Culture of Illusion – Thoroeauly Confusing.


Walden: The Video Game. Living deliberatelly virtually – feeling the fan blow stale air around your room as you hunch before glowing screen, back aching, eyes straining, soul dying. It’s exactly what Thoreau was talking about. What could be better to teach children, who are already not getting enough contact with the terrifying reality of nature, than condensing the meaning of Walden and then coding it into a virtual world so that they can enjoy it from the safety of their squalid condominiums? Everything could be better than that. Beating them to death with a paperback copy of the book would be better than that.

“When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived with my parents, in their basement, a mile from the nearest Dave and Busters, in a house which I did not own, on the shore of my own self-loathing, and earned my living by the answering online questionnaires.”

It would be a reasonable thing to assume that the above, a butchering of the opening sentence of Walden; or, Life in the Woods, would have been the real opening sentence if Mr. Thoreau had, instead of living in the, admittedly faux, wilderness for a year, had remained indoors, in an energy saving light bulb lit room, playing this video game.

How is it possible to approach the notion of living deliberately that Thoreau espoused by playing a video game? My short answer is that it’s not.

It is however hilarious bullshit, pleasure excuse my earthy language, and brings to mind this wonderful comic below, written by the inestimable Grant Snider:

LIFE IN THE WOODS
[incidental comics by Grant Snider]

Living deliberately is difficult and worthwhile. Yet even as we attempt to embrace nature we crush it. Even as we try and escape and control nature we lose our essential selves. The Slow Suicide of the Human Race. Happy days, folks!

Published by

The Sleepcoat League

Armchair anthropologist, sometime scribe, freelance philosopher, amateur artist, part-time poet, musical maven, alliteration aficionado.

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