Now that I’ve posted about Spook Country, I can talk about how, suddenly, everything around me seems compelled to connect itself back to this book series of Gibson’s. It’s very strange.
A character in Spook Country walks across 110th street to Amsterdam, turns north, and checks out the cathedral of St. John the Divine. Special attention is given to “[quote about crab statue]”. I can assure you, this description is entirely accurate and true-to-life.
“'Rausch', said the voice in Hollis Henry's cell. 'Node,' it said.”—Enigmatic, assertive, dissociative.
Admittedly, I had a tough time getting into this one - the format of the book, cycling between various characters/situations for the first few chapters, made it hard for me to dig in and get invested. But I’m glad I stuck with it, because things have been very rewarding since then. Another great read from Mr. Gibson.
A few weeks ago, I posted this photo-array. Now, it’s time to explain it. Because this is one of the things I do in my free time. Think about Pokemon.
THE GUIDELINES There were a two guiding principles I used when picking my Dream Team. Here they are, in no particular order.
The idea is to pick the six Pokemon I would want to have with me, during my lifetime (and theirs!), as a Pokemon trainer/master. So we’re not (necessarily) talking about strength, or good type coverage, or anything like that. The idea is to pick companions who also fight sometimes, not the opposite.
I should be able to easily interact with everybody on the team, in most given situations (so no ‘mons that can only live underwater, for example - that’s just no fun).
And so, without further ado: THE TEAM
Sneasel has been my favorite pokemon since Gold/Silver came out, so this decision wasn’t so much a decision as it was bowing to pre-established norms. The upgrade to Weavile is likewise a given (none of this Ash Ketchum I-don’t-evolve-my-guys bullshit - though the comparison to Pikachu is otherwise sound, as Sneasel would be my “starter”).
So why is Sneasel my favorite, and an ideal candidate for my starter? Firstly, Sneasel and Weavile are small. That’s important in a ‘mon you want to be hanging out with a lot. Besides the more obvious physical limitations inherent in an animal the size of a house (or whatever), there’s cuddling to consider.
Not to say that Weavile is a very cuddly Pokemon - on the contrary, according to the literature they can be pretty conniving and violent. But I like the clever qualities suggested by Weavile’s ‘Dex entries. Intelligence is important, and so is a modicum of ruthlessness. I envision my Weavile being on the playful side of conniving, as opposed to the cruel side.
And lastly, because we can’t not mention it: Weavile is a Dark type, which officially makes it Cool As Anything. It’s also Ice, and while Ice is a pretty crappy type overall - admittedly, Dark isn’t that much better - it’s also Pretty Cool (couldn’t resist). On the statistical side of things, however, Weavile definitely shines. Weavile is similar to my favored style of characters in fighting games, actually: hits hard and fast, but can’t take a lot of punishment. It’s a fair trade-off, in my opinion - competitively high speed and attack make it an offensive force to be reckoned with.
Wrap-up: Strong and fast, clever and playful. The starter, the jokester, the best friend.
Last week, the computer system that controls the light-up floor display in my building’s elevator broke down, which meant that it was impossible to tell where the elevator was until the door opened. Which at first was an annoying inconvenience, and then, very quickly, it was the exact opposite of an annoying inconvenience.
I live on on the 13th floor, so I use the elevator a lot. And you know what? Not knowing exactly how much time I had left until the thing showed up, or how much longer I was going to be standing in it as it moved, was a remarkably welcome change of pace. I could just be there, in the elevator, and let things carry on. No active participation required - not that there ever is, I was happy to recognize.
“Five hours’ New York jet lag and Cayce Pollard wakes in Camden Town to the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm.”—Relentless, a little bombastic, punk.
I thought at first that this book was gonna get on my nerves, but now that I’ve gotten into it a bit, I’m fascinated. Paranoia vs apophenia vs pattern recognition, framed under the auspices of Advertising, and set in a disconcertingly near-future sci-fi-ish world. And, ultimately, it’s all about Art. Good stuff.
“…and he’s my favorite because he’s the god of craftsmen, just like Hephaestus, and his name sounds like a punch. Ptah! Ptah!”—A ten-year-old kid on the street today, talking with his friend. Play-dates are the best, guys.