Posts
by nick splendorr
October 18, 2021

Where does Quake live inside me?

Where do memories live? How long can they lie dormant? What selects what sticks and what doesn’t? Where does Quake live inside me?

Scrounging around for feelings last week, making room on my Windows machine’s hard drive, I saw that I had access to the new Quake remasters. I don’t play FPS games on keyboard & mouse anymore due to RSI that showed up ten years ago, but Quake and the original Team Fortress were such formative experiences for me that I wanted to revisit them.

Dropping into the game was bizarre, truly surreal; like stepping not just into a past home but a former body, the movement disorienting and then immediately familiar. The level I always remember as first wasn’t; the very first level I hardly remembered at all. But there it was, as the second level: the room with boxes behind, and a little bridged canal before a door ahead. I knew these places, intuitively; many details elided, but so many details present. I knew where secrets lay — but not all of them. I played through the entire first campaign very quickly, and maybe the strangest moment was entering a little dead-end room with 3 alcoves. I knew something was there, poked into 2 of them without firing, and then in the third felt a tickle of memory, shot the gun… and a secret door opened ahead.

What are we? Seriously. What the fuck is the human mind? How do we exist, that fully 20 years can pass, and a simulated space in a video game can still be retained, somewhere inside, as a tactile experience detailed enough to remember that this corner of a complex geometrical space contains a secret? While other secrets, and even basic layout, are forgotten? Returned to strange?

We are drowning in imagery, stuffed with narrative, and still there’s never enough.

October 07, 2021

"And the things you hope someday will come keep waiting"

jimmy eat world — delivery

I can only be so much "potentially."
From the rest, I patiently request delivery.

jimmy eat world — 555

I keep my focus on the simple things,
Trying to find some peace along the way.
Wish I knew how long I'm supposed to wait —
Holding on, but just barely.

I'm doing the things that I'm told every day!
Then why does it feel like I'm moving in place?

October 06, 2021

"You'll take awkward possession of nothing you really wanted"

jimmy eat world — congratulations

that fucken ending

September 28, 2021

warp

fixing bugs in the playdate game, warping back to problems I created and solved a year ago.

putting on music from last summer, hoping they'll fit the keyholes of memory and help me remember how this all works.

what an incredible amount has been lost and otherwise changed from when I sat in the dark listening to this music, slowly unraveling how to make this game.

"While you make up hypotheses out of thin air
I am another solid mystery when it comes to you
Michael, I’m the puzzle in the other room"

"The naked landscapes of our minds
We’ll crack open our minds

I am one to keep everything on"

problems unresolved, on all fronts. doing my best. here we go, ungainly.

someday soon, someone will play the same.

September 26, 2021

The Law

I feel like I need to think a little more about the specifics here, but when Orson Welles said:

H.J.: In the old days, all those big deals were made on a handshake. With no contract. And they were all honored.

O.W.: In common with all Protestant or Jewish cultures, America was developed on the idea that your word is your bond. Otherwise, the frontier could never have been opened, ’cause it was lawless. A man’s word had to mean something. My theory is that everything went to hell with Prohibition, because it was a law nobody could obey. So the whole concept of the rule of law was corrupted at that moment. Then came Vietnam, and marijuana, which clearly shouldn’t be illegal, but is. If you go to jail for ten years in Texas when you light up a joint, who are you? You’re a lawbreaker. It’s just like Prohibition was. When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society. You see?

It kind of goes a long way to explaining the persistent state of disagreement, distrust, and madness in our country, doesn’t it? Maybe it wasn’t really better before Prohibition, probably on “the frontier” things were dirtier and distrustful in different ways, but there is something awful about walking around with the knowledge your whole life that things which should be legal aren’t, and things which are perfectly natural are illegal or discouraged with extrajudicial violence. And that you can live perfectly decently, and never get ahead, while people who are clearly immoral and on the take just grow in power. It’s enough to drive ya batty!!!

September 21, 2021

never “turning imaginary cartwheels”

as far as I’ve come in the last few years, I can still feel the yearning out of how little of my life I’ve been able to really live, for lack of money, of purpose, of anything approaching personal satisfaction. and how many beautiful things I’ve dismantled or drifted away from because at root I could never be satisfied with — never even be myself. Trained and broken on the shores of hope, never dry, always shivering and looking for shelter from both moon and sun. Always wishing. Then I stopped wishing. And I had the desperation to hope again, but to include effort, excruciating effort because I had every reason to expect I’d fail again. That getting in the robot could just as easily end the world.

How many of us live this way?

I’ve started a new job, one that I hope will be my job, one I can grow into and bloom within. I’m a ragged houseplant re-potted once again. It’s strange to feel like there might be room here. But I’m nowhere near healed from everything I’ve endured as well as I could. And I’m not sure when or whether I’ll really be able to feel like I’m living, rather than… whatever this has been.

September 21, 2021

"there's much more to life than dyin' over your past mistakes"

lil nas x — sun goes down

I really like the album!!!

September 20, 2021

"Living While Black, In Japan"

Watch this.

I don't know how, but we have to dismantle the American police state.

August 20, 2021

"In between the molecules is cold"

Brave Saint Saturn — "Titan"

I've always loved the stomping piano on this song

August 11, 2021

"Being a person"

woman with curly hair with a subtitle, being a person is a fucking nightmare

still true nower than ever