Monday Morning Commute: Coping Mechanisms and Caffeine Kicks

Motherfuckin' coping mechanisms.

…and a good day to you too, folks. For those of you here in the Empire, I hope your long weekend was rather enjoyable. Me? Oh, I had myself a blast. Took one off the chin in the world of sporting events (hint), but what the fuck can you do. This weekend also saw the frozen ice guys back on the prowl, with Rendar and myself enjoying a jaunt to the ice chest today ourselves. Local team won, we ate something like ninety-three hot dogs. By the end of the day I was able to smile again, thanks to a little salve on the nips. This is Monday Morning Commute, a column which a list of coping mechanisms we use to get ourselves through the doldrums. Coping mechanisms (video games) for when coping mechanisms (sports teams) fail. System redundancies.

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DmC: When Angels Die and Fanboys Cry


It’s perhaps only in retrospect that we can see just how contemporary Devil May Cry was upon its release in 2001. The frantic, accelerated combat mechanics represented an industry pushing hardware to have games play as we’d so often wished they would. It was fast, brutal and responsive. It also introduced the series’ main protagonist, Dante, into the gaming public’s consciousness. This smart-assed, pizza-loving, sharp-dressing demon hunter went on to become the archetypical ‘cool’ video game hero. Fuelled by perceptions of the contemporary taken directly from the worlds of Anime and perceived notions of western ‘cool’: Dante was a product of his time and being contemporary was his nature. So, what happens when your contemporary character isn’t quite so cutting edge any longer? You reinvent him, of course.

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[OCTOBERFEAST  is the greatest celebration of the year, a revelry dedicated to pop-culture’s most nutritious Halloween detritus. Plastic screams and artificial sweeteners have never been more bountiful. In the old country, villagers refer to the extended party as  Satan’s Snacktime]

Like any worthwhile annual event, OCTOBERFEAST owes its greatness not only to the current torchbearers but also its precedent-setting pioneers. If not for John Carpenter, we’d be without Halloween and They Live. How many of us would’ve ever embraced horror if R.L. Stine hadn”t made it palatable to our impressionable little minds? Thanks to Stingy Jack, October evenings are   dotted with the warm glow of orange monster-faces.

To all these heroes, and too many others to name, a token of appreciation must be gifted.

But there is another who deserves even more praise. This man has been dead for nearly seven hundred years, but without his poetry we’d be devoid of one of the most fundamental premises of our modern Hallow’s Eve festivities. In truth, had this dude failed to bang out his seminal work, we could very well be bereft of some of the world’s finest horror movies, metal songs, Hot Topic shirts, and ill-conceived biker tattoos.

The fact of the matter is that Dante Alighieri’s Inferno defined Hell with an attention to detail that had never before been conceived.

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