There is no doubt my desire for a new PC is materialistic. And I think I’ve sown seeds of resentment for myself in daring to hope for one. Oh well. Now I wish there was something less expensive that I’d fixed my sights upon.
In other news Time magazine has made Pope Francis man of the year, and praised him for doing things he has never done… see Fr Barron. What is even more worrying is that is I’ve seen Catholics take up this divisive stance. Like somehow Benedict and Francis are apposed to one another, they really aren’t.
A Facebook acquaintance of mine, probably soon to being mutually blocked, posted a picture with the caption “Daddy why are there no Jews, Christians or Muslims in Star Trek?” “Because its the future” was the answer. This is exactly my problem with a lot of science fiction out there written by atheists.
The very first thing Buzz Aldrin did after landing on the moon was take communion. Thanks to abortion and contraception, if anything atheism stands more chance of being extinct in the future… The awe and wonder the universe inspires naturally lends itself to religious thought and the human brain is predisposed to doing just that. Maybe I’ll write a book about Catholics in space? I guess they’ll have to be fighting the pirate space monkeys…
Well I bought a game (Europa Universalis 4 to be precise) a couple of days ago for my now very decrepit PC and well, my PC didn’t like it. So it leaves me with a question. How much money should I: splurge/ask my parents for Christmas, on an upgrade.
Buying a PC is very difficult because it is an endless bell curve of potentially limitless expense. I think you just have to pick a modest point on the curve which enables you to upgrade it in the future whilst still being relatively good now. Even then the build I came up with, in order to be vaguely future proof, was £630… That is a lot of money, so it might end up becoming a joint Christmas/birthday present.
I can only remotely think this might be a good value because the new Xbox and the new Playstation look terrible (and are £410 and £350 respectively) and the WiiU is perhaps too aimed at the kids for my liking. Of the three the WiiU, at the moment, looks the best, certainly if you have kids.
The launch titles for the Xbone and the Pizzer have been complete tosh, I saw a chunk of them rapidly arriving in the used games shop only days after they had been released! Bearing in mind they cost £50 a pop this is shocking. With a PC all you have to do is wait for the inevitable Steam sale and you can pick up great games for peanuts. Plus there is a vibrant modding community on the PC.
Unfortunately the WiiU seems to be at a bad spot on the aforementioned bell curve, not enough third party developers are picking it up and even Nintendo is being slow to release games for it. Also Nintendo seems to be a tiny bit slower to innovate whilst not re-releasing their franchises as quickly as they could. Ironically, I’ve heard one of the best games for WiiU is a HD remake of Wind Waker.
But the games Nintendo are releasing have these amazing things called colours. I’m not sure Microsoft and Sony have heard of such a thing… their games seem dull, grey and brown, Mario 3D world on the other hand is gloriously vibrant. It seems to me if you are going to go down the HD gaming route you might as well throw in some red yellow and blue. Make the world a better place!
Anyway I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for my fantasy PC this Christmas.
Well I survived my pointless jobcenter interview, I’m to be sent for another pointless interview on Tuesday where they’ll talk to me about lots of jobs I’m under no obligation to apply for, which is good because I won’t be. Interestingly they did offer some real advice about contacting MIND, it seems they have finally cottoned onto the mental illness epidemic. They also heartily advocated voluntary work, which is perhaps the first manifestation of David Cameron’s Big Society that I’ve encountered. Previously I’ve been admonished not to do voluntary work by the jobcentre which is daft if you ask me.
Anyway, by mistake, I broke my rule about reading about Pope Francis. Andrew Klavan, the blogger I linked to in my last post, decided to try and read the Pope’s exhortation. Bless his cotton socks, he’s not even Catholic and he’s done what I can’t muster the energy to do. And to put it simply he’s confused about what the Pope is trying to say about capitalism. Anyway, here’s a link.
Andrew Klavan’s conclusion was that capitalism needs a little bit of regulation, more charity and compassion to benefit society. Without the creation of real worldly wealth i.e. capitalism, there can be no charity but dreams of “fairness” i.e. socialism, that always ultimately turn into dreams of tyranny. That is exactly what I hope the Pope is saying. I just wish people like Andrew Klavan could be more sure of what Pope Francis is saying and I think that’s where the Pope’s provocative style is in need of more clarity.
The Church has had forty years of ambiguity post Vatican 2. We don’t need more of it. The Papacy is the most intensely scrutinised office in the world, broadcasting a clear message is perhaps the most important part of the job.
I also find it interesting that Benedict, in his theological books, clearly indicated that what he was saying wasn’t infallible. Even though frankly they were so well thought through I can’t believe there would be anyone who would disagree, but maybe there are. Why has the Papal exhortation not been written in this way, as a book, if its 300 pages long? is an exhortation the same as an encyclical? Anyway, I guess I’m going to have to read it at some stage… it seems a bit Tiggerish to my Eeyore.
Last night I played Homeworld. Its a fantastic space strategy game as near to full 3D as has ever been, as it is maps tend to focus on a 2D plane and ships tend to gravitate towards flying in that way but minor gripes aside it truly is a joy to play. It is also a triumph of aesthetics over graphics. Its an old game, from 1999, yet it still holds up, even looks beautiful in places, the music is good, the voice acting is very good. The story is good too. For a space opera it has a fair bit of story telling nuance and nods towards religion that aren’t instantaneously dismissive. The universe is too epic to be Godless, as one of my favourite bloggers points out in his review of the film Gravity.
I missed mass today, was too depressed to go. I love Mass. This is what I find so difficult to explain about depression. I hate the whole victim culture but tomorrow I have to go to a meeting and tell a complete stranger the depth of my dysfunction. Its going to be humiliating, depressing, counter productive. And what’s more if I don’t sell it to them that I’m a massive mess they have the power to make me homeless…
A cat’s purr makes a cat happier, it gets a little bit happier it purrs, it makes itself even more happier. I wish I had that kind of mechanism. Instead I have to stoke my own misery in order to appease the system. When I registered for my new (and quite useless) GP I said my job was a writer. Maybe I should write a space opera and make myself a fortune? the trick is seamlessly working pirate space monkeys into the plot I reckon.
Nelson Mandela has died. I am inadequate to the task of writing his obituary so I’m not going to. Suffice to say he is a giant of a man, a man who embraced the power of forgiveness and through that helped build a nation from the madness of apartheid. I am not fond of collective grief. It seems wrong to intrude upon the loss that his loved ones must be feeling. I felt the same way when Diana died. But in this case the enormity of what he achieved demands to be recognised on an emotional level. RIP Nelson Mandela.
In UK news my block of flats only managed to avoid temporarily being rendered an island by a tidal barrier. So whilst I was oblivious for the most part to the whole flooding situation my blissful ignorance was only possible due to an impressive feat of engineering. It reminds me that we should have faith in humanity to overcome whatever comes our way, but that we should be humble in the face of the awesome power of nature.
We should pray for anybody whose home was flooded, I’ve lived through that particular struggle, it is quite simply hellish and difficult to avoid because your foundations can flood without you even knowing it. You are landed with rising damp which can only be fixed by stripping the plaster and bringing in industrial dehumidifiers that turn a house into a noisy dusty hell hole.
In personal news, I think seasonal affective disorder has piled on top of my depression, I am feeling just awful today, I just want to die. I was awake at 4am, now I’m feeling exhausted and I’ve had so much coffee that I’ve got hypertension to boot. I’m dreading my interview with the people at the jobcenter on Monday, I’m not good at describing my mental state in person. Its very difficult to tell someone you are basically an emotional wreck.
Also I’m getting sick of having to add words to the Google dictionary… its not like I’m using words nobody has ever heard of. I have to keep opening the Oxford English dictionary to find that the word underlined is actually spelt correctly. Yes spelt is a word, as is affective, you moronic faceless overlords of the internet! Harumpf!
As I get older I seem to get more tolerant of people’s moral mishaps. I was amused to discover people were making a hooha out of Nigella taking cocaine. I mean its not like there have been any other TV presenters who have taken drugs is it…
The fact is Nigella, with her sultry looks and calorific treats represents everything naughty, of course she’s going to give cocaine a go. I understand addiction too. Its the main reason why I’d never try class A drugs. Well unless they legalised ecstasy because I really quite fancy giving it a go. It certainly stacks up favorably against alcohol, the ill effects of which I was very much feeling this morning… This comes with news that the government has raised the retirement age to 70. People are going to need class A drugs to fight off the ache in their bones.
In other news, they’ve finally cast Wonder Woman… to appear as a bit part in a Superman vs Batman film. How tragic. She is perhaps the greatest icon of female independence and she can only get on screen riding the coat tails of the Bat and the big blue gimp having a brawl. Maybe she’ll turn up half way through and put them on the naughty step?
The sad thing is Joss Whedon was working on a Wonder Woman solo film that died in the production stage, you know, the same guy who met with staggering success with the Avengers film and also has a track record of building strong female characters eg Buffy the vampire slayer and Firefly. Warner clearly doesn’t know a good thing when it comes along…
Their relentlessly grim and gritty treatment of Batman and Superman has left me pretty cold, there is enough of that in the real world without insisting that viewers take characters who wear their underpants on the outside seriously. Heck I just watched Pacific Rim, a giant mecha vs kaiju film that totally kicked ass. Its time to put the fun back into blockbuster entertainment.
Talking of all things kick ass, I recently read Ender’s game, about a child genius who is turned into the ultimate war leader and tricked into committing genocide. There are parts of it that reminded me of my school days, about how vicious, even psychopathic school children can be. It really is a very good book which is eminently readable and much deeper than the film from what I’ve heard. Anyway I’m pretty certain there is no over arching theme to this post so I’m just going to leave it there.
Well its Monday, I went to see my therapist as usual, then had a Starbucks coffee, where the customer service was so good I honestly wasn’t sure for a while if the girl there was flirting with me. Then I remembered, no this is just what its like when someone treats someone else like a human being, they certainly don’t want to do the horizontal shuffle with me, unless they have a strange fetish for grizzly bears perhaps.
Upon returning to my flat I had a poke around the Catholic blogs. Got a bit disconcerted by the thought of reading Evangelii Gaudium. It seems a bit of a Jesuitical tar pit to me. As is saying Jesus feigned anger at his disciples as Fr Ray Blake points out Pope Francis actually said in a radio address. What is the Pope doing making such a risky theological proposition in a radio address? is the Pope saying he can read Jesus’ mind? Jesus’ rhetorical style was, lets say, robust, sometimes extremely pointed.
A poor Church for the poor eh? How can the Church be poor? it has Christ in the blessed sacrament, it has unmatched wealth in truth and beauty… The Church was built by the donations of the poor. They gave glory to God and put their money where their mouth is. Did they do this so that the Church should rub gravel through her hair? no.
How about a humble Church for the poor instead, seems to me that would be a far sounder proposition altogether. So yes, I guess I’ve got Pope Francis fatigue. I desperately don’t want to write him off so I’ve decided to read as little written about him as possible for a while. Maybe read just what he says and judge for myself.
In other news I’m thinking about joining the SVP. But this is where the question of poverty comes to mind, how can I, fighting a vicious battle against depression, be of help to others? I worry it might be like the blind leading the blind. Some of us need reassurance, need building up, because we are already poor. Anyway, that’s all a bit bleak, sorry.