The Grand Western

The Grand Western

I don’t remember
much of the days we spent together,
roaming a water’s edge,
watching black summer storms
rolling in across the ocean;

I remember Guitar Hero was my
like clutching buttons too tightly
was a sign of things to come;

Guitar Hero was my seduction,
and yours was living –

how we envied the beautiful,
the semi-naked art, all wrapped
in shrouds abandoning their ghosts,

who needn’t humour,
nor lies to make themselves

– the tall room, too, I recall,
more clearly than your body;
the squat television set and the table I carried
to the centre of the room for us to share,
the smell of acrylic paint and glue
and ink all together with our sweat,
the sagging black seats,
tarnished and glittering beneath failing lights;
the white bathroom blinding
even through the heavy wood,
the swimming pool’s curve
and laughter as limbs made the water shake;

I remember being lost, one
street over –
and your voice panicking as I made
hazardous guesses
to find the right building
– I can’t remember what it was for now –

do you remember the journey up the pier;
along that mile of wooden cage?
do you remember that?

no, you wouldn’t;
that wasn’t you? was it? that was me
all alone, smoking the sunlight straight over water,
and remembering it all in the back room
of the Castle Hotel;
another home than ours,
in a different city.

GTA V: Smoke and Rear-View Mirrors?

I can’t help but wonder, especially recently, whether or not Rockstar actually enjoys the awful press they are given whenever some kind of tragedy is perpetrated by a younger person. We are all familiar; I have no doubt, with the crimes which have been thrown at Grand Theft Auto’s door by the ill-informed, close-minded, ignorant agents of politics and media.

Of course, GTA is a series which has consistently pushed the level of sex, drugs and violence available in video games and this is, at least for me, one of the reasons that I like the series. I can’t imagine anyone actually interested in Video Games, as more than a scapegoat anyway, refusing to like GTA V when it comes out in a few weeks time, judging by the trailers already released.

However, with the news that the player will be able to smoke marijuana within the game, merely opens it up to another avenue in which it can be blamed for real-world crime.
Or does it? I mean, Little Jacob (the best character in GTA, ever, bar none) was heavy consumer, and I don’t believe he’s ever been cited as a terrible influence on a younger generation? And visiting a bar with anyone (besides Roman and Brucie), before getting yourself involved in a four star police chase, was one of the most enjoyable things you could do in Liberty City. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there has ever been a drink driving incident inspired by GTA.1098256_427894210663723_1530714545_n

I suppose there is no such thing as bad publicity for Rockstar, but I’d still feel sick to my stomach if anyone blamed anything I had worked hard on for months for some latest tragedy. I wonder whether Marijuana will have the same effect as Alcohol on your character’s motor skills because, unless there is a great difference between the two, I’d still prefer to go to a bar for the start of my insane, over-the-top, screen-shaking car chase. It’s not that I’m not an open-minded person, but give me a pint any day of the week, no matter what character I may be playing as.

What about you guys? Any of you think weed is the next target of the media’s ire, when an underage child gets hold of the game? Or are you going to be heading straight to the nearest dealer when you get the game?