Darling In The FranXX: I Love It, Lots of People Hate It. Why?
WARNING: Not even really spoilers beyond what can be gathered through the first episode of the show, although there is significant discussion of themes that appear later in the story. So, I'll preface this post with; I've watched EVA. I love it. So don't try an pull that "you just haven't watched EVA" shit on me lmao. Lets make a fun little discussion out of this, not just some elitist BS. Anyway. Darling In The FranXX gets a lot of hate from a lot of people. Its MAL rating dropped drastically from it's 8.3+ levels down to some high 7s rating following the show's ending (which is, generally, not a great thing) and I don't think I've heard anybody say a good thing about it since almost a year ago. However, despite all of this, I LOVE the show. Why? Well, I think the (very intimate) symbolism, while obvious and somewhat overt in nature, is written into the story much better than most other garbage ecchi mecha series and actually caries significant emotional weight most of the time. Furthermore, the characters are all interesting. Not one of them particularly annoys me (beyond those who are SUPPOSED to do so, I.E Ichigo during the first half of the show). The dialogue and world-building are excellent, and frankly (no pun intended), everything that I experience when watching the show (beyond the cringe pilot positioning) is immensely positive. Put simply, it's just a straight up 9-10/10 for me. I haven't enjoyed a show this much in a very long time. So why do people hate it so much? Well, this IS a discussion thread, so I expect people will be providing their own opinions, but from what I've gathered, the general consensus coming from those who hate FranXX falls into a few distinct categories: 1) "It's just an Evangelion rip off." I hear this so much, and yes, while the show does take HEAVY, and I mean HEAVY inspiration from Evangelion, it is by no means a "rip off". The plots of both stories are utterly different, the nature of the symbolism in both shows are almost polar opposites, and the cast of FranXX is both less "human" and simultaneously more fleshed out. The characters in EVA are much more "normal" in the sense that they react how teenagers should to being forced to fight in giant robots. In FranXX, a major part of the show is the characters discovering that it's OKAY to act like that, and not just do what they are blindly told to do. 2) "The mecha ass-piloting looksso cringe." I hear this one from people who watched approximately two episodes of the show. They look at the piloting scheme, laugh and think it's a gag, then call the show stupid and abandon it. Frankly, people who think like this need to grow the fuck up. I understand that the symbolism can be "cringe" to some people, but it gives way to heartfelt and incredibly satisfying character development later on in the series. Unlike most shows that FranXX is regularly compared to, the sexual symbolism isn't just there for the sake of fanservice wank-fests. It (and I mean this with no jokes intended, despite the memes), is a significant portion of the plot, as the budding interpersonal relationships between the pilots come from a unique angle since none of the main cast has been exposed to that kind of material in any regard whatsoever. 3)"Mecha anime are for kids." I don't even like "mecha" anime per-se, but hooooollllyyy fuck is this an obnoxious opinion. Frankly, I wonder if this deserves a response since I know the vast majority of this community is smart enough to disagree with this statement, but to reply simply; go watch Iron-Blooded Orphans or Neon Genesis Evangelion. Tell me that you'd be comfortable showing either of those series to a disinterested ten year old. Rather, tell me that you think a ten year old would UNDERSTAND most of those series' contents. Seriously, broaden your horizons people. So, I know this may come across like a bit of a rant, but my point is that I feel too many people overlook or simply ignore Darling In The FranXX for petty reasons. I understand that this is just an opinion, and I accept that others may have better, less silly reasons than those listed above to dislike the show though. Thus, I've made this a discussion thread. Please respond with any opinions you have on the series; do you love it? Hate it? Why? I don't want any sort of hate going around, but I do seriously think that this show is massively overlooked and needs loads more attention. PS: Don't start any flaming wars or any shit like that. Peace and love in the comments bois.
Boomer complains how his life sucks now because he isn't living it up like he was during the 80s bubble days and/or before the english teaching $100k days
It's a long read, from this video, but yeah. seems like he's upset that the Japanese government isn't showering professors with money to teach social *sciences*. Furthermore, this is true everywhere. Teaching has such a low barrier of entry that anyone can do it, US & European teachers have had COL go up while wages freeze. He makes some good points i can concede (such as mentioning the role of BOJ & Central Banking) but sounds like he is unable to adjust to the new reality, the same ones that are fucking over young people their whole life. The reason this comment stuck out to me was because it had a shit ton of likes, by far exceeding all others.
Yep. Been here 37 continuous years, and the main reason I haven't left? I can no longer afford to. First, getting me outta the way. Was one of two or three native English speakers in the entire country at any one time who was a textbook editor and cultural advisor for MEXT, The Ministry of Science and Education, lots of community and international volunteer work, 15 years as a judge for top schools' All Japan English Speech Contests (Tokyo U., Waseda, Sophia, Keio), worked in the business community (a year at Nissho Iwai, a former top 6 trading firm), taught part-time at elite schools (Waseda and Geidai), have published and given academic presentations in 3 countries, speak Japanese, and have a permanent resident visa (hint: hire a paralegal). I matriculated into Temple University Japan's doctoral program, where I worked in the undergrad program as biology lab director, and taught public speaking and freshman writing. But I never finished the degree because I became too busy with my responsibilities at Jissen Women's College as a tenured Associate Professor. With an extra day of part-time work at Komazawa University, at my peak, I was making about $100,000.00 a year. But mistaken in thinking 'tenure' for a foreigner is the same as tenure for a native Japanese, I never saved much. I indulged in my own hobbies of fishing and camping, and plowed a lot of my income back into the school, the students, and the community ... again, mistakenly thinking it was an investment in the good karma of social capital. A couple of Japanese friends, even students, tried to warn me about being too generous in donating my resources to the powers that be, too trusting of those powers, hinting that 'success' for a foreigner is an ephemeral illusion and facade. 'Omotenashi' hospitality is reserved for tourists only. From the work place, long timers should expect little more than unquestioned compliance to authority. One reason I took the academic route was because I don't have the temperament to play the slight-of-hand, zero-sum games of the cut-throat corporate world, but was disillusioned to find Japanese academics will not hesitate to lie, mislead, or gaslight anyone who doesn't play the token foreign role of 'dancing panda'. After about 10 years of tenure, I learned just enough about the school's other 'questionable' practices to begin to ask inconvenient questions. The institutional response was slow and sly, but methodical — and effective at shutting me up with the choice of resigning, or eventual suicide. This is not just a problem with the 'English teacher' circuit. Occasionally, you'll see the likes of Chomsky, Frans de Waal, or Michael Sandel coming to Japan for a guest lecture. One of former prime minister' Abe's plans was to revitalize Japanese academia by hiring foreign 'talent'. And how did that work out? Outside of Japanese cultural apologetics, I don't know of any foreign researcher here in Japan that has enough international merit and job security to think about settling down and raising a family, including those Japanese academic domains with the most clout ... genetics, robotics, and primatology. Hell, you could be a Nobel laureate, but if you are foreign, you would eventually be competing with housewives and exchange students for part time jobs, entertaining bored retirees, or baby sitting pre-schoolers. The competition for job security is so intense, authoritarian egos so fragile, that the more experience or education a job applicant has, the more of a potential threat such an applicant is seen by an employer, foreign OR Japanese. How does that Warren Buffet quote go? — “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. ... If you hire somebody without integrity, you really want them to be dumb and lazy.” I define 'integrity' on a continuum between moral autonomy and compliance, with the evil-end being that Hannah Arendt thingy ... the Eichmamn defense of 'just following orders'. But along with competitive gate-keeping through brute memorization on standardized tests, compliance to authority is where the Japanese education excels. Not much better for Japanese academicians in other domains, just a few years ago former LDP Prime Minister Abe formed an ad-hoc committee 'suggesting' all national universities drastically downsize or eliminate departments of humanities and social sciences, thus reducing the meaning of 'university' to less than 'technical institute'. Even MIT and CIT realize that no social psychology, no A.I. From the former president of Shiga University ... https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/08/23/commentary/japan-commentary/humanities-attack/ Japan could use a few more good people like him. THAT is integrity. The neo-liberal mind-set would have higher education reduced to making gadgets, and the hereditary ruling class deciding how, where, and when to use those gadgets. It was only after Reuters and Kyodo picked up on the news that the Abe administration back pedaled on the suggestion, and resorted to the often used strategy of 'it is a misunderstanding' rather than lose face by admitting to a mistake. Ha. Now see what is happening ... https://japantoday.com/category/features/opinions/life-sciences-in-japan-in-desperate-need-of-resuscitation? Even as I am typing this, my Japanese friends, one a mid-level manager for personnel at a major insurance company, and another an auditor at a prestigious Technical Agricultural Institute, are both incensed at Prime Minister Suga rejecting 6 nominees from Japan's Science Academy to an advisory post due to political power mongering. Japanese academia has no say in it, and there is no place for the public to voice their opposition. College classes are micromanaged by the clock according to MEXT 'suggestions'. This all but eliminates meaningful discussions in the college classroom. Demonstrations have to be approved by local government officials — restricted to a specific time and place so as to cause the least amount of disruption — reduced to Kabuki-show cosplay parades. Ha. Democracy indeed. Among those 6 science advisors rejected by the current administration is a Japanese professor at Tokyo University. So what are the chances that a disgruntled, unemployed foreigner's voice will be heard? 'Authoritarian corporate nation state', is putting it politely. Decades ago, after biology at UNC-W, I was at UNC-Chapel Hill in the philosophy department ... wrestling with the likes of T.S. Kuhn, Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, and Karl Popper. My Japanese girlfriend, an exchange student from Saitama, was doing honors work at Harvard for the then head of the linguistics department, Susumu Kuno (He's on wikipedia). Now, I am told that if I am lucky, and willing to leave my friends and support behind in Tokyo, and put my fate in the hands of strangers ... I might get a dekasengi job as a temporary migrant worker in the hinterlands, follow a designated textbook for unmotivated students, and when the contract is up, prepare to move to another town, another gig, for the remainder of my life. Hmmm ... at age 65, with no family ... and my friends unable to follow and support me? Let me think about that. No thank you. Even for other Japanese, it's more 'who' you know, not 'what can you do'. When push comes to shove, labor law and work contracts are not worth the paper they are written on. Even in supposedly tenured educational contexts, the foreigner's role is pretty much restricted to 'compliance to authority', and as a foreigner, just about any native Japanese (and some Uncle Tom ex-pats) qualify as that authority. Ironically, it was my colleague, an Assistant Prof. who committed suicide ... and she was both Japanese AND a graduate of Tokyo University, the top ranked school in Japan. I've found that no matter how long you are here, no matter how much you do, or how well you do it ... it does not translate into accrued social capital. 37 years, and I am no more than another disposable cog in the machine. Unemployed for 5 years now, and at 65, too broke to go back to the states. Forget retiring on savings. The BOJ's monetary policy of printing tons of fiat currency follows the model of the U.S. Fed in propping up 'get it while its hot' stock market players at the expense of the working class. That and negative interest rates will make retirement for all but the elite, impossible, a legalized ponzi scheme. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/11/national/abe-apologizes-report-aging-said-elderly-couple-will-need-¥20-million-savings/ Japanese, as individuals, are pretty much like people the world over ... the good, the bad, and the ugly. My best friends are Japanese. I've made great memories, especially on the high seas. About 30 years ago, I was one of three foreigners in Tokyo who qualified for a first class small boat operator's license. And not just self-indulgent fun ... lots of friends through community volunteer groups, though a hip joint replacement has slowed me down a bit. Thank goodness for the national health insurance. The petty in-group dynamics of Japanese work places are another beast altogether, but inhumanity seems common to all humanity. Sometimes, just sometimes, the more I understand human nature, the more I like dogs. I Never made the leap into marriage or raising a family here, though not for lack of trying. Now finding that if it were not for close Japanese friends, I would have long since packed up and left, or be just another anonymous suicide statistic. Welcome to Japan, a nice place to visit. Feel free to contact me for more details, or info on others who have had similar experiences at https://www.quora.com/profile/Steve-Martin-223
How do you feel about the way the way older FF elements/characters have largely been added since Stormblood?
I was doing Bozja's Rank 9 cutscene last night when a piece of in-game art reminded me of something that had been really bothering me since Return to Ivalice and the Omega raids; Namely, the trend of adding entire characters/plot sequels to other games within this one. By no means am I saying this is the only way they've done it recently, but it definitely feels more common now. Final Fantasy as a whole is a series that likes to have recurring enemies, character archetypes, and themes, with each game having a different take on them. FFXIV used to be no exception: we have our own Cid, our own suite of summoned beasts (Bahamut, Shiva, Alexander, Titan, Odin, etc), and common creatures (Moogles, Tonberries, every single Allagan robot) that, while sharing the same names as previous incarnations, have largely flourished into their own unique beings and characters. A lot of times they won't go too far with redesigning their creature's looks, but they usually went out of their way to give franchise elements a completely new identity, as well as having characters that share a name be wholly unique. To give a few of my favorite examples from ARHW: Thordan VII - At no point in the game is the word "Knights of the Round" ever said in the story. You're meant to put two and two together to realize who he and his wards are, and they take a unique place in the story with their own unique designs and theme. The Warring Triad - Sephirot, Sophia and Zurvan all have a radically different visual design and associated themes than their FFVI counterparts, along with a small story blurb about their Meracydian origins. The Crystal Tower series and the Allagan Empire - While its really easy to dismiss the whole thing as FF3 fanservice, this game went out of its way to contextualize and give purpose to our own versions of Xande, Amon, Doga, Unei and the Cloud of Darkness. Doga and Unei are clones of Allagan royalty rather than old mages. Amon is an Elezen magician who resurrects Xande in a bid to restore Allag to its former glory. The story itself chronicles the creation of Dalamud as a power source, the fall of the Allagan Empire through Xande's attempts at forcing open the voidgate using the crystal tower, and cancelling the pact made with the Cloud of Darkness, through which we travel to the void itself. Shadows of Mhach - Probably my favorite raid series and general story arc in the game. We're presented with our own take on sky pirates, as well as significantly fleshing out Diabolos from a small cameo to making him his own character. It goes deep into the War of the Magi, showing the results of the struggles between Nym, Amdapor and Mhach. Ozma is presented as a Mhachi superweapon responsible for the destruction of Nym. All in all a great story with a unique cast of characters that largely relies on elements XIV itself set up to tell its story, without depending on callbacks from other games. Now as to what led to me to make this thread: Return to Ivalice - pretty much the entirety of the Ivalice/Dalmascan setting and their war against the Empire in XIV feels like its been largely grafted from XII and Tactics, without spending much time developing it as part of this game's setting. It starts off well enough, with our own takes on the Prima Vista, Ramza and Alma, but very quickly devolves into a series of one-off cameos and the introduction of characters whom you would only know the significance of if you played the games they came from. The original characters feel like they barely matter. The Espers, which are equivalent to our primals in FFXII, as well as Argath from Tactics are dropped into the first two raids without any real explanation and then unceremoniously swatted away. On top of that, the story goes so far as to add entire characters from other games: Fran, Gabranth, Ba'Gamnan and his crew, Ramza and his crew are all basically copy/pasted from their respective games and given some minor alterations to "fit in" to this story, with them retaining the same appearance and mannerisms as their original incarnations. Ashe and Razzler are also shown to be part of Dalmasca's history, with their appearance and roles largely intact from how they were in XII. Omega Raid Series - While Omega himself I don't really begrudge given that the game is explicit about it being the same rift-traveling Omega as other games (plus him actually getting his own story development as a character), the contents of the raids themselves are another story. Entire bosses and villains from I, V and VI and dropped into the raids with very little context or consequence, with them being promptly deleted by Omega after losing. Sigmascape in particular just feels like a Greatest Hits collection from FFVI, without really caring for the story-reason of Omega collecting the data on the strongest beings from those universes. Patch 5.3/5.35 - First we have Elidibus' transformation into the FF1/Dissidia Warrior of Light. I personally think having one of this game's longest established antagonists reduced to an11th hour plot twist fanservice transformation to be a huge disservice to the character. I can appreciate the theme of it being Warrior of Darkness vs Warrior of Light, but you didn't have to make him be literally the series' Warrior of Light character to get that point across.Bozja so far is going through similar motions as Ivalice. Cities from games like Vagrant story are mentioned and the Empire/Dalmascan conflict is referenced, which still feels like something foreign to this game. We learn a bit more about Gabranth in Bozja. Like Ashe and Razzler in Return to Ivalice, Basch from XII is shown as being a part of that character's backstory, again presented to look identical to his XII appearance. To me it crosses the line of something being a playful reference or a unique take when the characters presented are, for all intents and purposes, identical to the ones from the game they came from. If another FF game had a character that looked and acted exactly like Cloud Strife, but was given a minor change to justify him being in that game, most people would still identify him as FF7 Cloud and not the new version (see: FF Tactics). I would have no issue with a lot of the Ivalician stuff if they were unique characters and enemies that just shared the same name, as Final Fantasy usually does, but it feels really weird when, going through Bozja and the Ivalice series, it feels like I'm playing a different game from XIV entirely. Plus it comes across as cheap to see them reuse character assets from other games so fragrantly. I was going to add a Nier section, but I don't like that franchise or the way its been implemented in this game enough to go into detail on it. I'll be very upset if 6.0 has yet another guest designewriter invited to write their own pseudo sequel inside XIV instead of getting something original. I know that Yoshi-P considers this game a theme park, but I started playing and keep playing this game for XIV, not for whatever other games get referenced. What are your own thoughts on this topic? Are there any other examples of the former or latter that you would bring up? I'd love to see your own thoughts about it. Edit: god damn typo on the title after checking the whole thing over ten times, argh
Rewrites and Redesigns Pt. 30: Pre-week Scenes (and Announcement)
Koishiteru Masterpost || Announcement below, feel free to skip to the concepts. Alright so I know you're wondering, "hey Fluor why isn't this a drawing?" The answer is I've lost interest in this. I've pulled out my sketchbook and tried drawing up some concepts many times, and I just couldn't do it every time. I realized that I felt like I've been doing these just out of obligation to my followers and not because I actually like doing it. I never intended for this to be a hate project or a "fixed your art/hire me" thing, but it seems to be perceived as one. Again, Koishiteru is now an AU and not a "better version" project. I'm sure it's because I've moved on and it's not just regular art block, because I've beendrawingprettyregularly. When I think of the stuff I'll have to draw for this, I just feel bored. I dunno, maybe it's just severe burnout that'll take a long time to get over. Some of these may be drawn someday. But I'm just so tired right now. Here are the "scripts" for the drawings I was going to do. The endings will probably get proper visuals. Since the weeks are not consecutive, I envisioned some short cutscenes in between to imply the passage of time. 1. Before Kokona:The prologue. 2. Before Ameko:Ayano and Chika (Info-chan) discover each other's identity.
Ayano does not care for Chika but will assist her because the information could be very useful. Chika will help Ayano because she finds the aftermath of Ayano's actions funny. She also wants to turn Ayano into her disciple and successor, of sorts.
If you matchmade or used the rumor system against Kokona:
Chika: Wow, I guess we aren't so different after all. Ayano: I'm nothing like you. Chika: Uh, you just socially manipulated a bunch of people so they'd get out of your way. Sounds like me to me.
If you killed Kokona:
Chika: Oh my god, you killed someone just because they had a crush on the same guy? That's fucking hilarious! So cold and ruthless. I like you.
They make a deal. Chika provides her with every bit of information on Takao and her potential rivals while Ayano gathers info for her and provides her with the entertainment of her twisted actions. If one doesn't hold up their end of the deal, the other will rat them out to the cops. They leave the empty classroom, and Ameko passes by.
Chika: Oh god, it's Mochizuki. She's soooo irritating! That super-sweet super-nice act she's been doing is the worst. Everyone's such a sucker for it.
Insert the comic in Ameko's profile. As Takao leaves:
Chika: Hey, fun fact. Mochizuki has a huge crush on your Senpai. Kokona just said hi to him sometimes, but Mochizuki's giving him food and shit. Which means she's got way more of a chance than Kokona ever did. What are you gonna do about it, Aishi?
3. Before Sayori:Club leader introductions, with Takao visiting all the clubs (while Ayano stealthily follows him around)
Takao tries to check on the Music Club, but Kotone blocks him from entering.
Takao: Is something wrong, Araki-san? Kotone: Nah, everything's fine! But you can't enter! Because, uh...we're doing something secret!
A lick of fire escapes a gap in the door. Kazuki screams that it's getting worse. Kotone smiles. Karen passes by holding a pot of chrysanthemums.
Takao: Hanamura-san, how is-- Karen: Shh! Don't interrupt! The chrysanthemums are telling me a story. Oh, yes, yes, I'm still listening. Go on.
She leaves. Rokuro passes by with red-stained arms.
Takao: Uh, Haku-san, your arms-- Rokuro: Oh, don't worry, Suzuki-san. I'll leave no trace behind. Masao: HI-YAH!
Masao "surprise attacks" Takao with a light karate chop.
Takao: Good morning, Hajime-kun. Masao: Good morning, Takao-san! I challenge you to a duel! Takao: I'm still not doing that. I'm too busy. And too squishy. Maybe next time. Oh, and you should probably put on shoes. Masao: I won't, but I appreciate your concern!
Takao pokes his head in the pitch-black Photography Club room.
Takao is blinded by a camera flash and Hikari swivels his office chair around to the light.
Hikari: Why do you always pester people who want to be left alone?
Takao quietly leaves and passes by the Game Dev Club. Junpei bursts at the door.
Junpei: Suzuki-san! I've heard you were a very helpful person, please help us test our game! We haven't been able to find any people to help us! Takao: Sorry, Kurosawa-san. I'm too busy to do that. But I can ask around! Junpei: *sigh* No, it's alright. Sorry to bother you. Takao: No, no, I'm not bothered at a--
A large mechanic claw grabs Takao around the waist and pulls him into the Science Club.
Satoshi: It's working! Takao: Uh, good morning, Goda-san. Satoshi: Ah, call me SavanT! Are you impressed by this claw, Suzuki-san? Are you impressed by anything else in this room? Takao: Actually, it's very impressive. Wait, is that a robot?! Satoshi: Gynoid. And no it isn't, it's a non-functioning model. More like a mannequin if anything. Takao: I see. Satoshi: This is great! I'm going to need to rub this in Fran's face later. Suzuki-san is abandoning the official establishment of her "Mythology Club" to hang around my club! Takao: Wait, Fran! Shoot, I'm late! Thanks for reminding me! Satoshi: Oh, you're welcome. Wait, uh, I mean, I wasn't reminding you of anything.
The Oka profile comic plays out.
4. Before Kizuna: The Kizuna profile comic plays out. Fade into Monday.
Takao: Oh, good morning, Aishi-san. Ayano: Huh? Oh! Ah...good--um--good morning, Suzuki-san... Kizuna: SUZUKI! I've saw that stunt you pulled last Saturday! Starting today, I will make you realize how great I am, and I will make you mine!
Kizuna storms off.
Takao: What the heck was that? Ayano: *through gritted teeth* I don't know.
5. Before Asuka: Ayano has a dream where she makes a pact with an armless demon.
Arms sprout from the floor, and she dismembers and destroys everyone. After tearing apart every student, including Takao, she senses someone hiding in the back. She spots the final victim crying and cowering in a ball. As she attacks, it is revealed to be her younger middle school self.
Ayano wakes up in her classroom, with no visible emotion or reaction on her face. She looks out of the window and watches the Asuka profile comic play out.
6. Before Junko: Takao and Aoki discuss the truce festival in the school council room.
Aoki: Oh hey, you'll get to see your girlfriend for the whole week! Takao: Wha--Junko-san is not my girlfriend. Aoki: Yeah, let me rephrase that. You'll get to see your clone for the whole week! Takao: Okay, you need to shut up. Aren't you supposed to get the posters from the print shop? Aoki: Actually, you said that was your job. Ta-chan letting someone help him out? Somewhere, a pig is flying. Takao: Just go! Aoki: Yeah, yeah. See ya.
The Junko profile comic plays out. After Akane enters the room, it reveals that Ayano was standing outside the whole time. She talks to Chika on her phone.
Ayano: I wasn't able to hear a single thing they were talking about. I heard a crash. Oh god, what if they were doing "Intense Activities" in there?! Chika: Nah, Suzuki doesn't have the ability to do that. He's too much of a pussy to get pussy, if you know what I mean. But they might've kissed a bit. They're kind of a thing. Ayano: You knew that already? Why didn't you tell me sooner? Chika: I guess it just slipped my mind. Don't worry about it too much, I'll fix the listening problem soon.
7. Before Mayu: It's night, and Ayano and Chika are trading info.
Ayano: I need more information about Senpai. His schedule, his work, his family...I still can't believe he's the Student Council Vice President. Chika: Wait, what? That's common knowledge. Like, the most common knowledge in this school. Aishi, what's your senpai's favorite color? Ayano: ...Blue? Chika: It's red. He says he wishes the blazer was red instead of blue every fucking day. Did you know his best friend is the Student Council President? Ayano: No. Chika: Everyone knows that! They were inseparable! Did you know he lives with his aunt? Ayano: I-I didn't. Chika: You live in the same street as him! Did you know he was half-Korean? Ayano: He is?! Chika: That was a trick, nobody knows that except his aunt. But seriously, I expected you to be, like, a real fanatic. I mean, you're always saying your rivals don't know him like you do and shit, and then here you are, knowing fuck-all about him. Do you actually like him or are you just-- Ayano: Senpai is the love of my life. Of course I actually like him. Be quiet, or else. Chika: Geez, geez, calm down. Fine, what else do you want to know? Ayano: Everything.
Fade to black, the Mayu profile comic plays out. 8. Before Reiko: It's the New Year's Festival
Ayano heard that Takao was spending it alone, and came just so she could "coincidentally" bump into him. Then she'll ask him if they can spend the festival together since it's better than being alone.
However, she spots Takao with some unknown girl, and her plans are shattered. She tries to figure out who the girl is through the listening device Chika gave her, but every time Takao tries to refer to the girl by name, she cuts him off. Ayano tries asking Chika, but Chika says she can't figure out who it is either.
Suddenly, Akane Tsuchiya approaches her.
Akane: Hey. You're Aishi-san, right? Ayano: Yes? Akane: I've noticed you've been hanging out with Chika Date recently. You also hang around Takao-san a lot, and he chooses his friends wisely, so you're a good person, yeah? Ayano: I suppose. Akane: Heard of Info-chan? Ayano: I have. Akane: Okay, this'll be kind of a shocker, but Chika is actually Info-chan. She might've been using you to get info, and she might use your own info against you someday. Ayano: What?! Oh my god. I can't believe she'd do that. Akane: I'm sorry. But now that you know, will you help me out? Info-chan's been blackmailing and framing everyone, and dragging their reputations through the mud. Takao-san's been trying to be a friend to those people, and he's been expending himself a lot. If we found evidence of Chika being Info-chan, it'd lighten up Takao-san's workload by a lot. You care about him, right? Ayano: Of course. He's my friend. Akane: Great. So will you help me find proof, so we can finally take her down? Ayano: I guess I will.
Fade to black, the Reiko profile comic plays out.
Ayano puts two and two together and realizes that Takao spent New Year's with Reiko. Ayano asks Chika, and she easily identifies Reiko as the girl from the festival. She reveals that Reiko's a good childhood friend of Takao's. Ayano silently grows angrier and angrier as she realizes Chika is keeping information from her.
9. Before Tomoko: Chika calls Ayano.
Chika: I need to talk. To someone, anyone. Ayano: Are you crying? Chika: Yeah. I just remembered when you played along with Akane last week, and she's...she used to be my best friend. But...look, this whole Info-chan shit started because of her. It's her fault. And it just reminded me of just...how alone I am, you know? Ayano: ... Chika: I thought I was too good for friends after that, but then we met and like, yeah, I know we started off blackmailing each other, but now we're real friends and I just realized how much I missed, like, actually having people who care about me, and not just people I pretend to care about. Like, people always pretended to care about me, and I wanted to do it back to people, but now I just... Ayano: Calm down a little first. You're getting kind of hard to understand. Chika: Sorry. You're the only person who can understand this kind of loneliness. You know, doing all this horrible shit, and pushing everybody away, everyone who could've been my real friend. But then you showed up and I actually wanted to be your friend, so I...I didn't give you everything. I didn't tell you everything. Just so you would stick around. Ayano: ...What? Chika: Yeah, I know it was dumb. I'm so, so sorry. But...I guess I didn't need to do that, cause you stuck around anyway. Thanks for never ratting me out or anything, even if I wasn't holding up my end of the deal. You're a real friend. Ayano: ...Yes. Yeah, we're friends. Continue, I'm listening.
Ayano doesn't care for Chika at all. In fact, she hates her a lot, but she acts like a friend to Chika for now to gain her trust. Fade to black, and the Tomoko profile comic plays out.
10. Before Akemi: Akane confronts Chika, with the cops.
Chika: What the hell?! I can't believe you'd frame me for a crime just cause you're still bitter about me. Akane: Drop it, Chika. We have proof. See? Chika: ...Where did you get that? Who gave you the proof?! TELL ME! Akane: I'm not allowed to say.
Chika gets a text message.
Ayano [text]: You didn't hold up your end of the deal. Chika: No...of course! Of course! OF FUCKING COURSE!
Chika starts screaming and stabs Akane. The cops subdue Chika and take her out. As she's being taken away, Hikari snaps a picture of her.
It's revealed that the cops covered up Ayano and Hikari's involvement. Ayano and Hikari swore they were just Chika's victims who were forced to be acquaintances. Sakuragi didn't want any controversies (any more controversies depending on your elimination methods), so they paid off the cops so that they'd arrest only Chika. Leaving all the other students alone might "soften" the blow Sakuragi would get to its reputation.
Masako appears for the first time (and will be there for the rest of the game). Through a speech in the auditorium, we're introduced to her cold, strict persona. Fade to black, and the Akemi profile comic plays out.
11. Before Masako: Masako's profile comic plays out. Fade to black, and it's the next day. Ayano bumps into Masako.
Masako: Takao told me about you. When he met you, you were lonely and bullied. And you still are. You were even blackmailed by Info-chan. Ayano: I was. And I am. Masako: I'm very sorry. I don't know how to apologize for every failure I have as the president of the student council. I'm supposed to be here for the students, and I could've prevented everything, but I was just too cold and cowardly to do anything. If I can help you in any way-- Ayano: It's too late. It's too late to do anything now.
Ayano walks away.
Most of these feel like corny melodrama but anime is very dramatic, so it kinda still works? Ayano and Takao get dialogue segments in between the days within the weeks. The dialogue chosen affects their individual mental state bars and the school atmosphere bar. The endings will probably get proper visuals unlike these ones.
Gravity's Rainbow Group Read | Sections 62-65 | Week 19
Howdy, folks! Stepping in this week as pinch-hitter, so I'm still finishing out the discussion post. However, since I'm sure some of you are anxious to start discussing this week's thoroughly fascinating sections, I'm posting now with some introductory thoughts and discussion questions to get things started. I will update this to include discussion notes for the individual sections this evening! "What?" - Richard M. Nixon Thus begins The Counterforce, the final book of Gravity's Rainbow. Interestingly, that wasn't the original epigraphs. Before Watergate hit, Pynchon had the following lyrics from Joni Mitchell's song "Cactus Tree" featured.
She has brought them to her senses, They have laughed inside her laughter; Now she rallies her defenses, For she fears that one will ask her For eternity And she's so busy being free."
I think that last line in particular relates to Katje's conversation with Enzian in section 65, but we'll get to that. Section 62 We open with Slothrop being woken up by the sound of none other than our old friend, Pirate Prentice, buzzing overhead in a P-47 Thunderbolt, aka a "Jug". It's an older model, "one with a greenhouse canopy" - just like in the beginning when he was harvesting bananas, Pirate finds himself in a greenhouse. 'Cept this time, he's having a bit of a conversation with Katje's dodo-killing ancestor, Frans van der Groov, musing over the nature of wind and windmills-as-mandalas. I'll pause to note another possible Waste Land reference here that admittedly may be a stretch, but this is Pynchon we're talking about here, so it's entirely plausible. In Section II: A Game of Chess, we see the lines, "yet there the nightingale / Filled all the desert with inviolable voice / And still she cried, and still the world pursues, / “Jug Jug” to dirty ears." The nightingale story being that of Philomela, who was raped by her sister's husband, king Tereus. She managed to get revenge via her sister, and the two were transformed by the gods into birds - Philomela into a nightingale. The connection becomes less tenuous when you consider how this is a story of preterite vs elect, with the preterite actually managing to strike back for once. So flying a plane nicknamed the "Jug" fits Pirate's counterforce rather well, no? We then shift to Gustav and Säure, discussing a game of chess. Gustav is focused on "moving beyond the game, to the Row" (in Chess, if a piece makes it all the way to the opponent's back row it can become any piece, including a queen). Gustav sees the Row as "enlightenment"; however, Säure is a bit more disillusioned and recognizes the Row for what it is - "another game." Säure recognizes everything as a game - so if he's going to be stuck playing games, he can at least choose which game he plays - hence is taste in music and his propensity for narcotics. We'll see this idea spring up again later when Pirate discusses paranoia with Mexico. Back to Slothrop now, who's washing his harmonica in a stream. Bafflingly, it is the very same harmonica that fell down the toilet that night at the Roseland Ballroom, though who knows how... Slothrop is holed up in the mountains, playing the role of the Hermit in what honestly seems to be a pretty pleasant lifestyle. Before recovering the harmonica, he stumbled upon (?!) a set of bagpipes and taught himself to play. His music seems to have prompted someone to leave offerings of food, though whether the offering is a "thank-you" or a plea to stop with the bagpipes is a mystery. He takes the hint and stops playing, and finds his harmonica the next day. In keeping with his new hermit lifestyle, he's letting his hair and beard grow out, laying naked in the grass and being one with nature. Honestly, I keep thinking how nice that life sounds, especially with how this year's going in the US... But much as Slothrop's embraced a return to nature, there's still part of him, the American part, that just can't let go of the dream of somehow finding a way back to his home country. He's hooked on the ideal, the promise of America, even though she is "immune to [her citizen's] small, stupid questions" because they "have no rights." (623) He's also a bit stuck, still, on the question of Jamf and his own childhood, but he knows that any form of putting his head out carries risk. As the Hermit, he's searching for illumination, but just one step at a time. Already, he's become one of the Zone's legends - he finds a graffito of "Rocketman was here" and next to it, almost without thinking, he draws the mandala of the rocket. He starts to see fourfold mandalas everywhere. from windmills to swastikas, even becoming one as he lays "spread-eagled" in the sun, "becom[ing] a cross himself, a crossroads, a living intersection" where a criminal was hung and a mandrake grew. Mandrake, being magical, used to be taken by magicians so they could make their money multiply, but did they ever take inflation into consideration? Thankfully the Committee on Idiopathic Archetypes steps in to remind said Magician of the broader economic disadvantages to such folk magic. Anyway, Slothrop's now fully transfigured into The Fool (not as bad as it sounds - think new beginnings, innocence, a free spirit). The zero card of the Tarot. Since it's the zero card, apparently, it "does not have a specific place in the sequence of the Tarot cards. The Fool can be placed either at the beginning of the Major Arcana or at the end. The Major Arcana is often considered the Fool’s journey through life and as such, he is ever present and therefore needs no number." (https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/fool/). Gosh, sound like anyone we know? And what of the Magician we just encountered? Well, turns out he's the one card, signifying new beginnings and the "connection between the spiritual realms and the material realms" which he uses to "manifest his goals in the physical realm" (https://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/magician/). I'll add, too, that Weisenburger has a brilliant note on Slothrop's astrological chart based on the line, "Past Slothrops, say averaging one a day, ten thousand of them." (624). Turns out that would place his birthday on March 21, 1918 - on the cusp of the Vernal Equinox (spring, rebirth, the return to the living part of the great cycle). Not only that, but the "midheaven of Slothrop's chart would be a perfect zero" and his whole chart aparently is perfectly balanced - a "motif of opposites held in equipoise" - a mandala, in other words. (Weisenburger, 327). Good lord, Pynchon is either insanely thorough or super lucky with how that turned out, and I've gotta lean on the side of that being deliberate. Section 63 We've finally rejoined Roger Mexico! Though he's not in the best of states anymore, Jessica having finally called off their wartime romance and settled back into "normal life" with Jeremy. Strangely, his car is full of jars of baby food in colors reminiscent of Mrs. Quoad's pre-war British candies, but he feels it's better not to ask where the jars keep rolling out from. Seems Roger still feels some duty to poor Slothrop, who's been abandoned in the Zone, though Jessica is happy to put them both safely away in her past. But Jessica seems a bit optimistic here - "But, 'Roger,' she'd smile, 'it's spring. We're at peace." (628). But no, that's just "another bit of propaganda." It's the illusion of spring, but there's no true rebirth here - just a different form of war, a more subtle, hidden version. Because waste lands like this one have broken the natural death-rebirth cycle in favor of an artificially long life, at the cost of a slow, wasting death with no return. Roger's gone a bit mad from his break with Jessica, his realization of being manipulated by Pointsman, and his new insight into the degree of cooperation between industry and military, even before the war, and certainly after. So what's a man to do? Well, crash into Twelfth House and assault both Géza Rózsavölgyi and a poor German secretary via a truly deranged psychological campaign that manages to break them both into pointing him in the direction of Pointsman, in Mossmoon's office. Roger breaks into a meeting of some high-level government and corporate folks, stands on the meeting desk, and proceeds to take a piss on them. Then cue an exciting chase scene for the action enthusiasts, and Roger makes his exit to go meet up with Pirate Prentice. Prentice seems amused by Mexico's amateur-paranoid attempt at striking back against Them, and proceeds to school Roger in a more mature form of paranoid systems, explaining that, in the face of a "well-developed 'They-system'" one must develop a "We-system" comprised of delusions of unity and the ability to strike back. Prentice explains:
Needless to say, 'delusions; are always officially defined. We don't have to worry about questions of real or unreal. They only talk out of expediency. It's the system that matters. How the data arrange themselves inside it. Some are consistent, others fall apart. (638)
Mexico counters that "you're playing Their game, then," to which Prentice explains, "Don't let it bother you. You'll find you can operate quite well. Seeing as we haven't won yet, it isn't really much of a problem." (638) Then, after a dizzying scene of defiance against Their orderly, rational system, that sees Nora Dodson-Truck set upon by visions of freaks, fluorescent Jesus, and elephant soixante-neuf, we are treated to a song that encompasses the Counterforce in its final line: "it isn't a resistance, it's a war." (Incidentally, during the Pynchon in the time of Covid reading of GR, someone did an absolutely bang-up rendition of this song - anyone remember which video that was?) Section 64 We're now introduced to Pfc. Eddie Pensiero, who's the company's benzedrine-fueled barber. His friend Paddy McGonigle is an example of "those million virtuous and adjusted city poor you know from the movies" (641) - think the merry, dancing immigrants in the bowels of the Titanic - the good obedient preterite who have embraced their lot in life (and who, incidentally, probably did not get first, or even second, dibs on the lifeboats...) This being the Zone, power is still limited, so the lone lightbulb is powered by McGonigle hand-cranking a generator. Though the bulb seems to be providing steady illumination, it is in fact subtly pulsing based on the speed at which Paddy cranks. A series of slivers with a ∆t approaching zero creating the illusion of a greater whole. Just like Slothrop's daily iterations of self, just like the minute course adjustments made by the rocket. To the tune of Slothrop's distant harmonica, Eddie commences cutting the colonel's hair, prompting an immediate, unfiltered monologue. If you've ever seen Waiting for Godot, this reminded me of the character of Lucky who is silent until his hat is removed and who then begins reciting endless philosophical musings. The colonel seems fixated on sharing his journey up a concrete mountain of rubble, dodging arms of black rebar. The image is almost like a close-up of a scalp, with black hairs poking out. In this vision/story/? we witness a dialogue between Skippy (the colonel?) and Mister Information, who kindly explains the idea of forking paths of probability, and the pointsman (Pointsman?!) who "is a nice man" "wearing a white hood" who controls these points of inflection, of branching, that determine if we go to Happyville or Pain City. It's about as ominous a vision as GR can present - the white hood imagery bringing to mind both the Klan and possibly an executioner or judge. Not exactly who we want in control, is he? And apparently even pre- and post-war, "the dying tapers off now and then" but the real War, the endless War, carries on and kills people "in more subtle ways. Often in ways that are too complicated, even for us, at this level, to trace." (645). Think of the nature of violence - not direct, obvious "stab you in the gut" violence, but slow, invisible violence - the kind the State likes to enact. Racial segregation, building chemical plants in the poor parts of town, running a highway through a previously-thriving neighborhood, choosing which laws to enforce, and who to enforce them against, denying people vital healthcare, letting hundreds of thousands of people die from a pandemic. That's all violence - just the invisible kind we don't see. The slow, wasting kind that drags people down. And if only we could just eliminate all those undesirables, those preterite swine, completely? "Wouldn't it be nice..."? Seems the Germans weren't all that original, just more direct, more hasty. Then our pal Skippy (the colonel?) gets taken to Happyville, by an amicable robot crab (Cancer) that throws out quips like it was made by those bastards as the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and I'll be damned if that didn't inspire Douglass Adams when he wrote Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Cut back to the colonel's haircut, and we are informed that that flickering lightbulb is none other than Byron the Bulb, preterite hero and immortal lightbulb. (If you hadn't noticed a significant number of mentions of lightbulbs throughout this book on this read-through, you will on your next.) Turns out there's a real, honest-to-goodness conspiracy to fix the energy usage and lifespan of lightbulbs by the Phoebus Cartel (look it up - it's real). They've worked to find the perfect balance between using up energy to keep the power company happy and lasting jusssst long enough to keep customers from complaining. Well, Byron, being immortal, wants to inspire a lightbulb revolution - a guerrilla campaign where lightbulbs take out humans in revenge for their artificially-shortened lifespans. But turns out, the cartel's a lot more powerful than one little lightbulb, immortal or not, and they send a hit man out for Byron. But Byron escapes through a series of lucky breaks, and avoids capture. We learn that Lyle Bland has discovered a powerful corporate weapon - "that consumers need to feel a sense of sin." (652) Think about it - don't you love buying something nice enough that you feel just a twinge of guilt? Who doesn't, in one way or another. But hey, I'm in marketing, so I can at least put this to good use on the job... Sadly for Byron, he grows old without being able to inspire revolution, instead becoming something of a Sibyl - gifted with long life but not eternal youth and optimism. Taken out of the cycle - no return. The immortal's curse. The scene ends back on the colonel, head tilted back, Byron watching on powered by Paddy, with Eddie's clutched fist holding the scissors over the colonel's exposed throat. But we end mid-sentence, forever waiting and wondering. Section 65 A shift, now to Katje, who's meeting up with Enzian to discuss their mutual acquaintance, Weissman. They're both part of the Zone-legend as well, now, as they've begun to realize. They also have more questions than answers - neither knowing what's become of Slothrop, or of Weissman for that matter, and feeling powerless in the Vacuum. Katje's laugh is world-weary, without it's edge and thoughts of "deeps, profit and loss, H-hours and points of no return." (659). Contrast that to part IV of The Waste Land - Death by Water: " Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, / Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell / And the profit and loss. / A current under sea / Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell / He passed the stages of his age and youth / Entering the whirlpool." We also learn that Enzian is overseeing the Schwarzkommando as they build out "underground schools, systems for distributing food and medicine" (660) - exactly what the Black Panthers accomplished in numerous cities before the FBI shut them down and vilified them to the nation as terrorists. Another counterforce shut down by those in control. Katje offers some insight into the nature of racial prejudice - she realizes she is projecting her own darkness onto Enzian. What she fears in him is what she sees in herself. I think there's merit to that angle. Finally, Enzian tells Katje something that seems to scare her: "you are free. You are free. You are free..." (661) Katje, as Weissman observed, depends on masochism as a form of reassurance - that she's still human. She's been so beaten down and conditioned by society that she's come to depend on control as part of her identity. So of course freedom is terrifying - everything in her past, in her conditioning, has taught her to depend on being controlled. Suddenly, she becomes a much more relatable character... Note: In the Weissenburger guide, his introduction to The Counterforce includes a sentence that truly made me laugh - "In a minimal nod toward conventionally realistic narrative, part 4 brings most of the novel's other main characers to well-defined ends." (321) Discussion questions:
The four books of Gravity's Rainbow are significantly different in their lengths. Do you think this is intentional? Is there a pattern or meaning behind their lengths (21, 8, 32, and 12 sections, respectively)?
What do you think of the two different epigraphs for this section? Why do you think Pynchon selected the original Joni Mitchell lyrics, and why do you think he made the choice to instead feature the simple, "What?" from Richard Nixon?
How do you interpret Slothrop's transformation? Do you think it's a positive or a negative?
What do you make of the colonel's climb? Of Eddie's scissors poised over his jugular at the end of section 64? This is the second time we've seen someone with a knife (or runcible spoon) to their throat - why the repeat of this imagery?
Hello, everybody! Congratulations on finishing the novel! Like the previous capstone thread, I’m going to start this off with a summary of all the things that happen in The Counterforce, in order. This is literally just a summary and there is no analysis going on here. If you already understood what was happening in The Counterforce, you can skip it. It’s really just so people who are lost can figure out what they are reading. I’m also going to include some random thoughts on The Counterforce that I’ve been having lately (especially after reading some of your comments in the current thread), and then I’m going to end the thread with a few discussion questions, which you will promptly tear apart, as before. So, beyond the long summary, there is a simple thread that you can all read in about 15 minutes and then get on with your lives. Hopefully, it points you in a few new directions that you can think about while you wait for the final thread on Friday. Also, as I’m typing this, there is a rainbow outside. Plot Summary: The Counterforce begins with a passage showing Pirate Prentice flying a fighter-plane through the Zone, unhappy over the fact that his psychic visions of other people’s lives have totally stopped now that the War is ending, with one exception – Katje’s dodo-hunting ancestor Frans van der Groof, of all people, has been haunting him. Meanwhile, somewhere in the city below, Säure and Gustav argue once more about music – Gustav tries to speak about Chess, about the pieces and movements and thinking not of the King as the goal, but reaching the back row, where the pieces can become anything they want. Säure hates Chess and wants to talk about music. Meanwhile, in the Zone’s wilderness, an unshaven and unruly Slothrop is now fishing for the harmonica from way back in Section 5, which has somehow ended up flowing in a river in Germany. Someone, unknown, has been leaving him food parcels by the river. He has also become the stuff of legend and myth – everywhere he goes, he seems to find Rocketman graffiti. We then return to Roger Mexico, who is upset that Jessica has gotten over him (she sees him as a war-time fling) and has started seeing Jeremy full-time. Riling himself up like a moron, he hauls ass (in his own car, because he can no longer use Pointsman’s Jaguar) to Twelfth House, hoping to confront Pointsman about Their schemes. He bursts into the wrong office, finding instead a vampire-scientist named Géza Rózsavölgyi, who promptly retreats into the dark corner of the room. The darkness acts as a kind of sensory deprivation room, and he immediately finds himself in a vision where transported to an island near Hawaii. A secretary enters, who just as promptly drops her glasses, Velma-style, incapacitating her. Mexico, still angry, demands to know where Pointsman is – they, both defeated, point to Mossmoon’s office. He bursts into a meeting with multiple officials, jumps onto the desk and begins pissing on the table, and onto Pointsman himself. The men are too polite to move until he is finished. They try to grab him eventually, by which time he has ducked beneath them and escaped out of the room. He reaches a counterforce meeting, in which it is explained that he is an idiot, and that the only real way to stop Their systems of Order is to use Our systems of Chaos. We are introduced to a small US military outpost, wherein we find some arguing Italian-American soldiers. They are getting ready to cut the hair of their visiting colonel. As this colonel is getting his hair cut, he begins a positively surreal rant, which seems to randomly transition to the regular narrative voice instead of dialogue, in which we here about how everyone is set on a path to either Happyville or Pain City, which is explained in-story by a talking robot guiding a child on their own journey. This all leads to the mini-section of “Byron the Bulb”, a sentient light bulb who was accidentally made immortal. The Phoebus Cartel, a group of rich energy conspirators, has noticed on their grid of all bulbs that Byron is not fitting their planned obsolescence model at all, and they continually try to destroy him. Byron keeps escaping, moving seemingly by pure luck from one place to the next, spreading to the other bulbs his vision of revolution that he has had since he was a baby-bulb. Eventually, despite his immortality, he becomes imbittered, thinking that there is nothing that he can do, as a light bulb, to stop Their plans. He winds up in the very US military outpost the scene is set in, directly above the colonel getting his hair cut. Byron gets riled up, and begins to concentrate all his energy on his hatred of the Man. At the exact moment that his hatred climaxes, the barber ‘accidentally’ cuts his colonel’s throat open with a razor. We then get an easy to summarise scene of Katje and Enzian having a final meeting together, in which Katje feels immense guilt that she is unbearably sad despite knowing that Enzian has it worse. Enzian explains that she feels bad precisely because, not in spite of, the fact that she is free – she has built her system of security around Their control, and now she is left without a net to fall into. They discuss the dual fate of the missing Blicero and Slothrop. We move on to a scene of Thanatz, Greta Erdmann’s husband, who you might recall is a rich Elite pedophile Nazi conspirator. Here’s cause and effect for you: After the sinking of the Anubis, Thanatz gets carried by the current straight onto the boat of an undertaker who, as a hobby, is trying to get struck by lightning. He is obsessed with a book called A Nickel Saved, which tells of the lightning strike as a transcendent experience, and that only people who have been struck by lightning with know the ‘correct’ way of viewing the world. Back on land, Thanatz stumbles into the hands of the liberated members of an all-gay Dora-camp survivor’s group, who have set up a commune based on the perceived roles of the camp. He wanders around the Zone before getting picked up by government officials, who take him through a whole process of being “deloused, poked, palpated, named, numbered, consigned, invoiced, misrouted, detained, ignored.” He is eventually rescued by the Schwarzkommando, who interrogate him for rocket information. The text suddenly shifts to a series of surreal mini-stories in which the following things happen, in this order: Slothrop joins a dysfunctional superhero team called the Floundering Four, with his new friends Myrtle, Maximillian, and Marcel. Slothrop, dressed in drag, hides in a Transvestite-friendly public toilet, to await top-secret information (Which he doesn’t get, by the way). Slothrop attempts, somehow, to get a message out to Squalidozzi using German U-boat radio waves, and Rhor, Keeper of the Antenna, anxiously explains to him that Jehovah’s witnesses like himself do not believe in exclusivity in priesthood. Slothrop’s mother sends a drunken letter to JFK’s father, in which she claims that the Kennedy’s are in on the Slothrop conspiracy, and that she likes JFK more than her son. Säure becomes offended at the phrase ‘ass baskwards’, as the human ass is already backwards by default. Säure, as a youth, breaks into a woman’s home and rapes her, and her screams are ignored because she is accidentally saying the German word for ‘helicopter’ instead of her intended ‘cute robber’. The helicopter is not yet invented, so she is ignored. Seaman Bodine shares his song “My Doper’s Cadenza,” and explores the as-of-now police-free tenement hall known as ‘Der Platz’. Säure tells Bodine of his confusion over the phrase ‘Shit ‘n’ Shinola’, and Pynchon explains that this is because black is equated with abjection and death in modern society. Back in the toilets, an ape in a Fay Wray dress hands Slothrop a bomb while groping him, which is then taken off his hands by a transvestite, just as the fuse is about to blow. They throw the bomb into a toilet, flush, and it explodes. It is explained over a loudspeaker that this is a Sodium bomb, and thus explodes only on contact with water. Slothrop runs away before he can be implicated. We meet Takeshi and Ichizo, two Japanese imperial troopers and a comedy duo who get up slapstick adventures in a soon-to-be abandoned outpost in the Pacific. Slothrop wanders the streets of the Zone and finds a newspaper, where one page is a pin-up girl, and the next is an announcement that Hiroshima has been hit by an atomic bomb. A brief return to Takeshi and Ichizo soon becomes a history lesson on the Hotchkiss machine gun. A teenage Slothrop argues with his father over his new hallucinatory drug of choice: electrical waves. Finally, we learn the ins-and-outs of Imipolex G, the world’s first erectile plastic. We find Tchitcherine in his last scene with eyes, abandoned by his right-hand man Džabajev, who is running around the Zone impersonating Frank Sinatra. He is getting high on Oneirine thiophosphate, a drug-user’s version of the time-altering chemical Oneirine. He hallucinates an image of Ripov and other Soviet officers, telling him that he will soon die a bureaucratic death in Central Asia. We then return, once again, to the sad life of Roger Mexico. To help ease the tensions, Jeremy invites Roger to lunch, where they discuss the rocket. Jeremy states that they have could up with a plan to fire all the remaining rockets into the sea. Roger wonders why they would fire them at all, to which Jeremy asks, with genuine confusion, what else they could possibly do with them. We then skip forward, to Roger convincing Seaman Bodine to come with him to a high-class dinner party that Jeremy has invited him to, hosted by one Stefan Utgarthaloki. Feeling that they are the main course of this dinner, Roger and Bodine launch on a series of disgusting alliterative food puns, so vile that it causes everyone present to have a vomit fit, and the two escape. Now we find Geli Tripping, the teenage witch from the beginning of In the Zone, as she visits an older witch to get advice on how to use magic to bring her to Tchitcherine, her true love. She later discovers that many throughout the Zone are actively trying to kill him. She wanders into a forest in the Zone, and has a transcendental vision of the Titans in the valleys beneath, and the great god Pan appears to rush through her, before emerging into the sky in the image of the Rainbow Serpent. We flash back to Gottfried and Blicero on their final night together, wherein Blicero makes a speech about what the rocket means to him. We move quickly to Enzian and the Schwarzkommando, on a pilgrimage to construct the 00001, or second S-Gerät. Enzian and Christian argue over the spiritual implications of the rocket. They have been transporting their rocket in separate pieces throughout the Zone. During the night, Enzian and his driver find the heavily wounded body of a comrade. With the death-toll rising, they decide to divert all transport through the border between the capitalist and Russian zones, hoping that the border dispute crisis will stop any military forces from shooting at them on this path. They run into the Empty Ones before embarking. Enzian and Ombindi argue over the ideological implications of the rocket. Ombindi and the Empty Ones leave, untouched, with their weapons. Enzian and Andreas argue over who will take Christian, but they both know that Christian is following Enzian. The whole time that this is happening, they are being followed by Ludwig, who has been reuinited with Ursula, his presumed fictional lemming. We then find Tchitcherine under a bridge, having gone blind due to a spell that Geli has placed on him, so that he can only see her from now on. The two meet and make love. The following day, Tchitcherine stops a convoy crossing the bridge to beg for food. It is the Schwarzkommando, and Enzian, who does not recognise his half-brother, provides him with a few potatoes. They thank each other and go their separate ways. We never see them again. The fate of the 00001 remains unknown. FINALLY, we get to the final section, in which, as briefly as possible, the following things happen: A tour guide from the future takes through a guided tour of a Vertical City, where people travel three-dimensionally in long-haul elevator trips. We get a part of Slothrop’s Tarot reading: the 3 of Pentacles, the Hanged Man (Reversed), and the Fool. We discover that he is disintegrating as both a person and a concept, and that representatives of the Counterforce have essentially been interpreting him in so many ways that they no longer want to think of him at all. Bodine feels terrible about Slothrop’s fate, so he gives him a going-away present – a shirt soaked in Dillinger’s blood. Bodine decides to start dressing in women’s clothing. Džabajev has one final party, where he decides to shoot up wine to achieve a sensation of weightlessness. We get a vision of soldiers returning home from the War to Mingeborough, where Slothrop is from, and he is not with them. The musicians Gustav and André make a hashpipe out of a kazoo and watch von Göll’s film New Dope. One scene shows the director in a glossolalia induced by a truth serum, leading to the film’s dismissal by everyone except devotees of the I Ching. We discover that Weissman (Blicero) also had a Tarot reading, and Pynchon discusses how to read it, and what it means for us all. A flash of green and magenta echoes through the Zone. A horse on the Lüneberg Heath roams freely, with no humans in sight. Pynchon recounts an old Aggadic myth of Isaac seeing a vision of the throne of God at the moment of his sacrifice. Weissman prepares to launch the 00000, getting all the symbolism in place before the show starts. We discover that the IG built a plastic screen for Gottfried, inside the 00000, to look out of as he is fired into the sky. A series of superheroes try and fail to stop the rocket, all described in chase-sequence terminology. Pynchon tells us how the countdown is actually a concept stolen from the Weimar director Fritz Lang. Steve Edelman, Kabbalist spokesman, explains the Tree of Life and how the rocket fits into it. Gottfried, moments before the firing, sees the world without metaphor attached to it. In America, in the year 1970, nightclub manager Richard Zhlubb is interviewed in his Volkswagen about the death of the hippie dream, whilst hippies themselves attempt to swarm the vehicle. They think they hear a police siren, but realise that it’s a rocket, which hits them. As life-off approaches, it seems like the rocket is controlling the people present, and not the other way around. In the air, Gottfried feels his memories falling away from him, and remembers a speech Blicero made about the rocket being the first star that anyone ever wished upon, out there in the darkness. He feels Gravity disappear at he reaches the peak of his ascent. We move to the image of a movie theatre, demanding that the film that was suddenly switched off be turned back on for them. The final V-2 missile hits the roof of the building, giving them just enough time to embrace each other before the building collapses. William Slothrop, Tyrone Slothrop’s ancestor who brought the family name to America, shares a song he wrote about the Preterite never giving in. It ends with the phrase “Now Everybody-“ and so does the book. Some Minor Thoughts: The opening epigram of Nixon saying “What?” was added to the novel at the very last minute, meaning that “What?” was, rather than “Now Everybody-“, the final thing said before Pynchon finished the book. The ‘Counterforce’ might not be a group of counter-revolutionaries, but an actual physical force that influences them, in the same way that the parabolic ‘force’ influences Their structures. The opening section of the Counterforce shifts perspective so much because it seems that Pirate’s fading ESP abilities have somehow manifested, renewed, in the naked and homeless Slothrop. Slothrop finding the little packages of food and supplies every day reminds me of the family in Frankenstein who observe the same thing, only to discover that it was the monster leaving them the whole time. Also on that opening section: as pointed out in the discussion threads, Slothrop is shown as The Fool in the Tarot. What wasn’t mentioned was that the imagery of every card in the Major Arcana is mentioned throughout this section, if you pay close enough attention. The final page or two of this section seems to be literally nothing but a string of Tarot references, as Slothrop transitions from The Fool right through to The World. If you don’t believe me, read it again; it will seem obvious with hindsight. There’s a secret implication hidden in Enzian and Katje’s conversation about Blicero in Section 65: that he (as in Blicero) has actually followed the exact same narrative arc as Slothrop. As they talk, the two names intermingle. It becomes difficult to tell which one is being referred to at any given moment. They discuss the men as though they were the same person. Their conversation doesn’t have a Blicero part and a Slothrop part; a point about Blicero in one paragraph is analysed in terms of Slothrop in the next paragraph, and vice versa. The section with Thanatz finding Dora might be a reference (kind of reaching here) to Harvey Kurtzman’s “Master Race”, an extremely influential short horror comic from the 1950s about a former Nazi who is haunted by the ghosts of the concentration camp victims he has killed. In the same section, regarding the lightning-obsessed undertaker: you might find it interesting that Carl Sagan theorised that life was originally created by a deformation of the primordial ooze that occurred at the moment of a lightning strike. Also in that section: the camp survivors taking up the camp work schedule after they are liberated seems to me to be a historical reference to how oppressed societies, like the early European ‘states’ after the fall of Rome, or the nations of Africa after decolonisation, tend to take on the systems of their old oppressor to create stability while they get the state properly set up. Of course, when the state is properly set up, they just hold on to the oppressor state’s old system, because now they are the new oppressors, so they can benefit from it. The superhero team from the beginning of Section 67 (The “Foundering Four”) is a reference to the Fantastic Four. Duh. It’s interesting, though, to think of the Fantastic Four as the team Slothrop joins, as the opening issue of The Fantastic Four shows them as a team of jingoistic Young Republicans – among things that happen, that issue features the four as they break into a military base and fire themselves off in a rocket for no apparent reason other than to beat the communists in the Space Race. There is also a scene in which the Human Torch is attacked by a heat-seeking nuclear missile, launched by the United States into New York City. The main plot of the issue is also about the Mole Man committing acts to literally undermine and collapse the power plants of the major international States, and there is an epic climax in which the four fight off an underground shadow army of monsters. It’s like Pynchon himself wrote it, whilst on many drugs. The Fantastic Four is also the first comic book to feature humans trying to battle an actual metaphysically Higher Being, in the now-famous (and actually pretty good) Galactus Trilogy, in issues 48-50 (1966). The reference to Jehovah’s Witnesses not having priests in Section 67 is a reference to how priests act as a middle-man, blocking the path between Man and God. Ruhr brings it up because it fits with the idea of the radio operator as an arbitrary middle-man between two people in need of direct communication. The anarchist’s bomb skit is actually just one of many references in both In The Zone and The Counterforce to the classic cartoon Porky Pig and the Anarchist, in which Porky is shown to foil the plans of an evil bomb-planting anarchist solely through his motivation for money so that he can buy pies. It’s on Dailymotion, if you want to look it up – it’s only about 5 minutes long. The Titans mentioned in Section 70 are the actual Titans of Greek Mythology – the First Gods, representing the first forms of Life in the universe. They were the “peak” of Life in the universe, and now that they have gone, humanity has come in as God’s “spoilers,” slowly scraping away all of the achievements of things that existed long before we were here. I can’t seem to find it in the text now, but I swear there was also a conflation of these Titans with the Dinosaurs, and how we are disrupting their ultimate legacy by burning them as coal and oil. I mentioned in the last thread that the poem at the very end of the novel features a reference to “Towers”, which I took to mean The Tower, from the Tarot. On second thought, this was somewhat daft. If you read through Ascent and Descent together, you find that actually it follows a sequence wherein the end of the Major Arcana (as in everything after The Tower) collapses into one process: the rocket as the star between Gottfried’s legs as a reference to The Star, the plural towers of the poem actually refer to the two towers in The Moon, the final image of the film representing the enlightenment of The Sun, the rocket hitting the theatre is Judgement, and the final line, “Now Everybody-“ is The World. Previous Threads: 62-65 66-69 70-73 Discussion Questions: · Now that you’ve read all four sections, how do they compare? Are there differences in the writing styles? Are there thematic differences? If you had to, how would you rank them? · Speaking of which, why do you think there are four sections? What do think about the drastically differing lengths of each? · What are the major themes of The Counterforce? · Unless you’re like me and you somehow bought and read Gravity’s Rainbow without ever having heard of it previously, you probably had a lot of pre-conceptions in terms of what the novel would be like. How did the book live up to, or diverge from your initial expectations? · For those of you returning to the novel for a re-read, what have you gotten out of it that you didn’t get on previous read-throughs? · Sections 67 and 73 are both made up of various little mini-sections. Is there something about this structural choice, and its position in the text, that impacts our wider interpretation of the novel? · Why was the epigram changed to “What?” What does Gravity’s Rainbow tell us about the Nixon years? · Pynchon is quoted as having once asked, “Why should things be easy to understand?” The Counterforce is, along with Iceland Spar in Against the Day, regularly pointed to as one of the most difficult things that Pynchon has written, and certainly the most experimental. What do think Pynchon was trying to achieve with this kind of writing here? · Is there anything in the novel that you would point to as totally innovative, that you’ve never seen someone else do before? · Synchronicity is a major theme of the book. Did you find that the themes of the novel began to overlap with your real-life at all? · What does Gravity represent, and what is its Rainbow? · In the previous thread, I asked if Gravity’s Rainbow had a happy ending. Now I’ll alter my question: does Gravity’s Rainbow even have an ending? Why does the book end at the point that it does? Is a question answered? · Who was your favourite character? Which character has the best name? · I think it’s fair to say that Gravity’s Rainbow doesn’t have a single grand point, but instead has many different ones. Which point made by the novel do you consider the most important, either from a literary or personal perspective? · What sort of books do you think Pynchon was reading at the time? What sort of music? What kinds of films? · What have you learned from the novel? What have you learned from the discussion threads? · What was your favourite discussion thread, either in terms of the comments or the OP’s post?
[H] Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, We Happy Few, Injustice™ 2, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, Unepic, Starbound, Spintires, many more [W] Squad, Slime Rancher, Don't Starve, Wasteland 2
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Don’t worry, I’m not going in on the “It is/is not the end point of all Gundam universes” debate. I just want to nerd out for a minute if you'll indulge me. For years, and I do mean years, I was very dismissive of Turn A Gundam (excuse me \bad British accent** TURN A. GUNDAM) based solely on the general setting of the series and the glorious hard left turn that is Syd Mead’s take on the titular super robot. But when I came into a huge chunk of spare time (hooray for layoffs /s) I shrugged and said why not. I am so happy I did. I enjoyed this series way more than I thought. The contrasts between a WWI era Earth and a hyper advanced Moon worked surprisingly well. I legitimately liked more of the characters in this series than others and I didn’t expect that. Ok....save for Guin who I generally wanted to punch anytime he was on screen. Seeing mobile suits engaged in simple tasks like farming or being used as a giant washing machine (bubbles!) was delightful. Hands down this series has some of my favorite character designs, several of my favorite moments of scenery chewing, and great lines of snark (Fran may be my spirit animal). Hell even that Gundam really grew on me. I'm still not the biggest fan of some of the other mobile suit designs though. While the series overall isn't my #1 it's definitely up towards the top of the list. I can really see why it’s described as a love letter of sorts to Gundam for the 20th anniversary and encourage you to watch it if you haven't seen it.
Alberto Hernandez (MX), Albuquerque & Foletto - A 40 Track Compilation Monaco [Forward Music]
Released: 2020-11-03 Alberto Hernandez (MX) - When We Dance in the Rain Albuquerque & Foletto - Splendid Sunrise (Kenshi Kamaro Remix) Analog Jungs - Uritorco Antonello Marino - All I Dream (feat. Mynxy) Balad - A Distant Memory Bigasti & Balad - The Days (B.A.X. Remix) Blue Cell - Die Unheimliche Insel Borzoo - Auranik (Jayden Klight Remix) Bynomic - Space Diamond (Kenan Savrun Remix) Covsky - Distance DJ Paul (AR) - Foster (Juan Sapia Remix) Enigmatic - Conversations Eric Lune - Benji (Forerunners Remix) Fran Bianco - Pattern of Behaviour (Rodrigo Lapena & Gonzalo Sacc Remix) Greg Tomaz - Hear the Wind Sing Inada - Night Lights Ismail Kizil - Gloomy Jeff Eveline - Crashes in Love (Nick Newman Remix) JFR & Juan Sapia - The Girl Who Stole the Stars (NAHS & J.P. Velardi Remix) Jimmy Be - Move With the Present Joe Miller - The Last of the Great Days (Jean Caillou Remix) J.P. Velardi & Nahs - Beautiful Sense (Dio S Remix) Julián Rodríguez & JFR - To the Glory (Travis Jesse Remix) Kenan Savrun - Orion (rAin Remix) Khetouin - Robot Meditation La Vue - Hedo (Ambient Mix) Lerr - Hummingbird (Gimérique Remix) Lerr - Mornings (Weird Sounding Dude Remix) Madloch & Subnode - Lion's Mane (Dmitry Molosh Remix) Madloch & Subnode - Lion's Mane (Navar Remix) Miklo - Time to Live Monojoke - Awakenings Nick Silvestri - The Daily Grind Pedro Capelossi - Blackberry (Christian Monique Remix) Sides - Little Green Man Stephen K Cal - Pigs Subnode - Cura Truong Tham - Eternal Dream Vidno - Protoplasta Waxman - In the Noise (Ivan Sandhas Remix) DOWNLOAD - http://progonly.com/2020/11/04/alberto-hernandez-mx-albuquerque-foletto-a-40-track-compilation-monaco-forward-music/
Please bear with me as I explain why the above title sounds a bit racist, hate speech, and or political meddling depending on your personal perspective, but rest assured as you read the following story you'll find the intent is not. This didn't happen to me, but last month to a friend who I haven't seen in a while but still chat online. He and I are fans of Gunpla, of which is shorthand for Gundam Plastic Model kits. They're a series of Do-It-Yourself kits that allow you to put together mini versions of the robots from the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series and its alternate universe titles. A big piece of news going around the Gunpla community was how Bandai (company that makes the kits) was planning on building a 1/1 scale roughly 18m tall version of the Freedom Gundam from the alternate universe series Mobile Suit: Gundam Seed in China with construction to begin next year at the earliest. One day he was visiting a model shop that sold all kinds of models ranging from RC Cars, Warhammer 40K, Planes, Trains, etc.... but leaned a bit more towards Gunpla compared to the other stuff due to the ownemanager being a fan. The shop was even popular enough to sell its own merchandise (shirts, hats, etc) with the store's logo on it. My friend happened to be wearing the shirt as it was the only clean one he had at the time. (And I'm sure you can guess where this is going now given this subreddit) The cast in this story is My Friend, Store Owner, Other Manager, and a lady who I'll call employee Karen. The following lines aren't what was exactly said, but close enough to get the point across. My Friend stopped by the store as he heard they re-stocked heir Gunpla section and ended up chatting with the Owner (wasn't working that day just stopped by to see if he could quickly help out while he was running errands) about Gunpla related news (basically stuff about new kit announcements by Bandai the company who makes the kits)... This is where the story begins... Warning: The following quotes wasn't what exactly was said but is close enough to get the point across. My friend asks the Store Owner, "Have you heard about Japan giving China the Freedom?" Now granted my friend realized how that sounded but given he and the Owner was in the Gunpla section of the store, chances are anyone else in said section would realize what that phrase meant right away. Store Owner opened his mouth to say something when that stereotypical Fran Fine nasal voice went "How dare you say something so racist in a place of business?!!!" My friend opened his mouth with the intent of explaining himself when Employee Karen continued off on her rant "As a new employee, you shouldn't say something so racist and put the store's dignity into question.... especially with the 'Beer Brand Virus' going on" Friend says that he doesn't work here and was just stopping by after hearing about the shipment of Gunpla coming in. Employee Karen not believing that went "Oh yeah right..... you're wearing the store t-shirt.... besides... like how gutsy of you to lie in front of 2 employees." Apparently Employee Karen was one of 2 new employees (who are required to wear store merch as a uniform) hired by one of the 2 managers under the owner and Employee Karen thought my friend was the other new guy given how young he was and that the Owner standing next to him was another employee. This was her first day and she just clocked in a couple minutes ago. Employee Karen asks Store Owner where the other manager was as he was working and Employee Karen didn't know what he looked like yet. Store Owner went in his scruffy red-neck like accent "Probably off doin his job.... as long as he is I don't need to know his every footstep" This just set off Employee Karen even more and she went off on a rant saying something like "God how did the owner let someone not bothered with such blatant racism work here?" and that he and my friend should be fired immediately among other things. The Other Manager runs over after hearing the yelling and asks "What the heck is going on?" To which Employee Karen replies "Hi I'm Employee Karen, and I'm sorry for losing it a moment ago.... but I wanted to tell you that I heard this employee who should be fired (AKA my friend) make racist comments and this employee (AKA Store Owner) was trying to cover for him by refusing to tell me where you are." Other Manager goes "Oh yeah.... I heard about you from Hiring Manager." then he turns to face the Store Owner and goes "Boss, where's the other employee she was talking about?" Employee Karen starts sweating a little as she realizes that she may have just told off the king of the land. The Store Owner says "Hi Employee Karen, I'm Store Owner and this is my establishment. This person is not an employee but one of our favorite customers." Employee Karen definetly sweating now tries to find grab a life-preserver by saying "Bu... but he still made racist commenst... so.... so he should be kicked out." Store Owner's counter to that statement was "No he's not... if you let one of us speak instead of mouthing off with that gaping hole on your head... you'd hear one of us explain that we were talking about how Bandai the company who makes the model kits you see around us was trying to further promote the joys of Gunpla by building a full-scale version of the Freedom Gundam Model kit in China." "Oh... umm... I'm sorry.... I didn't know" Employee Karen stammers. The Store Owner goes "Well as an employee of Model Store, you should know that all-though I don't expect my employees to know detailed information about every product we sell...... I do expect them to at least keep up with pertinent news... clearly you haven't or you would never had said such a thing... nor can I employ someone that would cause a scene by screaming and accuse a loyal customer of racism. I'll do you the courtesy of giving you a full-day's paycheck, but get of my establishment!! NOW!!" Employee Karen left defeated and My Friend got a couple of kits he wanted from there on the house as an apology. When he was in there a couple weeks later he heard from the Other Manager that Employee Karen only got he job because she was sleeping with the Hiring Manager, of whom was then fired too. TL;DR: Friend got yelled at by Employee Karen for making racist, political hate speech, and or meddling comments depending on your perspective on the job at a place he didn't work in front of Store Owner. Friend wasn't as he was talking about a promotional stunt by Bandai. Employee Karen was later fired by Store Owner along with the manager that hired her.
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Titan pendant le festival la Novela, place du Capitole le 14/10/2011. Remerciements à Kathy Sie. Snurr-Musikkeriet Lyd/Prod.: Trond Nedberg Takk til Joel Toledo Flekkefjord Museum ved Birgit Gautschi Stor takk til alle barna som var med i videoen. Regi/Animasjon: Jan Rune Blom. Die Mimusen - Mime & MusikKlaus Franz und Marc Mascheck (ehem. Bockemühl)"Robot-man"Mittschnitt aus dem Programm "Opus 1"Hackesches HofTheater, Hackesche Höfe, ... Music composed by Daft Punk Vocals by Erick Villeda (Frans Segovia) Everyone say hi to the robot that makes pizza. Ekim is a French company whose goal is to create 24-hour fresh pizza vending machines. Their robot has three a...