Tag Archives: LongReads

Hello Kitty is Popular, but is she Evil?

A basic Hello Kitty.  (c) Sanrio
A basic Hello Kitty. (c) Sanrio

Some would say I’m a bit of a tom-boy, but when it comes to Hello Kitty, I’m all girl. If, somehow, you’ve missed the ubiquitous feline adorning girls and women alike, let me tell you a bit about her; if you came here trying to figure out if she’s actually diabolical, I’ll get to that. Hello Kitty is the star in the line-up of successful characters created by Japan’s Sanrio Company, Ltd. (Sanrio, Inc., is its U.S. subsidiary). Now at the ripe age of 40, she is more popular than ever and is one of the most successful brands in the history of marketing. She is so popular that Sanrio–without advertising–brings in $7 billion a year from her character alone.

Sanrio’s perspective is to spread happiness, love, and friendship. Their success in selling seemingly innumerable products, running popular theme parks, and even having Hello Kitty painted on airplanes (EVA Airways), shows that people desire to connect with those values.2

Continue reading Hello Kitty is Popular, but is she Evil?

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By the Waters of Babylon: Fallout’s Honest Hearts, S. Vincent Benet’s Short Story, and the Biblical Psalm

By Vicki Priest (c) 2014

[Update:  If you’re interested in the newest Fallout game, I have a detailed (two-part) review here, Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview) and Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Story).]

An image from Chernobyl, Russia, filtered by author (found at http://bit.ly/1t2nfGr).
An image from Chernobyl, Russia, filtered by author (found at http://bit.ly/1t2nfGr). This looks eerily like an image from the Fallout video game series.

Contents

  • About Honest Hearts
  • Psalm 137
  • Stephen Vincent Benet’s “By the Waters of Babylon”
  • The Influence of Psalm 137 and the surmised influence of the By the Waters of Babylon story in Honest Hearts

About Honest Hearts

The Fallout video game series takes a player on dangerous adventures through various regions of the United States after a future nuclear war with China has taken place. The series is one of the more successful in the “role playing game” (RPG) genre, taking place in “post-apocalyptic” times (2161 and forward). “Honest Hearts” is a 2011 add-on to the Fallout New Vegas game of 2010, taking place in what is Zion National Park in the real world, year 2281. While it’s obvious that people died in the park due to the historic nuclear cataclysm, the park itself is mostly unscathed by this point in time.

There are two outside leaders, both Mormon and both from the recently destroyed “New Canaan,” who lead two neighboring tribes, the “Sorrows” and the “Dead Horses,” in Zion Canyon. However, these two leaders have wildly different backgrounds and, not surprisingly, their views on how to handle the invading “White Legs” tribe are miles apart. It is no secret that the White Legs want to kill the Zion Valley inhabitants, just as they destroyed New Canaan. But what will the player do? Aid Joshua Graham and the tribals that wish to stay in Zion by meeting the White Legs head on, or will you side with the more pacifist Daniel and help the Sorrows flee the valley for a new home?

Continue reading By the Waters of Babylon: Fallout’s Honest Hearts, S. Vincent Benet’s Short Story, and the Biblical Psalm