Billy Graham, in memoriam

I wasn’t going to do anything for this, to be honest. Then I saw how many people were doing tweets, and I realized that I couldn’t keep this to a character limit.

This morning, February 21, 2018, Reverend Billy Graham went to be with Jesus.

To me, at least, Billy Graham’s influence has been a passive one. I grew up hearing his name occasionally and the stories that were tied to him. His influence on the church. His Crusades. Occasionally his book.

Then I attended the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, where Billy Graham is one of their household names. It makes sense; he was their second president in the school’s history, and now has a building named after him.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Thank you, Lord, for our brother Billy Graham, for sending someone to make the church a place where we could come as just we are, and for guiding many into your kingdom. And, though I believe you already have, please accept him into your kingdom. Amen.

And to Billy, one of the most influential Christian men this century, I salute you.

 

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog

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Five Nerd Songs for Single Awareness Season

I know I’m late for Valentine’s Day, but if you celebrated Single Awareness Day this year, you might still be celebrating it now. Today I’m going to recommend some love songs to pick you up and some single awareness songs (sometimes called breakup songs) that might fit your mood.
These are nerd songs. No, I’m not assuming that nerds are more likely to celebrate Single Awareness Day instead of Valentine’s Day. I’m a nerd, so this is my favorite genre.
Unlike, say, Taylor Swift’s relationship and breakup songs, it’s pretty easy to understand what nerd songs are about, and all it takes to relate to them is knowledge of the context. You can usually enjoy them without knowing their “meaning,” but when you do know what they’re about, you can nerd out about the subject just as much as the nerd who wrote it.
It’s a little hard to explain, so let’s stop philosophizing and just listen to some music.

“Don’t Unplug Me” by All Caps.
If Wall-E is one of your favorite romance movies, this song should make you feel all the feels. Here’s the ever-fantastic Tessa “Meekakitty” Violet covering it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck-z4-B8_5k 
I hope you don’t fear losing a relationship on account of being an emotionless logic machine, but if you do, you’re in the company of nerds and robots.

“Navi’s Song (Hey Listen)” by Tessa Violet.
While I’m talking about Meekakitty, here’s her interpretation of the Legend of Zelda story from the perspective of a certain ball of light. Think about this next time you find that little voice annoying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR9phsC4enE 

“I’m Not Edward Cullen” by Hank Green.
The more musical vlogbrother has written a couple songs that could be described as nerd love songs (the Anglerfish song, for example). But this one a) features Katherine Green and b) explores the relationship struggles caused by unrealistic standards set by Stephanie Meyer novels. How relatable is that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbn9F32TaA0

“I’m Your Moon” by Jonathan Coulton.
Fun fact: Pluto and its moon, Charon, actually orbit around each other, unlike most satellites. When some scientists declared Pluto a dwarf planet (a classification they made up right before demoting Pluto), Charon wrote a love song for Pluto. This a capella cover of it is one of my favorite things ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N27IPVFk3k
Whenever you feel like an outcast, find your moon and remember who you are.

Aaaaaaaaand take us home, Sam Hart!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDBpQVhCMb8

Any other recommendations? Let’s Connect!
Twitter: @noahspud and @CorrelationBlog

Girls’ Last Tour: your garden variety post-apocalyptic slice of life

It’s Valentine’s Day. The day of love. The day of [Spanish guitar riff] romance. Love is in the air, the sun is shining, the soft sound of violins carries on the breeze–

To heck with all that! I’m talking about anime again!

It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve done an anime review. But, in my defense, most of what’s crossed my desk was either trash, or I haven’t seen enough of it to properly review. [Sorry, My Hero Academia.]

But I found one that I’ve been looking for for a while now: Girls’ Last Tour. What little I had seen of it demonstrated a good art style, and I mainly watched it for that.

Is it good? Yes. In fact, it’s probably one of the better anime of the Fall 2017 season, at least of what I’ve seen.

For its synopsis, I’ve been calling it a “post-apocalyptic slice-of-life,” or “if Cormac McCarthy (The Road) wrote a season of Lucky Star / Azumanga Daioh.” It’s set in a grim, war-torn landscape, tracking two girls moving to scavenge the wastelands for food, shelter, or weapons. It’s a fairly simple premise, but it’s executed quite well.

So far, I really have no complaints. I’m only three episodes in, and I haven’t been disappointed with it yet.

9.5/10 ~ I recommend watching it. I found it on Amazon Prime, but it can probably be found elsewhere.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog

Doctor Who “Tag” Self-Interview

I missed our anniversary (what’s it been, two years now?). I’ve conquered my technical difficulties hiatus (for the time being). And it’s my birthday. Let’s talk about Doctor Who.

Who’s your favorite Doctor?
Nine. I recognize that Twelve is the best Doctor because of Peter Capaldi’s acting and Moffat’s writing. But Nine is still my favorite.

Who’s your least favorite Doctor?
Ten. (Cue the hate mail.)
David Tennant’s acting was great, but he has no character development, barely any character at all. He’s a pile of meme-worthy quirks with great hair and a nice suit.

Favorite story or episode?
Some time I’ll have to post my Top Ten Must-Watch Doctor Who stories. Every now and then, after an episode is over, I sit back and think, “Wow. That was the best episode I’ve ever seen.” But then the next time that happens, I can’t really decide which of these “Wow” episodes is the best.
All that being said, I’d say my favorite story is “Remembrance of the Daleks.” But I’ve never seen it. I read the novelization. It’s definitely the best Doctor Who novel I’ve ever read – and I’ve read some really good ones. So it’s certainly one of my all-time favorite stories.

Least favorite story or episode?
“Love and Monsters” genuinely left a bad taste in my mouth, which makes it even worse than “Oxygen.”

Favorite companion?
Probably Leela. If you don’t know her, the Fourth Doctor picked her up from this savage jungle warrior tribe in the distant future (I say “picked her up,” but she kind of forced her way onto the TARDIS, if I remember right.) Leela is an Amazon-esque warrior who attacks anything she doesn’t trust. And since she was raised in a jungle, she’ll believe anything the Doctor tells her, no matter how goofy or pseudo-scientific. It’s adorable, and unlike anything else I’ve seen on the show.

Least favorite companion?
Rose. Yeah, Season Two wasn’t much fun for me.
Rose’s character was full of good ideas, but they were executed poorly. She had good days and bad days (so did River Song, of course, but River had more good days than Rose).

Anyone else want to answer these questions? Let’s Connect!
Twitter: @noahspud and @CorrelationBlog

A Steven Universe Self-Interview

[Note: for the sake of carrying this review, I’m writing it in an interview format. I do this in my personal writing to help me think.]

 

It’s done. I’m caught up on Steven Universe. All [however many] episodes there are. I watched them.

 

So, did you like it?

I mean, yes. I did. The show is well-animated and well-written, and probably one of the better kid’s shows of the decade.

 

What did you like about it?

The characters were wonderful, with a few exceptions. [Glares at Ronaldo from across the room.] The world-building was done incredibly well and carefully thought out. It has enough of a metanarrative that I want to keep watching, but I don’t have to pay attention. The first six-to-eight episodes are a chore to watch, but it picks up very sharply.

 

What didn’t you like?

Besides Ronaldo? Well, Jasper comes to mind, but that’s for personal reasons.

 

Well, you’re a Christian, aren’t you? Don’t you have to say something about the gay relationships that fill this cast?

No. I don’t.

Sure, with Steven Universe—and in certain circles of the fandom—it’s essentially a selling-point that a lot of the characters are homosexual (whether directly or indirectly). But it’s in a very grey area because it has to dodge the Cartoon Network censors, that try to keep bad content from the kids. Yet due to the mechanics of SU’s universe, the show does have something awkwardly resembling homosexuality while not being actual homosexuality.

It’s not that I don’t want to tackle it; it’s just that I don’t know how to tackle it.

 

But…you don’t like that aspect of the show, do you?

No, but I don’t hate it either.

 

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate this show?

Um…I give it…

 

Yes/10 ~ space is pretty, Garnet’s my favorite, the show’s sense of scale is amazing, but it feels very easy to blindly hate, or hate for one particular reason. Also, I really don’t like Ronaldo; have I mentioned that?

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog

Another set of mini-reviews.

Well, nothing’s come out this week, and I haven’t come across any media that’s warranted a full post. I guess I’ll do another collection of shorter, single-paragraph reviews of things.

I watched Game Grumps’ playthrough of Doki Doki Literature Club. I probably won’t play it myself—at least not for a while or without people who are unfamiliar with the game.

I watched the first season of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency last weekend. Noah already did a review of it, and I agree with what he said, except I didn’t like Bart that much. I did like the Rowdy 3, though; they were cool. I’ll be watching Season 2 sometime in the future, but it’ll be a while. Until then, I have the books and will be reading them.

I bought and played Typoman on PS4 a while back. It’s a good game. I recommend it. It’s Limbo but for writers and pun masters.

Still playing Bloodborne. Made it to Old Yharnam, and things are progressing well, I think. For now.

Truth be told, I bought Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Zombie Chronicles Edition, and I’ve been playing that for the past four days. Mainly why I don’t have much for a full review this week. I’d review Zombies, except the story is so convoluted that I can’t make heads or tails of it. And there isn’t much to say other than it’s a game mode built around shooting zombies.

And…that’s basically it. I’ll try to have a fuller post for next week. I’m thinking Steven Universe.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog

 

Bloodborne: Lots of Blood, Not a lot of Lovecraft

Before I get into this, I should point out that I haven’t finished Bloodborne. For those who have played it, I haven’t even cleared Old Yharnam—I’m stuck on Father Gascoigne and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I’ve tried guns and molotovs (as the notes suggested), but I can only get as far as when he goes into beast form. But I have played enough of it now to feel like I can talk about it.

Lovecraft. You know, that writer I really don’t like but everybody knows and references regularly? Yeah him. Apparently, he’s one of the main inspirations for Bloodborne. And the game—visually at least—is dripping in it. Giant tentacle gods and a strong horror vibe, all while playing as a speck of a man actively ripping a new one in anything that stands in his way.

One second here. From my understanding of Howard, he’s a philosopher before he’s a fiction writer, though his philosophy is—to say the least—theistically negative. His works carry a theme of malevolent higher powers that cannot be stopped. He plays as much with gods as he does with madness and chaos.

Of course, Bloodborne has that in its own way. The early level enemies are “Man-beasts” (men who have succumbed to their inner monster, I think, the game isn’t clear). Not to mention, it’s a reskin of Dark Souls. The boss fights are hard. So, check to madness, in both senses.

Does this make it Lovecraftian, though? Not necessarily. The misunderstanding is that Lovecraft, when it does have men fighting gods, the men naturally lose. (Probably one of the few points where Howard and I agree.) Bloodborne gives us the chance to crush the great old ones with a sword-hammer, and that contradicts Howard’s philosophy. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but the only thing tying Bloodborne to Lovecraft is its monster design and setting. But the setting is more indicative of broader-stroke gothic horror, and Howard did nothing with monster design—he literally described them as “indescribable.” What I’m getting at is that Bloodborne is closer to Hunchback of Notre Dame or Dracula than Lovecraft, and I like that idea a lot better.

 

8/10 ~ though it isn’t Lovecraftian (thus, saving it some points), it is still dark and gritty. Lots of blood—so much so that a bit got into this post. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I can still enjoy it. Also, I haven’t finished it, so it has plenty of time to make me rescind my statements.

 

Let’s Connect:

@Isaac_Trenti

@CorrelationBlog