Spillover #32

Our 33rd #spillover thread is long overdue. Our apologies for the absence of spillover space for the last few months. Some reminders: #spillover is part of our comment moderation system for keeping other threads on-topic ....more

Open Thread with My Kittens

Firstly, my apologies for neglecting to post a seasonal greetings Open Thread a few weeks ago. Belated wishes for a Happy New Year! Secondly, I hope you will forgive me via the adorableness of these three kittens we adopted a a couple of months ago ....more

The Cost of Living

(As a Clash aficionado, this phrase always makes me think of the EP released in 1979. This has nothing to do with the post, but I thought I’d get it out there and out of the way for myself. I enjoy the mental image of Strummer and Paul Simonon giggling about the phrase–apparently how they came to name the EP ....more

REVIEW: Battlefield 4 (2013)

Last time, we reviewed a historical artefact. Today’s final instalment of this miniseries looks at a more modern franchise, whose sequels have somehow managed to incorporate everything from China to Star Wars… FEMINIST GAME REVIEWS “BATTLEFIELD 4” (2013) OVERVIEW ► released in Q4 2013, “Battlefield 4” is yet another military shooter, depicting America’s efforts to stop WWIII from destroying the planet. though it hails from a franchise known for online-only games, this sequel is one of the few with a story-driven campaign for offline play ....more

When a deadly act of fear and ignorance is deemed “objectively reasonable”

When a grand jury last week failed to pass down an indictment on Timothy Loehmann, the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in public park last winter, they did so under the influence of three reports declaring the shooting “objectively reasonable.” In other words, in light of the circumstances the officers thought they were facing, it was reasonable for them to shoot Rice after rolling up and assessing the situation for less than a second. Just, as Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said, a “perfect storm of human error, mistakes, and miscommunications.” The reports, commissioned by McGinty and based entirely on the case file provided by him, dismissed the officers’ approach — roll onto the scene and come out shooting — as a matter of “tactics” and concluded that, regardless of through what ignorance the notoriously twitchy rookie found himself face to face with a 12-year-old with empty hands, the fact that he thought he saw Rice reach for a gun made it reasonable for Loehmann to fear for his life and fire away. I don’t want to perpetuate any idea that we should mourn Tamir Rice simply because he was the right kind of victim — he didn’t have an arrest record, he didn’t have tough-looking pictures on Facebook that the media could flash all over TV and the Internet to say “this thug probably had it coming” without coming out and saying it ....more

Quick hit: An armed militia has occupied a federal building in Oregon, but whatever, NBD

On Saturday, a group of armed men seized control of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. The building was unoccupied at the time they took control and they hold no hostages, but Ammon Bundy (son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, he of his own anti-government standoff in 2014), has said that they “will be [t]here as long as it takes,” up to several years, adding, “We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves.” He also made it clear that they are “not terrorists” but merely “concerned citizens.” Ammon’s brother Ryan told an Oregonian reporter that “they’re willing to kill and be killed if necessary.” As of yet, law enforcement has been treating the matter gently and has opted not to engage actively for fear of inflaming the situation. Also, the self-identified “patriots,” who range in number (based on varying reports) from 15 to 150 and are heavily armed, are white ....more

Tamir Rice

No indictment (That’s a NYT article, by the way). And the took the opportunity to say that the child looked older than twelve (he didn’t; adults need to learn what twelve looks like, and regardless, it isn’t a capital crime to be older than twelve), We can’t second-guess the cops, he said. Emmet Till was 14 and goofing around ....more

REVIEW: Quake 4 (2005)

Don’t read too much into this, but this morning was the only time we could upload today’s episode. So if you didn’t have a satisfactory Christmas morning, here’s some feminism and carnage to make your day slightly more interesting… FEMINIST GAME REVIEWS “QUAKE 4” (2005) OVERVIEW ► released in Q4 2005, “Quake 4” is a sci-fi military shooter, depicting humanity’s counterassault on the home planet of hostile aliens. the game was notable for being the first to license the id Tech 4 engine, first used in “Doom 3” to portray realistic lighting in videogames ....more

Welcome to your dystopia

I’m late on this. Perhaps you remember Purvi Patel from this post in February. This is an update: she is currently serving a life sentence for what she continues to maintain was a miscarriage ....more

No indictment in the death of Sandra Bland

Trigger warning: racist violence and death, police racism The Texas Grand Jury has decided there will be no indictment in the death of Sandra Bland against anyone–not any of the police officers, not any of the jail officials or workers, nobody. They decided it was perfectly plausible that after she was stopped for changing lanes without a signal who had a new job, and then was arrested after Brian Encina, the officer failed to follow proper procedures and claimed she assaulted him, she “became despondent” and hanged herself with a plastic bag because her family couldn’t come bail her out immediately. Encina’s dashcam footage didn’t show Bland assaulting him; it did show evidence of what we can call extreme irregularity, with visual objects vanishing and reappearing even though the audio proceeded uninterrupted ....more