A man in his forties has deliberately sabotaged his car in the middle of nowhere to act out a Walking Dead fantasy where he is Rick Grimes. After the car stopped, he immediately drew his gun and told his family he was going to search for clean water in the woods. “Honey, we have water and we are in the desert, no woods here, shouldn’t we try to fix the car or call for help?” his wife, 38, said a little bewildered by his demeanor but contextually understanding what a mediocre life as a salesman can do to a man’s psyche. The husband lowered his weapon and started snapping out of his breakdown, his wife held his head between her hands and promised great sex when they get home , “we can even try some kinky stuff,” she said looking him in the eye. They both smiled and kissed under a scorching sun.
A man and a widow came to play
I was in a hurry
I couldn’t stay
At least wait until the game starts
And showed me two black and white cards
The one you pick is a gift for you
The other, will curse us forever
I see no game
I said confused
The visitors, now manikins, smirked in silence
One card said madess, the other said violence
The manikins vanished
Were they ever there?
I picked my cards
And cried in despair
They knew from the start I was going nowhere
Resident Evil 7 is a scary mansion game, a mansion designed with all classic horror movies and novels in mind. But this is not a ghost story, the horror is resident in all of our minds, not just the minds of the characters in the game, it is the chaos inside everyone that manifests when we snap and lose sanity: madness. And sometimes we go crazy because of reasons beyond our command, which is more terrifying, but not as terrifying as a man experiencing sanity and insanity fighting it out in his own brain, see also schizophrenia. We catch a glimpse of this madness in our darkest moments, when we’re depressed, angry, or in any other extreme state of mind that momentarily puts aside the veil hiding our most vicious thoughts. Take, for example, the things you would do to save a loved one, the violence you would be capable of if it meant saving your child from someone or something, that violence is in you, guarded, controlled, but still resides in you. And people go crazy all the time, there are always active serial killers, hundreds of people are killed everyday, men and women are raped, children are molested, and animals are tortured, we often get to see the violence inside us displayed. Demons do not possess us, madness does.
I never really understood the term jump scare until the second encounter with Marguerite, this scare will get you even if you expect it. The place where you fight her, called the greenhouse, is actually somewhat similar to my grandmother’s old house, as I remember it from when I was a kid, and certain pieces of furniture definitely looked familiar, it was like playing in an old faded memory of mine but invaded by a monster. What I first noticed about Marguerite was her crotch. The insects nest she has on that part easily looks like a severe skin disease, skin diseases are not just disgusting and scary, they can also be a source of fear, fear of getting a severe skin disease or losing your skin in an accident, something that is not that rare. Her engorged crotch also affects her walk, her brilliantly animated walk. Despite her monstrous shape and extended arms, Marguerite’s walk, when upright, is still reminiscent of the way some old people move, humanizing her just enough to not turn into a forgettable deformed creature. Once you have taken in Marguerite the almost human, she gets on all fours and takes arachnophobia to new grounds, ushering in madness. You find yourself up against an insane, old woman with a severe skin disease scaling walls like a spider. She gets to you, something that can’t be said about the other bosses in the game.
As I close my eyes, my powers that be
I leave to you
Live life free and run the fields
The sun is yours, your earn everyday
Yours and yours alone, others blind to see
So kiss the red of her cheeks
And venture in your way
“Set shadows afire,”
“They also fear you
Life begets nothing
Your fears die
And so do you.”
Shed no tears
Dreams are due
I asked an atheist friend of mine if she missed religion. this is her translated answer.
Like all apostates, I missed a lot of things after abandoning religion. But the vogue religion left in my life did not get bigger and did not continue to deject me, even though I wasn’t deliberately working on finding substitutes to what religion offered; modern life provided alternatives. My thirst for well-told stories is easily quenchable with the stream of novels, movies, and T.V. series available at my fingertips complete with communities to discuss their meanings and argue about their themes. There are also communities for various podcasts such as the Last Podcast on the Left and the Joe Rogan Experience that fulfill my need to explore topics not necessarily interesting to those around me, topics in foreign languages in far away societies. The questions we used to seek answers to in religion are now directed towards science, which also has communities dedicated to celebrating it and its frontmen like Neil Degrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins. All the elements that made religion appreciated by people are around us separately and in different forms satisfying the purposes their religious counterparts did. However, such as the case with all radical changes, there is a mutation: divine obligation and the desire for absolute certainty are dropped. We have decided we want our literature and communities without obligating morality tales or self-righteous men telling us how to live our lives. We have also realized that the absolute certainty religion claims is highly questionable and not worth sacrificing the critical mind to maintain. Religion has evolved. Sure, literature and communities have been around since ever, but we weren’t as connected as we are today and communication was never as robust. Our new religion is available to us via a magic portal we carry around in our pockets.
If The Purge lacks anything, it’s not a fantastic idea for a low budget thriller drama. But it stretches thin with an unnecessary exposition while it should have focused on creating an intense night, which it gets very close to right before Ethan Hawke is killed. 21 Cloverfield Street used in medias res (skipped act one) brilliantly to immerse the viewers into the movie’s world and let them have hints at what’s going on while guessing if the clues and facts are truths or lies, I was thoroughly engaged watching it. While The Purge doesn’t have the mystery element, it could have worked on creating a gripping one hour of skirmishes in the neighbourhood where we see how people act on a night like this with everything on the line. Still, it makes you think, is there hope for peace through the intrinsic benevolence of humans?
Benevolence and altruism can usually be found in people who feel dependent on society, people who need society or any other group to live and thrive, and every group has its own definition of benevolence. Out of this benevolence required between members of one group to sustain its wellbeing comes malevolence between groups fighting to enforce their own version of benevolence, like how Ethan Hawke and his wife were willing to torture an innocent man to save their children. That’s why terrorism is extremely hard to overcome, they are benevolent, you’re evil, and your existence opposes what they think is benevolent. The word malevolence here is used by a third person overlooking the two groups killing each other over an ideology or any other reason, combatants may not describe using violence to completely vanquish their enemies as malevolence, but rather a necessary course to end the malevolence of the other side. The victor decides what benevolence is, but not to the outside observer who may disagree with both parties.
If benevolence is inherent in us, then so is malevolence.
I have argued before that no one exclusively represents Islam because religion is a set of ideas enacted by those who believe in them. Recently, I have been seeing Islamists in the United States and Europe making the point that Saudi Arabia is not necessarily the embodiment of Islamic sharia and that sharia can be interpreted to suit this day and age. While this is somehow true and kind of possible, it deceivingly and maliciously misses the greatest problem with Islamic sharia, which is Islamic sharia itself.
Once a moderate group who rules according to sharia is in power, it will be instantly challenged by another group with a harsher interpretation of god’s word, because guess what, extremists exist, and the more extreme they get the more intolerant of other views they become, remember how ISIS dethroned Al-Qaida and became the new kings of evil? The point is not whether sharia can be modern, the point is sharia is theocracy, plain and simple. It’s disturbing to see liberals acknowledging the rule of Islam as people’s culture that must be accepted and respected, because Islam does not rule, god’s men rule through exploiting Islam.