The Narrowly Avoided Strahovski-pocalypse

If you recall my introduction, the golden rule for playthrough number two was that I would make every decision as I would in real life. I am Commander Shepard. Or not.

Originally, I considered wooing Lt. Ashley Williams. However, her space racist act quickly wore thin. A highly competent, attractive racist might be attractive, but a highly competent, attractive racist is also racist. Not happening. So, my Commander Shepard made his moves on Dr. Liara T’Soni, just like my original playthrough.

However, unlike the first time, I was going to stick with my original choice through all three games. No way I’m letting little things like being dead for two years and working for a sworn enemy to come between me and my girl. Or something…

But, as Mass Effect 2 started, I found myself drawn back to Miranda Lawson. I went into round two determined to make Commander Shepard my avatar. My assumption was that this would lead to different results than my first playthrough.

This, however, was rather foolish when one of the romance options is the brunette version of my no-longer-secret crush.

Also, I think the game is trying to tell us something…

miranda

I think that thing is “Objectification, bitches!”

In the end, things worked out. I stayed professional with Miranda. I played the Shadow Broker DLC earlier than the first time, reigniting the flame with Liara. And I kept this quick hitter from deteriorating into a creepy Yvonne Strahovski-fest or from bogging down into an exploration of sexism in video games.

Tell us something we don’t already know.

I went into my second playthrough with the expectation that things would be different. It wasn’t, mostly. I guess I did a better job playing as myself than I thought.

Thoreau: Justice by Any Means

(Editor’s Note: This is a college essay I finished in 2005. It’s one of the best papers I’ve ever written and it’s about one of my favorite figures in  American History. I hope you get something from it.)

In many ways, Henry David Thoreau has been seen as the darling of American pacifists and peace activists.  Thoreau has certainly given contemporary nonviolence activists reason to praise him.  After all, he did write “Civil Disobedience,” the clearest articulation of the purpose of and logic behind nonviolent resistance.  Although an American classic, “Civil Disobedience” is perhaps more famous for being Gandhi’s guide to nonviolent resistance.1  Despite the laurels bestowed upon him by non-violent resisters, Thoreau was much more concerned with establishing a truly just government than limiting the means by which he was willing to achieve that end.