Yes, I’ve been so utterly flat out the past month that I haven’t got around to updating.
I decided to reward myself for all the hard work lately by purchasing Civilization V. It is both a wonderful, brilliant game and a crushing disappointment.
This game is beautiful. I have the Civilization Chronicles box, and each instalment is a leap forward from the last in elegance. Everything about this game is smooth. You put the disk in the drive (fiddle around with Steam for far too long) and everything is at your fingertips. Sometimes, it’s a bit obscure (the AI often asks you for things and you’re all like: ‘What the hell are you talking about, Napoleon? Don’t make me invade your country’) and the NPCs are awfully stupid (I was the most powerful nation in the area, and the AI kept making ridiculous trade demands). But, on the whole, whatever you want, you get.
And city-states! Freak me sideways, as soon as you work out what they’re for and how you can use them to reap in massive culture points, life becomes so much easier. They’re also like having a private army: you declare war, and they come along for the ride. Magic.
I’m yet to work out how to rename my character. In, like, every version of the game since Civ III, I’ve played under my own name and named all of the cities after me. Is this narcissistic? Yes. Then again, I have this really self indulgent blog, so you ought not have been too shocked. I can’t work out how to make this happen in Civ V. A lot of this has to do with the narration, which addresses you by name. Limiting it to 20-odd options is necessary but unfortunate. But, really, what’s the point of playing Civilization if you can’t name every city after yourself?
And it’s not terribly different — really — from Civ IV. Indeed, the two games seem sort of compatible. When I want to play a game where I can take over cities by choking them of culture (muahahaha, evil laugh), I play Civ IV (oh, and to hear Leonard Nemoy narrating the game). When I want to play a military conquest game, I play Civ V (and when I want to play famous battles but with the benefit of hindsight, I play Civ III. It’s still an awesome game).
Oh, speaking of Civ III, the advisers are back in Civ V, but they’re not super cool animated versions. Alas.
Okay, enough nerdshit. Time for a rant.
This article in The Drum: Unleashed annoyed me. For those of you who can’t waddle through the tortured prose, it’s basically a white, middle class guy saying that, in a democracy, white middle class guys (like Andrew Bolt) should be allowed to be aggressively racist because, if they’re not allowed to, then it’s not really a democracy. Without saying it, the article sets up the usual redneck bogan whine about political correctness. One person jumps in to comment that the article is just Bolt-bashing and that the ‘politically-correct left can’t handle the truth’.
The furrowed brow wailing about political correctness doesn’t really live on either side of the left-right ‘spectrum’. For example, I’m conservative (popularly understood to be ‘right wing’) and yet I think that political correctness is a vital part of our democratic community (I’m against the commercialised ‘right’ to free speech, btw, and think that some people need to have their soapbox confiscated, so it’s all consistent). Meanwhile, I know progressives (popularly understood to be ‘left wing’) who believe that freedom of speech is an egalitarian right and the government shouldn’t suppress people from saying what they like, even if they want to say odious, stupid things. Further, I know libertarians (popularly understood to be ‘right wing’) who believe that freedom of speech is as important to us as guns and laissez-faire stock markets and so the government shouldn’t suppress the speech of racist nutjobs (also because all libertarians are de facto racist nutjobs).
But those who actively attack political correctness (rather than, say, defend freedom of speech) come from both the working-class, union groupthink of the ALP fan base and from the we-wish-we-were-slightly-wealthier, we-suspect-that-foreigners-cause-more-crime-and-wear-burqas-to-get-away-with-their-dastardry mouth breathers of the Coalition fan base.
The people who defend the right to speech and who decry political correctness are not the meek and the helpless. They are invariably from the privileged in society who never feel marginalised (no matter how much they pretend to be victims) by the acts or words of others. People claim that words don’t hurt, yet we live in a society which routinely uses liberties to make minorities feel illegitimate (such as white indigenous Australians, such as Western Muslims, &c.).
That’s why we need to stop the Bolts. In a democratic society — at least, in a democratic society built on values, principles, and ethics — we should stop people using social violence against those who can’t fight back.