The inglorious nihilism of Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V (2013) is a confidence trick; Rockstar is a fraud. They tell people to distrust capitalism and suspect politics—the entire world, and all its peoples, are venal. In the same breath, they promise sanctuary. “Are you young? Are you angry? Are you an iconoclast, too? Then Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto are here for you,” they seem to say. But it’s a con. Rockstar embraces cynics and outsiders, but only so it may reach a hand into their pockets. Generally, Grand Theft Auto is nihilistic, in a manner betokening not worldliness but arrogance. The chief villain of…


Forget Van Halen: these 70 Zebra finches are my new favorite rock stars

I’ve been trying and failing to learn how to play guitar since high school. No matter how many classes I take or Rocksmith sessions I play, the seeming complexity of the instrument always scares me away from any higher level practice. Now, to add salt to the wound, I’m being upstaged by birds. But to be fair, there are 70 of them. In an exhibition that went up at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on November 25th, French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot released 70 zebra finches into a room where the only perches were 10 Gibson Les Paul guitars and four…


Watch out, Juggalos: GTA Online now tracking psychos

You might want to think twice before repeatedly running over the driver of that car you just carjacked in Grand Theft Auto Online, because the game will let other players know that you are a psycho. After installing the new High Life update, released today by Rockstar, your behaviors are officially being monitored by a stat that keeps tabs on your mental state.  The way it works is that now those little blips on the map that show you other players’ locations will turn brighter red the more mentally unstable they are deemed to be. You can think of it…