Want to have your pressing questions answered by Isley Unruh himself? Send all queries HERE, and I will get to them as soon as I can on a future Mailbag Monday!
Welcome back to Mailbag Monday! On the first Monday of every month, I take the time from my busy blogging schedule to answer all of my reader’s most pressing questions! Sure, I might have begged, bribed and cajoled my readers into sending me these questions in the first place, but, that still totally counts as reader mail!
This month I answer the following questions:
- “What is your process for writing a Re-Zork with someone? I always wonder what information you toss in that you hope people will use that they may or may not.”
- “After reading your Best Metal of 2014 post and seeing a) the bright colorful infographic of the best album’s cover and b) watching the Peste Noire video with its accordions and overalls, I want to know: are there still KVLT dealbreakers?”
So, without further ado, it is time to dig into the old Mailbag to see what kind of things have been on my readers’ minds in the last month!
“What is your process for writing a Re-Zork with someone? I always wonder what information you toss in that you hope people will use that they may or may not.”
For those who aren’t already breathlessly awaiting the next installment of RE-ZORK, or are otherwise unfamiliar with it, it is a feature where I pretend to be an AI for one of those old text based computer adventure games. Via chat (or email) I send my friends prompts asking for simple instructions, which they respond with, and I then attempt to subvert. We are up to the 9th episode, and by now I’ve come up with a few rules.
First off, I always make sure to try to respond to what the player has typed, and not railroad the adventure just to where I want it to go. This isn’t always easy, because sometimes I get great ideas for where the adventure will go and the temptation to railroad the player there is very strong. But so far, thankfully, I can safely say that NO RE-ZORK adventure has ended up even close to where I had guessed it might go in the beginning. I didn’t think Danny would fail his quest to Wizard Mountain so epic-ly that he couldn’t even get out of his house, I didn’t foresee Jessica riding a wave of vomit down a trapdoor slide, and I definitely didn’t guess that Brian would end up one handed jerking off a Manowar Voltron and then jamming a magical bass pick into his pee-hole.
That said, I do always try to have a quest/outline in mind. Rachel was a mail-hobbit meant to deliver the one ring to Rivendell, Scott was going to be constantly bombarded with people getting him to try ASL and/or Quadradius, and Nadine was going to be an android Maiar sent back to Arda to destroy Hogwarts. Where the players went from those set-ups was entirely up to them. Sometimes this means crucial elements of the plot are not discovered until later if, for instance, the mailhobbit forgets to check in its pockets to realize it is actually carrying a ring of power.
But really, RE-ZORK is an exercise in improvised storytelling, so these “themes” are merely very general, hazily sketched out guides, everything else is entirely a product of the player’s commands to my “AI” program. If a player’s story ends up including a Waifu love pillow with 2 out of 3 holes crusted shut…that’s on them.
“After reading your Best Metal of 2014 post and seeing a) the bright colorful infographic of the best album’s cover and b) watching the Peste Noire video with its accordions and overalls, I want to know: are there still KVLT dealbreakers?”
The basic answer to this one is, yes, of course there are KVLT dealbreakers. KVLT is, after all, the black metal equivalent of “hipster cred,” and, as such, is about the most Zephyrus (to drop the name of a fairly KVLT band) of all black metal concepts. And, oddly enough, the very thing that is most similar to being “kvlt,” that is, being a “hispter elitist prick,” is exactly the most grievous of all KVLT dealbreakers. Specifically, I’m talking about shit bands like Wolves in the Throne Room that have tried to take black metal and tie it to Pacific Northwest liberal activism. That stuff is fine and good for the real world, but a genre built around nihilism and hate has no room for bands that say stuff like this:
If you listen to BM, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. It is shocking to me that one could be seriously interested in Black Metal and not be deeply committed to radical ecology.
Or, maybe there would be room for bands like that if they didn’t also happen to be boring as shit. Because, case in point, that High Spirits You Are Here cover LOOKS like something a hipster would love, but they get a pass, because they kick ass. And, I guess, Peste Noire gets a pass for all the accordions and overalls due to the fact that Famine is, indisputably, a HORRIBLE person that no hipster would ever invite to their equinox celebration:
Finally, because I still have hundreds of old saved search terms to wade through, the rest of this space is devoted to quick replies to the more ridiculous web searches that lead people to this website:
Snappy Solutions to Silly Searches
isley unruh excalibur?
While it is true that I love this movie a great deal, apparently my feelings for Boorman’s masterpiece are not shared by the general public. Or at least that was the impression I got when I tried to screen this for a 150 person film class last semester and almost got the film laughed off the screen. Not that that wasn’t an understandable reaction to Excalibur, but still, sheesh.
Are jack reachers fighting techniques sound?
I’m just a grappler who’s been indoctrinated into thinking all ground fighting arts are the best arts of all the arts, so I really can’t give you a definitive answer. However, I’d probably guess that yeah, Reacher’s patented nut shot/headbutt combo is pretty sound. If nothing else, being the biggest, strongest guy in the room, as Reacher almost always is, is about as sound of a fighting technique as there is, no matter what your Jiu-jitsu teacher tells you.
I hate harmony korine movies?
I understand this position, I really do, but, as someone who actually even sat through Trash Humpers until the very end, I have to say that the man does have a certain undeniable (and unexplainable) charm. I was even going to say his “real” movies like Mister Lonely suck, but, Spring Breakers was a goddamn masterpiece, so maybe you are just wrong.