The Great Tree Massacre of Farm Sim 15

I wrote about the strange little niches of simulation and strategy gaming in Simulating The Mundane, And What It Means. I also noted the appearance of a Street Sweeper simulator, apparently aimed at OCD sufferers who don’t find enough opportunities to make things just right in the real world.

Thanks to Rock Paper Shotgun (the last gaming site I still enjoy), I found this little preview video of the upcoming Farming Simulator 15, and I’m not gonna lie to you, I find it entrancing, and not just because of the jaunty music that accompanies the images of tree butchery:

I’ve made an effort to “get” farming games, but I just can’t. This, however, is like the Great Tree Massacre. As RPS points out, you’re running a machine called the Ponnse ScorpionKing (!), as it clutches and mutilates trees with a manic and ruthless efficiency.

Dub some screams in there and These Kids Today might think it’s some weird new kind of shooter: Dendrohomicidal!

Sad Treebeard doesn't like this post

Sad Treebeard doesn’t like this post


“Hurt” [Dark Country: Songs For October]

Series Intro:

October is a month of lengthening shadows and stirring shades, as the chill creeps in, all things green turn beautiful colors before dying, and the dark presses ever closer.

Country and traditional music captures darkness the way no other genre really does. Songs of loss, damnation, violence, madness, murder, suicide, and terrors of both this world and the next are all shot through with a rich vein of pathos and old time religion.

I have a playlist where I accumulate “dark country” songs. Sometimes they are outright supernatural stories such as “Eli Renfro” or “Beaches of Cheyenne,” while others are songs of despair or loss like “Hurt” and “The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake.”

Over the next month, I’m going to try to share one of these a day, starting with what I consider the most haunting song ever recorded, because everyone should be a little bit miserable in October.

Johnny Cash: “Hurt”

Trent Reznor’s mopey emo posturing is transformed by some magical Johnny alchemy into the most powerful cover version of any song, ever.  Period. (Stop it. Just … stop. Don’t argue. It’s not that other one you’re thinking of.)

This is Johnny’s life bared and raw, sung in the way only an old man who has lost almost everything can sing. This is loss–real loss, which can only really mean anything against a background of a life lived and a full and vital faith such as Johnny had.

The performance itself is amazing. The music video–featuring old footage of Johnny and June intercut with him performing in the ruins of the Johnny Cash museum as Roseanne looks on sadly–is utterly devastating.

Johnny Cash. Damn, man: you were good.