Culture

Satire and Generation Exit

Satire is a fine and sophisticated craft of wit, perception and bravado. It’s about understanding the world around you and the skill of zooming in and reflecting on elements that resonate with your audience. It is, to put it less wordy and more metaphorically, more like a marksman carefully picking his targets rather than blasting a blunderbuss into a crowd of men. Satire is not the same as parody even…


Violent Videogames

Is there too much violence in videogames? Not so long ago I would firmly answer “No” to that question. Because I don’t have a problem with violence in fictional media and I don’t believe it encourages people to be violent in real life. But there’s an interesting case to be made for this that I hadn’t thought of before. This basically starts with defining the meaning of “too much violence”…


Portugal and Learning How to Steer Hard Left

While the whole of Europe is tumbling over each other in political discourse, fear of the right wing and disastrous divide on the left, Portugal is quietly fixing its problems in a left-wing minority government. The Labour parties of Europe are slowly getting wind of the succes, but their attempts of copying it will fail unless they are willing to stop negotiating with the right and turn their attention to…


I Want To Know

“I used to be very scared of death, I’m sure you are too.” It was with this sweeping generalisation that the young lady at the train station tried to convert me to her religion. I live in the Bible belt of my country, and occasionally people in the street, at the station or at the entrance of public buildings will try to tell you that Jesus is my Lord and…


Elections in the Netherlands: A Quick Guide

Next month the Dutch vote a new parliament into office. In the fragmented politics of the Netherlands this marks the start of a period of heated coalition talks to form a government. Typically it takes an average of three parties to form a majority. With the election of Donald Trump and Brexit fresh in mind, the Dutch fear a similar paradigm shift with far right populist Geert Wilders soaring in…


Babushka

Babushka. It’s probably one of the better known Russian words outside Russia. And let’s set this straight first: it’s NOT the wooden doll that fitst three smaller versions of itself inside. That’s a matryoshka, a babushka is a grandmother. Grandmothers have a prominent role in Russian (and generally Slavic) culture and society. In eastern Europe it’s a lot less common for older people to move to retirement homes or receive…


Are You Offended Too?

“These days you can’t say anything without offending someone!” Does that phrase sound familiar to you? I think it does. A lot of folks these days are complaining that they can’t say what they want or tell jokes the way they want, without causing anger or outrage from other people. A lot of these people feel that their freedom of speech is under attack. It feels as if, to a…


Rogue One: We May Fear Darth Vader Once More

Rogue One is a great movie. A magnificent ensemble of actors bring this gritty, grounded universe far, far away. It has fantastic acting, stunning visual design and a story so heartfelt and heart wrenchingly beautiful, I dare you not to cry at the end. But what surprised me a lot, was the feeling when I left the cinema: I truly feared Darth Vader again. From the moment I became familiair…


Ten Reasons Why You Have to Play Watch Dogs 2

Ubisoft and their open world games don’t have the best reputation out there. Mocked in the game community for cookie-cutter mission types and derivative game structures, based on unlocking segments of the game world and one by one ticking off collectables and side quests. Ubisoft became synonymous with assembly line game production that valued quantity over quality. After redeeming themselves a lot with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the sequel to lukewarm…


Butts and Boobs and Sturdy Boners

Last week my wife and I had a discussion about sex in television series. I usually quite enjoy sex scenes. My wife often finds them superfluous and tacky. Actually, I don’t disagree with her entirely. Sex and nudity in series, films and videogames isn’t hard to find, but rarely done properly or aesthetically pleasing. It often keels over into exploitative territory and becomes nothing more but a shallow shtick to…