Manifest Destiny 6

Alternating Currents: Manifest Destiny 6, Drew and GregToday, Drew and Greg are discussing Manifest Destiny 6, originally released April 9th, 2014.

Hell is a terrible place. Maggots are your sheet, worms your blanket, there’s a lake of fire burning with sulfur. You’ll be tormented day and night for ever and ever. As a matter of fact, if you actually saw hell, you’d be so frightened, you would die.

Miss Albright, “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment”

Drew: Do you ever get the impression that people are trying way too hard to make hell scary? Fire and brimstone is exactly as generically horrible as harps and white robes are generically pleasant — I understand the gist, but holy crap do those rewards and punishments have no relation to my everyday life. I suppose the reason the over-the-top conception of hell is so frustrating to me is that it ignores a much scarier truth about a life of sin, one that remains true even if you don’t believe in any kind of afterlife: that you may be forever tormented by your own guilt. If you believe you are deserving of some horrible fate, you will spend your days waiting for the axe to fall, while someone at peace with their actions may lead a more serene, contented existence. In that way, Heaven and Hell aren’t destinations we move to at the ends of our lives, but mindsets we create for ourselves as we move through them. These are feelings that tend to lie dormant, but can be brought to the surface by something as big as a loved one passing, or as small as having one too many drinks. Manifest Destiny 6 finds Lewis and Clark confronted by both ends of the spectrum (if you replace the drinks with a potent floral hallucinogen), and shows just how differently they respond.

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Manifest Destiny 4

Alternating Currents: Manifest Destiny 4, Drew and Taylor

Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing Manifest Destiny 4, originally released February 12th, 2014.

I’m busier than you.

College, Traditional

Drew: I don’t know if it is true everywhere, but when I was in college, scheduling a meeting or asking someone to help with something was basically made impossible by everyone’s knee-jerk insistence that they were SO busy. I absolutely understand the importance of saying “no” when you really are busy, but the implication that someone was unwilling to make time for whatever group project that everyone else was making time for always drove me nuts. It was known around campus as the “I’m busier than you” game, which found its practitioners preemptively complaining about how busy they were in hopes of avoiding being asked to do anything. The best response I ever saw to these kinds of complaints was a friend insisting that he had just run a marathon with knives embedded in both thighs — something so over-the-top to (hopefully) give everyone a little perspective on how silly it is to complain about term papers or whatever. Of course, nothing we could come up with was quite as extreme as single-handedly fighting off a band of monsters WHILE PREGNANT, which is to say, Sacagawea (or at least the version of her that appears in Manifest Destiny 4) would have easily won the “I’m busier than you” game. Continue reading

Manifest Destiny 3

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Manifest Destiny 3, originally released January 8th, 2014.

Taylor: I enjoy camping and trips into the wilderness. There’s something refreshing about abandoning the trappings of modern day life and “roughing it” for awhile. Maybe I feel closer to nature and its beauty or maybe it’s just the quiet I can enjoy like nowhere in a populated area. However, this silence isn’t always peaceful and nature isn’t always a thing of beauty. Sometimes the silence — especially late at night — is terrifying as the isolation of my situation sinks in. The sense of peace I once had quickly transmutes to unease. The benign perception of nature is replaced by the more terrifying and accurate realization that, given the chance, nature would just as soon destroy as nurture. All this, and I know for the most part I am safe; I could be rescued if worse came to worse.  When I realize that, I can’t help but wonder how Lewis and Clark felt being absolutely in the middle of nowhere with no one to help them should things go wrong. The sense of terror they must have felt on occasion permeates the third issue of Manifest Destiny, blurring the lines of historical fiction and reality.

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Manifest Destiny 2

manifest destiny 2

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Manifest Destiny 2, originally released December 11th, 2013.

Drew: I love a good creature feature. I could actually take or leave the shock cuts, the gore, even the monster — for me, it’s all about what keeps the victims from simply dispersing at the first sign of trouble. Whether it’s a remote village, arctic research station, or a towing ship in deep space, writers have to get inventive with keeping otherwise relatable characters from simply escaping from the monsters trying to kill them. Or, at least, they should get inventive — I think we’ve all seen the fuel line cut a few too many times to give all writers a pass, and horror movies are notorious for characters whose actions are unrelatably stupid, pressing on to the cabin, haunted house, or foreboding castle in spite of the obvious warning signs. After three readings of Manifest Destiny 2, I’m still not sure if the characters are dumb, or actually stuck. Continue reading