Pain like a branding iron: How art can save your life

Ever heard the song Rise by Public Image Ltd? It’s one of the groups most recognizable songs, with its glittering guitar spiraling through the track and a rousing bass line that stomps to an almost orchestral climax with punk legend John Lydon chanting “Anger is an energy!” like a mantra. The song is about setting aside your differences and using the anger to build, rather than destroy, collectively. Hearing a song like that in 2018 and you risk the charge of trying to snake-charm the anger of our times into quiet, blinking submission. That assumption is only partially true, though – You can use your anger as an energy – but first, you need to acknowledge that your strategy for expressing rage might not be working out the way you planned.

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Far Cry 5 and the moral quandry of player freedom

Resting in the rolling valleys of Montana lays a small, picturesque farm. Armed men roam the farm picking at their skin, occasionally kicking cages that contain ravenous killer dogs. They chat amongst themselves, load and unload their rifles as a church hymn plays over a loudspeaker, followed by a dramatic sermon by one of the Seed brothers. This is the death cult at the heart … Continue reading Far Cry 5 and the moral quandry of player freedom

NJPW’s Strong Style Evolved: Should the McMahon empire be worried?

A thrilling turnout

It must be rough being a wrestler signed to WWE these days – all you have to do is look over your shoulder to see how much fun Indie wrestlers are having before floods of green envy fill your veins. These days, if you want quality wrestling entertainment, WWE is really stuck in dead last. A combination of terrible booking decisions and a lack of organic spontaneity have alienated all but the most very casual of fans away from the American giant.

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The NRA will win this one.

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun” according to the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre “is a good guy with a gun”. The executive vice president of the NRA said that the last time a school full of children was shot dead for no reason and he said it again, today, breaking his week-long silence since the deadly shootings on February 14th. Unbelievably, LaPierre is a college-educated full-fledged adult who really said this nonsense to a crowd of clapping, hollering yes men. Twice! Despite the obvious leap of logical faith it takes to believe such a thing, he has somehow managed to pen six whole books – They may not be worth the toilet paper they were squirted on to but he’s still written more books than most people, which is enough for dense people with even denser pockets to give him money to be their mouthpiece. But having a big mouth and an ounce of knowledge – in our world – is often all you need.

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Peaks, troughs, and more troughs: the pros and cons of misery in Black Mirror

Hey, remember the 90’s? You know, Mr. Blobby, The Spice Girls, that sort of thing? Apart from crap novelty music and terrifying space blobs that passed as prime-time television, the 90’s was also host to great PC magazines. Namely, PC Zone which was where the world may have first heard of the writer and producer of Netflix’s Black Mirror – Charlie Brooker. Wait, what?

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What The Sopranos can teach us about morality

Despite what social media might be telling you this modern era spoils us: in 2018, Netflix and its imitators graciously drown our culture in lusciously detailed TV dramas on an almost weekly basis and this renaissance of high-quality entertainment has the shadow of Tony Soprano looming large over its shoulder.

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A missed opportunity but a big heart: A review of Horizon Zero Dawn

One day, all of this will be gone. When the great nuclear war of 2019 incinerates everything you love, when the wind passes over our scattered bones, when all the cars and stadiums and pubs and high-rise flats are nothing but skeletal ruins, planet earth might start to look awfully pretty again… after about a hundred years. But if post-apocalyptic dinosaur murder simulator Horizon Zero Dawn is anything to go by, it’ll look fabulous.

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Disconnect – How solitude can kill off Social Media

Heading into the city on January the 8th, you’ll still see the old Christmas lights from December 2017 suspended over The Strand, or maybe you’ll see some old, cheap lights in the windows of people’s flats, one or two every five minutes, who haven’t quite let go of the winter season yet. Those old flashes of love, slowly fading away, where the pulsating heartbeat is now a low hum. As 2018 rises from its slumber the internet seems to scream for a better world. But here on the rickety old busses of London Town, in the decrepit flats and apartments we cohabit, the stillness and imperfection of it all are mildly reassuring.

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Anger is an energy – but don’t stab each other in the back.

If there’s anything we can take away from 2017 it’s our constant, enraged reactions to the inhumanity of our godless world. With the year finally behind us like some repugnant bowel movement, looking back at ourselves during 2017 is a bit like staring at an old drunken photograph of yourself mid-blink. It’s shame, it’s misery, it’s embarrassment. 2017 was the year we loved to let ourselves down, again and again, with constant disappointment. But if there’s anything I know about outrage it’s that eventually, that anger, that bile – it just becomes white noise. Was 2017 the year outrage lost its edge?

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