Be You!

My Dad bought Blade Runner 2049 recently. My initial reaction was not enthusiastic. I had heard a lot of people online slamming the movie and expressing their disappointment in various ways. Many of these people consider themselves fans of the original Blade Runner movie. We watched it last night and to my happy surprise, it was awesome.

There’s not going to be any spoilers here. If you want to know how the story goes, you’ll have to watch it yourself. Just like the original Blade Runner (the Director’s Cut), the movie has a little more depth and requires more thought than other movies, but I like that. It keeps me engaged and interested. I can watch a lot of movies, even movies I really like, while browsing Facebook or playing Skyrim without missing any important details, but Blade Runner 2049 held my whole attention.

Star Trek: Discovery has also been slammed by the fans of it’s franchise. I admit it has a much darker, grittier feel than any previous Star Trek series, but I like that. I don’t really care which universe the show is based in. The very concept becomes irrelevant as the show goes on. People are free to dislike it if they want. I like it, and I hope there are enough others watching it to keep the show going, but otherwise the opinions of others is irrelevant to my own enjoyment. Not just for entertainment sources, but anything I choose to do.

I’m finding it increasingly important that I be true to myself, and judge things based on my own appreciation for it, rather than the general opinion of others. This often requires trial and error. Sometimes you won’t know how much you hate something until you try to do it. You also need to be conscious of the difference between disliking something because it’s hard/ new/ different, and feeling revolted by it because doing the thing is against your personal principles and self-image.

If something is out of your comfort zone it will be uncomfortable, but if you believe in what you’re doing you can push through the discomfort and do a good job at it. If, however, the very thought of struggling to do well at the task makes you feel like a crap human being, then you need to stop. Just to be self-considerate.

If it’s a movie or TV show you’re watching, this is easy. You can simply stop watching. You can rant about it on Facebook if you like, but you may want to consider that maybe it’s just not meant for you. Just because you dislike it doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it. If it’s a relationship, ending it can be hard, and the temptation to vent all over the internet can be very strong. Once again though, just because they’re wrong for you doesn’t mean that someone won’t appreciate them.

It’s because of this that I will no longer be saying anything bad about former relationships, ex-employers, or even products and services I haven’t particularly enjoyed. Just because they weren’t good for me doesn’t mean they won’t be good for someone. I’ll still talk about my feelings from time-to-time, but my intention is to express and analyse my own failings and learn from them. To grow from the experience instead of blaming my feelings on parties I have no control over.

With that in mind, I’m renewing my search for opportunities to write for money, or at least work somewhere I enjoy to keep a roof over my head while I write. I’d love to work for Games Workshop, and lucky for me their publishing division, The Black Library, is holding open submissions for short stories! While I work on making that dream a reality, I’m looking into other opportunities that will let me help people, or let me write.

Setting myself up as a Ghost Writer hasn’t borne any fruit yet, but I also haven’t been promoting myself much while I’m still settling into the area. I did have a couple of students that wanted me to write their essays for them, but I dislike writing essays and it feels wrong to me. If they pass their exams based on what I wrote, I’m basically helping them cheat. I’d feel a lot worse if they failed though.

You might be wondering why this principle doesn’t apply when writing fiction for someone that may or may not sell. Firstly, I love writing fiction and I do it well, so if you have trouble selling the book, talk to your marketing team! Secondly, what you do with the story after you’ve bought it from me is none of my business. It’s yours. I’d personally recommend keeping it as a one-off original unpublished piece that you can sell (with my name on it) after I’m famous and dead for a small fortune! Essays have no long-term investment potential.

Yes, I’m that sure of my writing ability that I think that my unpublished stories would be worth a lot of money after I’m gone. My family have been so loving and supportive of me. They deserve to be comfortable. I just need to get my books written, published and selling, then I can help get my nieces through University if they want to go or fund their creative/entrepreneurial enterprises if they don’t. I can also give my parents a comfortable retirement and make sure my sister is taken care of too.

I’d also still like to have the capital to start a business that supports writers by providing them with a living wage, benefits, in-house editors and proofreaders, publishing, and bonuses if their books sell well. It’s not going to be called ‘Creative Writers’ Press’ anymore (it’ll probably be called The Book Factory), but I still want to make it happen. Step one, raise the capital!

I used to try asking my subscribers to donate, but I know it doesn’t work. I’ll do it the hard way, by working a day job and writing for at least an hour every day. I have the help and support of a loving family, but the only person that can really change my life for the better is me.

Have a great day. 🙂

 

Active Apathy

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much Mr Robot, but I got thinking about our responsibility for our personal happiness. The show takes place in a world very similar to ours, in America. Everything is run by a giant corporation called E-corp. A group of hackers called F Society try to take them down by deleting everyone’s debts.

The real-life hacker group Anonymous had a hand in creating the series. As much as I like the show, it’s beginning to feel like they’re making excuses for not having actually deleted everyone’s debt yet. The main protagonist is crazy. He sees his dead father who represents an anarchic and proactive aspect of his personality. This personality takes over and triggers the cyber-attack. This implies that only an archive crazy person would do such a thing.

Then there’s the fact that the big evil corporation is still going even after the attack, and the regular people suffer for it instead, implies that such an attack would ultimately be futile.  What I expected to be a rallying cry for the masses, a call to arms if you will, actually comes across as a cautionary tale against revolution.

In real life the big evil corporation is not so easy to identify. The Rockefellers and Rothschilds don’t give us one unified target. It would be so much easier to do nothing. In fact we’ve been taught to be actively apathetic since childhood. We only do what we’re told to do, and even if we can see that something needs doing, we turn a blind eye. If we do otherwise we risk getting in trouble.

There’s a patch of grass at the end of my street. It badly needs to be mowed. I ha en no idea what would happen if I took it upon myself to mow it. Would I be arrested? Fined? Or would nothing happen? Would people just assume I worked for the council? Would people be angry at me? I doubt I’d receive any compliments or appreciation for it. Last night I even imagined a ridiculous scenario in which I would be arrested and sentenced to public service, which would involve mowing the exact same grassy area. If I had my own lawn-mower, I might have been curious enough to try it. I have been known to learn what my limits are by testing them, from time to time.

I’m not a hacker. If I was maybe I could have convinced the credit card company’s computers that I was making regular payments and got my mortgage zeroed out while I was at it. Done the same thing for a few random people so if it was discovered that there was a hack, it wouldn’t be obvious it was me. However,  maybe such a thing would be impossible without a team of hackers working together. I don’t know, since I’m not a hacker. So instead of being able to trick the American  computers into thinking I was wealthy, I had to sell enough of my stuff to buy a ticket home to the UK.

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I can’t do anything personally to upset the electronic financial applecart, but I can write about it. In fact I’m thinking of adding a character to the rewrite of Hermes925. I won’t try to squeeze him into the current version of the story, he’d have to have been there from the beginning. A friend that loudly speaks out against the N•Viron system, but doesn’t actually do anything about it. Actively ignores the pile of dog shit that would get him Arpies for picking it up, and rant about how we’re all being used. He considers himself enlightened, earns his Arpies by convincing others to be charitable and selling the occasional hand crafted item.

Jaime likes this guy, but feels sorry for him. Thinks he’s bought into too many conspiracy theories. The N•Viron identifies his condition as bipolar disorder, which he believes is a part of the conspiracy to keep him oppressed. I haven’t thought of a name for him yet. Feel free to suggest one that sounds like it might be a hippy conspiracy theorist in the future. Someone who claims to want to undermine the system and tear it all down, but actually takes advantage of it to live and lacks the courage to disconnect entirely.

Adding this character will allow Jaime to explain why certain aspects of the N•Viron based society is important. He can therefore explain these same ideas to the audience without it seeming odd. It may help clarify a few aspects of the story that I’ve had to leave as subtext until now. I want the orwellian undertones to be a little clearer. It would also provide a sharper contrast to Psy-Man, a programming genius who likes to exploit the N•Viron system for everything he can get.

All comments are appreciated, especially name suggestions for the new character. I’m currently thinking I may call him “Rook”.

Have a great day. 🙂

Games and Geekery

Most of you already know about the Games and Geekery facebook page. Up until recently it had just been a share dump for everything I liked online that could be loosely categorised as being related to either games or geekery. This started when I was still married. My wife wanted me to stop sharing everything on my timeline, so I created separate pages for everything I liked. That way I could still share these articles with like minded friends, without having to piss her off. 🙂

Games and Geekery has recently received a slight change of direction. Not only will I continue to share anything that I think will be of interest to fellow gamers and geeks, but it will also host original content written by either me or my friend William. William dabbles in music and video editing too, so his involvement should bring some interesting elements to the new website.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m having another friend look over this website and make it a little easier to navigate. Her name’s Jade, and she’s officially been invited to join this blog as an administrator. I don’t expect her to write any articles, though if she wants to she could join the Games and Geekery team. However I know she’s going to make the site look awesome!

Here’s the new Games and Geekery website welcome page. Take a look and see what you think. If you like it, subscribe to the blog. I’d also appreciate it very much if you’d like and share your favourite articles, regardless of who wrote them :P. If you like the website so much that you’d like to be a part of it, then send me an article to show me how awesome you’d be as an official Games and Geekery contributor.

At the moment I’m using old articles I wrote back when I was contributing for Don’t Hate the Geek as filler, but I’ve already written 3 original articles since, including the welcome page, a commentary on highway zombies, and a piece about X-Men: Apocalypse. William has a fan theory about Batman he’s going to share with us soon. I can’t wait!

This website will now be dedicated to my writing and personal experiences. Anything related to Games and Geekery will be hosted on the new website instead. Enjoy!

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

 

‘The Lost Boys’ TV Series

The CW, which brought us ‘Arrow’, ‘The Flash’, and the ‘Vampire Diaries’ has managed to land the rights to a series adaptation of the 1987 Warner Bros. classic ‘The Lost Boys‘. Rob Thomas, famed for creating ‘Veronica Mars’ and ‘iZombie’, along with Gulfstream TV and Warner Bros Television, are responsible for new tv show reboot.

The show will take a slightly different approach to the idea than Joel Schumacher’s original cult film. It’s planned to run for 7 seasons, each season marking a different decade over a 70-year span. The only characters remaining the same from season to season will be the Lost Boys themselves, everyone and everything else will change. Season one is set to take place in 1967 San Francisco, during the ‘Summer of Love’.

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For more information on the people involved in the project, see the full article at deadline.com. Personally I don;t recognise the names, but perhaps those of you more familiar with Rob Thomas and Gulfstream will be interested enough to go take a look. There’s no news on the cast yet, but I’ll keep an eye out for further developments.

I was a big fan of the original ‘The Lost Boys’ movie, once I got a chance to see it. I was only 7 years old when it first came out. My Mum was right to not let me see it. These aren’t your modern shiny vampires obsessed with relationships. These vampires are monsters interested in blood, power and corruption. I’m very much looking forward to seeing vampires once more play the monstrous villains and not the heartbroken victims.

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Having said that, I wish it would have been Netflix, or even HBO, that got the deal. A series based on ‘The Lost Boys’ has the potential to be a truly horrifying gorefest, and I’m not sure that The CW would be able to deliver that. The bloodshed and violence would have to be toned down by a considerable degree. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting project, and I look forward to seeing how well they accomplish their cited goal, to show what it’s really like to be immortal.

If you haven’t seen the original, do so. Right now. Here’s the trailer: