Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dystopia Gallery: Louisiana, Brown U., New Hampshire, and BioShock

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I. I have but dim memories from Brown of Bobby Jindal, whose consideration for McCain’s v.p. slot led to Jindal being an answer at the Jen Dziura/Michael Malice-hosted trivia contest last week. Not everyone in the crowd yet knew his name, which may not be good news for him but helped me score a point (and thanks this Father’s Day to Dad — and Mom — for sending me to Brown in the first place). (UPDATE 6/16/08: He’s got Newt Gingrich’s approval.)

II. My memories of writing this letter to Brown Alumni Monthly’s May/June 2008 issue, criticizing Lincoln Chafee, are pretty vivid. Fuzzier are my memories of fellow Class of ’91 members who gave some of the answers on this survey of my class’s pop and political preferences (apparently, lots of people like Dave Matthews, which is already enough to make me feel wearily like I’m at a never-ending frat party).

III. In other Brown alum news, don’t be alarmed by my absence Friday through Sunday at the end of next week, as I visit with fellow graduates and their spouses (and one child) in New Hampshire, the state that libertarians were supposed to try to take over but which has so far greeted the tiny trickle of newcomers as “that little group of hippie people who’ve been arriving.” (The number of libertarians there will at least be three higher that weekend, among them Christine Caldwell Ames, to whom I am grateful for suggesting that I nab free tickets to the Feelies reunion/Sonic Youth concert happening here in NYC on July 4 down near the dock for Statue of Liberty tour boats — ain’t that America?)

IV. But is there a popular videogame parodying the libertarian inclination to escape to some Ayn Rand-style utopia, you ask? Why yes, that’s what the popular game BioShock is about, depicting a circa-1960 fictional underwater colony created by insane Objectivists whose dream goes awry and is taken over by mutant monsters. Embarrassingly, this popular game may get made into a movie before the long-delayed Atlas Shrugged movie gets completed, resulting in the movie-going public seeing Atlas though the lens of a videogame parody forevermore.

(In the meantime, it’s amusing that the anticipated star of Atlas Shrugged, Angelina Jolie, currently appearing in the comic book-based movie Wanted, has another movie opening in October — The Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski — that will open on the same day as He’s Just Not That into You, an appropriately-titled comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, from whom Jolie famously stole Brad Pitt. I don’t really care about their private lives as long as we eventually get to see Jolie stolen from Hank Rearden by John Galt — I mean freely traded, not stolen.)

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