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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for side stories in Red Dead Redemption 2

Butch:

Ok, did the thing with the lovers. Women’s suffrage, huh? Wasn’t what I expected. But here, again, we have the past colliding with the future, and Arthur (or poor, doomed, present) stuck in between. Good metaphor.

Then we had an irony attack.

You know how Friday we were all “I’ll never find a serial killer thing or kill a legendary animal?”

Well, found the next serial killer thing and killed a legendary fox. Felt kinda bad about the fox.

I also ran into a white dot encounter that was a black woman wanting a ride back to Largas. Talked about finding a place to live that’s your own. You talk to her? Cuz I have things to say if you have.

But even if you haven’t…..

We’ve been talking about the gang being some distilled version of what “America!” means to some people. That said, I noticed last night that the gang is really not American at all. Sure, we know they’re being pursued by the government, but Arthur, last night, said “I’ve never voted.” I found that interesting, not so much in a literal sense (makes sense he’d never vote, being an outlaw and all) but a metaphorical one.

When people talk on nostalgia for a time when “things were better,” what they mean by that, whether they know it or not, is “a time when people like me/us were in charge.” Right? The people who look back on Norman Rockwell tend to look like the people in the pictures. While, sure, they might be nostalgic for the turkey dinners, what they really are nostalgic for is a time when people who looked like that elected people who looked like that to advance the values of people like that. When people like that were in charge, and didn’t have to worry about women of color voting or (gasp) being elected themselves.

And yet, here we have Arthur, our ultra American macho ideal, who has never really had any power over anything at all. He is blindly loyal to Dutch, he’s never taken part in formal government, he’s never really chosen anything about his life at all.

Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the game is saying to all the nostalgic people out there “Hey, look, those times back then? Before the women of color winning and all that? You weren’t in charge then, either. You were still blindly following someone who only said they care about you. Shit, people, you’re doing that NOW!” And ain’t that a fact?

And I can add to that thought if you met the woman from Largas.

I wonder what perk that fox will get me.

Feminina:

IRONY. More serial killer, eh?

That reminds me that actually I have also hunted one legendary animal (though not recently, so not irony, just bad memory). It was an elk. I followed it all over, absolutely failing to hit it, and finally ran it down when I was out of everything except shotgun ammo. So I blasted a fine legendary animal to bits with shotgun pellets and wound up with a poor quality hide I can’t do anything with. And I think some antlers I should turn into a talisman, but will probably never remember to.

I don’t need no stinkin’ perks, man! I can take care of myself just fine! Perks are for people who aren’t steely-eyed outlaws with nothing to prove!

I have not met a woman wanting a ride to Lagras. Although I met a man who said “help, I need medicine!” went to give him some medicine in a kindly fashion, hit the wrong button and punched him instead.

Siiiiiiiigh.

“I’ll give you medicine–a giant dose of fist right in the face!” He collapsed, probably dead, but in my MIND he was just unconscious (I mean, it’s not common for people to die from being punched, I’m sure he was OK) and I made up for it by pouring medicine down his throat and he woke up later and was fine. Because damn it, I didn’t mean to do that! Why is it so much easier to attack someone than do literally anything else with them?

Just like in Divinity, I’m more dangerous when I’m trying to help than I am when I actually WANT to hurt someone. Just ask that legendary elk that evaded me for 20 minutes.

So, yeah. Siiiiiigh. General incompetence is the rule of the day.

But as for your thoughtful discussion points, that is true. Arthur is not in a position of power. And indeed, most people throughout history have not been, and it’s easy to look back wistfully at some time when things were better in some way for someone and assume you would have been one of the people it was better for, even though statistically speaking the majority of people (even white men!) lived hard lives of thankless labor and bad pay and not being in power. There are always going to be a lot more peasants than lords of the manor.

And here we are today.

Butch:

Indeed. I found….ANOTHER PIECE OF THE KILLER’S MAP that is still very unhelpful.

And I stumbled upon it! The map is for someplace else. Likely where the guy actually is, which I’ll never find.

Ha your legendary animal!

Butcher: The hell is this?
You: It is the skin of a legendary elk.
Butcher: The fuck it is.
You: Really!
Butcher: This looks worse than those rabbits you ran over with your horse.
You: Dude, you know what I went through to get this?
Butcher: Enough so that we’re down a legendary elk but we’ve gained a legendary doofus.

Dude, the perk I got from killing the legendary wolf was “You can now drink more alcohol.”

Who DOESN’T need that?

Dude, that’s awful you punched the sick guy. I found that guy, too! Gave him medicine!

I did almost…ALMOST…shoot Roach last night, though. Buttons are tricky. I was trying to pet him! He was scared!

“There there boy PSYCH! GONNA SHOOT YOU! Aww…boy…just kidding…here have an oat cake and BOO! HAHAHAHA! Ah, c’mon boy, don’t run away….”

Here we are today, indeed. But then, this is nothing new, is it? Nostalgia has always been both a powerful source of human decision making and a delusion. As bad as things can get, or are, there have been worse times. Things kinda sorta suck right now, it’s true. But then, our parents were alive in a time where homosexuality was a crime, segregation was legal, people got polio, the life expectancy was far less than it is today, etc. Our grandparents were alive when the leading cause of death in the US was infectious diseases.

I think the nostalgia for the American ideal was that the people defining the American ideal of the 50s, say, were a very small slice of America. People aren’t looking back on an American ideal that had jack shit to do with the majority of Americans. People never look back on any kind of holistic past. If they did, they’d realize that things, on the whole, were kinda shitty back then, too.

Feminina:

They were! Things were hard back then! Even for people as obviously intended for greatness as are the many discerning and nostalgic people who yearn for those simpler, more brutally depressing times.

Sorry, guys. Statistically speaking, we’re all going to be peasants.

I’m glad you didn’t shoot your horse. And that you gave that guy medicine. Did he give you any useful information, or just some honor? (I shot the shackles off a second inmate! He gave me another tip about a house I could break into if I were ever in the mood to go looking for houses to rob. With lightning speed, I immediately failed to have the slightest interest in it.)

Butch:

Honor, but he said if he sees me again, he’ll remember my kindness or something. The last guy I saved from poison was that guy who set me up with the free gun, way back when, so hopefully he’ll turn up again and set me up with something.

The woman you give a ride to is interesting for bloggage, that it is. Especially given the topics of the week. She’ll turn up for you. Unless she’s just Chapter three.

Feminina:

I’ll keep an eye out, while riding about in the magnificent landscape, looking for sick people to punch. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it.

I may not have any real power, but I can sure keep sick wanderers and shackled prison escapees in line! It’s all about being able to feel in control of something.

“Sure, my life sucks, but yours sucks worse. And just to make sure, I’ll punch you in your sad, helpless face.”

Man, I miss the good old days.

Butch:

Those were special days.

I shot the poor shackled guy again last night, too. You’d think he’d learn.

“Phew. Finally healed. Now I can ask…..oh no. Him again. Well, beggars can’t be choosers…”

Feminina:

“I mean, he COULD actually hit the shackles this time. Sooner or later it’s bound to happen just through random chance. And it’s not like anyone ELSE around here has a gun…”

Butch:

“And, yes, I’m in prison stripes and wearing shackles, but I’m sure the fact that he’s wearing a badge just means he wants to help EVERYONE.”

Feminina:

“He has such a kindly face! Like he wants to ease the suffering of every single one of God’s miserable creatures! Surely he’d never absentmindedly punch a sick man, or shoot someone by accident, or ride a horse over someone! I’m going to go talk to him.”

Butch:

It’s hard to be a video game protagonist. Every single dot either thinks you’re terrible and wants to shoot you on sight or they think you’re inexplicably awesome and want your help.

There is no apathy.

Sure, there’s people sitting around town! They either muse helpfully about things that are relevant to you, or muse about things that SOUND relevant to you and, thus, will waste your time as you charge around looking for the thing they were musing about.

There is no apathy.

Feminina:

True…even the people sitting around ignoring you in favor of their own discussions are talking about things you’re afraid you should know about just in case they turn out to be relevant to something.

Which is pretty much the opposite of how I feel about other peoples’ conversations in real life–those, I actively attempt to tune out.

I’ve probably missed out on a lot of plot hooks riding the T.

Butch:

Not to mention places to find treasure. You could be sitting there and someone’s all “Oh, I gotta go check my safe deposit box on the way home!” and you’d never know. You could be following him and finding cover….

Feminina:

So true! Man, I could be rich by now!

And/or Wanted Dead or Alive in Somerville.

Butch:

Somerville’s a bunch of hipsters anyway. Easy place to avoid.

Feminina:

Yeah, but the bounty hunters would always be looking for me on the train as I went through Assembly! Probably.

Butch:

Just shoot ’em. On the orange line, no one will notice.

This is getting out of hand. We started so well.

You haven’t played in a while, have you?

Feminina:

Alas no. It’s been just this and that.

Maybe tonight!

Butch:

Well, I’ll play some tonight (Abigail NEEDS me!) but I doubt that’ll get me to chapter four, where you are. And likely nada tomorrow, as it is Nugget’s birthday, and there’s that loving family getting in the way again.

You’ll stay nicely ahead of me. You’ll be fine.

Feminina:

[Sigh of relief. Heading home to read a book or something.]

Butch:

No, dammit! PLAY! Always take the time to play!

Books. Jeez.

Feminina:

Sorry, sorry! Don’t know what came over me there.

Butch:

If not for the blog, to let me live vicariously through you.

Friendship, man.

Oh, and did you ever do Javier’s robbery? It’s worth doing.

Feminina:

I don’t think so. It hasn’t come up! Javier hasn’t had anything to say to me! I might have missed it by now.

That was the one with the shotgun? It sounds like the kind of thing I’d like, all right. But no, I don’t think I have it. Although honestly, I have a hard time telling guns apart in this game. I’ve got my shotgun, little gun, and some kind of long gun, and that’s the best I can do in terms of differentiating. I might still be carrying Flacco’s revolver, for all I know.

Do I have any bullets for it? That’s basically the only thing that matters.

Butch:

I AM still carrying Flacco’s revolver.

It pays to check every once in a while. For a spell there, I was having a bitch of a time killing Kevin, and it turned out that, somewhere along the way, while looting, I accidentally switched out Flacco’s revolver for a “worn cattleman’s pistol” which wasn’t worth shit. No idea that I did it!

So yeah.

But I stick with Flacco, Lancaster repeater (cuz it has a name, you don’t have that either cuz you get it from robbing a side business) and the pump (which just makes Kevin go away).

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