The Name's Eye, GoldenEye
A piece of childhood returns...
My first video game console was a Nintendo Entertainment System. My most-used video game console was probably the Super Nintendo. But the actual game I played the most in my childhood was on neither of these. It was on the Nintendo 64. GoldenEye 007. And it’s back.
(Re)launching today on both the Xbox and Nintendo Switch, it’s a port of the classic. The Xbox version brings visual upgrades while the Switch version brings online multiplayer. The amount of hours lost this weekend for a certain cohort of children born in the 1980s and 1990s will be endless.
It’s a funny thing. Most adaptations of movies into games were bad (and vice versa used to be the case too, though both have changed in recent years). And while GoldenEye is a decent enough James Bond movie, I believe Pierce Brosnan’s best, it’s not one of the most iconic ones. And the game came out nearly two years after the film. Hell, it was released just a few months before the next Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.
But the game was just in the right place, right time to work, with the right team making it. Rare, a British firm (later acquired by Microsoft), had had huge success with Donkey Kong Country on Super Nintendo, and was able to take advantage of the 3D graphics and crucially, four controller ports, on the Nintendo 64 to make GoldenEye 007 a phenomenon. The third highest-selling game on the console behind just Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64.
My friend Brad who lived up the street from me had what was at the time, a truly massive 60”+ TV in his basement. And four controllers. The amount of hours lost playing that game in that basement now baffles the mind.
The Good Stuff
The Inner Ring
This essay is not new. It is from 1944. It wasn’t even an essay at first, but a speech, given by C.S. Lewis at his Memorial Lecture at King’s College in London. But it’s fantastic. It rings just as true today, on so many levels. Scoundrels abound.
💆♀️ On Self-Respect
On the topics of great essays of yesteryear, here’s Joan Didion writing on the notion of self-respect in 1961. It’s just outstanding writing. And she wrote it at the last-minute after another author failed to file their own essay on the topic. And she wrote it to an exact character count.
✍️ Putting Ideas into Words
Staying on the topic of essays, but switching to something more contemporary, here’s Paul Graham on the power of writing to clarify your own thoughts. This is more or less how I live my life and have for decades now. And this doesn’t just mean publishing your words. Sadly, a lot of this practice for me in recent years has been in the form of emails.
💲 ‘Economists Can’t Predict the Effects of New Technologies’
A good interview with economist Tyler Cowen. You’ll note that he credits blogging for his success and, per above, that while reading (and conversation) are great for gathering information, it’s only through writing that you’re forced to decide what you actually think about something. He also wants an AI chatbot to come along that will help him effectively live forever.
💩 The Shit Show
Switching things up, Craig Hockenberry gives his raw, painful assessment of the current state of Twitter — and more specifically, the Twitter ecosystem. His Iconfactory birthed not just Twitterrific, but also the notion of a Twitter bird and the word “tweet”. They also, of course, make several other apps. I personally love Tot (a simple note-taking app — on my homescreen!) and Wallaroo (a wallpaper app). RIP Twitterrific.
“Everyone who retires from surfing just goes surfing more."
— Kelly Slater, who is now 50, on what he’ll do if he ever retires.
The Quick Stuff
Attention: after years of saying they wouldn’t do it, In-N-Out is headed east. Eat your heart out, Shake Shack. 🍔
Hugh Jackman would like you to know that he didn’t take steroids to get into form as Wolverine — and also that he didn’t know that the wolverine was an animal and not a wolf man hybrid. Go Blue? 🐺
Speaking of, Jason Gay makes the case for why Jim Harbaugh should stay in Ann Arbor (which, it seems like he is — for now…) 〽️
Did you know that Rolls-Royce sells well over half of the world’s cars priced over €250k? Ferrari sells one-third of such cars. and Lamborghini sells basically all the rest. Where’s that Apple Car? 🏎️
There’s apparently science behind why kids love those huge planet/stars comparison videos on YouTube. And presumably why I like them too. 🪐
Elise Stefanik sure seems to be a new, more viral variant of opportunistic political climber. Or, as we less politely call them: phonies. 🗳️
Still, could be worse. You could be Kevin McCarthy. His embarrassment led to a truly great headline: Leopards Eat Kevin McCarthy’s Face 🐆
The parallels of cricket and baseball go way back. And they may be about to collide in the U.S. And baseball could probably learn a thing or two. 🏏
Not sure I would have imagined that one of George W. Bush’s daughters — now Jenna Bush Hager — would control arguably the most powerful book club since Oprah, but here we are. 📚
In other Nepo Baby news, King Charles III will be on the pound in ‘24. 💷
Speaking of Nintendo…
I have never felt so old…
🌅 A Sunrise That I Know I’ll Never See
A few quick thoughts on ‘Andor’…
🦣 Mastodon Brought a Protocol to a Product Fight
Mastodon vs. Twitter? Come on…
📖 Daunt is Righting the Barnes & Noble Ship
James Daunt does it again…
🏈 The Cute and the Curious
Michigan’s playcallers fucked around, found out…
⌚️ Minimum Viable Technology
A time, perhaps, for Apple Watch owners to lay down their iPhones…
I had some friends bring GoldenEye to college (in fall of 99 or 2000) and we played it all the time. Good times!