Janusz tucks his mouth into his elbow, makes the shape of the word with his lips. He recognises the sound, insectile in the distance, pictures the plane on the runway, propellers whirling, ready to launch. He rolls his head so his cheek rests against his forearm, the open pages of his maths book a pillow beneath.
By making an investment in the nation and its symbols a prerequisite to commencing the process they call ‘reconciliation’, nationalists are not really ‘offering’ reconciliation at all. Rather, they are seeking to reconcile an image of the nation into which they themselves are already invested, and so too are invested in preserving.
It’s almost as if there’s a connection: when we use grog to escape eons of second-class citizenry and oppressive gendered conditioning, the men most shaped by patriarchy seize upon the vulnerability of inebriation to put us back in our customarily subjugated, violated place.
It is easy to despair when we see how we far we are from reproductive justice, but we must take heart in the mass demonstrations against the overturning of Roe. The numbers, the anger, the persistence, and the recognition that we only get change by organising.
If most videogames are collaborative stories that the player travels through and participates in, like an actor following their part of the script, Elden Ring is more like a complex puzzle box that players collectively poke at, trying to find a way into to figure out its secrets. It pretends to be about masochistic individual performance but is in fact about collaboration, helping each other out, and working against a deliberately obtuse and unfair opponent.