sensations La Soiree and La Clique. Their contemporaries broadly recognize the influence of their radical and ludicrous take on circus and cabaret.
Truscott has taught at Wesleyan University Dance Department as a visiting artist, and guest taught at Sarah Lawrence College’s Theater and Dance Departments and Yale Universtiy.
Truscott learned how to and continues to make work in terms of choreographic composition, an early application of form that seemed to allow for the most broad investigation, loose interpretation, and varied possibilities. This impulse remains strong because increasingly live performance strikes her as the most radical way to re-engage people’s attention-not just socially or politically, but personally, aesthetically, energetically; the most available way to trigger the act of paying attention. She engages many genres of live performance that look, act, and intend differently. Her work is held uniquely in common by this understanding of composition, enabling it to remain clear while being complex, sophisticated while accessible, available yet mysterious, personally unique while layered in abstraction, entertaining yet rigorous and serious about being humorous. She has consistently sought out different environments/mandates for her work rather than relegating it to specific economic, social, aesthetic, or geographic contexts. She is curious about how modes of presentation (i.e., experimental, international, commercial, or illegal venues) interact with different forms (dance, cabaret, circus, comedy) and how that can upend assumptions that often accompany these forms and their target audiences, respectively.
Posted: at 11:38 pm
Conan Exiles is coming to Xbox One here's why you should care
As a multiplayer game revolving around survivalism, crafting, and open-world shenanigans, I found myself wondering what new gameplay aspects (if anything) Conan Exiles would bring to the table. Using preview PC codes provided by Funcom for its …
Posted: April 12, 2017 at 8:29 am
In recent years, the moviegoing masses have been blessed with a varied and compelling assortment of space moviesthe expansiveness of Interstellar, the claustrophobic survivalism of Gravity, the mere presence of Matt Damon in The Martian. The adventurousness of these films is equally inspiring and entertaining, but it also raises the bar for subsequent directors who venture beyond Earths limits.
The high bar set leads to films like Passengers, visually stunning but narratively underwhelming, or Life, director Daniel Espinosas foray into the space-horror world.
Lifes story is easy to grasp and (perhaps too) similar to films like Alien that have come before it: humans encounter an extraterrestrial they cannot fully understand and from which they eventually cower in fear. Crew members on the International Space Station acquire a sample from Mars that contains the first proof of extraterrestrial life, dubbed Calvin by a classroom of children back on Earth. Calvin turns out to be a bit more advancedand elusivethan expected, leading to spoiler-filled chaos aboard the ISS.
The crew membersplayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnayashow chemistry early, thanks in part to the playfulness of screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool). As the action intensifies and the crew dwindles, however, tongue-in-cheek sparring cannot carry the film. From the opening shot, an expansive view of space with a spaceship only a glimmer on the periphery, Espinosa makes clear the starring roles that Calvin and the great beyond will play. Man versus nature. Man versus space. Man versus a terrifying and unfamiliar force. Reynolds Roy gets to crack some jokes and Gyllenhaals Dr. David Jordan hints at a broken pastI cant stand what we do to each other down therebut for the most part, the astronauts are far removed from Earth and the backstories they built there. It seems that the story could have benefitted from a smaller cast and the room for development that would lend, but Espinosa would then have sacrificed some of the films realismas the ISS is quite difficult to keep running, and requires a sizable crew with varied skill sets.
Life is good for what it is but perhaps not for what Espinosa and his team wanted it to be. The action sequences are equal parts striking and disorienting, and Calvin makes for a truly terrifying horror villain, but hints at more profound considerations in the film fall short of metastasizing. Espinosa puts the ISS to work; it acts as both a technological marvel and a super-expensive labyrinth, and the craft and its inhabitants feel smaller and smaller as Calvins threat grows. Billions of dollars of research and constructionoriginally meant to spearhead exploration and discoveryinstead fund enclosure and terror for those on board. Nevertheless, Life at times feels closer to Armageddon than films like Interstellar or Arrival: a moderately entertaining float through space that does not seem interested in raising any moral or existential questions worth answering. When Bakares Hugh remembers Roy saying, Dont give me a eulogy. Give me a parachute, and when Jordan weeps through a reading of Goodnight Moon, the viewer is not attached enough to the characters to be moved, but remains filled with questions: What happens to Calvin next? How will Earth react to the events taking place on the ISS?
The basic problem boils down to scope: Calvin represents a monumental scientific breakthrough and a dynamic moral quandary, and the underdeveloped characters will be outlasted by Calvin in life and importance. The film is undeniably scary, and Espinosa makes the most of his setting, but with a character like Calvin, more questions warranted answers besides Where is he hiding? and How can we stop him? Although the audience gets to see the humans lives play out, what is far more interesting would be seeing what happens next in Calvins.
Early in the film, Bakare looks at Calvin and remarks, Its curiosity outweighs its fear. But from that point forward, there is little if any contemplation of that dichotomy, largely because the crew has no means of communicating with their discovery. There are countless stories to be told set in outer spaceboth in the parts known and those only in imagination. These tales can inspiremany already haveand can leave viewers wanting to know more, to explore, to discover. Lifes fear is effective, but it outweighs its curiosity, making a waste of its limitless backdrop.
Image Credits: Photo source: IMDb
Read the rest here: