DEATHBED BACON

There are two sides.

One side is color.

Lots and lots of colors. Nightmare shades, pickled greens, frenzied yellows, and carefully tessellated ridges of cyan and aquamarine. Snarling maws. Gentle smiles. Clenched fists. Broken blades. And more.

So much, much more.

The other side is red and white, with thick, black handwritten lettering cutting through diagrams, schematics and colored charts. Vocabulary. GL_SCISSOR_TEST. GL_STENCIL_FUNC. EyeDir. Sawtooth. SmoothStep. MCposition. FragColor. GL_TessCoord. EndPrimative. EmitStreamVertex.

The workroom of two different people?

Or the lair of a divided beast? A strange, man-ogre… thing?

Well, today the ogre ventured outside at mid-day, having exhausted himself on other ventures, and feeling the need for direct sunlight, or something akin to it.

He came upon a group of small children, clustered around the trunk of a tree. As he passed, the smallest, a boy in a blue-T-shirt, looked up to him, saying: “Can you get our ball down?”

There, sixteen feet above the ground, and caught between two branches was a blue rubber ball.

Looking around for a stick, or something with a long reach, the man-ogre furrowed his brow, confused.

“With… what?” he asks.

The little boy turns in profile, facing the tree: “Just move it.” With his small arms, he gestures at the tree.

Comprehension suddenly dawning, the ogre smiles, stepping forward.

With one hand, he braces himself against the tree.

And pushes.

As I did so, a sudden premonition told me: “This is going to be satisfying.”

I didn’t realize how satisfying.

The ball dropped, immediately, and all the children cheered loudly.

Their young voices echoed off the nearby buildings, and a slight warmth spread across my face and neck as I chuckled.

It was the most satisying thing I did today.

An hour prior, I’d been chipping away at a problem, attempting to find a better solution, or a way to circumvent it.

Thus, seeing that ball drop was a gift, of sorts.

Motherfucking perspective.

On that upbeat note, I’m going to discuss some advancements I’ve made with GREEN KNIGHT, regarding the use of…

…magic!

One thing that’s always bored me with mages and their ilk is the somewhat tedious necessity of continually glancing away from battle to an (often) unlovely stat box to find out their current MP (magic points, or mana). Doing so takes your eyes away from the battle, and you miss things. Plus, it’s repetitive.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having an area dedicated to stats makes sense, sure. For some things.

But… for everything?

I’m obsessed with visual effects, I admit. When I open my eyes in the morning I want to either be MAKING beautiful things, or LOOKING at beautiful things. My approach with GREEN KNIGHT has been to take away some of the burdens you may not realize you had while playing a game.

How?

By giving your eyes a pleasant and enjoyable alternative to measuring such things.

Raw numbers? Fuck that.

How about, when it comes to staffs, a power source near the head that dims further and further as it’s charge is depleted? As it dims, it becomes increasingly transparent, and the background becomes more noticeable.

Your character’s posture, too, is something to take note of, and indicates their fatigue, health, and other factors.

It’s the little details, such as that, which I want to tinker with.

Anyway!

The news concerning coronavirus is pretty, uh, sobering? We’ve had outbreaks before, but… somehow, this seems different. A confluence of unfavorable factors, from it’s airborne nature, to the foothold it was allowed to gain early on, to the inept response of lethargic, corrupt governments.

Ever seen Contagion, with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow? So many parallels.

I don’t know what to say, really.

The circumstances are what they are because powerful figures feared the loss of profits and standing far more than the threat to ordinary citizens.

I feel no fear, or anxiety, personally.

But I do feel anger.

There are claims that, for the “young and strong” the virus is paramount to a “heavy cold.” Perhaps that’s true, perhaps it isn’t. The loss of life is lamentable, regardless.

Truthfully, there’s a somewhat fatalistic aspect of myself with no wish to leave any words unsaid. I’m reminded, often, of distant conversations, and unspoken sentences: the fault lines of circumstances both monumental and profound.

Doesn’t everyone have at least one E-mail draft sitting untouched and unsent?

Or… several, even?

What circumstances, however, warrant releasing the floodgates, and clicking the send button sixteen times in quick succession?

Ernest Hemingway once said:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Such great words, those were. Reading them for the first time, I recall how they stirred my heart. Such a simple sentiment, yet utterly true.

What does that quote mean to you?

Personally, I believe Hemingway was referring to true writing. Words that matter. Words that count. To speak of things uncouth, hidden, depraved, or distasteful… is to speak of the very fabric and substance of our lives: the very infrastructure underpinning everything we feel, and say, and do.

It takes great courage to voice such admissions, in any medium, to any soul.

It’s that bravery, you see, which we take note of. It’s that strength of character, which we do not forget.

Wasn’t Hemingway right?

Of course, there are other events of note to remark upon.

Dunkin Donuts has a new item on their menu.

“Snackin’ Bacon”, they call it.

It’s a bag of bacon. You order it, and they just… give it to you.

Here, my friend, is a company who truly knows the hearts and minds of a worried populace.

Dunkin Donuts… I salute thee.

Imagine yourself, at death’s door, coughing up bloody chunks of your lungs while elegantly snacking on strips of superbly seasoned bacon.

You’ve never looked so pretty, have you?

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