This has been a bad week, apart from Padre’s passing.
This month’s library board meeting dealt with the budget, not only for next year, but for the rest of this year, too. In order to qualify for a cost-of-working increase for next year, plus the ability to repay an internal loan to our rainy-day fund, the board has had to cut $21,000 from the buudget for the remainder of this year. Everything had to be cut: Books, magazines, wages, supplies, utilities, the works. We were in session until a quarter to ten to get this done.
I sought to lighten the burden this would create by going to Sam’s Club and stocked the library with what is best called patron cleaning supplies.
I would like to remind everyone that the library exists not just for the books. People, especially those who cannot afford computers and an Internet connection, use our computers to look for jobs, type up resumes, and communicate with people who do have Internet access. It is our community’s access to the outside world. Threatening this, the existence of Fairmount’s library, just because the state of Indiana is in a spasm of parsimony over the excesses of Indianapolis and Muncie, is an exercise in folly that does our citizens no good.
On top of that, one of the board members appears to be over-enthusiastic: So much so as to create a conflict of interest. This needs to be resolved quickly.
I have compelled myself to mow Madre’s lawn and then my own, despite the incredible heat that we have been enduring over the past week. It is just as well: It rained heavily the next day.
Since I will not in at work on Tuesday or Wednesday, I will have to come in early on Monday to finish the five remaining iMacs for Ed Res. I do not know when the Mac space will become available; nobody does. I want those machines to be ready when the time does come for them to be redeployed.
It has not been all bad.
There is a new Bioshock game coming. It is not known whether this will be Bioshock 3, but its basic themes — utopian setting, powered player, powered and armored enemies, and an internal guide — are the same as with the current two games. The overarching theme is not the biopunk of those two games, but steampunk.
Bioshock Infinite takes place in Columbia, a Laputa-like city floating over the American countyside. Its founding philosophy is an American imperialism, complete with eugenics, as corrupt as Andrew Ryan’s objectivism or Sofia Lamb’s collectivism. The resulting corruption is evident everywhere to your protagonist, a super-powered disgraced Pinkerton agent named Booker DeWitt, whose mission is to liberate from the city an equally super-powered woman named Elizabeth.
|Atlas (1st ½)
Brigid Tenenbaum (2d ½)
|Andrew Ryan (1st ½)
Frank Fontaine (2d ½)
|unknown as yet
The announcement of the game came with a trailer:
You move across an ocean landscape until you see the outline of a city around which swims a big fish. It reminds you of the Bioshock trailer … but no: The fish is a goldfish, and the
city is a nicknack commemorating the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It turns out your head was in an aquarium, out of which you are pulled and flung to the floor. Your attacker is a hugh but crude cyborg. The cyborg picks you up and tosses you out a window. You view a city, with American flags flying from odd-looking towers, floating over farm fields miles below. That last detail becomes real to you as you fall a long way until you land on a blimp and manage to break your fall by grabbing its torn fabric.
As you hang from the blimp, catching your breath, you see more of the city: An American city from the early 20th century, complete with American flags and red-white-and-blue bunting hanging from buildings. As your blimp moves along, you see strange posters among the billboards. One has two children at a parapet, watching a parade, and the caption
It is our HOLY DUTY — to protect them from the foreign hordes and treacherous anarchists. You pass another billboard of Columbia, the personification of the city, holding a healthy baby and rejecting a sickly one with the words
Burden NOT Columbia with your CHAFF! Then you see a man dancing on a balcony to the music of a record player playing You’re A Grand Old Flag. Next comes a view of how these buildings can float: Giant bags of hot air are inflated around the foundation of a building, raising it into the air.
Suddenly, the fabric tears out of your hands, and you resume your fall. But, a cloud of roses emerge from a building. Your fall is broken, and you float towards a balcony wrapped in a rose briar. A young woman in a blue and gold dress has caught you with her mind and is pulling you towards her. Just as she is about to grab your hand, the hand of another cyborg emerges from the darkness behind her. It grabs the woman and pulls her inside. Her concentration broken, you resume your fall until you are smacked in the face by a rose.