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A New American Novel For a New American Century P. 5


This is blog post number 5 about The Last of Us Part 2.

I had no idea I would go this far and to be honest, I’m not sure I’m done writing about yet. I’m still thinking about it and watching all kinds of play through, reaction and analysis videos about it. Today I want to share my thoughts on how others have reacted to the game and their ‘reviews’ and break downs that are populating my You Tube home page right now.


There are a couple of very specific ones that I will highlight, for negative reasons, and others I will bunch up into a general consensus.

Angry Joe; this guy has his ‘shtick’ and it works for him. He’s pretty funny at times and can nail it on the head and dole out some truth every now and then. I subscribe to his channel and considered myself a fan but now, I’m not so sure.


His take on TLOU2 was so stupid I actually felt my brain reverting back to it’s primordial state leaving me with just enough intellect to stand there with my dick in my hand and just able to scratch my balls. Seriously, listening to him and the other 2 left me slack jawed and in awe of the sheer amount of bullshit being flung about and wrapped up in the thinnest veneer of intellectual buffoonery, the likes of which I though only the Orange Dictator was capable of.

Listen to their horse shit about character development or lack thereof and plot holes and disjointed story lines and so on and so on. It was enough to make me turn away from Angry Joe for the past few days and I’m actually considering unsubscribing to his channel.

Joe and his crew have earned a fair amount of notoriety and influence within the games industry and it’s been earned. It was a bit shocking to hear such a moronic word salad come out of him and his cohorts because usually, with very funny and poignant humor, he gets it right or at least close enough and makes it very entertaining.

Joe this time however gets it so wrong; not just his opinion about the game but his asinine break down and his ‘on the fly’ re-writes are insanely stupid.

Speaking of insanely stupid re-writes, this leads us to theRadBrad.

I’ve been watching Brad’s videos for years, at least 10 now and I generally like his play throughs. They tend to be light on commentary and judgment and he just plays the game and lets us watch. For TLOU2 however and by his account and my recollection, the video linked above is the first time he has ‘reviewed’ a game with a separate video of this length and depth.


Its 42 minutes long! And to be honest, 30 of the 42 is spent in a semi coherent rambling re-write of the entire story; it’s crazy!

Of all of the ‘reviews’ and ‘my thoughts’ videos about this game I’ve seen so far, Brad’s is at least maybe the most genuine and heartfelt I’ve come across. He’s still completely wrong but at least he’s honest about just wanting a daddy daughter fairy-tale.


He goes to great pains to try and re-arrange the story to get the Joel and Ellie game he wanted. I do understand that but seriously, can you have missed the point by any wider of a margin?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this game and I think I’m pretty clear about what I think of it. I think it should and will be categorized in the same leagues as Shakespeare or John Steinbeck or J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye. Yes, I believe that TLOU combined with Part 2 are the equivalent of the modern literary masterpieces like novels and plays of our past. Just because it’s ‘new’ media and an interactive game does not mean it is any less than those great authors, books and plays.


A serious question for all of you; how would you change King Lear, Hamlet or even Macbeth? What would you ask John Steinbeck to change about The Grapes of Wrath or the classic you should have read in school, Of Mice and Men? The Catcher in The Rye was in the news just a few years ago because of its language and content but it’s a great book that makes you uncomfortable when looking at it through modern eyes; but how and why would you change it?

I dare say you wouldn’t fathom even thinking about changing or having the sheer arrogance and audacity to ask any of those creators and authors to change their art just to make you feel better.


TLOU and Part 2 are works of art, collaborative as opposed to singular authorship, but art none the less that took tremendous effort and thought to produce.

I do understand the anguish at the outcomes of this game though and why Joel dying is so upsetting. In the reactions themselves is proof that this/these games are great artistic achievements. I can’t help but cringe however at the over the top whining and fragility of some of the egos of people who are upset that TLOU2 didn’t cater directly to their ‘safe space’ mental needs and didn’t deliver the fairy-tale happy ending of children’s fables of yesterday. Yeah life sucks sometimes; DEAL WITH IT!


I can easily rifle off several examples within my own life that exemplify that sometimes, most times, life and the universe doesn’t give you that story book ending. In that, is where I think most people are struggling? We want Joel and Ellie to live happily ever after or at least Joel should go out in a blaze of glory, sacrificing himself to save Ellie or some adaptation of that scenario.

That’s nice, but why? What would be the purpose of creating a story just like all the others? The reality, starkness and harshness of the world that exists in TLOU is perfectly reflective of the world we actually live in and it scares the shit out of me. We have created a ‘make believe’ world but it feels and is perhaps just to real life for many of you and given the state of our world today, touches just too close to home and we can’t handle reality anymore. Do we just want to lose ourselves in fantasy and contrived happy endings?

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