Something is rotten on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Oregon.
Perhaps Eugene is not the Marxist bastion you have come to expect as prompted by the media lore. I can tell you from experience, and people don't really express this because it's not something often said or thought about deep down in those places we don't talk about a parties, that outside of the I-5 corridor, Oregon is not so much the vegan, Birkenstock-wearing, hybrid-driving, LGBT-friendly, hippie burnout refuge, that folks think it is.
Courtesy of C. Dale Young's blog:
Police investigate swastika vandalism at University of Oregon in Eugene
No one yet knows who did it or when but they know this: It was ugly.
A four-foot square swastika was found emblazoned in black spray paint on a carpet in an office at the University of Oregon early this morning.
Black paint was also sprayed all over the flat-screen Dell monitor and computer in the office.
Located in the basement of the student union, the Erb Memorial Union, the office is home to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer Alliance.
... ... ...
[Alex Esparza, co-director of the alliance,] said there was speculation that the vandalism might be linked to a recent discussion about the meaning of the swastika held by the Pacifica Forum, an outside group that meets regularly on the campus.
Classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Pacifica Forum has met on campus since 1994 under the affiliation of a retired professor. [Julie Brown, spokeswoman for the university,] said it is long-standing policy for the university to allow groups associated with tenured professors to meet on campus.
"We support free speech," she said, adding that there is no evidence pointing a finger at the group.
The university is reconsidering its policy of allowing outside groups to meet on campus, she said.
If the university does reevaluate this policy, I wonder if they'll also reevaluate allowing the extremist anti-choice, anti-abortionists to come on campus, or at least make them keep their horrible signs off university grounds.
If you've been on a university campus in the last ten years or more, you've seen them. These are the propaganda signs emblazoned with graphic, hi-resolution photos of fetuses captioned with language like, "American Holocaust."
These folks often materialize on our campus in Knoxville, and wherever one is on the abortion issue, after seeing their appeals in action, it's hard to see how their rhetoric persuades anyone, that it's mostly gasoline on the flames.
Hard to figure how to transition out of that discussion, but this may work somewhat.
Here's the Guardian.co.uk description of the game's basics:
The Dante here is no poet but a crusader, who has fought Death himself, won (of course) and now comes riding home with the grim reaper's scythe thrown over his shoulder. Sadly, the villa in Tuscany has been trashed and Beatrice, his giant-breasted (of course) wife, lies dead in the garden. Her ghost tells Dante he must rescue her from Hell.Sounds good to me, though I'm sure I'd prefer reading the actual poem. Why not a game that is more closely modeled after the poem? It could still have all the fighting....
In the original, it is "girl saves boy" – Beatrice, dead at an early age, looks down from heaven, sees Dante's soul in danger, and sends help. Here, however, Dante fights the nasties to save the girl. The lower he descends, the more haunting and powerful the graphics become, but it's a much duller story than the book. Kill one monster, kill another.
I wonder what other poems could become computer games? I've wondered this about film before (here and here and here) but never games.
What comes to mind right away is some kind of Orpheus/Eurydice game, but are there others?
"When, as a writer, you move from 'perspective' to 'answers,' you move from discovery to ruin. Don't do it."
Charles Wright -- from "Halflife: A Commonplace Notebook"
After mentioning Dante, best to post some Father Wright. Here's one that ends with a strikingly direct claim. About as political as the man gets.
The Monastery at Vršac
We’ve walked the ground,
inspected the vaults and the old church,Looked at the icons and carved stalls,
And followed the path to the bishop’s grave.
Now we sit in the brandy-colored light of late afternoon
Under the locust trees,
attended and smallFrom the monastery. Two nuns hop back and forth like grackles
Along the path. The light drips from the leaves.
Little signals of dust rise uninterpreted from the road.
The grass drones in its puddle of solitude.
The stillness is awful, as though from the inside of a root...
--Time’s sluice and the summer rains erode our hearts
and carry our lives away.We hold what we can in our two hands,
Sinking, each year, another inch in the earth...
Mercy upon us,
we who have learned to preach but not to pray.
from The World of the Ten Thousand Things