Links: Warcraft is Playable; Celebrity Apprentice is Terrible; Gaza Strip is Contradictory; and Texas is Going Nowhere

Links is a segment focusing on articles, podcasts and radio programmes, and videos I feel are worth discussing. 


In the third part of his Making of Warcraft series, Patrick Wyatt recounts that first moment when Warcraft was a playable game—and a multiplayer one, at that, recalling the exhilaration and terror he felt as he battled colleague Bob Fitch in the first ever multiplayer game in the franchise.

This is a fantastic read, and I really mean that. Perhaps I'm biased because of my close connection to the series, but stories of this seminal period in the videogame industry are always fascinating, particularly when they're as well-written as this one.


In an excerpt from his book, Everyday is an Atheist Holiday, Penn Jillette reveals the ugly truth behind the cameras of Celebrity Apprentice, one in which vapid, washed-up hasbeens suck up to a pretend boss who pretend fires them. The best description of his time on the show comes in a passage after he talks about how easy the tasks laid on the contestants are:

“The Celebrity Apprentice” is easy like junior high is easy. All the arithmetic, the creative writing and the history are super simple, but like junior high, you do that easy work surrounded by people who are full-tilt hormone-raging bugnutty. Everyone is panicked, desperate, yelling, swearing, attacking, backstabbing, failing to get laid and acting crazy. 

It's all a rather damning portrayal of the show and its self-conscious star, while adding brief solace for the saps who take part: while they may be "normal" in reality, "The situation itself makes everyone crazy." Let us note, everyone.


The Gaza Strip can be seen as a resource-rich coastal pathway on the south-eastern end of the lush Mediterranean. It can also be seen as "the world’s largest open air prison", as Jamal Mahjoub details in his article, "Life Under Lockdown", which follows his journey past the checkpoints, crossings, and "soldiers in green fatigues [who] strut about with their automatic rifles at the ready", and into this small strip of land that is choking under the tightening grip of its neighbouring country. Here, students are frank but wary, children have short memories, money is earned (by a minority) by smuggling goods through tunnels, and impromptu festivals are held on hotel terraces when they're shut down in their original venues by uneasy authorities. And for all the wonderful people, scenic views, and fertile crops, it is littered with debris and rubble, reminders of its precarious location on the tip of Israel.

And, finally, with rumblings of a Texas secession, the Raleigh Telegram asks whether such a thing is even possible.  Although national "leaders" will disagree, it is technically possible to secede, through a popular movement heavy on politicking and low on violence (although violence is another way, too). This is the method the people leading this effort are employing, and whether it will work is highly unlikely (even if it is admirable). Truthfully, the majority of Texans are simply either too apathetic to give this any real steam, or don't want to leave at all, much like Native Americans in the "Republic of Lakotah".

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