I’ve been dealing with a headache for most of the day, so it’s been kind of difficult trying to concentrate through the pain. I’ve also managed to get through a little bit more of Frozen Wilds, which is about as delightful as it can be. I loved Horizon Zero Dawn as much for its story as for its gameplay, and it looks like Frozen Wilds will be more of the same mixture of challenging battles with mechanical beasts as well as world-building in this post-apocalyptic landscape. One of the most affecting things in the game for me was the plethora of recorded messages from people who are long since gone from the current game world. And you’re building a story with those recorded messages, experiencing them just as Aloy is, and considering Aloy’s own personal connection with the past, it feels like those messages could also give her a bit more context to world her ancestor inhabited. And, not to spoil too much about the plot of Frozen Wilds, but it seems like building on the revelations of the main quest in the game, and what exactly happened to the Earth to cause the apocalypse. Good stuff.
I’m also anxiously awaiting the delivery of the new greatest hits album from Green Day, God’s Favorite Band, which includes many of the band’s most popular songs over their storied career, and also a couple of new recordings. I’m more excited because of the on-the-nose marketing, which relies heavily on Roman Catholic imagery. As a recovering Catholic myself, and as a product of the parochial school system, I’m quite excited for the prayer candles featuring the band. Idolatry at its finest, I say. I’m rather a cynic when it comes to religion itself, frankly. I realize that for many, religion is a crutch, a way to steady one’s morality. I’ve decided that if the only thing keeping you from doing morally reprehensible things is the threat of divine punishment in an afterlife, then that is a crappy way of living. It’s fine, I think, when one is young, to use religion as one’s moral compass. As one grows older, one should question the reasons for morality, and look deep inside one’s heart. Are they a good person because they are good, or are they a good person because they fear retribution? I’d say, just be a good person regardless of your belief.
And that was a really roundabout way to say that I really love the religious imagery of the Green Day marketing for this greatest hits album. Being in a fandom is just like being in a religion. You share beliefs with other people, and perhaps the band did even to change your life. Green Day certainly changed mine. And, again, the cynic in me can see the ridiculousness of religion and belief, and I don’t see the marketing as blasphemous at all. I’m rather surprised that there’s not a hint of a backlash for this marketing campaign. But I do wonder whether the time of the power of the religious right has long since passed. Back when Monty Python’s Life of Brian came out in the late ’70s, there was a huge backlash against the comedy from religious leaders who did not see the comedy for what it is, a satire on those who would use religion to take advantage of other people. I sort of expected Fox News to clutch pearls based on the title of the album alone, but there’s basically nothing. Perhaps Green Day isn’t relevant anymore? Or perhaps the religious right doesn’t have much power anymore? Or perhaps the right is trying to focus on more important things, like getting a pedophile elected to Congress.
But I suppose when your President is a sexual predator himself, it’s hard to find one’s moral compass. I guess some people do need to find Jesus.