my favorite road in the history of roads

blondertron  asked:

I just finished Lonesome Road and I wanna hear every damn thing you gotta say about Ulysses pls


with how i have played nv, i kinda just. grind to be Strong enough to play the dlc cos they’re my favorite part so this is probably just me but I feel like learning the history between Courier 6 and Ulysses  and then learning and growing from it is like. The most important conflict in the game. In my first playthrough i changed my mind from helping the NCR to taking the Wild Card route after playing Lonesome Road and talking to Ulysses. 

Slowly learning about him, from the small mention of him in the base game, to Joshua saying he was expecting a different courier, and the direct mentions of him in OWB and DM made me so glad i played the dlc in order cos like. What a fucking build up. You slowly learn about the man who has been keeping track of you, about a person whose your actions previously both made and destroyed his home. 

I love Ulysses’s fascination with history, which totally melds with NV’s theme of clinging to the past versus moving on. He just… can’t let go (not unless you got 100 speech) and he has a hard time seeing that in himself, but to be fair he spent much of his life moving on. Moving on from the Twisted Hairs, moving on from the White Legs and Caesar’s Legion, but he can’t move on from the Divide. He dislikes House and the NCR for trying to hold on to old world values, but the Divide was covered in Old World symbols, and he himself wears an old world flag on his back. But in those things, he saw the future. When he reported it i think he said smth along the lines of it being a country drawing it’s first breaths. But like everything else, it’s taken from him. 

What I think is interesting is that he doesn’t even really get hung up about it until he realizes you SURVIVED. when you start the game, is pretty much when he starts his revenge quest. He’ll blow up your home like you did his. But MAN he’s gonna make sure you know EXACTLY what you did before he does it. When I played through it was like “man i didn’t even DO anything” but i mean? Technically the courier did do something. They did bring that device. They might not have known about it, but they did do it. That’s what matters to Ulysses, which is something else I love about their conflict. You can’t even guess why this other mailman is so pissed at you, and it doesn’t feel like cheating cos it happened pre-game. Your Courier barely remembers it themselves, if at all. 

I’m also gonna go out and say I’ve never killed Ulysses (my speech was always maxed out by the time i hit the first dlc lol) because he’s my favorite, but also… I understand when people decide to kill him. I mean. He does threaten to blow EVERYTHING up. That’s totally fair.

I’m also really sad that Ulysses was intended to be a permanent companion but because Bethany gave Obsidian such a short schedule they were barely able to put him in DLC. I was a bit disappointed that there were p much no Legion sympathetic companions (I mean you could argue Raul… but barely lmao) and Ulysses would have been a great way to learn about the Legion, whether or not you’d choose to align with them.


Oxford in 10 Instax Photos

I went to school in Oxford from 2011-2015, and got a chance to go back for a day this past summer when I was visiting London for a few weeks. I’d recently acquired an Instax Mini 8 (after coveting one for a few years…), and brought it with me with a full cartridge of film. That meant I could take 10 photos.

Being limited to a certain number of pictures is one of the most fun things about using a film camera, to me. If I’m using my phone or digital camera, I can take pictures of anything vaguely interesting, which means I spend less time thinking about what would actually capture a place in the best way. It was especially fun to do that in Oxford, where I’ve spent many hours walking around. I ended up taking pictures along a pretty typical day’s route for me, from where I lived, to my college, to the near the physics and philosophy departments, and back again. There are so many other important places to me in Oxford too, but maybe it works better not trying to show everything.

Let me tell you about all the places I took pictures of and drew on my maps!

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Mad Max and Robocop, a Quest for a Lost Humanity.

Mad Max: Fury Road has some amazing scenes that will go down in cinematic history, much like Road Warrior and Thunder Dome. However, there’s one scene that made me cry both times I’ve watched Fury Road so far. The brave and ferocious Imperator Furiosa, after killing the tyrannical war-lord Immortan Joe, is dying from blood loss. Desperate for her to live, Max takes the IV tube still connected to him from the time he spent as a Blood Bag for the War Boy Nux, and inserts it into her in a hasty blood transfusion.

“Max.” He tells her. “My name is Max.”

After I left the theater, I was trying to place why that line of dialog had moved me so much. Then I remembered.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, 1987’s Robocop is a dark satire set in the not-so distant future of Detroit. It tells the story of Alex Murphy, a good cop who is brutally murdered, only to be resurrected (without his consent) as Robocop, a twisted cyborg and the ultimate crime fighting machine. If you have not seen Robocop, I highly recommend it, as a fantastic (if not insanely violent) film, but a huge over-arching theme in Robocop is Alex Murphy’s “resurrection.” Not just as Robocop, but as Murphy trying to remember who he used to be before his body was warped and re-imagined to fit the needs of a corrupt and powerful system.

In the final scene of the movie, Robocop saves the day, shooting the film’s main antagonist (the corrupt senior president of OCP, the company that made him) and rescuing the OCP Chairman. The Chairman looks at Robocop in approval and says “Nice shooting son. What’s your name?” To which Robocop replies, “Murphy.” The film ends right then and there and it’s my favorite ending scene in cinematic history outside of Margaret Dumont getting pelted with fruit in Duck Soup. It’s simply perfect and sums up the entire arc. Murphy has found his humanity again. Fucking perfect.

Much like Robocop, Max Rockatansky’s story arc in Fury Road is not so much about him saving the day (that’s Furiosa’s job), it’s about him discovering his humanity again. From the first scene in Fury Road, Max has been reduced to little more than a feral animal. He even admits as much in his narration that he’s been reduced to simply “survive.” The world Max inhabits reaffirms this as well, having him reduced to a “blood bag,” and then parading him around as a fancy hood ornament. By the time he meets Furiosa and the wives, he’s muzzled, grunting and barely comprehensible in the words he is able to make.

Through Furiosa’s trust of him and the compassion of the wives, Max is able to regain his humanity with his acts of heroics, selflessness and altruism; his final act of willingly giving Furiosa his blood (which was originally being taken from him without his consent) finally restores his humanity and therefore his identity. Max has done what is nearly impossible: He has managed to be kind and compassionate in a world that is not. He is no longer a thing, or a beast. “Max.” He says. “My name is Max.”

homicide/regicide (listen)

continuing on the ‘dirty hipster history’ theme, a playlist for kings who were bad at kinging (and died because of it)

1. echo hymn, maggie rogers

2. musikverguenen, deadliest catch theme

3. personal jesus, depeche mode

4. god’s gonna cut you down, johnny cash

5. wake up your saints, the national

6. power, kanye

7. everybody wants to rule the world, lorde

8. mykonos, fleet foxes

9. hope in the air, laura marling

10. abraham’s daughter, arcade fire

11. dust bowl dance, mumford and sons

12. opening, clint mansell

13. sorrow, the national

14. the shrine/an argument, fleet foxes

15. dark harbor, two steps from hell

16. broken crown, mumford and sons

17. death is the road to awe, clint mansell

18. the gravel road, james newton howard

19. idumea/amazing grace, casey rule