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Have you ever driven over this bridge?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Surrounded by a panorama of leaves that seem almost enthusiastic in their glow, and suspended far above one of the state’s most powerful rivers, this bridge neatly frames the antique steeples and spires of a white-clapboarded Yankee village, seemingly embraced by the forest. It’s a scene not easily forgotten — but it looks a little different today. Although the lofty span may seem infinite to gephyrophobes, it’s only the state’s sixth longest, on a well-traveled interstate route not far from the city that calls itself the gateway to the North Woods, and a stone’s throw from one of Maine’s most historic sites. Perhaps you stopped in this small, photogenic community of five thousand for a night or two at the town’s venerable inn? If so, you were in good company, historically speaking. The hostelry is one of the nation’s oldest, with a guest register that has been signed by a host of key figures in the history of the United States — Presidents Jackson, Tyler, Van Buren, and Harrison, as well as Jefferson Davis and Daniel Webster — most of whom came to the area to settle a border dispute with the British. Things were tense again a few years ago, when a small grassroots group stared down and ran out of town a corporation bent on building an enormous coal-fired power plant. There is already a pair of imposing smokestacks on the skyline here; the townspeople made it clear they didn’t want any others. The paper mill at the base of one of those stacks — and the river that flows beside it — provide the economic backbone for the community and many of its neighbors. Look for this view today, of course, and you’ll have a tough time. An equally impressive connector runs through here now — but this stately span remains. See page 101.

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Do you know how this town got its name?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Welcome to New Milford. That’s not what this midcoast village is called these days, of course, and it’s a good thing, too, because that sounds like some place in Connecticut or Massachusetts. No, this cluster of more than a dozen eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings is one of two fine, white-clapboard hamlets in a town named for the prevalence of its alder trees. (Most people are more familiar with these two picturesque villages than they are with the town that contains them.) One of the state’s mightiest rivers runs through the community — right under this bridge — and it’s the reason for the town’s being. The forests along its banks were a pre-Colonial and early-American source of masts for ships. Legendary pirate Captain Kidd is said to have buried Spanish doubloons and diamonds in town when he paid a visit in search of spars, and the white pine masts of the USS Constitution spent the winter of 1796–97 here. The heyday of mast production was followed by a lively local shipbuilding industry, an economic mainstay of the community for most of the nineteenth century. Mills of just about every type — saw, grist, stave, shingle, plane, carding, and fulling — were set up in this particular village, and worked away from the late 1700s through the first half of the twentieth century. A freshet flushed out those on the north side of the river in 1896, though, and fire took care of those on the other bank in 1924. When the mills and yards were booming, the town was jumping, like the alewives in the river. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in a house on the bank of the river here in 1869, and he rose to fame penning poems about places like Tilbury Town. (But not New Milford.) To see if you’ve ever passed through here, turn to page 98.

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Medium 9780253014993

8. Exploiting Nationalism and Banal Cosmopolitanism: EA’s FIFA World Cup 2010

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Andrew Baerg

SPORT AND ITS REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA HAVE LONG BEEN A site for the communication and perpetuation of national identity. International mediated sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup have tended to become sites allowing for the expression of myths about collective, national identities. As such, it might be expected that this tight relationship between sport and the nation-state would continue in the comparatively new medium of the sports video game, especially one representing a competition between nations.

This chapter addresses this argument by performing a textual analysis of Electronic Arts’ soccer video game 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (hereafter FIFA WC10) in order to learn how it positions its users. By working through and applying cosmopolitan theory and then applying this theory to the text, the chapter argues that FIFA WC10 departs from a traditionally national orientation to the mediation of world soccer toward a cosmopolitan mediation of the sport. As such, rather than position players as national subjects, FIFA WC10’s various gameplay options position its users as global, cosmopolitan subjects.

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Have you driven the lonely highway that traverses this ridge?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Here we have the king of the hills — or the view from the king of the hills. A string of small peaks lift motorists to beautiful views along a legendary byway in eastern Maine, but this is arguably the most picturesque prospect of them all. What we’re after is the name of the prominent natural feature that created the humpbacked rise upon which our intrepid photographer was standing this glorious fall afternoon. It’s an alluvial ridge, or esker, created by a retreating glacier that neglected to pick up after itself. As it melted, the ice mountain dropped dirt and silt and gravel, creating a pronounced spine, upwards of seventy-five-feet tall and 2 ½ miles long. When engineers were building the long and lonely highway through the region, a two-lane, ninety-eight-mile road known for its lack of curves, its wild character, and its unusual name, they logically decided to build atop this ridge. Tales persist about nineteenth-century highwaymen who would rob stagecoach drivers here because the pitch was so steep the coaches couldn’t outrun them. Today’s travelers can safely delight in a lovely panorama of the Union River and the bog that surrounds it. Looking in another direction, you’d see Lead Mountain, a 1,400-foot eminence that you probably wouldn’t want to let your kids eat. The town in which this ridge is located is sparsely populated, much like the rest of the communities along this route, save for the two anchors on either end of its run, one of which is among the state’s largest cities. The landscape here has changed very little since the glacier passed by, according to geologist David Kendall in his book Glaciers and Granite. DeLorme calls the crest “a unique natural area” in its Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, which is cartographic code for “really beautiful place worth driving to see.” Turn to page 100 to find out how to get to this stunning spot.

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Medium 9780253017154

7. Chris Grant: Games and Press

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

ALONG WITH FORECASTS OF INCREASED DIRECT DEMOCRACY and a migration to virtual global currencies, one of the frequent predictions made by many of the early Internet prognosticators was that narrowly targeted news feeds would become the standard form of gaining information for those connected to the Internet. Specifically, many of them suggested that people would be able to find news that was specific to (and exclusionary from) particular geographic locations, particular ideological interests, or particular hobbyist pursuits. These targeted audiences would form communities and cultures around the news sites that appealed to them, creating a kind of feedback loop that kept the audience fixed and isolated. In the past twenty years of online journalism, some of this has indeed taken place. One of the best case studies for how it has occurred is unquestionably that of video game journalism.

Gaming journalism, popularized in the 1980s and early 1990s by thinly veiled adverti-zines such as Nintendo Power and Sega Visions and in youth-focused publications such as Gamepro (and, to a lesser extent, Electronic Gaming Monthly) joined much of the rest of the magazine industry in undergoing a significant sea change when the Internet gained in popularity in the mid- to late 1990s. In many ways, games journalism grew up with the medium it covered. As game publishers started creating more games meant to retain their aging player base, introduced a ratings system to make the content more palatable to parents, and started pushing toward multimedia, gaming journalism followed suit with more organized and focused writing, more objective and regular reviews, and more features that responded to the rapid pace of change in the industry.

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