Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: pop culture

Forever a weirdo

I am a weirdo in almost every facet of my life. I don’t drink at all and I don’t want to be around other people who drink. For the most part. Most people vastly underestimate how drinking affects them, and it’s not pleasant to witness. It doesn’t help that because I am empathic, I absorb people’s emotions–especially the negative ones. People are much less able to hide or mask their emotions when they are drunk, which doesn’t help matters.

In addition, I don’t like any of the pop culture that other people like. I saw the Red Wedding episode of GoT and HATED it. Not just because of the brutality of the episode (especially the killing of the dire wolf), but because it just seemed…torture porn-y is the best way to put it. When I watch something that is gritty and realistic, my body doesn’t distinguish it as being made-up. Therefore, I have the same reactions I’d have if it was real. That’s a me-thing, but it’s one of the reasons I don’t like movies/TV.

It’s relevant in talking about games I like because I was watching the Summer Game Fest, and I was bored out of my mind. Granted, I was waiting for the Elden Ring DLC that never came, but it wasn’t as if I was really hyped for the event. I don’t get hyped about much of anything in the first place because that way lies madness. Geoff tried to keep expectations down by saying there wasn’t going to be any surprises this year (not like last year and Elden Ring).

Which, fine. No surprises. Whatever. But everything was tepid. Even things I was mildly interested it bored me. The vampire game was one I had an eye, but it didn’t really do anything for me. Same with most of the rest of the trailers. And it held true for the individual company conferences as well.

There was one game that intrigued me–it was called Pentiment by Obsidian Entertainment and came out of left field. Nobody knew it was coming, and it has a distinctive art style that just grabs you. It’s a medieval murder mystery that is very charming-looking. Do I get exactly what is going on? Hell, no! Am I going to download it on Game Pass Day One? Hell, yes! This was in the Xbox/Bethesda showcase.

Other than that, though, there was nothing that caught my interest. There were so many Dead Space rip-offs, I lost count. I don’t care about sci-fi or horror, so it’s a double no, dawg, for me. Plus the multi games. Don’t care about those a lick, either.

I know it’s not for me, so I don’t get too riled up about it. Nothing is for me. That’s what I’ve learned in my 51 years here on earth. I am not the target demo for anything, and while that can be frustrating at times, it’s also freeing. I don’t expect to like anything, so I’m pleasantly surprised when I actually DO like something.

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(Not so) popular culture is not for me

I’ve always been a weirdo when it comes to pop culture. Most of it leaves me cold and it’s not just because I’m a contrarian. The more someone tells me I’ll like something, the less likely I am to like it. It’s not as if I’m telling myself, “I’m not going to like this to spite you”, but I have very specific tastes that are hard to cater to. Add to that, I don’t like movies and TV in general because my imagination can produce scenes vastly superior to anything concrete and that my brain doesn’t work the way most people’s do and the visual mediums of movies and TV shows leave me cold.

I was dating someone whose favorite movie was Pulp Fiction. This was years after the movie had been released and it was showing at a theater nearby. He was eager for me to see it and I knew nothing other than it was a Quentin Tarantino movie with a lot of violence. I didn’t love violence in my movies, but I could deal with it. I was eager to see what made my boyfriend tick so I agreed to see the movie.

Big mistake.

Now, remember, I went into this movie ready to be amazed and awed. I wanted to like it because it was important to my boyfriend. I was primed to like the movie is what I’m trying to say. It wasn’t like other examples I’m going to mention in a bit because I knew I wasn’t going to like that movie and went, anyway.

With Pulp Fiction, I wanted to like the movie, but I didn’t. I instantly hated it and its faux hipster/edgy vibe. I found it repellant, repugnant, and with no positive value. I gritted my teeth and sat through it, grimly determined to see the end of it. Afterwards, my boyfriend eagerly asked what I thought of it–and foolishly, I told him the unvarnished truth–which took me twenty minutes. Afterwards, he looked at me and said, “I can’t be with someone with that world view” and broke up with me on the spot.

We tried to remain friends and he wanted me to see Titanic. I knew I would hate it, but I ungraciously gave in, admittedly because I wanted to get him back.  Did id hate it? I did, indeed. By the second hour of people running around the ship, screaming their heads off, I wanted to stand up and shout, “Just fucking die already!” Later, he wanted to take me to see Dangerous Beauty, a movie about a French courtesan who is in love with a French nobleman who loves her, too, but cannot marry her. I think it’s set during a war? Supposedly based on a true story and cast as a love story.

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More things I hate that everyone loves (or says they do)

In my last post, I wrote about things I hated that were universally considered good things. You can read about it here. In this post, I’m gonna continue that roll because it’s my blog and I can do whatever the fuck I want!

Side Note: I have a hack for doing a list in Word Press without it automatically going into list mode–which only allows one paragraph per number and indents each point. I hate that as I like to make my lists the way I want them. There’s a way to manually make the paragraphs, but much easier is to simply do the first point in text rather than visual. Then, you can do the list however you want! You’re welcome.

5. Most popular culture. This is a category that completely befuddles me–and it runs across all pop culture. I recently joked with Ian that I reaffirmed my suspicion that I don’t like video games–I just like certain ones. I was joking, but it wasn’t a joke, exactly. I like FromSoft games and two handfuls of indie games, but other than that, I have rejected probably a hundred games that didn’t grab me for whatever reason. They range from Undertale (Toby Fox), an indie darling, to Mortal Shell (Cold Symmetry), a soulslike, to Fallout 3 (Bethesda), a Triple A game. There were games that should have absolutely been my jam, such as Dreamscaper (Afterburner Studios), Coffee Talk (Toge Productions), and Darkest Dungeons (Red Hook Studios).

Conversely, the games I like are the Dark Souls trilogy (From, natch), Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall), Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus Games), Cozy Grove (Spry Fox), Hades (Supergiant Games), Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (Edmund McMillen), and Cook, Serve, Delicious! (David Galindo). That’s not the full list, but that’s the bulk of the games that I consider in my top ten. And, yes, FromSoft takes three of those spots. The frustrating part is that I don’t know what links these games together so it’s hard to predict what I will or won’t like in the future.

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10 things I hate that everyone loves (or says they do)

It’s hard to express how alienating it can be to be on the fringes at times. Hm. That wasn’t very clear. I am on the fringe in many ways. It’s difficult to tell ‘normies’ how tiring this can be on the daily. This is the basis of privilege, I know, but I’m trying to take it down to the granular level rather than looking at it from a macro point of view. I’m not talking about the biggies–racism, sexism, queerphobia, classism, etc. I’m talking about in the little ways. Here are things that are espoused by society {and/or dearly beloved by many) that I will confess I can’t stand. There may be ten; there may not. I’ll go until I’m done.

1. Traveling. Let me say this straight out. I hate traveling. I hate everything about it. I’m talking about the literal traveling because I have so many issues, it’s really difficult for me to be in a place other than my own home. Let’s start with motion sickness. I get it. Bad. In cars and on planes. Not in trains, oddly enough, but I rarely travel by train, anyway. I can use ginger to mitigate it, but it’s not pleasant. I used to do Dramamine for plane travel, which was even worse.

In addition, I hate heat. A lot. I’m very sensitive to it and walking in anything over 70 F degrees will leave me angry and exhausted. When I was in Malta with no AC and a fan that just moved the hot air around–in the summer, no less–it was not good times. I am my worst self in the heat and it’s not pretty. This is not a delicate snowflake situation (I love snowflakes) in which I’m just whining about how much I hate it; heat enervates me to the point of–it’s like a battery being drained. It’s not a matter of toughing it out–it’s actually dangerous to me. The fact that so many people want to pooh-pooh that is frustrating.

Add to that the fact that I have allergies. So. Many. Allergies. I’m allergic to almost everything outside–and I’ll get to that later–so going to a new place means dealing with new allergens. I have never had allergies as bad as when I lived in the Bay Area for a year. That’s when I gave up on (hard) contacts–my eyes were constantly irritated. I also have food sensitivities that makes it difficult for me to eat. Gluten-free can be found. Dairy-free can be found. Gluten-free/dairy-free is not as easy. There are more vegan/gf products, thankfully, but other countries around the world are not aware of these issues (or don’t care). One pleasant surprise at the monastery in Malta was that they had plant-based milk and gluten-free bread, the same brand I really like (Schar), so at least I had something to eat. The one day I decided to say to hell with it and eat the cheese pasta….that was a bad decision.

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Life is (not) like

E3 is going on right after Summer Game Fest and so far, I have been less than underwhelmed. On Thursday, I suffered through two hours before finally getting Elden Ring. There was one or two other games that sparked an interest, but for the most part, I got gloomier and gloomier because I started thinking there would be no Elden Ring. Plus, there was just so much filler. So. Much. Filler. Then, there was the Ubi conference and there was nothing there for me. Nothing at all. Granted, Eurogamer didn’t find much to get excited about, either, in part because it was all trash.

Here’s the thing. I came to the realization a few years back that I don’t really like video games. Wait. Let me expand that. I don’t like most of pop culture in general. I never watch movies–well, rarely, which is why I’m still salty about how much I hated Knives Out. My one movie last year and I was excited to see it and it sucked so much–and I rarely watch TV. When I do, it’s reality competition shows with contestants who are nice to each other.

My point is that it’s not specific to vide games–it’s just me. I don’t like most of what other people like and most of the time, I’m fine with it. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult because I don’t want to be the joykiller when other people are squealing over something I could not give two shits about. It could be Game of Thrones or the endless Avengers movies or Gone Girl, either the movie or the book. I’ve long since accepted that I am an outlier, but it wears on me.

Not only is it pop culture, it’s just me in general. I’ve listed it all before, but here are the ways I’m different than everyone else: Not married; not cohabitating; no children; agnostic; the list goes on. I’m a freak and I know it. I was able to realize and accept it for most of pop culture so I don’t know why it took so long to do the same for video games. I think it’s partly because the first game Ian suggested to me, Torchlight, I enjoyed immensely. I adored the protag because she could be Asian if you squinted. Then, he suggested Diablo III and once the disaster of launch day was fixed, it was lots of fun. Then, Borderlands 1 and 2, which I played back-to-back for over a hundred hours–each? Maybe? I dunno. It’s been a hot minute.

Then, it was Dark Souls, Dark Souls II (SotFS), Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. On the indie side, Cook, Serve, Delicious! (All three), Binding of Isaac (all iterations, I guess, but mostly Rebirth), Spiritfarer, Hades, and Cozy Grove.

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