Too many gems here not to share. Happy SatanTerrorGhostlyDemonoGentiles Eve, all! 👻💀🎃
If an atheist wanted to understand what my religion means to me, I’d suggest playing this game.
But, straight talk: I love basically all the games Avery Alder cooks up. My son and I spent a summer playing The Quiet Year, and my wife (not an RPG person) and I spent the early part of this summer playing Abnormal. Highly recommended, all.
Is there an argument to be made that our poor healthcare system and our huge prison population are linked?
It’s an interesting answer overall, but here’s the bit that got me thinking about the no-doctor-to-prison pipeline (as a man who has had countless untreated concussions, back in the helmetless 80s and 90s—injuries that my docs have opined probably contributed to the clinical anxiety and depression that started to crush me in my middle age):
Recent studies have estimated 25–87% of prison inmates suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in their life and indicated associations between TBIs and criminal-like behaviour. TBI-related problems can complicate their management and treatment. They can experience mental health problems such as severe depression, anxiety, anger control issues, self-restraint, alcohol and substance abuse.
This makes it difficult for them to respond to disciplinary action in prison, to understand and remember rules, and anger issues can get them in dangerous incidents with other inmates. They also have a higher rate of recidivism.
The spirit of the law is that responsibility for a crime is reduced when a defendant’s cognitive ability is compromised by illness or injury.
… I don’t agree with them about everything, but they’re fun to listen to and they’ve got a pretty way of saying what they’re saying:
This movie was a Big Deal to us back when it came out in 2001, but it hasn’t necessarily aged well (“Oh, look, another annoying young white man talking,” my wife opined near the end).
That said, I was struck, over and over again, by how hopefully the movie is about now.
Even in its cynical moments, it’s hopeful about us—the humans of the future—in a way that feels like something midway between “charmingly quaint” and “astoundingly, nearly nauseously, naive.”
I want to be like the people in this film. I want to see us the way they were certain we’d be. I want to be as confident as they were that we’d at least be trying to be better tomorrow than we were yesterday.
Today is Summer Solstice. Quite literally, it gets darker from here.
Let’s try and be the people we always assumed we were, dee down inside.
This is, by no means, any sort of endorsement of any of the film/TV/radio-drama adaptations of this work—all of which either entirely miss what gives this story its lasting power, or convert a fundamentally profound work about kitchen-table American politics (i.e., the only kind that actually matters) to a moderately stupid and lazily nihilistic creature features.
Read the novella (which is also the first story in Skeleton Crew—a whole book of classic King shorts that costs just a couple buck more than the standalone novella—and is bootlegged here). Ignore the monsters and the titular mist; watch the people. And never lose sight of the final word in the story.
I understand that this is a stressful time of year for many of you. Get a sweet, milky coffee, sit in a comfy chair, and just watch this over, and over, and over again. You will feel better.