Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.
As I type and presumably you read, we are now in the midst of the last real sporting event that truly crosses over into pop culture, the Summer Olympics. Now it might seem like the best time to write abut this would have been last week, as they were beginning, or next week, as the Olympics come to a close, but it’s this middle period that best exemplifies why the Olympics are so special. So far we have had a week’s worth of countless stories. Michael Phelps finished his Olympic career (well, so he says) with 23 gold medals and 28 overall medals, which is simply unbelievable, especially when put into the context that if Phelps was his own country, he would have the third most gold medals of all time in swimming (only behind the US and Australia). Simone Biles has basically unlocked gymnastic cheat codes and established herself as arguably the greatest gymnast of all time; plus, she was a part of a US team that was so dominant that she could have basically done one trick in her last floor routine and then simply walked off the mat and the US still would have won. Monica Puig shocked the tennis world by becoming the first Puerto Rican player to win not just a gold medal, but a medal period. These narratives and countless others show that the Olympics is the perfect combination of entertainment and sport (that still doesn’t make your sexist comments okay, John Miller). This is especially true in the age of social media, as people can follow along seamlessly with what is happening (even if NBC tries to make it as difficult as possible to watch things live), and offer instant commentary, too. This can be good, as it can lead to immediate rebukes against things that are terrible–like, say, the media’s poor, poor coverage of female athletes, or everything involving Gabby Douglas this past week–but no matter what, it exemplifies the special place the Olympics still serves even now. These international games are one of the few things that manage to both feel familiar and different all at the same time. You get the perfect mix of returning heroes like Usain Bolt and new ascending heroes like Katie Ledecky and Laurie Hernandez who should be back in 2020 to keep the cycle going on and on. Now that we are past the halfway point, reflect and enjoy what has happened so far, and be excited that there is still more to come.
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
Monday: The Life in the Kraken Podcast returns after a technical-difficulties-enforced-hiatus! In today’s episode, the gang talks some of this summer’s many movie sequels: The Conjuring 2, Finding Dory, Now You See Me 2, and bonus film Star Trek Beyond. Plus, we discuss the hit party game Codenames, David nominates You’re the Worst for best show currently on television, and everyone enjoys another round of Nothing But Trash.
Tuesday: No new content today. We had a dream of content once… then it turned into a nightmare. When we woke up, we were the new content. We haven’t slept well since.
Wednesday: Guest author Matt returns with another installment of his new column, Hidden Levels. This week he is taking a look at the Wii game Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon, whose ridiculous title already puts it halfway down the road to being a hidden gem.
Thursday: Atomka claims her latest column needed another week to achieve perfection. Atomika claims a lot of things. But what is she really hiding? You be the judge.
Friday: Nothing new today! The dog ate our content. And by “dog” we mean “the quadrupedal furred monstrosity that lives in the Kraken’s small intestine.” You know, Rex.
- David brings us another edition of The Anticipated, this time swinging way way back for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. How did this zom rom com hold up to expectations? Now’s your chance to find out.
- Baturdays continues with Detective Comics#49, “Clayface Walks Again.” I admit I don’t remember what happened to Clayface last time around–did Batman cripple him for life? Is this story a somber drama about the difficulties of physical therapy and the power of prayer? We’ll find out together, I guess.
Catch of the Week:
Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.
David: This week I would like to offer up another phone game with Mobius Final Fantasy. Sure, this has the same Gacha ($$) grabs as all phone games of its ilk, but this game feels much more dynamic than most in its genre, as its combat and world are much more open, while its graphics are a tremendous step above the competition. graphics of this game are a tremendous step above other games. Add in that its system allows for a lot less reliance on the Gacha to do well, and it is definitely worth giving a look, especially if let’s just say you have a Final Fantasy itch that needs to be scratched now that Final Fantasy XV has been delayed once again…
Kyu: Normally this space is for recommendations, but I feel torn about actually suggesting people watch Cannibal Holocaust. “Video nasty” doesn’t even seem to cover this vile 1980 film about two expeditions that run afoul of cannibalistic primitives in the Amazon jungle–rarely have I ever seen this level of gore and cruelty, even during Killtoberfest. It even features real animal deaths, and was so controversial upon release that the director was forced to produce his actors in court to prove that he hadn’t actually murdered them, too, for the film. Yet it is a real movie, with a story and a statement to make, and the film’s cultural impact is undeniable in terms of horror, Italian cinema, the cannibal sub-genre, and the found footage movie, which it basically invented wholesale. Cannibal Holocaust is fascinating to study but hard to watch. I can only recommend it, if at all, with extreme reservations and a strong word of caution.
Keskel: This week I recommend SAO Abridged, a well done abridged show that re-edits and re-dubs the anime Sword Art Online for satirical purposes. Not only is it funny, but it makes a Starship Troopers-level criticism of the main character’s “Gary Stu with a heart of gold” qualities. The fact that “Abridged Kirito” behaves like real 15-year-olds who have retreated into video game mastery to compensate for their poor social skills actually makes him a more interesting hero than he is in the actual anime.
That’s it for this week. Remember to scan your badges when you enter and exit the Kraken. Guests attempting to exit without a badge will be politely but firmly dissuaded. Guests proclaiming they “don’t need no stinking badges,” will receive decidedly less politeness.