How's It Going?: Biosphere Edition

Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
Screenshot: YouTube

We’ve made it all the way to Tuesday—good for us! Welcome back to our daily open thread.


Last night I watched Spaceship Earth, a documentary about some folks in the 90s who lived inside a biodome for two years. I was alive then, but I don’t remember this at all besides the 1996 Pauly Shore movie Bio-Dome that obviously must have been referencing it. While the idea of being trapped in a small space hits a little close to home lately, I was a bit jealous the people involved got to create a whole mini-world to be stuck in, instead of in, say, a tiny apartment. Anyway, it was a pretty neat documentary! It’s on Hulu, if you have that and want to check it out.

Sorry these posts are so specific lately—my life is feeling a bit small these days. How is it for you? How’s it going?


Faux Bravo

I’m rewatching The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford right now. It’s interesting to see how, at some point, westerns made a switch from these exciting adventure movies to melancholy, tragedy-laden stories. Even the ones with happy endings are steeped in death and calamity. Maybe one person survives, possibly missing a limb. Towns are wiped out. Farms lost. Ways of life die. It’s just grim as hell, even if they end with a victory.

The switch happened in the late 60s, early 70s, maybe? I’d have to watch more older films to pinpoint it, and someone else has probably already done that.

The western genre’s aesthetic has always appealed to me. It’s right behind traditional high fantasy; sometimes the setting overtakes fantasy. (Can we get a fantasy/western game already?) As a generally depressed person, the miserable-by-design nature really clicks for me.

Feelings these movies evoke—despair, loneliness, sadness—are some of what draws me to games like Dark Souls and Hyper Light Drifter. They’re what did it for me in Red Dead 2. They’re probably the reason The Last of Us 2 didn’t bum me out like it seemed to everyone else.

It’s all catharsis, I guess? Comfort? I dunno. But god damn do I love modern westerns. And I would probably live in a biosphere as long as Pauly Shore isn’t in there, too.