Category Archives: Personal

It’s not just games that need Beta-testing

Humans need beta-testing too, bug-reports and patches. And some of us, like me, need everything explained in detail -stuff I’m doing wrong, stuff that needs changing, stuff that could be better- explained in excruciating detail or I won’t be able to think about it.

There are gaps in each of our experiences, so expecting someone to be able to do something that you need them to do, without asking them, is illogical. They might not be able, because they might never have done it before and they may never have needed anyone to do it before, so it just won’t occur to them.

To take an example from The Man of Feeling, by Henry Mackenzie, “…she fell back lifeless in the chair… It was not until some minutes after, that it occurred to him to ring the bell [for assistance]”. The thought “occurs” to Harley significantly late, because this kind of thing has never happened to him before; he’s probably sitting there with an internal monologue of “Oh my god, she’s fainted, what do I do, help, the prostitute lady has fainted, is she dead, please someone help, oh god, what do I do?”, ya know?

For me it’s emotional-people stuff, people start crying and I’m just there like “oh my god, they’re crying, what do I do, help” and then I go and get a friend and point them in the direction of the crying person.

I made a mistake, long ago, Year 4. Turns out you don’t laugh when someone explains their grandfather, who is suffering from dementia, called them a banana because he couldn’t remember her name. From then on I have been terrified of dealing with emotional people, believing that whatever I say or do, I’ll just make it worse. My one successful fallback is tea and food, throw one of them at a crying person and you’re on to a winner, in my experience.

This, as it has recently turned out, is not a sufficient response when the relationship that you have is a continuing one where you are a main support for the person. “Talking” is apparently a thing that needs to go on longer than a couple of sentences clearly stating a problem, an explanation and an apology. Who knew? (not me) Some people are talky-emotional-people, they need to be listened to, and responded to. In my opinion, these responses are not always genuinely felt or are, in general, meaningless nothings that achieve nothing- there is no practical solution to be generated from them, so why waste the breath on them. It’s not the person, it’s the problem that needs to be solved.

But I’m wrong, this is not always the case. Sometimes all that is needed is an ear and a few sympathetic (ingenuine) phrases. Which freaks me the f’ out, but I’ll try.

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Worry-Doll

Crystal glass terrarium,
soft, smooth, glide, prove.

Inside, a male & female pair,
Dolls with whom this glass cave I share.

Performing for them everyday, ironic,
Encouraging breaking, reaching out.

And on my knees, head bowed I pray,
Learning whatever lesson it is today.

Punching, punching hard, on glass walls.
Punching my way out, for them.

Breaking free like shadow out of sun,
Like sun out of clouds, rushing air out of glass.

Shock wave force from out my heart,
Shatters the smooth glass cage I’m in.

That air, once trapped, now free,
Out I go flying, singing, “Follow me.”

Out I go, like kite in air,
but no string to reel me back again.

There, they sit and stare. Achieved
what they said, not wanted.

Aim and aspiration as lines to stay inside,
As safe space, not pathway to another place.

Crumble inwards little pair, separate and fall.
No longer are those walls so safe,

Nor comforting to little minds, I’m sure.
Come fly, fly free, but do not follow me.

Never-ending little space fractured by the power,
that you nurtured (unknowing, unwanted) in me.

This was not what you expected, for me,
To rise to such heights as to finally be free,

And wanted, and strong, and, well, me.
But in you go, and in you stay,

So crumple, little worry-dolls,
And no more think of me.

 

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Youtube Idols

***SWEARING ABOUNDS***

It’s been a godsdamned age since I last posted, my apologies. I thought I’d better write something even if it’s just more guff and not an actual planned article – these are just supposed to be articles of reflection anyway so hey-ho.

Today the subject for reflection is Youtubers.

I love youtube in general, it’s a nice way to communicate with others (in yes a very narcissistic way but then isn’t any sort of blogging, vlogging, posting on social media in general, writing postcards, publishing memoirs and autobiographies, etc.) and explore the things you love whether from the position of a content creator, or a consumer. I have a few favourite youtubers who I watch on a regular basis and I shouldn’t really list them all with the reasons I like them but um, I’m going to so well done to anyone who perseveres through the rest a this one! [Turns out it’s only a top 3]

Ali Spagnola – Only been following her for about 2 weeks but already so in love holy shit. So she is a singer, artist and does a compilation of her snapchats weekly which is great for nonsnappers like me! Her latest “This Bitch is a No-Tits Fame Whore” snippet is fucking brilliant and I can’t wait for the whole video. My favourite thing tho is just how fucking motivational she is; kickboxing, cycling, her art, and all that while having an active social life and encouraging others to do what they love. It’s so wonderful and now I just really want to finally set up my own fitness routine, get back to uni and join a few exercise classes – and I’ll be watching Ali to remind me it’s my own positive thing, not for anyone else.

Oh and did I mention she’s also beautiful, that helps 😉

Oh and she has a Patreon so fuck yes, wonderful!

Dodger – Again, really fucking motivational beautiful woman, I see a trend starting.. Anyway, her Saturday Morning Doogers are great community discussions with her, including a lil run down of her week which includes the negative sides of her week and I think really encourage people to share their own experiences as well as showing people that you can get through those negative times. The community that’s formed around her is really welcoming, and she discusses her plans for her channel to gauge their reactions which is a lovely creator-audience relationship that I love to see. Her game playthroughs and craft streams are also great, though I really wish she’d do a few cooking ones if she wanted to because her love for food is as inspiring as everything else she does. Her Gaming Newz round up of the week’s gaming industry news, obvs, is one of the few ways I keep a tab on the industry and I really have learnt a lot about how the industry is changing and the reliance on audience opinions that are going to continue to be influential.

TotalBiscuit – Now, I don’t watch a lot of TB, I hardly watch the Co-optional Podcast (with him, Jesse Cox, Dodger and a guest) but the Content Patches and other analyses he does are just so interesting that he is worth noting here. The Content Patches are very similar to Dodger’s Gaming Newz except less often and approach the news from a more consciously analytic angle. Then you have the analysis of game journalism controversies and other game stuffs like the violence and vid games causation-correlation fallacy report which I loved. Really interesting discussions of topics related to gaming in some way, inspirational perseverance and someone else that’s just doing the thing they love.

 

There are of course other lovely talented people that I watch regularly: Jesse Cox; Hannah Rutherford/Lomadia; NettyPlays; Caff: all very inspirational and motivational with their work ethics.

 

 

 

Review: ‘The Keep’ by Jennifer Egan

Picked this one up from the library while searching for their apparently invisible Phillip K Dick section(¡so frustrating!). Last term I studied ‘Look at Me’ by Egan and very much enjoyed it; it was a mix of sub-plots that didn’t even really culminate into something but that did seem to be the point. The exploration of new ways of thinking and connecting with people through the internet, as well as the power of the old, was not only enjoyable but intellectually-engaging.

‘The Keep’ is, somewhat unfortunately, much of the same. Different character’s stories (literally) overlap, and this time the culmination seems obvious and yet is played out in the same way- the main female character is the last voice, bringing all of the stories to a conclusion in a way that allows her to seemingly escape from the strangleholds of contemporary society.

The tone, as well, is very similar, and yes, they’re written by th esame author so you would expect some overlap, but for me it had an almost distorting effect on the castle setting as it was a very American ‘European Castle’ setting. Which yeah, the reason that is like that becomes apparent but still, I couldn’t get over how similar the despondency of the tine was to ‘Look at Me’.

And it wasn’t just that that was similar; I recognised the characters! Or at least some of them. Z was there, inhabiting Danny. Charlotte in Holly, Moose in Howie. Again, this was a shame because the plot itself was almost different, almost. Themes were the same; dis/connection, identity in recognising and being recognised (alto), insincerity, and the old wielding it’s power over the new.

With all that said, it did make me cry. At a similar point that I think ‘Look at Me’ made me cry. The motif of the mother not being able to cope, collapsing in bed and not being able to move; it does make me wonder if Egan has experience along these lines. This time, the daughters’ one comment, ‘I just want you to get better’, well, it hit home, too hard, and I struggled to get through the rest of the book before allowing that emotion to overtake me. It’s not something I often do, it’s weak, it may break me- my resolve, and I have to be strong which often leads to me just not feeling.

So, I just wanted to say thank you, to Jennifer Egan, thank you for writing something that while I see all of it’s similarities to another of your books, actually achieves the aims outlined in the plot; it made me feel again, if only for a night, and for that I am truly grateful.

The Problem with Polygyny

To someone who has generally been taught to blame the Church for everything, this report is actually really interesting.

A little background on me; Semi-Neopagan family upbringing. My ma always wanted us to freely choose and explore everything so whilst she was in the Neopagan way of thinking she didn’t really try to instill it; just you know morals, which she and I don’t see as being connected to religion (i.e. they’re a focus of religion but they’re their own seperate guidelines for life if you like).

My gran on the other hand, hella Neopagan, tho she’d say Pagan and wouldn’t understand that the roots of what she follows actually come from the 1970s not like 370. Not too pushy but definitely encouraging into it, so everything church related for her was condemned basically. We had a Rev friend but he ‘followed the way of the Light’ or some shit, so he was considered alright.

All but the extinction of Paganism? Church’s fault.
Destruction of ancient holy sites? Church’s fault.
Dismissal of personal magic, female power, freedom, free thought, free speech, free worship? Church’s fault.

I mean, you can see where that point of view is coming from, and it does have some basis in reality, you can see those trends. But it’s not a reason to condemn a faith for all but it’s pre-Christian Pagan morals. It really isn’t. And whilst I was never wholly condemning like my gran; I certainly picked up a lot of that attitude from her, being afraid of feeling Christian, mocking the occasional (one) devout Christian (that I wholly regret, though I was 7ish; same year I had a mock wedding held by my friend who was the daughter of a vicar \’-‘/).

So, when it came to the point where I like started actually thinking about stuff like sex, marriage, attraction in a my-entire-world-is-feminist-and-now-I’m-consciously-thinking-about-the-power-structures-and-male-hating-thought-pattern-my-gran-instilled-in-me way, I naturally blamed the condemnation of lesbians, gays and polygamy/open relationships on the Church. It seemed sensible at the time. Now I understand it’s just humans, not a religion’s fault because that’s stupid because humans make the religion (even if it’s divine inspired, they go on to corrupt or spread it).

So, humans condemn polygamy etc., yet I hadn’t moved past the thinking that it was because their religion made sexual relations like that seem immoral (if you read the right passages in the right way). Never had I considered that there may be a more natural reason for their condemnation/closed-mindedness, even though I have already put other things down to a more natural impulse (racism for example can be understood as a natural rejection of not-your-clan; this DOES NOT excuse it- there is a reason that we are sentient, reasoning beings and I firmly believe moving past no longer/never required natural impulses qualifies as one of those reasons).

The transmission of STIs as a reason to be monogamous in a large group seems reasonable, likely and regardless of what criticism is levelled at this model, seems almost unquestionably the most likely reason for polgyny and polygamy to be condemned by a lot of people by natural survival impulse. If this is the case, and I strongly believe it is, there funnily enough doesn’t seem to be much need of it now, or at least in entirely morally corrupt places that are abusing the rest of the world enough to be able to afford sti treatments and protection that prevents transmission.

Basically, let people fuck other fully informed, consenting adults and however many of them of whatever sex they please;  and for gods’ sake provide them with protection to do so!

Ad Hitlerum; ‘Prose-poetry’-only version

The people of said nations respond;

“But it’s your fault [the gov], we voted you in but its your fault these countries are like this you keep doing the wrong thing like you do to our doctors, you keep stealing what they need like you do with our students and firemen and police, and you keep taking for you and not helping these people to fix their country their countries are broken we employ you to fix them fix them fix us fix it.”

“You voted us in, we’re doing our best we don’t understand how to get them to stop we know it’s annoying but it’s like they can’t help it, we can help it here we don’t know why they can’t, please help us, we’re sinking we’re trying please help us.”

“You did this didn’t you on purpose didn’t you we knew it you bastards you always screw us screw them screw up, screw up for everyone but yourselves and we see you now and we’re going to hold cardboard made in factories in tAiwan shipped over by the Chinese in boats made in ‘africa’ running on oil from Iraq and Saudi Arabia which seems to be doing ok so it’s ok, and we’re going to write on this cardboard with pens made from hazardous material that will pollute the water earth air for generations to come that were made in China risking the lives of thousands so we can have pretty colours, and we’re going to hold these up above our heads these things we make to tell you you’re failing you’re doing it wrong.

But no.

We don’t know what else to do.

You do though right?

And that’s why we’ll tell you through petitions online made on computers that contain poisons and degrade over millions of years and we go through millions a year because that’s our life now because we can’t look at our own world because to look is depressing because death and destruction and we know we’re responsible but we don’t know how to fix it we don’t know where we went wrong please help us.

You can fix it right?”

Ironic marketing of the Full Piece

Ad Hitlerum; An Exercise in Contradiction

Silence is a sin, the greatest sin that there shall ever be.

But can I speak for another? No, of course not,

It is not my story to tell, I have not suffered how they have,

My suffering is a pinch on the arm compared to the

Psychological and physical torture they have gone through,

Caused mainly by our own complacency and ignorance.

 

We believe we are good for narrating their story,

We are righteous in our acknowledgement of their suffering,

We are angelic in our own sacrifices to help them.

But we do nothing, or rather, the overall affect we have

Is nothing. We make it worse, generally.

We bomb and steal, rape whole countries at a time,

And get surprised when our soldiers die in a war we started.

 

This is not to say that we do nothing, that there is no hope

So we should stop all our own minor sacrifices for the greater good.

We just need to do more, and do it together,

Not individually, working for all different causes, and means,

And reasons, and morals, and political gain,

But together, for the greater good, for human’s good.

If we can’t even help our neighbour, why, we don’t deserve to live

As far as I’m concerned. It is no wonder there are so many cults concerned with,

And such a market for apocalyptic, dystopian fictions. 1) IT’s not fiction.

2) We deserve the punishment we are writing for ourselves.

 

We do, purely, deserve death for our crimes against humanity.

There are too many of us in the world. We help no one but ourselves,

And when we do, we help because it alleviates our guilt for a while.

Guilt.

 

Because we are guilty. Language is inadequate for getting you to understand

And to motivate you, and to inspire you.

I can’t tell you, I can’t make you see, that everything we do, the entire basis of our society

Is destroying us, as a race, and we’re letting it happen because we are comfortable.

Because we believe we deserve it.

We don’t. We don’t deserve to destroy ourselves.

WE deserve to be sentenced to death for doing nothing about the destruction we are wreaking upon the race. But we don’t deserve that destruction.

We are the plague wanderer, the wandering survivor, living forever in the belief that punishment and the weight of guilt are what we deserve for having survived the biggest scale of self-destruction we’ve ever seen.

And it’s made us complacent, it’s raised the bar of suffering so that nothing can ever seem quite so bad. But I say it is; you want a modern day holocaust? Look to Syria, and Iraq, and Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Brazil, Ferguson, Michigan, Tehran.

France can fuck off.

Reductio ad hitlerum; we are hitler.

So sit and do nothing as a nation of people, we sit in the lap of consumerist luxury, suffering still in poverty or stress or isolation of seeing no one because we’re too busy because we’re working and that’s all we can think of we can think no further than the next paycheck because if we do we don’t know why we’re doing it why we’re putting ourselves through this why we’re working non-stop except in that it’s required to survive in a society of luxury why is it required in a society of luxury and riches and healthcare and education and why.

As a ‘nation’, as countries, we bomb places. We steal their oil and gold and people’s lives, and then wonder why they’re stil fighting can’t they learn they’re uncivilised underdeveloped not as clever as us yet we’ve sorted it we’re living in luxury but they suffer at their own hand. The people of said nations respond;

“But it’s your fault [the gov], we voted you in but its your fault these countries are like this you keep doing the wrong thing like you do to our doctors, you keep stealing what they need like you do with our students and firemen and police, and you keep taking for you and not helping these people to fix their country their countries are broken we employ you to fix them fix them fix us fix it.”

“You voted us in, we’re doing our best we don’t understand how to get them to stop we know it’s annoying but it’s like they can’ts help it, we can help it here we don’t know why they can’t, please help us, we’re sinking we’re trying please help us.”

“You did this didn’t you on purpose didn’t you we knew it you bastards you always screw us screw them screw up, screw up for everyone but yourselves and we see you now and we’re going to hold cardboard made in factories in tAiwan shipped over by the Chinese in boats made in ‘africa’ running on oil from Iraq and Saudi Arabia which seems to be doing ok so it’s ok, and we’re going to write on this cardboard with pens made from hazardous material that will pollute the water earth air for generations to come that were made in China risking the lives of thousands so we can have pretty colours, and we’re going to hold these up above our heads these things we make to tell you you’re failing you’re doing it wrong.

But no.

We don’t know what else to do.

You do though right?

And that’s why we’ll tell you through petitions online made on computers that contain poisons and degrade over millions of years and we go through millions a year because that’s our life now because we can’t look at our own world because to look is depressing because death and destruction and we know we’re responsible but we don’t know how to fix it we don’t know where we went wrong please help us.

You can fix it right?”

 

 

 

 

 

[Soundtrack; Runs in the Family, Amanda Palmer]
[White Noise Don Delilo unread, Ragtime E.L. Dotorow LOVED]