Lileks is on a roll today. First, on the subject of obnoxious bumper stickers:
I have no bumperstickers, for the same reason I do not paste editorials with which I agree on the seat of my pants. Iâ€™m always fascinated by people who load up the bumper with so many stickers the tailpipe scrapes on the pavement, and â€“ correct me if Iâ€™m wrong â€“ the more stickers you see, the more to the left the sentiment. The other day I saw a car whose owner had, shall we say, Issues. Sticker #1: â€œIf ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.â€ This seems rather presumptuous, no? Taken by itself, itâ€™s innocuous, but then you note its brethren: â€œBorn OK the First Time.â€ So the owner doesnâ€™t like Born-Agains, obviously â€“ but the sentiment is still rather naÃ¯ve. No oneâ€™s born OK the first time, inasmuch as we come howling out of the womb as selfish ethically blank bundles of appetite whose nascent sociopathic character has to be shaped to deal with the human community. Then thereâ€™s the third sticker: â€œItâ€™s your hell. YOU burn in it.â€
Gee. And youâ€™d put this on your car . . . why? Because you think that someone behind you might note the absence of a chrome fish emblem and assume youâ€™re some godless swine destined to tumble down to hideous ruin and perdition, of course. How angry do you have to be to flip off people in a way that not only presumes the worst about their opinions, but assigns them to the very fate you think they want for you? GO TO HELL YOU IGNORANT BORN AGAINER!
The car was in the parking lot where Gnat goes to school. I havenâ€™t matched it with a parent yet, but if I do Iâ€™m tempted to say â€œGod bless!â€ Just to piss her off. Iâ€™m no Churchy LaFemme, as Homer (and Walt) might say, and I have no problem with the unchurched who pursue the Divine outside the buttressed confines. But nothing makes me choose a side like people who believe that the entirety of the theistic perspective can be adequately refuted by self-congratulatory slogans on adhesive-backed plastic.
Heh. And now, depictions of Hell from the minds of id Software:
But, it’s late, and i’m making no sense; best ot talk about something I know intimately. Thoughts on the Hell level in Doom:
Hell is hard. Hell sucks.
Where do the bad guys go after I kill them? Extra Hell? Or maybe some slightly cushier version of Hell for vets?
On one hand, Iâ€™m glad there are health packs in Hell. On the other hand, maybe not. Thereâ€™s something to be said for getting it over with.
The Hell level could possibly be the best recruitment device for religion Iâ€™ve ever seen. If you subscribe to a literal land oâ€™brimstone â€“ which I donâ€™t, for the usual self-serving reasons, I suppose; I donâ€™t think Ghandi is bobbing in a lake of sulfur. If pressed on the issue, Iâ€™d define hell as a different sort of torment: the absolute certain knowledge of Godâ€™s existence and grace, followed by utter banishment from its manifestations. Eternity with your nose pressed up against the glass. But if there is a Hell, it looks like this. I do not know how the designers slept at night when they were writing this level.
It makes me nostalgic for the happy, carefree days back on the Mars station, when all I had to worry about was imps leaping from the walls and desecrated corpses swinging from the rafters. Speaking of which: ammo is in short supply in hell, as you might well expect. Which means the carefree days of firing a round at a skeleton to see if jumps are over, friend. Over and done.
Those legless winged baby-things bite something fierce. Oh great: they have horseflies in hell, with tortured infant faces. Of course. Figures.
I love my new mission objective: “Find the Soul Cube and Escape From Hell.”
Well, Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™m not the first person in hell to put that at the top of my to-do list.
And now to the couch.
It must be said: the man has a way with words.