Monday, April 29, 2013

The Cast of Ball of Woe

I'm currently working on a feverish update to Ball of Woe - introducing the "Depression Mode / Self-hating Mode" feature.

This will replace all dialogue with secrets and lamentations from my personal life. Dark, grimy things from my murky childhood. Lamentations as I near thirty years of age.

Because I thought that would be kind of funny.

And man - I've got no filter. I have no secrets.

And to celebrate this fact - I thought I would expand a bit upon the characters in Ball of Woe.

You see - they're all metaphors, the citizens of Nicetown. They're different components of your personality.

I tried to write some summaries here - but as I re-read them, they're pretty vague. I think I'm a pretty vague guy. Oh I know. I'll add subtitles.

I think Kurt Vonnegut suggested that you not be vague when you write. Don't make people guess.
(Which is funny, because Slaughterhouse-5 was a little vague)

You should try being my accountant. I give them a very hard time.

The Ability to function in Reality

The Mayor is the sticky glue that keeps your twitching little bits together. They look at the very real, very pressing needs of that oily sack of skin through which you interact with the world - and attempt to address them.

They pay your rent. Sometimes. They pay your bills. Sometimes. They cook your eggs. Sometimes. And overall - they bear the weight of the real, boring, grey world. Because somebody has to do it. Or you would be dead.

The Social Facade

The Deer is the grizzly facade to this whole disgusting affair. They are your social interface to the world. They translate gestures and emotions. They match your sneakers to your branded three-quarter-sleeve shirt. They (attempt) to say the right thing at the right time.
They do things that make you feel dirty. Or sleazy. Or downright dishonest.

But they keep the mob and their flaming torches from your figurative manor gates.

The Desire for Sensory Delights

The Pig is the bag of chemicals that keeps you aflame and hurtling toward certain genetic distribution (and demise). They prick your skin with delight. They massage your tongue with flavor. They pour buckets of hot blood through your thighs.

They too make you feel dirty. And sleazy.

But it's a sleazy that you can live with.

The Logic and Moral Center

The Panda is the choke-chain around The Pig's throat. They are the nagging voice in The Deer's ears. They are well-read. They are skeptical. They border on the cruel. They are often frighteningly close to evil.

But they are your moral compass. They process everything that you see, you hear and otherwise experience and turn it into cold, hard Greenlight / Redlight propositions.

And they enjoy Ayn Rand. Because they went to college before it became fashionable to hate her.

The Desire to Express Yourself

The Squirrel guiltily tinkers and attempts to leave some sort of indicator that you did, in fact, exist. When allied with The Pig and The Panda they are a powerful, paranoid, destructive creative force.

When left to their own devices?

They are bitter. Fearful. Unhappy. Brooding. And every day cursing the gradual greying of your hair... having achieved exactly nothing.

The World at Large

The Monk is everybody else in the world. Because how are we to know that anybody else is sentient, let alone self-determining, intelligent or in any way as alive as we are?

We aren't to know that.
So we treat them as black boxes.

And sometimes we apply empathy. But deep down their behaviour is baffling at best. Infuriating at worst.

The People Who Threaten Your Ideals

The Woeful are the breeders. The desk-jockeys. The mortgage-holders. The [anything that offends your particular moral compass]. They have long since abandoned [whatever you like and feel is valuable] and instead while away their hours in sad, jealous, bitter emptiness. You hope. You assume. You pray.

Because if not... what has this all meant?

And that's that, huh?

Look at this colorful blog-post!

-Joshua McGrath

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