afrobeaves

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from a detox clinic with wifi

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    • An unfair and contradictory judgment. Nevertheless. .

      8 months ago

      afrobeaves

      Frankly, I'm pessimistic towards the idea that anything anyone feels in regards to entertainment is based on anything absolute. That is, the feeling you react with upon viewing something versus what another feels is, to me,  a reflection of taste and what you connect it with in terms of the meaning and relevance you find, even if you may not ever understand quite why.
      Sometimes we seek out the reactions of others, like friends or critics, who can help give us more consideration and a more succinct expression. You may perceive patterns from things you've seen before to help reflect on or explain why what you saw happened to personally resonate effectively or ineffectively and why that matters to you.
      We might be happy in feeling a sense of consistency from the creators we like, or we may eventually get bored by that same consistency, as if a new risk is needed to feel some sort of progression. We may later hold that same progression against them, as if it signifies a betrayal and a departure from the old and from what worked. Some detail or turn of phrase might grab us, another might repel us. Our threshold for what is at one moment acceptable and at another moment considered too much may become capricious and unfair.
      All of these back-and-forth thoughts reflect my doubt in my ability to say with certainty that what I feel is right or even presently coherent.

      We who thought of ourselves as loyal fans of something place value on what was, that is on our nostalgia, on what we felt, on what and who made us feel that way. Perhaps we feel disappointment, or owed something, or frustration that we can't reproduce what used to be. Any desperate measure to preserve the value in what meant something that now seems lost.
      What I will now say is unfair and contradictory. I feel there is something lost here, on this website, with these creators. It's an absence that is nearly inexpressible. I cannot reduce it to just being nostalgic nor can I ever seem to properly call it by its name. Neither of those is totally satisfactory. Nevertheless, they are both felt and I feel compelled to try to state why it matters to me.

      To put it a certain way, it's the feeling of losing what was.
      It's the constant that everything here refers back to and feels hollow in comparison within these last few years, or hell, even more than just a few years now. I still return to the old shows, the old podcast episodes, the old comics, from around the 12 or 13 years ago when I first came here. I return to the simplicity of what was - a half dozen guys who quit their jobs to try their hand at a sloppy indie project making a show that was released on an inconsistent basis featuring video game characters in a senseless plot that didn't overreach or have any definite purpose or ideal. That may seem so bland on paper but that's still so profound and so rare to me. It was the after hours of everyday, working life, where you just wanted to make jokes with your friends, bust balls, drink, and just live in that atmosphere. The story was uneven and sloppy, the characters were all two-dimensional failures, and everything was a setup to another punchline. You got the sense that the characters were all falling down the stairs yet they always seemed to land on their feet, albeit a bit fucked up.

      Later on, everything became action fodder. Comedy didn't matter as much as 3D mocap scenes. That's no new criticism. But the greater point is that when the backstory was more and more unfolded, everything was then suddenly supposed to matter. It's now not a group of idiots doing senseless shit, it's a group of underdogs in a universe of consequences you're supposed to care about. The tonal shift in the narrative demands a serious relation to what the secondary characters feel in the situations that the main cast winds up in. The punchlines then begin to feel like obligatory reflections of what was, and they fall flat. Even when they do occasionally work, the tonal juxtaposition makes it forced, awkward.

      RvB wasn't MASH. It wasn't about turning Halo characters into allegorical figures of "tackling the subject of PTSD in war", or anything like that. It didn't reach too far and it had self-awareness. I have no definitive reason for why it became this way. I believe there was a push for a greater audience starting around 2009, though. Action scenes, new hires whose median age was late teens, early 20's. That's when I saw a definite naivety in the content put out. It was all dumbed down, yet held an air of seriousness. A very vacant, idiotic seriousness. Achievement Hunter is probably the closest semblance we have to what RT was, but even then, it is merely semblance.

      Burnie stated multiple times in the past he wanted RT to be like the Stern show. It relies almost solely on the dynamics of different employee personalities from interns up, a production schedule outputting hours of daily content, and a large production budget to attempt any project with. Yet despite more people and more money, I don't sense more freedom. I see corporate glad handing and disingenuous crossovers under Fullscreen, more technology to use in their series seemingly at the dispense of good writing, and more bullshit. A suspicious political PSA is the latest I have seen in that regard.

      I am speaking more to those of you who were there at that time. It was a community I was a stupid kid in, among older people and other stupid kids, with photoshopped Halo avatars, talking about being excited for new games and new episodes. Playing the 360 with people I met here, trying to think of a way to get a staff member's reward or to get my mod level up or new things to do in Halo 3 to screenshot and share here and waste my time. Arguing over some inconsequential detail or topic, even as late as a few years ago. Now all of this here, this site, this company, is quite frankly bullshit. Sure, it offers something I can either take or leave but that was never the point. It was natural then, more humble. I don't want to detract from what anyone feels towards this place, you're right in that. This isn't a place for old fans though, so now I guess it's time to move along.

    • 3 years ago

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