What Thor was Doing During Captain America: Civil War
In this modern age of interconnected franchises on the Big
and Small Screens, the question of “Why Didn’t X do anything during Y?” comes
up now and again. Of course the lame realist answer is: these are works of
fiction and Character X showing up would ruin the story being told. That dosen’t
mean producers can’t have a bit of fun as with the case of Thor, the only
Avenger next to Hulk who didn’t get involved with Steve Rogers an Tony Stark’s Civil War business.
What was he up to? Thor:
Ragnarok director Taika Waititi delivered a mockumentary answer originally screened at SDCC this year. Thor was
lying low in Australia trying to figure out what the Infinity Stones and who is
that weird Purple Man who is always sitting in a chair mean. Fans of Waititi’s
previous works like What We Do in the
Shadows and it’s follow up Hunt for
the Wilderpeople will recognize his sensibilities immediately. I seriously
hope this is how Thor: Ragnarok opens.
Left to right, that’s Bob Dylan, Benny Goodman and John Hammond, discussing … what? Who knows. The good old days? What I do know is that you can listen in to the program that brought these guys (and many more) together back in September of 1975. (You can watch a fair amount of it, too). I’ve enjoyed the Dylan portion of this show for many years now – it’s the debut of his Rolling Thunder-era sound, with Scarlet Riviera providing violin. For more details, check out this Rolling Stone writeup from ‘75. Wild times.
CHICAGO — Bob Dylan played for about 100 empty chairs and 100 fans at the NET Television studios September 10th. The occasion was aSoundstage special to be aired in mid-December, in honor of retiring Columbia Records executive John Hammond, who, during a remarkable 45-year career, recorded Bessie Smith and Benny Goodman, discovered Billie Holiday and Charlie Christian and signed Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. The talk around town was that Dylan might not show, but he was in a private room in the studio complex by midafternoon, quietly rehearsing a pickup band while jazz veterans Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, Jo Jones and Red Norvo practiced and reminisced in another part of the building.
Many first-day players including - my learned friends on the public forums of Reddit - find themselves disappointed by the scope of No Man’s Sky, the high-res Minecraft remake by Nintendo. They were expecting a flurry of science fiction laser skirmishes, dogfighting in spaceships, and more murder of innocent extraterrestrial races which are unique to their copy of the game. Those people are rubes. They are playing No Man’s Sky all wrong. It’s not an action game. It’s not a first-person shooter. The reason they don’t feel like they’re getting much from Sega’s Elite reboot is because they are not fully engaging with its core mechanic of spinning chairs around.
For years, fans of raised-surface furniture have been crying out for the humble seat to be represented accurately in the realm of video games. Whilst attention was paid to replicating the experience of driving cars, the look of real-life environments and the record collections of fourteen-year-old boys, chair fans had to make do with a level of verisimilitude tantamount to professional wrestling. In fact, most of the exposure chairs have received in gaming so far has been in the form of various licensed WWE titles, perpetuating Vince McMahon’s dangerous falsitude that chairs are for wanging across the gnarled back muscles of strong men, rather than for sitting comfortably on.
Whilst it appears the likelihood of a fully-fledged Seat Simulator remains a ways off, No Man’s Sky is a refreshing step in the right direction. Traditional gamers may be more attuned to a narrative-driven, action-packed title, but the brilliance of this new Atari game is that you are given an infinitely wide canvas on which to paint. Sure, the mechanics don’t evolve much. But your approach to your ever-changing environment should. Depending on what procedurally-generated world you land upon, you could be interacting with a simple spinning office chair with arms, or one missing a back and on its side.
Perhaps overlooked by your average gamester is that there are other emotions which can be conjured with a control pad in hand. Not simply the raising of the pulse, the simulated testosterone of killing polygonal enemies, but the simple pleasures of discovery. Of exploration. Of spinning a chair around in circles, like an office worker allowed the run of the floor, rotating the seats of his colleagues with little concern about how his entirely average urges might be interpreted by those less enlightened.
Perhaps you are disappointed by No Man’s Sky. Perhaps you found it lacking in depth. I beseech you: try out the chairs.