Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Catholic Sensibilities of Shadowrun Returns



"Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body." – Lawrence Person

It has often been observed that Christ did not associate with the rich and powerful, but rather with the downtrodden, the rejected, the disreputable.  This is no small thing to consider, especially in a world where the glitterati continue to dominate popular culture.  Oh sure, the have-nots are often feted, sometimes even by the glittering class itself, but only ever so briefly.   Very quickly they are ushered off the stage, usually when the celebri tire of the spectacle, and are promptly forgotten until the next round of self-hating guilt bubbles to the surface of the rich and powerful's collective psyche.  Alas, such is the way of the world.

Be that as it may, it is clear that Christ saw something in the dispossessed that the rest of the world did not: a hardscrabble power that could and would transform the world.   I believe this was made abundantly clear when Christ told Peter ("Cephas" or "rock") that "upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." According to the great Catholic scholar Fr. Robert Barron, "rock" should be more properly translated as "crag" based on the original Greek.  In other words, Peter was not seen by Christ as merely a polished pebble, but as a rough-edged chunk of solidity that could withstand much because its failings in grace and beauty were what made it so internally strong.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Could Learn from Neon Genesis Evangelion



If you are expecting a comprehensive overview of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I am sorry to say that you are not going to find that in this post.  Truth is, I have only watched the first five episodes of this piece of anime, and then only because Adult Swim was showing Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth a few days ago.  From what I could tell, this was a movie cobbled together from various episodes of the series.  Sadly, I had no idea what the heck was going on, but I was intrigued by the many religious themes that kept popping up during the movie, such as the logo for NERV, mankind's defense from the "angel" onslaught:



Anime with religious sensibilities and mechs?  Sign me up!  So I decided to start at the beginning of the series.  

Like I said above, I've only made it past the first five episodes, so I cannot reach any conclusions yet.  However, while the jury might still be out on this series, I can say that episode 4 has already captured my heart by doing something very simple: it paused for dramatic effect.