Thoughts on Bayonetta

After a very intense Splatfest that resulted in a heartbreaking loss for Team Money💸👼🏻, I was ready to dive into something new. On Friday, Nintendo released Bayonetta 2 for Switch. The physical copy comes with a code for the first Bayonetta game so I figured this was a good time to give the series a go. Ryan sweetly picked me up a copy and my long weekend disappeared into Vigrid.

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First of all, this is not the kind of game I’m used to seeing on a Nintendo console. I wrote emails to Nintendo for MONTHS begging them to bring The Binding of Issac to 3DS. I always got the response that due to the religious themes and overtones of the game, they weren’t allowing it. That game is now out on both 3DS and Switch. In Bayonetta, you are literally a bad-as-fuck dark witch whose main goal is essentially to destroy God as well as all the angels and beings of light that may stand in your way. It’s brutal. It’s incredible!

I’m a big fan of the noir style of the game. Many cut scenes employ still frames of film scrolling by to help tell the story. There are a lot of sepia-toned flashbacks, black and white and red lipstick, and of course, gangsters and shady bartenders who might be devils. Rodin might be my favorite NPC.

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Bayonetta is on a mission to uncover her past as well a mysterious jewel called the Right Eye. On her journey, she fights all manner of cherubim and demi-dieties who hint at her impending role in the resurrection of Jubileus, The Creator. I did not immediately notice that her outfit is composed of her own hair, which she can also wield as a conduit to summon demons!. The hair dragon and hair raven were two of my favorite manifestations.

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Of course, the game is deeply sexy, but Bayonetta is always in full control of her sexual agency, which I really appreciate. She’s not there to be sexy for the male characters; she’s there being sexy for herself and kicking angel ass. It’s so refreshing to play a female protagonist who is so unapologetically feminine and fearless. Aside from her gun-heeled stilettos, she keeps her outfit changes in a compact and fires her lipstick like a bullet to finish a critical battle near the end of the game. So empowering.

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I played through this game with my jaw on the floor mostly. The innuendo. The violent and graphic destruction of angelic beings. Bayonetta’s nudity every time she summons another hair demon. This has to be my favorite scene of all time.

It never gets old and I cannot stop watching it! Bayonetta is the witch I’ve always wanted to be. How did I not play this game sooner? I’m looking forward to playing Bayonetta 2 this week. Until Then, don’t ever forget these immortal words of wisdom:

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Subscription Addiction

Copy of Sunday Stats

Ages ago, I had a Lootcrate subscription. It was fun for a while, but it was also overloading my shelves with junk. Most of the themes were too broad for my interests and I wasn’t getting enough gaming items. Too much of the stuff ended up in the trash because I couldn’t deal with the clutter. I canceled, but they’ve evolved a lot in the last couple of years and have a bunch of more specifically tailored options now. Their sock crate is probably worth it! To be honest, if they did an underwear box for women, I’d totally get that.

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Typical LootCrate

When Lootcrate first came onto the scene, along with a handful of other subscription boxes, I remember thinking that this fad would never catch fire. In our digital era where minimalism is a lifestyle, magazines and mail subscriptions are virtually deceased, I just couldn’t fathom why people would want to amass STUFF on a monthly basis.

Then, in a Twitch stream on Dyscourse in 2015, I discovered Indiebox. Indiebox delivered collector’s edition PC games with amazing collectibles. I still enjoy the Axiom Verge soundtrack! It was an awesome way to discover new games and play new genres. I particularly appreciated the game download codes so my shelves didn’t fill up with jewel cases like the 90’s. Unfortunately, in September they shuttered the subscription service portion of their business model. RIP.

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My Favorite Indiebox

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My first Indiebox

Through the magic of instagram, I met Goddess Provisions where I’ve been a member for almost 2 years. Each month I get candles and aromatherapy oils, a bit of chocolate maybe or other tools to raise my vibration and connect more deeply with the universe.

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January’s awesome Goddess Provisions box

Now almost everyone I know maintains some kind of subscription. But how did this happen? How did something kind of silly and seemingly so off trend explode into a cultural phenomenon?

My theory is twofold:

We’ve forgotten the joy of surprise.
When information and answers are a tap away, the amusement and satisfaction of discovery has dissipated. New memes are old news as soon as they start trending. Through social media, everyone learns about major events at practically the same moment. If you don’t see the hottest new movie on opening night, there’s a massive chance someone is going to spoil it for you.

True, genuine surprise is rare anymore. Sometimes instagram spoils boxes for me!    We know everything before we know it and discovery has gotten boring. So, the arrival of a package packed with mystery goodies tailored to your interests brings back the thrill of surprise. It’s like finding a loot crate in real life! #GamesIRL

Getting physical mail is AWESOME.
Most of the good stuff comes to our email inboxes now, while our mailboxes are filled with disappointment- direct mail marketing pieces (still? REALLY?), local menus and credit card offers. A mission to the mailbox typically ends with a jaunt to garbage can.

Remember getting care packages in college? Or any kind of gift in the mail? It turns a trip to the mailbox into your own private holiday. It’s a parade in your honor. Subscription boxes are like a gift each month, and if you pay for several months in advance, it doesn’t even feel like spending money for the duration!

Glux introduced me to Cratejoy (and she talked about her subscription experiences here) where we both went a little wild on the options in January. I’ll review some of the new boxes I’ve subbed with in the coming weeks. Do you have any favorites?

Oliver Hibert Tarot Interview

A couple weeks ago I interviewed The Golden Thread Tarot. This week, I sat down with another of my newer decks- The Tarot + The Secret Arcana by Oliver Hibert.

Tell me about yourself.
VIII of Swords
I balance the intellectual and emotional to find the best path forward. Every trap has an escape if you look at things from a different angle.

What are your strengths?
Mars
As an Aries, we’ll go horn to horn sometimes. But I’m aggressive and thorough in my search for answers. I’ll paint stories through multiple cards on your one-card pulls.

What are your limits
VII of Pentacles
Sometimes I’m impatient and easily frustrated. I can get bored and go for the “quick win.”

What are you here to teach me?
VII of Swords
Not to run from challenges or darkness or good things or love. But also how to navigate the false motives of others. Trust yourself. Expect others to trust themselves first.

How can we best collaborate?
The Scream
Quiet your own voice and listen. Really listen. Not with your ears. With your intuition.

What’s the potential outcome of our relationship?
Ace of Cups
You’ll build stronger intuition and trust your inner power. We’ll also develop you creatively. I’ll inspire new projects, thoughts and mediums.

As feminine and open as the Golden Thread was, that’s how difficult this deck felt to me. Very foreign and puzzling. Neither feminine nor masculine. I had to sit with the cards for a while to figure out what they wanted to tell me. Many of the answer cards felt contradictory to my questions. I suppose that makes sense giving their mind-bending psychedelic artwork. To add extra challenge, I drew TWO cards from the Secret Arcana, which really tells me how unique this deck will be. I’m glad I shuffled them into the deck. Until now I had kept them separated, but that didn’t feel right. They need to be a full story.

Which reminds me… there is one card missing. Hibert released a new card with a 10 part experience. Magic. And I bought the whole thing just to get that card. I feel itchy that this deck is incomplete. Maybe that’s why it was so temperamental. I’ll revisit our interview once the final card arrives.

Do Tarot Cards Get Jealous?

Since 2009, I’ve been working with a deliciously dark, Tim Burton-esque tarot deck known as the Deviant Moon Tarot. I don’t remember how I discovered it or where I got it, but it was the beginning of my tarot practice and study for a series of poems I’m eternally writing. This deck has always connected with me. It’s become an extension of myself to the point that cards will literally leap out of the deck to give me messages. I trust it and I’ve bonded with it, but I wanted more options. [Deviant Moon Tarot Interview]

Some years later, the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn found me. This deck bills itself as a challenge with extra cards (Void cards and 99 cards for each suit, four Fools, etc…) and also presented stunning, colorful, comic book style imagery. I fall in love with it every time I open the box. It’s been the toughest to connect with, but I keep crawling back to it begging for love. [Tarot of the Silicon Dawn Interview]

Back in January I was casually feeling up books at The Strand, as I’m prone to do any time I’m in the vicinity. I was poring over Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems when I felt a sort of warm tugging. I looked up and locked eyes with The Wild Unknown sitting randomly atop some stationery. That’s never happened before. I picked it up on the spot. [The Wild Unknown Tarot Interview]

For Galentine’s Day, I treated myself to a tarot deck based on one of my favorite games- The Binding of Isaac Tarot. It’s not the most functional deck. The suits are non-traditional and it doesn’t come with a booklet to ascribe meaning to the suit of hearts (cups?), keys (wands?), bombs (swords?) and coins (pentacles?) but the art is fantastic and it crosses my love of magic with my video game vice. [Binding of Isaac Tarot Interview]

I gifted myself the decadent Lioness Oracle Tarot for my birthday in April. Drawn in by the beautiful and surreal collages- particularly Nosferatu on the Nine of Swords and David Bowie on The Star- this has become my regular deck recently. It traveled the country with me last year. [Lioness Oracle Tarot Interview]

As a bit of retail therapy, after a summer of working nights and weekends non-stop, I splurged on a deck I’ve been pining for on Instagram for a while- the psychedelically divine Tarot and Secret Arcana by Oliver Hibert. With roots and imagery deeply based in the traditional Rider-Waite tarot, this deck is easy to read and learn through. The saturated colors truly make this deck a favorite. [Oliver Hibert Tarot and Secret Arcana Interview]

Oliver Hibert Psychedelic Tarot

Finally, for Christmas Ryan got me the ornately minimalistic Golden Thread Tarot. These cards are made of a thin plastic with golden overlays so they feel completely different from any other deck I’ve owned. [Golden Thread Tarot Interview]

So now I have seven decks. Seven personalities. Seven moody mistresses who fall in and out of my favor. If I ask the same questions or if my decks have a message for me outside of what I think I want to understand, they’ll get frustrated and serve up the same card until I’m finally enlightened. But when it comes to sharing a shelf, I like to think they all conspire together for my greater good. With all those personalities in a room, they must have some otherworldly debates and discussions. If cards are jumping out of decks at me or I’m getting the same card, unrelated to my questions, over and over, I believe it’s because they’ve all pooled their energy to give me a cosmic kick in the ass.

UPDATE: See all the tarot deck interviews, including a NEW deck, below!

Deviant Moon
The Wild Unknown
Binding of Isaac
The Lioness Oracle Tarot
The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn
The Tarot and Secret Arcana by Oliver Hibert
The Golden Thread Tarot
Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot