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“True” crime
After playing 2/3 of the way through it this weekend (judiciously using my breaktimes between work on a new article), I can recommend Luxoflux’s True Crime: Streets of LA heartily. Basically, it’s Grand Theft Auto with you cast as the cop. Same engine, same opportunities for consequence-free violence, but a plot that casts you as a badass detective on the hunt for Russian and Chinese mobsters.

The game’s gritty and realistic, for the most part. On the other hand … when you progress as far as I have, you encounter a creepy Chinese drug lord and opt to enter his lair. Inside his kitchen you encounter … a zombie. And then you descend through a series of caverns into hell, wherein you face floating demon heads, phantom concubines, and a dragon.

This weirded me out. I conclude that True Crime is either 1.)a little bit silly when it comes to crimefighting realism or 2.)the first action game that sends its hero on missions after he’s doused with LSD.

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Take care of your photos
I almost didn’t want to blog this, but I figured writing it down might let me get over it.

About 16 months ago, I hung out with Bob Pollard of Guided by Voices after a concert. At one point I pressed him for a picture together – as I snapped it, he gave the finger in a perfectly amicable way. Later, looking over my digital pics, I saw that it was kind of blurry – distinguishable, but fuzzy. I put it on my computer anyway.

This weekend, I’m remembering that I’m buying the band’s new record this week and seeing them in three weeks. I check my files for that picture – nothing. Have no idea where it is. It’s possible it was misnamed and deleted.

My immediate reaction to this is disappointment. Of course. Pollard is probably my favorite songwriter these days – it felt like I was elevated, having a picture of us together. I’m not the type who pushes for a setlist or waits around after the show, and it seemed like I’d not get a connection to the band like this again.

But on reflection, it might be an opportunity. After all, this wasn’t a perfect picture. If I’d held onto it, I might have been satisfied with its quality and not stuck around after the show I’m going to see in three weeks. But losing the picture has added this sort of urgency to my fandom. Now I’m going to haunt the 9:30 club, hang out afterward, and really let go of my neuroses and get another picture.

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Submit!
You know, most Buffy fans’ chief complaint about the show’s final season was that it gave too much attention to the Buffy and Spike arcs, and not enough to the other characters – Willow, Anya, Xander, Dawn. They were thrown some bones in the first half of the season, then completely faded as the conclusion crept up.

So what does Fox DVD put on the cover of the season collection?

They’re mocking us.

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Macomber’s back
Shawn Macomber returns from his honeymoon with a fine book review.

Ok, one more Spectator tidbit. The editors are definitely more partisan than I am. I’m a Ron Paul conservative – thus, I take party politics with a grain of salt roughly the size of Lot’s wife. If I was writing about Daily Kos candidates for David Weigel Magazine my article would have been 5000 words and included parallels to the Christian Coalition’s candidate lists and analyses of the ways this stuff might really, truly tilt politics to the left in the next few years, or how conservatives might use it. But different magazines have different slants. Voila. Now let’s talk about The Beatles or something.