Welcome to game over~

(written on Nov. 3)

I’ve finally done a pogrom against hackneyed literature with the reading of Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down. His literature is not as terse or brief as Hemingway’s or as serpentine or long-winded as Faulkner’s, but I would argue that he’s among the best writers (American or not) of short novels (and novels at that), even better than the names I’ve mentioned above – Lupus (I wonder where you’ve got this name – this is an autoimmune disease, right?) noted two posts ago that he was bored witless with The Old Man and the Sea – to tell the truth, although I liked that novella, I’d say Of Mice and Men was written better than that. Though The Moon is Down isn’t as good a novel as Of Mice and Men, I’d say it still ranks well among the world’s classics. One can break a man’s heart; one can destroy everything important to that said man; but one can never break another man’s spirit – a man can be imposed on, but he can never be conquered unless he chooses to be. Although The Moon is Down was originally written to be a propagandist novel, I’d say it transcended that purpose and presented something more universal which are (from what I perceive) the ideas I’ve noted above. Having said that, I’m thankful that I’ve somewhat regained the sapor in reading that I temporarily lost with A Time to Speak.

I’m still plodding on with Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars (I’m often quite condescending when it comes to contemporary novels), and I’ve bought Yevtushenko’s Selected Poems, who wrote ‘Babi Yar,’ a poem, that somewhat subliminally impressed itself on my mind – I thus felt that I had to procure the book even without knowing who Yevtushenko was. I guess my guess was on-the-mark, because he did write good poems, and he had an entry in Microsoft Encarta which I gave importance to: only important people or people who have shaken the world are often included in encyclopedias, electronic or not.

I say that it was a good day for me in terms of absorbing different kinds of well-made media: I read The Moon is Down, as I’ve said above; but I also viewed the 16th episode of NHK ni Youkoso! that was disparately cathartic and pathetic from the former. The former is a somber and sober analysis of the power and the indomitable nature of the human spirit; the other is a social commentary and a character study of the lives of depraved people. Nevertheless, both have the power to entertain, inform, and teach all at the same time.

The episode starts with Misaki discovering the truth behind Satou’s avoidance and total disregard for his counseling sessions: he had become totally addicted and obsessed with an MMORPG (Massive Multi-player On-line Role Playing Games). He had fallen so deep into the quagmire of gaming addiction that even inviting words from Misaki (that made sense, by the way) passed unheard by him. What was worse was that he had fallen in love with Mia, his constant companion in his quests and a nekomimi in the game. He was even unaffected with Misaki’s cute dress-up with a cat dress, and shooed her away.

To his dismay, however, Mia was Yamazaki all along. He then taught Satou (albeit painfully) what reality was and that what he wanted to do was all an illusion. I’d guess here would be the time that the audience of NHK would bifurcate: did he act like a true friend to Satou or was he a bastard, just like most of the main characters were?

Personally, my stand would be that he acted like a true friend to Satou. Although he had a selfish reason, he knew that Misaki hurt Satou a lot when she kept things from him as well as lied a lot to him, so he (through Mia) told Satou to stay away from her – which was quite a rational thing to do given the things Misaki has done to Satou in the past. I also personally think that what he did to break Satou’s phantasmagoria of happiness that was ultimately evanescent and ephemeral was the only thing he could have done to make Satou realize that life just wasn’t that dandy, in the real world or otherwise: that the on-line world was just an escape from what people did not want to accept in the real world (which is true, by the way); it was harsh, yes, but what else could he have done? Would Satou believe him if he told him directly to his face that life just wasn’t that ideal, that it was just a dream? The straight answer would be no – Satou would revel in his dream world, trying to gain money from RMT. I really liked how Yamazaki taught Satou in a way that wasn’t pedantic or pedagogic – Satou was taught from his own experience.

5 Responses to “Welcome to game over~”

  1. Sasa Says:

    O.o How can you compare “The old man and the sea” with “Of mice and men”? They are so fundamentally different in my opinion – and both well written, if you ask me.

    Anyways, Lupus also means wolf in latin. Maybe that helps.

  2. Ryan A Says:

    I like how you faded literature right into NHK, nicely 🙂

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