The following column was part of a three part expose of the world of otakukin. It was a gonzo journalism project that was equal parts Hunter S. Thompson and Alex Lucard. It was me being a dick. I do not stand by or endorse anything I say in these columns. It was a bad idea that ended up being oddly compelling, but I would never do it again.
The Book of Revelations, Chapter Chuck
Well, sorry about last week. I sprained my right ring finger and I had a choice: type in absolute agony or take the week off. I got a third of the way through my column before the pain was too big for me to bother with. It was fucking brutal. Now let’s talk about something you care about, or at least I do, beer. A friend from work, John, who’s opinion on all things beer I respect, broke down and bought the Abbey beer I’d been telling him about and all he could do was rave about it. This is very similar to my experiences with Abbey. Smooth, with a mahogoney tone and a fruity undertone, Abbey at just below room temperature is like drinking heaven. Smoky, but not as burnt as the ports and stouts I usually imbibe, Abbey is a truly amazing beverage. Also excellent, as are all the Boulevard beers, is < Boulevard Dry Stout, a very different type of beer than anything I’ve ever had. Unlike, say Guinness, Blvd. Dry Stout is thin, although not what I would call smooth, and has no head. And the taste, well the taste is like nothing else, almost coffee- like in complexity. Damn, why can’t I drink at 3 in the afternoon? Another apology is due, so sorry about the week before last and my attempt at a new format. It didn’t feel good, so I probably will have have to drop it on the funeral pyre of failed experiments. BUT, I do have good news. This Friday, I return to the News for one day, so Alex Williams can do some personal stuff and I can scratch my writing jones.
Well, I’m guessing that the tagline and title probably tipped my hand, but I thought I would clarify something. I have a rather big thing to announce, but, before I do, I want to set some ground rules. Some people will disagree with all of the things I’m about to say, some will disagree with part of it. No one will agree with all of it. No matter what your response is, drop me an e-mail, let me know what your thoughts are. Of course, we do have a few ground rules. I won’t be responding to individual e-mails, everything will be answered in next week’s column. Try to have something intelligent to say. Oh, and please make use of the shift and tab keys. Thank you. So, what is it? Well, let me get started.
He Knew He Wasn’t Like The Other Children…He Was Special, Different
My whole life, I have felt like there was something strange and different about my life. Not just me, but the people who surrounded me, the places, the objects, the situations. Everything in my life has felt like there was some sort of a missing part, some part of the world I had let go unseen. Catholicism never answered that gnawing question in my heart. No faith did. I’ve been buried in the works of the great philosophers for the last ten years, but they never answered the question that haunted me. The solution to life’s big question never came from the bottom of my whiskey glass or the top of any building I’ve stood atop, not in the words of the Beats, the sounds of the punks, or the mysteries of the occult. Not for a lack of trying, I thought I had tried every avenue of serious and not so serious inquiry into the nature of the universe, trying to figure out what that thing moving behind the world was. For a time I delved into the shadows of Illuminati and conspiracy theory, losing myself in the fantasies they provide. I tried to find it in astronomy, staring into the stars until there was nothing left for them to tell me. No matter how deep I went, I always came up empty handed and exhausted, I was certain that there was nothing lurking behind the world we know, that maybe there was only what I saw and not what I felt. Then I found it without looking, as if my faith was a set of keys sitting on my nightstand.
I have played video games as long as I can remember, and probably longer, according to my mother, and they have provided so much to my life that I never gave them a second thought, then I had the dream and realized what they meant to me. This seemed like a strange direction to travel in, but I had to look. I had to find other people who believed in the power of games in our lives, I knew I couldn’t be alone. Weeks went by, long weeks. I tried to talk about it, but I only got more depressed about the whole thing. Then, in an aside, someone mentioned Otakukin…