Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Esteemed Critic on 4th of July, Saints Row 4, Cultural Degeneracy

Don't pretend this isn't you, you degenerates.

This weekend being that particularly holiday in which Americans are given free will to disrupt the sleep of their neighbors with military grade explosives, shot out of their children's grubby paws to the heeing and hawing of all, suffice it to say that I have not obtained a respectable amount of rest recently; hence the general mood of my column. Let it be known that I am full of fun; I enjoy listening to Tchaikovsky with a glass of sherry, and sometimes, I even let myself indulge in a cigar. So I am not a sour puss, nor am I a stick in the mud, nor any other clumsy neologisms degenerates result to when their feeble vocabulary fails them, as it is wont to do. The Fourth of July, however, disturbs me--seeing the masses celebrate the terrible history of the slave-ruling patriarchy with over-imbibing, gluttony, and wonton destruction simply reinforces negative conclusions I reached long ago regarding the progression of society. Yes, yes, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin were geniuses; however, they were all rich men who didn't want to pay taxes, like all rich men, and like their brethren today, they manipulated the proletariat to do their bidding. None of these great heroes bled on the battle field--nay, they holed up in their mansions and let the rabble be hacked to death by the largest army in the world at the time. Yet today we idolize them, we toast them, we drink and ejaculate explosives into the sky in their remembrance. On another note, the Declaration of Independence is a remarkable document, to be sure, yet you can be certain that most Americans do not know what it is. Hypnotized and placated by MTV and the internet, they have little knowledge of their history. Ask them what they are celebrating, and they undoubtedly will answer "'Merica," because they are fools who cannot even properly pronounce the name of their country. So in a way, I suppose, those clever white men who so deftly controlled the populace see their legacy tarnished by degeneracy and cultural malaise. Can you give a monkey freedom, I ask? When said ape turns and throws its feces at you, should you be surprised?

I was visiting the home of my brother when my nephew Louis accosted me, demanding that I debase myself by playing a particular video game with him. Not wanting to burn bridges with my family, who have just recently reestablished contact with me, I indulged his request. The title was called Saints Row 4, and I initially thought it to be the most degenerate piece of electronic entertainment I had yet to encounter. You play as a street thug who, through completely incredible plot machinations, becomes the President of the United States. Like any male indoctrinated by the patriarchy, you surround yourself with hard-muscled representations of masculine authority, as well as large breasted females. Because this game was apparently written by a twelve-year-old, aliens invade earth, kidnap you and your gang, and place you all in a simulation where order and complacency are the norm. Here the game begins its deft social commentary. It is your job to disrupt the social order through acts of sabotage and violence, and doing so increases your own power and independence from society. Throughout all of this, the game does a fine job of sexualizing males as well as females, satirizing popular culture, and generally being a blast to play. Your vast powers eventually give you the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and glide through the air as though you were a bird, and never has the simple act of moving through an environment been so enjoyable before. Yes, yes, I admit that I enjoyed a video game. Armageddon must be nigh. You see, Saints Row 4 realizes that it is cultural detritus, and it does its best to conform to your expectations while laughing at you all the same. "Yes," it seems to be saying, "I realize that you are a degenerate. Here are all of your degenerate fantasies come true. Do what you will with them." Any piece of art with a healthy contempt for its audience is a work I can endorse. 

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