Welcome to Waypoint Weeklies! Each week we post an open ended prompt that gives us room to discuss things that fall outside the current games discourse.
In honor of the recent rollout of Wapoint Plus, and the influx of new and returning users that it brought, we’re doing Community Waypoints! Use this space to shout out whatever media/culture you’re loving at the moment. Movies, podcasts, music, games, feel free to recommend anything you’d like!
My SO and I are watching Peaky Blinders at the moment. Just started season 2. The acting, costumes and set design are fantastic. The music choices and cinematographic direction both show an awareness and willingness to lean in to the drama of it all. And Cillian Murphy’s cheekbones to top it all off. Would recommend.
New tag! Fancy.
Band-Maid dropped a new album called Unseen World. This is its opening number. Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
I suspect the crossover of Waypoint readers/listeners and people who know ChipCheezum and Ironicus is quite high, but on the off chance you don’t know them and, also, you are a fan of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Dogs Must Die is a pretty fun podcast - they’re a few episodes into Stardust Crusaders and it’s been great.
On the same YouTube channel, they are LPing Final Fantasy VII Remake and that’s been fantastic, too. Very thorough (they go back and show other dialogue options, routes, etc.), informative, and funny. They plan to cover the DLC eventually, too, which is nice since I can neither afford a PS5 nor am I inclined to fight a scalper for one.
I just watched Uncut Gems for the third time. First time was by myself, second was with my mum and this time was with my flatmate. It’s an extraordinary movie and one that is somehow even better when watched with someone else where you can live vicariously through their stressful rollercoaster ride. My flatmate had to pause it three times for a breather and my mum kept repeatedly asking “just please tell me that everyone is going to be fine. if nothing else, just say it’s fine.”
gotta put in a shoutout to you must remember this on their ongoing season on Hedda hopper and Louella parsons. easily my favorite pod about 20th century Hollywood. alongside 2018 dragon gate
I have a couple things I’d like to shout out! First, I’ve been listening to Natalia Lafourcade’s 2018 Album “Musas Vol. II”. It’s a great Mexican Folk record with great performances and pristine production that transports you to the studio and makes you feel like you’re there listening live. It’s beautiful front to back, and the whole vibe is warm and carefree in a way that has been a salve for all the stress I’ve been under lately. Here’s a standout track, Danza de Gardenias:
The other thing I’ve been digging these past couple of weeks is a book about birds called “A Most Remarkable Creature” by Johnathan Meiburg. It’s a deep dive into a lesser studied family of falcons from South America called Caracara. Unlike their more widely distributed cousins, Caracaras aren’t particularly fast or deadly, but what they lack in specialization is made up with a curiosity and resourcefulness that’s really astonishing. They’re highly intelligent, social and often mischevious. The author’s love for these birds in infectious! Structurally, the book uses narratives of people whose lives have crossed paths with these strange creatures, which helps the information go down easy. All this comes together to make a book that could have been clinical into a breezy, accessible page-turner. My only criticism so far is that the narratives have come exclusively from settlers, when indigenous people have been living with these birds for millennia. I haven’t finished the book yet, so maybe that part comes later, but it’s still worth pointing out. Anyways, it’s a good book, and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves to nerd out about animals!
Right now I’m watching the new Bo Burnham special on Netflix , Inside. I’ve always loved Bo since his early days on YouTube and his last special, Make Happy, was one of my favorite things I saw that year. So far Inside is one of most interesting things I’ve seen made during/about the pandemic. Bo’s comedy has always had a certain level of meta commentary, but with this special it seems like almost every song/segment is deeply infused with introspective references. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if that isn’t your favorite thing I can understand how it might get grating after a while.
i recently remembered that the early-2010s DC cartoon Young Justice got a sudden third season, called Outsiders on DC’s short-lived streaming service DC Universe a couple of years ago, and since i liked the first two seasons i decided to check it out (it’s now on HBO Max). Turns out it’s really good! The franchise as a whole is about a team of teenage heroes, with the main team operating as essentially the Justice League’s black ops unit (justified as being about keeping them out of the public eye and the full attention of the supervillains, though it still feels a bit thin). There’s a couple issues with Outsiders (biggest ones for me were Terra not feeling like she was much of a character before the big finale, and the way Cyborg’s issues with his dad were “resolved”) but overall it was great and pretty handily cemented the series as a whole as my favourite superhero adaptation. Probably the most surprising thing about the series, as someone who grew up reading comics which always bend over backwards to return everything back to the status quo, is that the status quo changes wildly between seasons. There’s a timeskip after every season - Season 2 (subtitled “Invasion”) is 5 years after Season 1, and Outsiders is 2 years after that, so the original team are now in their early 20s and are mentoring a new batch of teen heroes, and the world changes based on events of the shows - for example, Season 2 involves the revelation to the world at large of the metagene, a special gene some humans have which allows them to gain superpowers under specific conditions; Outsiders heavily involves the repercussions of that, including the growth of meta-human trafficking and use of superpowered people as weapons. Just a real cool, fun show.
Not watching anything too interesting atm, but just finished reading the novel A Man Called Ove.
It’s a Swedish novel which is sold as a dark comedy but was surprisingly deep. It digs into the life of the title curmudgeon, slowly revealing the factors which combine to make him the man you see. It’s a book which is surprisingly deep and was really impactful to read.
My favorite thing is how the author rewards the reader for paying attention to details. It’s like in a TV show when the big reveal halfway through the season suddenly brings clarity to all the little things that seemed off through the season.
While it’s a wonderfully meaningful story, it’s also an excellently crafted novel. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
I just finished “In the End, It Was All About Love” By Musa Okwonga, which is about being black and queer and depressed in Berlin. It was incredible, highly recommend.
I’m also really into Soul Eater atm. Highly recommend that as well
And the Midnight Library by Matt Haig is great. Carey Mulligan does the audiobook narration which is fun
I am currently finishing up Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution, which is an oral history of the Queer movement of punk and hardcore that rose in the 70s and saw prominence in the 80s and 90s. As someone who grew up in punk rock, but fairly sheltered as a pastor’s kid, I am loving learning how this entire subculture existed with its own important figures and bands and zines, and I’m saddened that it’s never really mentioned in punk rock history. I am having a blast going back and listening to artists I’m learning so much about which I have never heard of. I wish I would have learned about all of this much earlier, because there is so much goodness here.
My partner and I started watching Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and it is just really, really something else. We didn’t get too far (busy schedule), but goddamn it’s so funny. It’s some of Andy Samberg’s best comedy IMO, very clever, absurdist and poignant in mockumentary format. If you liked This Is Spinal Tap or The Rutles: All You Need is Cash you owe it to yourself to check it out.
This past weekend I watched Lake Mungo with my sister, which is currently on Amazon Prime. This is an Australian mockumentary horror movie from 2007, right during the found-footage craze. I’d describe this movie as something like Paranormal Activity, but you know, actually good. Instead of all building up towards a jump-scare and dealing with insufferable upper middle class Americans in a McMansion, it’s a slow-burn. The ghosts don’t jump at the camera, more you see them in the corner of the frame, and they’ve been there for minutes on end.
Real creepy twist at the end, too. Big recommendation here.