Tuesday, 12 November 2013


It comes in many forms; the television show that you don't even like but still....something may happen so....or the video game, that you've had lying on the shelf gaining dust forever and is only picked up now because...or it might be that you're just sitting there, staring into space, as if by just willing it the work will somehow, perhaps magically, complete itself.

Hello, my name is Terence O'Sullivan, and I am a professional procrastinator. I don't even mean to do it at times, I just am. I put things off to no end and I think that's partly because the end, so to speak, is so far away. As bad as it may sound, I need people telling me "this! get this done! now!" because otherwise, I slack off. I'm lazy. Well, no, not quite lazy, I don't think anyone who knows me could ever accuse me of that. Unfocused perhaps, because my mind does tend to wander which does lead to (I've been told) delightful ramblings that are perhaps on the wrong side of degenerative dementia. Partly, that's because my mind is doing anything to get away from work, so it becomes a case of my brain thinking "aaah! quick! say something about the flavour of cats," which leads to my mouth saying "so yeah, cats, aren't they're fruity and delicious! but alas high in sugar content, so I can never have them....curse my metabolism!" and that's great, that's fine, but it is tiring. Really, just exhausting. 

I'm stressing out at the moment, and it's not really anything to do with university work (though, I wager that'll change soon enough, given my procastinaty ways....I really shouldn't have watched buffy as much as I did when I was a child...half of you will be like "what?" and the other half will be like "mmm, raisins"), no, as always it's down to money. See, because the student housing turned out to be such a bum idea, one that I am still paying out for, I've got no money. Which is fine, because I live at home right? Well....let me take you on a tour through the refrigerator and freezer of my hoooooome! Okay, I guess we got a minuscule block of cheese and a small bottle of milk in the former and three bags of assorted frozen veg in the latter...a hearty set of meals by any standard! And that's it, because no one in the house has any money. It's always like this at least one week of the month because my mum and sister don't work and I was a student last year and of course am one again this year. This time though, it's just really piled it on. This whole month has just been harsh, and it won't get any better until the end.

Don't get me wrong, there are people in worse positions, and I'm not even talking about victims of tragedy or extreme events, just people in their everyday, average lives, so, I'm not complaining, hell, I've had it much worse myself in the past. But the point I am trying to make is that it does lead to procrastination. To short-termism. Example, I've been going to bed very early these past two weeks, why? Two reasons, firstly, it's a lot easier to deal with an empty stomach when you're asleep, and secondly, I've been lacking the energy. What this means is that when you do find a little cash for food, when you do manage to scrape a little something to get some bread or whatever, you're not thinking of conserving it, it's just get it down as fast as you can because it's the first filling meal you've had in a week. From that it's perhaps easy to see that yeah, it's a little hard to think about academic work that needs completing when you're not entirely sure your next meal is coming from. 

Also, this is my explaining why I've not written a blog or done a video for a while, again, it's just been something of a pill doing the things I have to do without adding the things I actually want to do on top of it...which is really bloody annoying....not going to say when regular schedule will resume because I don't know (has it ever been regular?) but hopefully within the next month, adios for now!    

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A small list of things that annoy me:

1) Getting food stuck between my teeth...you can't tell me that there is a just and loving god out there when I've just spent half an hour trying to get rid of the (as in one, singular) poppy seed from my tasty poppy seed covered loaf that has wedged itself between my canines. Well, you can tell me that there is such a deity, but then I'm afraid I'll have to ask that you prove He exists by sending you to meet Him and report back on the matter. Fire will be involved in the sending...

2) People who exit a building, then stop right in front of the doorway and thus bar me from entering...I don't care what the excuse is, whether it's that they're waiting for their friends to also exit, or they've gone half an hour without increasing their risk of cancer (and what a shame that is as people like this deserve that cancer more than anyone else!) or that upon leaving the building they find themselves amazed, nay, in literal awe that the outside world could be so beautiful it reduces one to a state of catatonia....I really don't care. Next time it happens, instead of tutting and mumbling curses under my breath I'm going to, in addition to the aforementioned actions, tap my foot impatiently, yes, that'll show them!

3) People who make lists of things. I mean really, what is the point, for one, it's insulting to the reader, acting as though they need things to be laid out for them in precise, numerically labelled order. As though they'll read a couple of items and wonder to themselves "Hmm, how many things has he mentioned? Oh I don't know, why didn't I go to school?! Why?! WHY?!" and then they go off and shoot themselves, as is the course of nature in these matters. 

4) The internet. It's too distracting! I need it to do work, but on it I can never do work, so might as well not have it in the first place! That's right, it's a paradox. You all know what a paradox is, right? Well, I'll break it down for you, first we've got "Para" from the Ancient Greek word for besides, and then we've got "dox" from the corrupted pronunciation of ducks, so paradox means "besides ducks" as in "well, this would work on everything, besides ducks" and that's just science. 

5) Scientists. A while ago I was thinking to myself, "how do scientists know what they know" and I arrived at a startling discovery...they don't know...they're all just guessing! Gravity, an invisible force that is all around and keeps us stapled to the ground...sounds a bit like magic, doesn't it?! Show me gravity. But they can't, they're just good storytellers, they "invent" or "discover" all these things, but never show us. "Oh it's there! Trust us!" they say, whilst asking for more and more money to "prove" that such and such exists...but they know....they know they don't know....I'm onto you scientists, yeah *glares at scientists*.....grrrr

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The adventures of Adventure-Man

It's been a busy kind of month. (Holy shit, it's been a month?! Well...near enough) I've moved out of my home, started university, moved back home, been drunk, a lot, been deathly ill (not related to alcohol...there was this flu thing going around....felt more like TB...tbh...ha! see what I did there?! we have japes aplenty here, oh my yes), met an inordinately crazy amount of new people and actually started doing work (mostly) when I get it instead of leaving it until the last minute! Imagine that!

Because of all that I've not really had a chance to just chill, you know...get grounded in a sense because this month just passed has gone by alarmingly quickly. This weekend will be the first in a long time where I can actually just do nothing. I mean, I know I'm going to end up doing something exhausting, probably something to do with writing or walking aimlessly around Liverpool at night, you know, that kind of thing. I know, it's not good, I'm always tired because I don't really get to rest because there's either work that needs doing or I create my own tasks for myself because I get bored so easily. Most of the time I could be relaxing I end up writing, or rearranging things in my room, or wrestling the dogs just...anything you know. I hate being inactive, it feels somewhat wasteful.

But I know I need to stop at times. Because I do get so very tired, I'm continually exhausted because I can't just sit there, I can't just watch TV or hell, even read a book. I'm sure it's some form of ADD. I'll be sitting there, reading whatever and you know, properly reading it in, taking it in, but I'll also be pacing the room, stopping every now and then to write something or google something that's popped into my head....it really is quite distracting. For instance, this (so far) has been a very short piece (by my standards) I've stopped four or five times already just to go and read LFC and mmo-champ forums. I get bored very easily. I do sometimes wonder if that's the effect of the internet or video games or just my genetics...

I think worse than my flippancy toward things are the obsessions I get. To a mild extent I think everyone gets obsessed over something. You listen to that same song over and over and over, or get really into that show, you know, the one with the llamas...you sick freak! I'd be ashamed if I were you, but if I were you, I wouldn't be watching it, so I wouldn't be ashamed...but you would still be...as you should be! But anyway, yeah, I think I've talked about this before. I can get obsessed with ideas and things. Really obsessed, to the point it's all I'll talk about...much to the detriment of the conversation. But that's fine, what I'm really talking about is my stubborn ideas. I know I've talked about mistakes not too long ago, and that is basically an extension of this. I know something is a bad idea, but I'll stubbornly pursue it because...reasons, I guess. I don't even look at it in a logical way and it actually, genuinely scares me. I mentioned at the start that I moved back home which has led me to re-evaluating my financial situation. (Short version...it's bad...oh gods....it's bad...) Which meant I had to look at my original calculations...and they were wrong...not just slightly, but really way, way off. I'd basically got it wrong by a factor of three. I remembered my exact way of working it out, what factors I'd included, used the exact numbers and came up with completely different numbers....Now you may think "well, anyone can make a mistake" and that is true. But I went over and over these numbers. Hell, part of the reason I was so determined about the move away was because it would be better for me financially....but I was wrong. Laughably, fantastically wrong, time and time again when I did those calculations over the summer...and I can only rationalise it as me being so obsessed, so determined with moving that it distorted what I was perceiving...and that's worrying, you know....if you can't trust your own brain...who/what can you trust?

Yeah...Descartes would disagree with me...probably, but man, fuck him! If he so great how come he so dead?! Huh?! Answer me that! Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the last hour or so before bed doing washing....well, I say enjoy, it's more like labour through...not quite as arduous as Heracles' labours...but hey, come on, he was a demi god...I myself am a half divine but you know, gods were just cooler back then. Laters.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The cost of freedom


Just a suggested song you can listen to whilst reading this. I like it, it's cool (in my opinion)and you should, though, it's just as cool if you don't, because that's the power of freedom! A great many people think we live in a free world, that the country we live in is a free democracy, where we are able to say anything freely...and we are! We are absolutely free to do anything we are capable of any time BUT, and here's the thing, we are free to do them if we accept that there will be consequences to those actions. 

See, I know you'll be thinking to yourself "well, if there's a consequence, then it's not really free, we're not really free to do that whatever example you can think of." Well, of course there's going to be a consequence, everything you do (or don't do) has a consequence. Imposed by either our culture, our families and friends or hell, even biologically. You're perfectly free to go punch a midget (or for that matter call them a midget in the first place, nowadays it's more PC to call them a dwarf...which etymologically, is even more of an insult, but hey...logic, whatevs right, who needs that?) but don't be surprised when you're hauled in for assaulting a person...or being ostracised by your friends for beating up something that is physically as small as a child. You are perfectly free to rant and rave outside abortion clinics that no woman should have the right to their own body, but you know, then you've got to accept that you'll be looked at as though you're the raving bag of distended scrotal rot that you so patently are. 

My point is that you are free to do these things, or whatever else, but there will be a consequence to your actions. How is it that you are free then? Well, because one is one thing and the result is another. What is so often the case is that people mistake the "effect" part of cause and effect to mean the same as the cause, the initial action. The first part, the cause part is absolutely free. You can choose any cause you like, from anything in the world. You can influence it, plan it, devote all your time to it, direct it along the lines you want but you can't always see the future effect, the end result. The end of a thing is not where you can change it or the beginning.

A great example of this is gladiatorial combat....what, hear me out on this....I'm not just mentioning it because Gladiator was on the other night and it is such a great movie. No, I'm talking about cause and effect. The cause in this movie is Maximus deciding to fight. He's in a situation where he seemingly has no freedom. He is a slave, bought to fight for the amusement of others. But he chooses to fight. He could choose not to fight, and he'd have been put to death, but by choosing to fight he upsets the emperor and blah blah blah big Hollywood ending. The real point of that is the choice to fight. The effect or end result was that he would fight, or be put to death fighting, he was going to have to fight, so he chose to. Is that freedom? He made a conscious decision to perform an action one way and not the other, is that not what freedom is? 

I like it when people know that they are in a bad situation, one they can't win, but still try. I think it's the truest expression of freedom in the whole world. There's something awe inspiring about people who find themselves backs against the wall, no apparent chance of making it out, no real hope or belief that change can be effected in their lifetime, but choose to fight...and then sometimes it worries me that people think democracy is an entitlement, not a reward. Entitlement only matters when it's taken away from you. Seriously, think about it. How many people do you know of (the younger generation especially) who actually care about elections? National or local. How many of them are aware of each political parties policies or stances? How many have considered actually running for a chair themselves? Did you hear that little voice in the back of your head saying "eugh, who'd want to be an MP, they're all corrupt, thieving bastards" or something similar? Of course you did, we all did. So then why, after believing that they're so dirty/corrupt do we not try and change that instead of abstaining or merely swapping one puppet for another? Because it's an entitlement, we don't really care so long as it's there. We are free to choose, and often do, the path of least resistance. If the right to vote was taken away today, would there be an uproar? Oh there would be so very many Orwellian references that we'd get bombarded with but then, at the end of it...would we be bothered because we lost an entitlement or because we lost a vote.

So, does freedom actually exist....I think it does, but perhaps not in the way people readily define it. I really do believe that at any time a person can do anything that they want (which is what the classic freedom generally is) but that they also have to accept that actions have consequences. There is a freedom there, but it certainly has a cost to it.          

Friday, 20 September 2013

No, you're an idiom!

I figure that the best way to deal with this is by simply writing it out...I really don't know what to, no, not what, how to, I really don't know how to write this blog I have to do for my university course. See, here, I can be free and easy, I can be cliché and cheesy, I can write ridiculous little poems mid paragraph in a manner most cheerful and breezy...heh...that was stupid...but see, I can do that here, I can be stupid and say stupid things because it doesn't really matter. It's a completely personal piece, a sounding board for my own opinions and thoughts, and whilst I know that technically it's all out there in the open, I guess it feels like it's really closed off because I don't get very many readers and even if I did get hundreds, thousands hell, even millions of them, it still wouldn't matter because at the end of the day it is just purely my opinions/thoughts and wouldn't really count for much outside of my own head or the entertainment of others....this blog for the university though...see, you'll have noticed if you read through this that I'm generally very lax regarding the actual application of correct grammar, correct syntax and such, it's very much a conversational, disjointed style of writing, full of idioms and nods to geek culture and I'll grant ye that at times that can be quite...annoying or difficult to read/follow, and I get that, I really do, these tend to be train of thought writings because that's my style of writing...it can be entertaining, and you know, great! I hope they are! But to submit it for critical assessment....I guess I'm just worried that because it's very scatter-gun approach, because the flow flips back and forth, that it'll be heavily marked down because it's technically not very good, the quality is quite low in those technical terms...ellipses! Look how many ellipses I use! It's bloody ridiculous! If I had dollar for every use of ellipses I've done in these things....I'd have a lot of money but it'd be the wrong currency and so utterly useless....so it wouldn't matter anyway...

I don't know what to put, I really don't. I've enjoyed the first couple of weeks. The timetable conflicts were annoying, having to wait three hours between lectures and yeah, that wasn't much fun, but the flip-side of it was that it forced people to interact. It's true that not every single person took to it, but even now it's still possible to see the groups of people who went off to explore Liverpool, or else found themselves sat in the coffee shop with each other. If it wasn't done on purpose I'd actually argue for it's inclusion as it got people chatting to one another, whereas if it had been lecture after lecture (or the horribly forced "ice-breaking" games) then I'd be willing to bet most people would have remained in isolation....

Okay! Went away there for a little bit, got the First blog entry thing for my course done....I've a feeling it's been done incorrectly, but whatever! The point is I dived balls first into the hornets nest and now the only thing to wait for is the sweet, sweet release of death....or the unexpected arousal of having done the right thing....mmm, oh sweet stings......I didn't write like that in the blog, do you think I should have? Oh gods, what if they think I'm some kind of anti-hornet protester because i didn't include that, hornetist! they'll call me and throw jars of hornet jelly at me (do hornets even make jelly? I know bees do...and hornets are basically like bees but on steroids right? right?!) until i fall over and die from my dreadful allergy to hornet jelly (am i really allergic? I don't know, do hornet's even make jelly? WHO CAN SAY?! Some things a man is just not meant to know!) but aside from that, I've nothing to do this weekend....Gods above that feels liberating. THe past two - three weeks it's just been like living life in AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH HOLEE SHIT! mode, which is a mode I don't recommend. I mean, it's good and fun and all and yeah, but the thing is.....I'm naturally quite introverted, and these past few weeks have been really physically and mentally exhausting for me...I'm not saying they were bad, because they weren't, not at all, they were good, great even....but very tiring. I've probably met and talked to more people (like, properly met and talked) in the past fortnight than I have in a decade....it was definitely a good idea to have gone to college prior to University...if I hadn't been prepped? I guess, acclimated? Yeah, that's a better word, if I hadn't acclimated to people again through college, I'd have sunk here, so you guys and gals, thank you for that. That said, it is nice to going back to being introverted for a bit, just, build a nest or something, a burrow, and dive into that. Even if just for a weekend, just watch anime and movies, maybe tape hedgehogs to my palms and run around high-fiving people, maybe listen to some tunes...you know, just normal everyday shizz. Anywho, going to wrap it up there because there is a video game out there, somewhere, sad that I am not playing it...and I just hate it when people/animals/inanimate objects/abstract concepts get sad because I'm not there (it's more common than you'd think), so I'd better go remedy that.....adios for the now!  


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mistakes for all!

I love making mistakes...no, that's a bloody understatement, I really fucking love making mistakes. If mistakes were a person, (Miss Takes? Ho ho ho, we do have fun here with the puns and whatnot!...it's not a pun, it's a play on words! you fool!) I would obsessively stalk that person....it would not end well for either of us....but the point of this is, the takeaway from this is that I really do enjoy making mistakes. I hear you asking "But Terence, how do you tell the difference between store bought cola and brand cola when they're unlabelled?" and the answer is simple, I believe you learn better from your mistakes. It's like....remember when you were a child and you burnt your hand on the cooker? (If you don't, just imagine you do...basically all that memory is anyway) From then on you know to keep away from it. But it's basically guaranteed that your parent or carer or supernatural watcher told you first "don't put your hand on the cooker, it's hot!" and that's, well...great...but what is hot? How do you know what hot is if you've never experienced it? You pay attention to what they have told you, of course you do, they're your mum, your baby-sitter, your ephemeral ghost friend who is unable to move into the light and must forever remain on this planet warning little children such as yourself to not touch the hot things or else you'll end up dead and haunting the place like him...but you don't really take it in. So, you totter off to the cooker and as the little bad-ass punk that you think you are you put your hand on the stove, pfft, it ain't no big deal right? Could leave your hand there all d-Jesus Christ! that hurts! Then you wail and cry and run off to an adult and tell them all about how you didn't pay attention to their wise words....and they roll their eyes and do whatever it is that parents do to comfort a child (in my house, they believed wholeheartedly that laughter is the best medicine.....so they laughed at my injury....I'm just messing! I hope...I really can't remember....) and we learn and we never do it again....until the next time...

So why the subject of mistakes....well, basically....I made a mistake coming here, to the student halls....that's not to say there's anything wrong with either my flat, flatmates or the area, because there isn't. They're good buildings/people/locations, just...not entirely for me....I knew it was a mistake from the first moment I decided I was going to move into a shared flat, a halls of residence, but again, as I said at the start I love making mistakes. I had to do it, you know...oh Lord, that's basically a sign of masochism isn't it? Doing something you know will harm you regardless of that knowledge....But yeah, I had to do it because I knew I'd hate myself if I didn't go for it...My brain would be calling me a chicken and bawking all the damn time about it, and no! Just no! Bad brain! You don't get to dictate my life! (I don't get out of this phase until I go back to the future and see myself get fired for not backing down to a challenge after being called chicken like in that movie, though the lesson doesn't really settle in until I go back to the wild west and learn about my namesake who was very similar to me and died because of his inability to back down, basically my life is Back to the Future....I wish...)

It's not that I don't enjoy doing things right, because I do...it's just...I like being wrong sometimes, you know, there's a thrill in genuinely not knowing something, or being told not to do something and then doing it anyway, and just fucking up....I hate the bad reputation failure gets, people looking down on it and crap, there's a snide remark I often hear about Edison's (and I am loathe to credit Edison positively, but alas, these are strange times and here we are) quote of "I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." that basically runs along the lines of "Well, I'd rather just do it right first time."....bravo to those people, they miss the point. If you got everything exactly right first time, then what? If you just sailed through life, getting everything right first time, never making any mistakes at all, excelling perfectly at any and everything you try, how boring would you be as a person? No, not even boring, just condescendingly inhuman. You couldn't debate with people, because you know, you'd just beat them, even if the subject was philosophy, because hey, you're always right. Always. Whatever the topic, whatever the subject....notice how no good ice-breaker starts with "So, guys, I am awesome in every way and have never done anything wrong ever", well, bully for you! There's no empathy to be had with that statement. We as a species relate to each other by our mistakes, by what has gone wrong (or what we perceive of having gone wrong), if everything always goes exactly the right way, if there's no set backs, we degrade as humans, we become less than what we should be because there is no challenge there, no need to adapt and overcome. Anyway, I've talked enough here, I'm going to go adapt and overcome a plate of curry (....that sounded way less gross in my head....I'm going to leave it in there though, because mistakes, yay!) or something...later days y'all! 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Take your pick

Howdy do! So, it's been a long time since my last blog and the reasons for that are as varied and many as they are boring and tedious but the short answer is that I didn't have much access to the internet...I mean, I had it on my phone, but my phone is an ancient piece of shit (well, no, that's not fair, it's a good little phone for, you know, actually phoning people...i.e. the actual reason for which it was created...) that hates these new-fangled, devil-ridden inventions such as the internet and Bluetooth and mp3s, sure, it can use them, sometimes, if I really force it to, but for the most part the thing just leers at me if I come at it with the request to check my email....

Anywho, that's by-the-by, so what will I be talking about today?! Well, it's me so you know that I'm going to be talking about one of three things, my love of video games, university/education in general or tales of my childhood with philosophical ramblings interjected haphazardly into the main narrative...so take a guess! Are you taking a guess? If you guess rightly you'll win a small pot of jam (you even get to pick which flavour!) and an all expenses paid trip to the Moon! (*winning participants must be able to supply their own pot for the jam to go in, their own spacesuit and breathing apparatus and there is no cash alternative available, entrants must be over 18 and have blue eyes (today) or brown eyes (tomorrow) to enter).

Did you guess rightly? Did you?! DID YOU?! Well, if you did, or didn't, or didn't even attempt to, here is the answer! All of the above! Hah, that wasn't even an option, no prizes for you! (Please don't report me to the games commission or whatever it's called, I can't go back to prison again for the first time! I am a sweet and delicate thing, I wouldn't last a day without snapping and burning the place down...)

See, it's very nearly here...today's date, if you are unaware (or are reading this in the future, or the past! Which I tell you would be some trick indeed!) is the third of September....which means that I move out of my house in four days time....my course induction is now under a week away...It's all getting rather real and that's making me quite nervous. It's very strange, because this has been my dream for, well... basically...ever...certainly as long as I can remember and I can remember very long into the past indeed (well, possibly, probably, hopefully...though how would I know if I'd forgotten things entirely....makes one think, certainly) and now that it's basically here...I'm quite...no...very...I'm very nervous about it all. I mean, because of one reason and the others I'm getting into this game quite late, and I'd like to blame other people for it, but really it's all been down to me. I think I've talked about it before, that a person can't choose what happens to them, but they can choose how they react and that I reacted poorly, and I did! There's a sense of relief that this point is finally here, it feels like I've finally clawed my way up to where I should have been six/seven years ago if I hadn't just let go of wanting, well, anything but drinking and playing video games really....and you know, that sounds fun as shit, and it is! Up to a point...It's depressing, just brutally mind numbing and when you get to that state because of depression in the first place, it is just a crushing existence. There's little point in getting out of bed, hell, there's little point in going to bed in the first place, so your sleeping pattern gets all out of whack, which just depresses you further! (Look it up, I think it's seratonin or something, lack of sleep causes lack of it, lack of it causes depression) It really is just this vicious cycle.

It's a really weird thing though, depression, because it is also a crutch, it's a reason to not try and improve, a sort of "oh, why bother" mentality and before you jump on my back and start screaming like some demented howler monkey that that's not true...it is. I'm not saying that everyone suffering from it is like that, because they're not, they genuinely do have chemical imbalances in their brain that stop them from being able to enjoy life or look forward with any kind of optimism, I've known and continue to know people who fall into that category...which makes me annoyed when people play off it. You know, the lazy bastards who just don't want to work so they pretend to be depressed to commit benefit fraud, who use it as an excuse to avoid looking for work, to get out of having responsibilities. But mostly, I hate it because it harms people who have the actual illness, who need the actual help. Think about it, if a hypothetical drug was developed that cured depression and was given to people who weren't depressed but who were fleecing the system for money, even if it makes them as happy as balls they would still report themselves as depressed even though the drugs ostensibly "worked" and the pharmaceutical companies go back to the drawing board...though they're not too arsed about it, because hey, more money for them in developing new treatments right? But yeah, it's not just drugs, it's care workers and social workers, the people who look after these "depressed" people, if their techniques don't "work" on them, they have to adapt them unnecessarily, time and again. It's not just depression that people do this on though, don't think I'm ragging just on them, it's everything where people aren't really a part of the thing but use it to further their own means to the detriment of the people who are really trying to deal with it. Like the looters who "join in" with the riots that happened all over the UK a couple of years ago after the Duggan shooting. The cause, the movement didn't matter to them, they weren't looking to improve the world, people weren't talking about the social change that should have happened after it thanks to them, they were talking about how it was terrible that these riots happened at all. People forget that the first "riot" was actually a peaceful protest wanting an explanation for the shooting. Like the depression thing, it becomes curing "symptoms" that don't exist in the actual condition.

I'm not sure how this became so serious so fast, and I feel kind of bad about that, so, some levity to finish for you all....a horse walks into a bar and the barman says "why the long face?" and the horse says "my wife just died in childbirth...the foal died as well"....waaaaait, that's not light hearted at all! Well, I tried! Lord help me but I tried! *puts jet pack on* now, goodbye! *jetpacks away* 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The biased truth: A lesson in relative fidelity

Man has always been at war...it's in our blood. It's been that way ever since one monkey picked up a rock, bashed it over another's head and found that he was able to then take that other monkey's things. It gets into everything, from small things such as the fight over who can use the bathroom first in the morning to the big things like invading third world countries for natural resources I erm mean..."weeding out the bad guys who'd do us harm! yeehaw!"...the point is as a species we thrive on conflict. Even video gamers. There's always some story in the media that goes on about how video game caused violence is on the rise; it was Doom that caused Columbine, it was Grand Theft Auto that caused that Thai man to kill that taxi driver back in 2008, it was Katamari Damacy that caused the recession because it compelled Jeff Jefferson to run around hoarding everything in the world so that inflation sky rocketed because there was so little left in the world that Jefferson didn't own....those were dark, dark days indeed....

Of course, before video games, life was golden! Nothing bad ever happened! I mean sure, basically over 99% of wars happened before the advent of computer gaming...but come on, other than that it was great right?! Oh, come on, The Great Depression wasn't all that bad, it really brought people together! And as for the Dark Ages?! Best time, ever! Or whatever other example you care to mention...yes, everything sure was great back then!

Okay, that was unfairly sarcastic, a lot of great stuff did happen prior to video games, arguably more great stuff than has happened since, there, I've given you a freebie...but here's the thing, the real reason why video games are looked down on as a form of entertainment....they're new. It really is that simple, they've been around for about 50 years now but they only really hit the mainstream about 30 years ago and even then it was only seen as a kids toy. It's a rapidly growing industry, in this console generation alone, between the three main console competitors (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii) they've sold over a quarter of a billion machines and that's not including how many handhelds (such as the DS or 3DS) are sold or how many PCs were bought with the express intent of being used as a games machine, it's estimated that there's roughly half a billion people worldwide who play at least an hour daily...the market for it is growing.

You have to question the intent of the media's stories. There's the story that's being presented and then there's the story behind that story, why is the general media always so keen to press the issue of video game violence. Well, there are a few reasons that are pretty easy to discern. Firstly, there's the target audience. As I said before video games are basically a youth thing. I'm not saying that that is entirely the case, as it's blatantly not so, they've been embraced by a decent percentage of the older population, but what about the rest. To them, video gaming is strange and unusual, it's full of it's own terminology indecipherable to those without the key ("l2p noob" "360 triple collateral no scope!" "gank DR, thn bk 2 mid grp 4 rosh" "fucking lagswitching"), it's something they can't get into because it requires time and/or effort and (most importantly I would argue) it could cause a rift to open in their social circle ("Franks into those kiddy-games now, ain't ya Frank."). So they're not altogether enthused about video games in the first place, because it's not for them, but you know what is? Watching television, watching the news, ever notice how the news broadcasts on BBC are different to the ones on MTV? Or how Fox news is different from Al Jazeera? That's called media bias, what you are getting is ostensibly the news, but it is the news presented in a format specifically for a certain demographic. If your audience is older, you show video games/new music in a bad light. This is primarily done to achieve repeat custom, if a news show is similar to your world view odds are likely that you will return to it again and again, which is great for the advertisers. It's the same with newspapers, websites, everything, they are all pushing an agenda to get you in again and again. There is truth there, sure, but you have to question it.

Why do you have to question it...well, in video games case especially, it's because it's harmful to other media....it's simple if you think about it, if you're busy playing a video game then you can't be watching the television programs. You can't be seeing all those lovely advert breaks. You're not watching movies and seeing the product placement. Consider who owns all those businesses, Sony own Columbia Pictures and I think that's the only major crossover in the industry (please do point out if I'm wrong, I'm not entirely certain), every one else is in competition. It's slowly fading away as their services become ever more intermingled (see for example Xbox1's deal with the NFL, worried about choosing between Halo or NFL on Monday nights?! well, now you don't have to!) and interestingly enough this has happened before. When television was first introduced, it didn't really do well, it was looked down on (much as video games are now) both by the media and the media influenced public...television started making some headway in the early 50s though and then the movie companies caved when they realised that they could make money off of old movies through their re-release on television. The Movie companies (the biggest of which are today's media conglomerates) should really have seen this coming though, as that was exactly the same way they began (as the innovative, edgy, underdog against the might of Print published media). 

Which leads me back to my opening, where I said that man has always been at war...old ideas are always conflicting against new ones, until the new idea itself becomes accepted, and then old, and is then fighting against some new idea...because just as much as we are about fighting, we are about adapting and making things routine. What was unthinkable back then is now considered unremarkable and normal, it's not always a good thing, but it can be.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

This one is about running, one way or the other...

I like sports....and sports like me, like, more than a friend....but that's cool. I was never really into sports as a child, until about the age of seven, then I really started to get into football, then I got ran over by a car and nearly lost my left foot and couldn't do anything sports related for years because Fate is a capricious bitch. When I had recovered I did well enough to get on several school teams, at various points I was on the badminton team (badminton is the most badass sport ever! don't you dare dis it!), the football team and the athletics team. In fact I was so good at the art of running really kinda fast thing I got invited to join the Liverpool Harriers (which you know, trains the guys and gals we send to such small events as the motherfucking olympics!) but I didn't take them up on that offer...why? Was it because my friend who was also invited didn't want to go? If you ask my mum she'll tell you that was the reason, but she's wrong. I didn't join it simply because I am lazy. 

I love sports, I really do. But if there's the smallest obstacle to doing them, then I'll sit back and be like "oh well, I tried, mwa mwa"...and that's a tremendously shit-bag thing to do because (and this is not just a tooting my own horn kind of thing) I am really, really good at them...like....all of them....I'm not fantastically great at all of them, but some of them....yeah, I am, and sometimes I feel really bad for not using that talent you know, for letting it go to waste...and it was purely down to laziness, my laziness. For a long time I was convinced it was down to my friends, they don't ever want to play sports, they dislike them, so I'd ask to go the park and kick a ball around, get shot down and that was that. They were the reason I didn't play football, I'd tell myself. They were the reason why I never played tennis, I told myself....the point I'm trying to make is that I was (and some would argue am still) a giant bag of arse. It wasn't them stopping me from playing football, from going out and finding a team, or hell, even other friends to do whatever sporting activity with, it was entirely my own doing, because I am lazy, because I could take the route of "oh well, I tried, lol", so I could play the role of the tragic figure ("oh I want to to do such and such, but alas! fate doth conspire against me by pitting me against such opposition to my dreams! such opposition that no mere man may ever overcome! the woe! all the woe! she is me and I am her! oh woe indeed!").

Its something we all do to a certain extent, we all love to play the victim ("and there I was, minding my own business, out stealing, when some criminal steals my car with all my stole loot in it!" - http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/robber-robbed-tells-police-article-1.1219177 ) because we are a subjective race in an objective world. We literally can't see the world as it is without distorting it with our own minds, everything that happens is filtered through our minds and we each interpret it differently, according to our own beliefs and ways of thinking. We look at things in how they relate to us specifically, remember that time you got into a heated argument over something and the other person didn't give a solitary fuck? Or less of a fuck anyway, and you got really offended? "How could this person not hold this thing to the same high value as myself! Clearly because they are a terrorist!" or some other such nonsense. In short, everything you hold dear must be held dear to other people otherwise they are morally corrupt in some way, or evil, or just simply wrong...which is bullshit, because yeah, they do think differently, but it's not wrong, it's just their subjective experiences that make them that way, that has made them view the world in that way. In their shoes you'd think the exact same way they'd do. Basically it all boils down to a "me, me, me!" way of dealing with the world, because there's no other way of dealing with the world, even trying to see it from another persons' point of view isn't altogether great because at the end of it, you'd be trying to see their reasoning from within your own. If it's totally against what you believe, no matter how reasoned or logical or whatever, it'll be rejected as a valid subject.

And that's why I haven't played any sport for a long time, not because I lacked the objectivity to see that other other people not wanting to play meant that I should have just found others to play with....but because personally, subjectively, I didn't want to find other people to play with because I am lazy....I think this whole post has kind of got away from me to be honest...but oh well, sports and philosophy always make for an interesting combo I feel, now I'm off to find some thing with which to break my fast, vaya con dios y'all!   

Sunday, 4 August 2013

How I learned the value of being cynical: A rope of sand...

There are things I talk about that are just uninteresting, there are things I talk about that are very interesting...and there are things I talk about that are placed somewhere within those two values, but you know what irritates me (and this is going to be hugely hypocritical) most of all is people assuming that what you say has no value whatsoever...we've all been there when we've said something or espoused some thing that we believed to have immense value and been shot down entirely...and you've every right to be angry at this! After all, it's what you're saying right? It's your universal truth, you're right, they're wrong, how dare they treat it as anything less than gospel right? Well, actually, you're both right...and you're both wrong...see, the universe is entirely subjective, what you hold to be dear to your heart another person could very well disregard entirely and who's right in that situation? Well consider, what is "right" anyway? What we believe to be "right" is actually the accumulated knowledge we've experienced, yeah? If someone else has led a similar life then yeah, they're probably going to have similar outlooks and perspectives compared to ourselves and so we'll end up agreeing on a number of issues...but what about those who've led very different lives? If they were brought up in a different religion, in a different social class, by parents with differing values....or whatever other variable you care to think of...they're going to be different, but are they any less "right"? 

My point is that things, that life, is almost entirely (if not actually entirely) a relative experience....the things that you consider to be vital to your existence, another may disregard entirely...and it wouldn't be wrong, not exactly, simply because that is their life, their experience. You may think I'm focusing too much on the individual, ok, let's take it further and broaden the term to our society as a whole....what is "right" in our society may be wrong in another. Example, boy do we English people (taken as a majority whole) love bacon. We love it so much that it is a vital part of what is called the "Full English Breakfast", it simply would not be a full English breakfast without the bacon....now go offer it to a Jew....or a vegetarian....or someone who simply does not like pork....who is "right" here? Answer? We all are. Every last one of us with every differing opinion because that is exactly what life is, a collection of opinions and there are no wrong ones. There are ones you will disagree with, there are ones I heartily disagree with, but as much as I disagree with them I assign them value....I don't know what a person has lived through to make them so adverse to the thought of consuming a bacon sandwich or whatever other example you can care to think of, how they were raised, what they were taught or what they believe...so why judge them on that? I try to learn why people think in certain ways, of course, I'll ask why they believe that, or why they act in a certain way, but judging them solely on one aspect, one action? 

It's something that really irritates me....when someone says that their belief is correct, the only right way and if you argue against it, in any way, then you are wrong, entirely....they don't do anything to argue their reasons, offer no explanation as to why they're right, only insist that you are wrong and then offer only spurious circular reasoning (aka, "I'm right because I'm obviously not wrong") to affirm their "rightness"....it's something that genuinely distresses me...but what distresses me even more is that I can understand why it happens and so I can see why we'll never be rid of it because if we did, if we got rid of differing opinions and views, it'd be the end of us as a species....

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

My thunder!

She has been stolen! Well, kind of....so, my mum's going to university next year....and so's my brother the year after....so my thunder is being stolen! Well, maybe...see, when I say my mum's going to university I'm actually talking about she's going to Truro to do an FDA in jewellery and silver work, and my brother, well he's trying to get onto to an Access Course and then university, but he doesn't know what he wants to do...so, yeah....but still, I don't know, they've never been bothered about it until I actually got into university and now they're all about it! Maybe I'm just being cynical (and that's entirely possible, I am the biggest cynic I know....though I sometimes fear I'm not cynical enough), but it seems to me that they've seen what I've accomplished and thought "well, if he could do it, anyone can!" little knowing how much thought and effort I actually put into getting to this stage. What makes me think this is my mother asked me to help her sort out her UCAS application and I was making sure she'd thought it through, asking what she'd do for money, where would she live, what would happen to the dogs and all that, and it was just "yeah, I'll deal with that at the time." You may think to yourself "well, she doesn't have to know exactly what to do about any of that now, it's at least a year away" and that is a perfectly valid, logical line of reasoning...if you didn't know my mother. When she says she'll deal with it when the time comes what she actually means is that she'll deal with it long after the times come, gone, is past and now long since when distant history...see, all my family are like that, even me to a certain extent (though I really have tried to work on it), we're ridiculously compulsive about things that pique our interest. For example, I'm sure that anyone who's spoken to me knows that I have a tendency to go on at length about random subjects once I've got the bit between my teeth. It really is this obsessive compulsive trait we have whenever we find that one topic...and I think that is what has happened here....but they don't entirely realise just how long I've been planning this.

See, I just completed an Access to HE course and that's great, that's grand! A winner is me! But then....that wasn't the first time I'd attempted a level 3 course and it wasn't the first time I'd even applied to an Access course after failing the first three attempts at A-Levels. The course I've just finished was the third time I'd applied to do an Access course. I think I've talked about my post school education before, but in case I haven't, short recap, I went to sixth form to do an International Baccalaureate course, which got cancelled in its first year. Then I went to college to do A-Levels, dropped one of the three almost immediately, completed the first year, dropped out in the second because the sads, tried to go back the next year to complete, dropped out again because MEGA SADS, spent a year moping, then I died and our story picks up in the next year when I tried to go back to college to do an Access course. I applied but they didn't even get back to me. I did a sad face and to alleviate the despair of my soul I took to walking around Liverpool at night, fighting vampires, werewolves and other creatures of the night (like moon leprechauns...like regular leprechauns but from the moon! and with sharper teeth...), but I knew that one day I'd have to give up my supernatural vigilantism because there's just no future in it, what with the anti-discrimination laws the super-naturals are getting pushed through parliament at the minute....I don't see why human rights should apply to them, they're not even human! And I don't mean that in a derogatory way, I mean look at them! Some of them have freaking cloven feet! They're ungulates! Like giraffes! Or deer! Or the majestic moose....if the plural of goose is geese, is the plural of moose "meese"? Anyway, I've digressed, the point is I still had the dream of going to university, even if at that moment in time it seemed like I was never going to get there.

The second time I applied was when I was twenty two and this time I actually heard back from them and I had an invite to a test and everything! Oh boy was I ever excited! The centre for the test was in North Liverpool, a place I rarely travel to because I value my sanity, but where my insane sister went to to study nursing (a course she abandoned to take up her lifelong dream of working in fast food....my family are also notoriously short-sighted, "this is making me money now, nurse course isn't, I leave!" was her thought process, no joke, she actually said that and meant it....anyway) and so, when I asked her how to get there, you might reasonably expect her to provide accurate directions. "Get on this bus, get off at this stop, get on this bus, get off at that stop, walk down, and it's there on your left." Seemed remarkably simple...too simple...that should have been my first clue that something was going to go awry. So the day comes, I go get on the first bus, get off, get on the second bus, and I'm going along, all nervous and shit because hey, future on the line, when I realise..."okay, my knowledge of North Liverpool isn't all that detailed...but I know that this is nowhere near where I need to be." And it wasn't, though I'd checked and double checked with my sister in the weeks leading up to that day, she'd evidently given me the wrong bus number to get on.

See, she studied at the college but she did work experience in Alder Hey...and she'd got her bus numbers mixed up, consistently....for weeks.....(bet you're kind of relieved she dropped out of her nursing course for a career in fast food aren't you? It's one thing to accidentally mix up the number of nuggets in your nugget meal, it's quite another to mix up the amount of meds you need to be taking to get better in hospital)...so I leaped off the bus, through the windows because there was no time to wait for it to stop, I ran through the streets yelling incoherent abuse at a sister who was miles away (I know she wouldn't have been able to hear it, but I like to believe that in her soul, she could feel the hate). I ran and I ran and I ran and then I stopped because I was out of breath because I was like 14 and a half stone at the time and hadn't done any exercise in years....then I ran and I ran some more and then I got back to the bus stop where I should have got off and onto a third bus at (eternally thankful to the sweet old lady who helped me) and then I got off that bus and ran and ran some more and I got to the college test centre just on time to be forty minutes late, looking like I'd just ran a marathon...in the rain...so much sweat.....panting, I asked if I was in the right place, I sure was, they let me go in and take the test...and then I never heard back. This time I was a bit pissed off, after the ordeal I'd been through, how could I not be? So I rang them up to ask what the hell was going on (the test, after all, was a piece of piss and not to sound arrogant or anything, but I really could not have failed it...even on purpose, it was that easy). 

They'd not graded my paper...they didn't even know where it was...they said they'd look for it and get back to me later in the day, which of course, they didn't....sometimes it just feels like the whole worlds against you....but you know, really it's just the incompetent idiots of the world that are...they don't mean it, it's just in their nature to be so. So bear them no ill will, you wouldn't hate a cat for being a cat would you? Of course, this is pretty much a do as I say, not an as I do thing, and I raged at them. But it was good in a way, it kind of galvanised my resolve. I'd spent too long blaming others for my own misfortune, like I'd blamed my sister for telling me the wrong bus numbers and that, but really, that was only partially her fault. She made a mistake, but I'd not checked it. I had the Internet, I had the bus time tables, I was unsure of the location of the college, did I ring them and ask them personally how to get there? No, I took the easier option, which turned out incorrect, then blamed that for the error...and that's only partially right, it was my mistake.

The third time I applied to do Access was this year just passed and I'm fairly certain I've talked about that at some point. But yeah, it was basically my sixth attempt at finishing my Level 3, it's something I've been focused on, one way or the other since about the age of 16...and this brings me back to my original point about feeling like my thunder is being stolen....see, I don't begrudge them wanting to self improve, I really don't, I just don't appreciate the manner in which its arose. For me it's been a long and arduous ascent, trial after trial, sacrifice after sacrifice. For them, it's a whim, because someone they know is doing it...and I'm not just being....I don't know the word...about it....but they've never shown any inclination toward it until I'd achieved it. They were content to sit around on their arses, doing nothing, letting the world pass them by, and I don't know, maybe I am just being fantastically cynical and hey, maybe I've actually inspired them to do something, but honestly, I just feel like they're trying to restore parity...can't drag me down to their level again, they'll drag themselves up to mine so it's not such a big deal....God....I am being cynical aren't I? I think that's the next thing I need to work on improving (getting rid of?). Ah well, that's enough writing for now, later taters.        

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Gaming is no longer fun...

So, I've had no Internet for the past couple of days and that's great. Really, it is, maybe it's just me but the Internet seems to eat up so much time. Wikipedia, youtube, tech forums...other certain websites....(do I make the unsavoury and cliché reference to porn or am I classy enough to avoid it....I think I'll give it a miss because I'm all about the class...but I just referenced it.....noooooo!) they all combine, like some sort of virtual Justice League, you know, not as good as The Avengers, but still powerful and interesting enough to keep a hold of a person's attention...if only because of Batman...as analogies go, it's not perfect, but whatever, I'll fix it in the edit. So, anyway, yeah, video games are no longer fun I say, and why? Achievements...

See, a few years ago games started implementing achievements. I think is started on the Xbox 360 or at the least it proliferated best there, and rapidly so, and now achievements are in pretty much everything. They're in PC indie titles, they're on Steam, they're on the PlayStation (where they're called trophies because reasons)...I don't know if they're on the WiiU or whatever, you know, because there are no games there to gain achievements on (oh snap! topical! yeah high fives all round!) but they're pretty much everywhere and they've ruined gaming. Why? Because gaming is now less when you're not able to gain those "achievements". It used to be that completing a particularly tricky jump on a platform game was it's own reward, now it comes with "Achievement unlocked! 20G! a winner is you!" and you know, that's great! Even though the achievement means absolutely nothing, and you'd have had to have done that jump to complete the game anyway, it still feels like you've actually earned something extra. If you don't get the achievement, will it feel as good? It's interesting, in a certain kind of Skinner box sociological experiment kind of interesting way, because now we're no longer looking to simply play a game for the sake of playing, but we're doing it to rack up the most points, we're doing it to unlock those hard to get points, gaming has gone to an extremely meta kind of thinking, where it's "well, if I do it this way, even though it's a hindrance now, I'll get these points later on for doing it." A personal example of this was I completed Duke Nukem Forever wielding the golden desert eagle all the way through the game....all the way....It was a challenge, but was it fun? Was having to kick my way through half the game really all that entertaining because there wasn't enough ammo which didn't matter anyway because the gun, despite having the appearance of a deadly weapon, in reality had all the force and power of a kitten's whispering fart? No, it was a slog. It was work, and worst of all, it was something I didn't even have to do, but did anyway...because points.

That's where no Internet comes in. See, the way most achievement systems work is that you have to be connected to the Internet to register them when you do something in game. Sure, you can earn them offline, but without Internet no body else would know...and they become even more useless than they already are...and as for Steam, sometimes achievements don't unlock when you're offline, they just don't at times, there's no rhyme or reason to it. And this is the point I've been working toward, I was sat there with no Internet, and I thought to myself "maybe I'll play a game...oh...but no net...no achievements....so meh"...don't you see? Achievements have taken the fun out of gaming. And what's worse? They're reducing game quality...think about it, what is the most galling thing to a game developer? Well, it probably varies, because it's subjective to each one, but I'd hazard a guess that high on the list of most of them would be game content that goes unexplored, that isn't used. I'm not saying that every game developer is like this, because they're not (check out the insane detail Hideo Kojima puts into his games, for example) but a lot would and do. They can get more out of people by implementing nigh impossible achievements that keep people coming back for more of the same (look at Halo DLC achievements, then look me in the eye and tell me that there's an all-loving God out there...you won't be able to, and if you could, well then, sir/madam, i admire your fanaticism, please stay away from me...) and the worst part of that is....who can blame them? To use an analogy, why make 1000 pieces of Lego if you can make people spend twice as long and twice as much on just 100 pieces all by telling them that they're unlocking bonuses for using their 100 pieces in "clever" ways? Again, not saying they're all like that, but it's definitely the company policy of some developers and as I say, who can blame them.

"Congratulations, you have reached the end of this blog! You have unlocked 50G! A winner is born and that winner is YOU! "

Friday, 19 July 2013

Seven Weeks

So, it's been about six weeks since my course at college finished and it's seven weeks until I move out for university and well...that's insane...it's annoying for one thing, because I realise that this is basically the last time I'll be able to sit off and do absolutely nothing for a long stretch of time but it's going by so fast. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to university, I just thought that this summer holiday would drag, I was kind of hoping it would so that I could enjoy it, but it's not, it's rushing by. Between writing these blogs and filming other ones for youtube (http://www.youtube.com/user/yetisteaparty check it out!) as well as other ongoing projects, I'm kind of swamped with work...

I am enjoying it though, massively so. I know that these things aren't read by a lot of people (or my youtube channel watched) and the book I'm writing at the moment probably won't even ever be published (either by myself or others) but I can't switch off and do nothing, you know, like I wanted to. Which is why time is rushing by, because I am so busy and I am having such a good time writing these things and it is just fun....plus caffeine...caffeine is definitely another reason why I can't power down, I'd probably be a good case sample for the study of the toxicological effects of caffeine on the human body.

I won't get another chance to just do nothing though, (well, not for a good few years anyway) if that makes sense...this summer I have nothing to do, nothing foisted on me, I don't have to work, I don't have to retain knowledge, I don't have to practice writing or do anything, I should just be relaxing, doing nothing, playing video games all day (don't get me wrong, I'm playing my fair share, just, after I've done all the other things) and you know, not forcing myself to do extra activities, especially given that it's so damned hot outside (because really, who wants to be doing anything in this weather, let alone be typing away at a computer screen). 

In a way, I guess, it's somewhat cathartic...I spent a lot of my life doing nothing when I should have been doing something and look at what that got me. So maybe doing something when I've the chance to do nothing will yield some greater reward, at the least it keeps me from fretting over the metaphysical bleakness of existence and really, at the core of it all, isn't that what everyone wants from a hobby? 

Seven weeks though....that's when I move out of my house, bound for the bright lights of the city centre and the first time I'll have moved away from home (at least, the first time I've chosen to leave home and been able to follow through with it). I've never told you all about the time I got kicked out of my house, have I? I think I said I'd tell you about it, at one point, somewhere....well....okay.

So, I killed a guy. Well, no, not quite true, but I came quite close and I would have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky police. Okay, so maybe I should back up a bit. Because the people who know me will be like "Terence, violent and losing his shit? C'est impossible!" they would say, French being the language of choice for astonishment...so, maybe some context is required. It was about ten-eleven years ago now, my mum was going out with this guy who was just the most horribly underhanded person I had ever met. He wasn't overtly evil, never did anything big like abuse any of us physically or whatever, but would always have to get the last word in, would always say one thing and do another and who would throw tantrums (literal tantrums) until he got his way. A truly petty weasel of a man. I hated him from the off, saw him exactly as he was but no one ever listened to me, and because I'd spoken up against him he always had it in for me. As I said, not overtly, but in little ways, like giving my siblings little presents, like chocolate bars, dvds, games or cakes, and then telling me that he couldn't find anything for me....or taking them to McDonalds or KFC, you know, just little things like that, that could be brushed away if you didn't know the reasons behind it. Then he started blaming me for things. Like the time he misplaced a bottle of vodka and then raged and bellowed so loud that the whole street could hear his accusations that I'd stolen it from him...then he went up to his room in sulk, found it....and then insisted that I'd somehow sneaked into his room, whilst he was there and put the bottle back without his noticing. The most annoying part about it was that my mother believed him saying I'd taken and replaced the bottle...she always did, whenever I said anything about him it was just "you're mistaken" or "he wouldn't do that, stop being stupid." 

The worst part is that he wasn't stupid. He was intelligent and always knew just how to goad me into fights that I couldn't win. I've always had something of a superhero complex, you know, a need to step up and defend what I think is an injustice. Hell, I've fought a literal crowd of teenagers because they were throwing stones at a friend of mine (actually more than a few times....I need to stop hanging around people who get things thrown at them....) and gotten pretty banged up from it, but I've done stuff like that again and again because....well, I'm stupid like that....but yeah, he knew it. So he'd do things like promise to buy my sister a CD as a reward for good behaviour, she goes and does it, didn't get rewarded, I bought the CD for her, I got my tv taken off of me (no video games for me! that monster!). Again, just little incidents that seem silly out of context and on their own, but it builds up you know? One of those a day, a couple of big ones every week....

I can't remember what made me snap, not exactly, he'd done something shitty earlier in the day and my rage was still boiling over. Later that night, when I'd just started to calm down he poked his head into my bedroom and said something, just a snide comment (remember, he always got the last word in?) and I went berserk. Jumped from my seat and started beating the crap out of him. I was about 5'6 at the time, about 130lbs, he was 6'3 and about double my weight, ex-army to boot, and he was scared. The look of fear on his face was comical, he knew he'd finally crossed the line with me. He bolted, ran into the living room and started barricading himself in, I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and started stabbing it through the door....I'd stopped before the police arrived, the rage was gone, but remember how I said he was underhanded? He used that incident to kick me out of the house, which to be fair, was entirely reasonable. What wasn't reasonable was who I was farmed off to....see, he didn't press charges but gave the condition that I was to be shipped off to his sisters house and forced to undergo daily psychiatric screenings to find out "what was causing my anger"...the bastard knew full well he was the problem, the cause of it...but he had his psychiatric friends grilling me everyday, trying to root out the "real" cause....It went on for months....Just this torturous routine of leading questions "You've never met your real father, have you?" and sedatives "take this, these will calm you down" and of course, school...where I wasn't allowed to say anything to anyone (I was so tired and worn out I didn't stop to think "....how would they know?" or even "hang on....i should be doubting the legality of their actions.") and of course the oft-repeated "can't you see, we're trying to make you better." 

The bad thing is, I can't remember most of it. Some days I was quite lucid and I can remember those with clarity but a lot of the time, I was just a zombie, just shuffling about, not really caring for anything....I didn't mean for this one to be such a downer (that seems to happen a lot for some reason...) anyway, who cares, past is past, the future is there to be had, let's go!    

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Nihil oculus

I used to have pretty good eyesight....no, scratch that, really good eyesight, like phenomenally good....I could read books from across the room, I could read the numbers on buses from >100 metres away, I had a stare so intense it could rip a ship in half....okay, that last part may only be half true, but still, I had a pretty damned decent set of peepers.

I don't any more. My eyes are terrible now, they gunk up easily, they're always dry, I need to wear glasses to see, with any clarity, further than like 5-6 feet in front of me....I've lost the ability to cause wanton destruction just by looking at something....*sigh* I miss that most of all. But yeah, seriously, I'm scared of a lot of things, what people think of me, where I'm going in life and how I'll get there....but losing my sight is probably my second biggest fear...just the thought of never being able to see anything again is enough to send a shiver up and down my spine and I don't know, is that an irrational fear? I mean, it may never happen, but it's not outside the realm of chance, especially given with how much the summer is fucking them up.

Then again maybe it wouldn't be so bad, being blind. I mean, I could get another dog, I could get a specially adapted car that's driven by voice-activated computers....I could walk around feudal japan as a blind ronin, disguised as a beggar, calling myself zero-1 and being badass...really, the opportunities are infinite when you're blind! Well, except for you know, being able to see.....yeah....I don't know...

I think I could live without the other senses, you know...I wouldn't like to, but yeah, if someone said to me "sight or hearing, pick one to lose!" I'd have to go with hearing because you know, it would mean I wouldn't have to listen to the scum neighbours screeching and yelling all the damn time and I'd also be able to avoid being properly rickrolled.

Plus, I really like my eyes. Yes, this is going to sound vain, because it totally is, but they're one of the features I really like about myself. I've gone on about transhumanism before and I would probably, if it were purely down to aesthetic terms anyway, replace everything else but leave my eyes....and possibly my knees....I have special knees....I keep them covered all the time because if I let them out people start wars over them....oh lord just thinking about those gorgeous knees of mine is driving me to the plateau! I jest...of course I jest, they really look a potato stuffed in a sock....fucking knees.....anyway, where was I. Yes, I'd leave my eyes alone if it were purely for reasons of vanity. But because of the degradation, that is continuing....they'd probably have to be the first thing to go and be replaced....which sucks, you know....still, I could always have them put in lasers so that I can have a real destructive stare, but it's just not the same...

I didn't plan on writing this....I'm just bored, waiting for midnight to check funds, so I thought I'd write something...because fun! And I don't know, this has just been on my mind all day, because I really hate the summer heat and what it does to my eyes, just, feels like shit, you know. Anywho, I'll write a proper one in the next couple of days, probably something to do with either video games, or zombies, or zombies in video games! Probably not though, could be anything, anything at all! Do you hear me?! Anything! Later taters! *throws a smoke bomb at the floor and escapes in the confusion*

Monday, 15 July 2013

So, about my body...

I think I may have mentioned before how lazy I can be...and if I haven't, I meant to, but, well....I was probably too lazy to do so. Anyway, this has led to my catching a disease, a disease called obesity....which is a real disease that you can catch, like the flu or the AIDS! It's true! I saw a documentary on it! 

I kid, I kid...but not really, see, I know that yes, some people are genetically predisposed toward being hefty motherfuckers, hell, I'm one of them thanks to the dodgy thyroid I inherited from my mother, but mostly (as in, in most cases) fat people are fat because, and mark this, they eat too fucking much. This coupled with a laze filled (glaze filled? haha! I'm punny me!) sedentary lifestyle means weight problems, it's not a disease, it doesn't go away by just taking pills or going the gym. In fact, going the gym is detrimental because it makes you think you're doing enough when you're really not. You go the gym and that's it, a mental switch goes on in your head that says "well done, you've gone the gym, you've done enough today." But losing weight, staying trim is not one factor, it's not going the gym, it's not cutting back on junk food, it's not avoiding carbs or whatever new diet is in this weeks lifestyle magazine of your choice...it's all these factors and even more that you may not have even considered, it's not changing just one or two aspects of your life, it's changing your entire life.

So, obesity, I was clinically obese a few years back, weighing in at an impressive 215 lbs for reference, I am 5ft 9, and my BMI was 32 or something and I know that BMI is kinda bullshit as pro athletes can measure in at much >30 on the bmi calculator but be fitter than you could ever hope to be....but on the other hand, this wasn't muscle I was just gunning to win the world eating championship...which one I hear you ask? all of them, i reply....and the amount I ate would not have been all that bad had I actually been doing any exercise, but I never did...it's honestly a wonder I didn't have a heart attack (especially when you consider I have a dodgy heart anyway....I'll tell you about that at another time) and I'm probably going to pay for that later on in life....but yeah, what changed was well....me....in short. I started walking to the shops instead of getting my mum to drive me there, because I spent hours walking around it meant I was eating less in addition to also eating smaller meals when I did eat. I stopped drinking as many fizzy drinks, I cut back on the snacking, I cut back on the alcohol. Not only did I start walking to and from the shops I started walking to and from everywhere I needed to. Sure, it took more time, but that was time spent moving about instead of time spent playing video games or watching tv or reading a book (that last one though, read books a'ight?! they cool!)...I lost close to 40 lbs with those changes, because I stuck to them, and because they were such sweeping changes to my overall lifestyle. It wasn't one thing, it wasn't a fad diet or a gym membership, it was wholesale changes to how I lived my life and that is the way to do it.

Why do I mention it now...basically it's because those changes have hit their peak and I have to change things around again. The other thing is that change is an ongoing thing. People tend to forget that, eventually your body adapts to cope with the stress you're inflicting on it and then boom, it's not as stressful any more...and I hit that stage about half a year ago....I just didn't really realise it until now, so it's time to start changing it around again...and basically, I wanted to give you that message. Being overweight is not some disease, it's not a disability (in most cases), it's a state of mind. You can either fight to improve yourself or say "meh, good enough." which if you mean it is fucking great! I genuinely envy you...but if you're saying it just because you're too lazy and lacking in willpower to do the alternative, then I pity you....later taters.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

So...I slept at night for the first time in a long time last night....

Slept all the day before as well. Well, most of it anyway. I had been up all the night before that, so don't give me those eyes! Those filthy judgemental eyes...full of ocular juices! No! I won't have them! Anyway, so yeah, I slept all day and night, and it was because for the first time in maybe two years I was actually able to relax. I finished college about a month ago and since then I've had nothing to do. I don't have a job (don't get me wrong, I've been looking, but I'm very much of a mindset of "if I get one great, if not, oh well, September awaits"...i.e. I don't actually need one at the moment...which in itself is a weird thing) and slowly, but surely, my mind has been eating itself out of boredom....it's why I'm doing these blogs and made a new youtube channel (and am actually putting videos up :O this time), because mostly, I'm bored and I need things to do.

But yesterday was the first day that I've just been content to sit back and do nothing. Like, normally if I don't have work to do, I'd write or read or play a video game, go on a walk or cook or just do something, anything, but yesterday, I did nothing. I laid face-down on my bed, not even particularly tired, and went to sleep...I had a fucking nap! Woke up, ate, went back to bed and sleep...do you know how hard it is for me to do that?! Normally, if I wake up that's it, I am up, doesn't matter if I've had an hours sleep, half an hours sleep whatever, I am up for the rest of the night. But nope, just went back to sleep. 

So what got me so relaxed? Drugs? Booze? The ramblings of notoriously monotone character actor Ben Stein? No, no and possibly subconsciously, but mainly it was that I got my results for my college course yesterday. I could finally stop worrying over the college fucking things up, I have the results in my possession, signed and ready for if the college does fuck up getting in touch with the university to pass along said results...if that happens now, I can pass them along myself! My future is in my hands, nobody else's, and doesn't that feel great?! I'm not particularly hurting for cash at the moment, I've got all my finances sorted for university, I've got my accommodation sorted out, the results to hand over personally if the college miscommunicates...I can actually sit back and just relax/not worry for a change...of course, it won't last, in fact the mood is shifting again already, I know not a lot of people read these things or go to my youtube channel and that's great! But updating them (more or less to a schedule) is an important thing to me, I need to prove to myself that I can keep at things over a period of time...because that's where I've let myself down in the past, I start something, discover something new, move on and the original thing never gets finished/looked at again, and that's just crap, you know....things have to end at some point yeah, but that should be when they're actually finished, not at the beginning or the halfway mark or whatever other degree of completion I've left them at.

I mean, that's what I've finally done with college, I've finally completed it, pretty much officially...that's Level 3 Education out of the way after only nine years of bullshit distractions and partially completed attempts (damn, if only I'd have put another year in I could have hit ten years and I would have been at expert level for bullshit distractions and dropping out....curses! though in a way...I'm dropping out of dropping out...so....yeah! expert level achieved! ^_^ ) and it's weird...A little over two years ago I was in a job with the Government that I absolutely hated, so much so that I left after just two months there (even though I'd been unemployed for a long period of time before then) and you know, it was just shit. But, in a weird way, that was when I started to get my shit back together...I knew I had to do something, that I had to actually go back and complete my education...because the alternative was crap like that.

I realise that this isn't even the halfway mark in my goal, not properly. But that said it's just...it feels so good to have finally completed that step, got over that hurdle. It feels nice to finally be doing something with my life, you know, instead of just scrambling to survive day to day, not wanting to go to bed because that'll only make the morning come faster and there's nothing there for me...that's what I was like only two years ago...it's been such an effort to turn it all around, it really hasn't been easy, but it's good that I can finally have days like yesterday where I can actually relax and look forward to the future with hope instead of sitting there, dreading tomorrow and going grey with despair.