Buy me a coffee?

I set up a new donation thing at Buy Me a Coffee! It’s a bit more user friendly than Patreon, but I will still keep that one active for those who prefer that.

As I have mentioned before in a blog post I cannot be fucked to find so I can link to it, this site does have (minimal) upkeep costs. Plus, it is my primary source of income right now, other than government money, since I cannot work.

Please, consider donating. No, there is no obligation. My animals do like eating, though.

The one thing I will promise through Buy Me a Coffee is a monthly conversation. I am spending some time looking for a way to set that up right now. I will have everything figured out by February at the latest.

Disgusted

I was explaining to a friend of mine recently how my latest work-in-process has a very anti-police angle in one chapter. When I showed it to her, she claimed that I didn’t go far enough. To paraphrase what she replied with: ‘Your message is weak. The absence of opinion is a political stance.’

I wish I had kept the conversation so I could put what she said exactly, but basically she thought that my fears were unwarranted because I never actually stated clearly that ACAB (All Cops Are Bad). Due to this, she thought that my fears of offending some people were extreme, at best.

When I wrote the chapter, I felt that it was a necessary commentary on the police culture in modern western society. I also feared that my opinions were too radical, and subsequently wondered if I showed the wrong person for an opinion. I say that not because of a negative view on her opinion, but because she has a greater and more warranted opinion on the police in this country.

Then: Wednesday happened.

I am not going to give a detailed breakdown of my feelings towards the events. I am not educated enough, nor am I American. For me to weigh in feels disingenuous and judgmental.

I do, however, need to say something. Her words ring true: not giving an opinion is taking a political stance, and when you leave silence, your lack of words can lead to the wrong opinion. So, I will make my stance on the topic clear, concise, and if you do NOT agree, I can promise that I am not going to fight you. I realize that I might be deafening myself to an opposing opinion, and that is something I normally never do. I feel that the only way to remain educated and accepting is to hear opposing arguments.

THE STORMING OF THE WHITE HOUSE WAS A TERRORIST ACT. THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WERE TERRORISTS. THE CAUSE WAS WEAK, AT BEST. YOUR FEARS ARE UNFOUNDED.

I have never been so disgusted with a country. If this was a “third world” nation who went through the same attempted coup, American forces would be deployed and the sitting government would be dismantled by the Army.

The lack of response, or inappropriate response by the police on hand was deplorable.

Feel shame, United States of America. The world watched. We could not believe what you did.

If you did not take part in the “systematic” dismantling of parliament, you should still be embarrassed by proxy.

I lied.

Everything is a fiction. Every aspect of my life that I post on this site is nothing but an elaborate composition predicated on the fact that no one is around to prove otherwise.

To be completely candid, that is actually most of my life.

Now, that is not saying everything does not have a ring of truth behind it. Actually, I would argue that it is impossible to write from a place of complete ignorance.

TRICK TO ASPIREING WRITERS:

Write the truth, but change names. Make things as close to your reality as you can. Create a world that everyone believes might be their reality, and make the rug easy enough to pull. Leave it there until the end, or the middle, or just never pull it.

Why am I writing this? Why am I sharing the fact that everything I am is a fabrication?

I have been talking to a good friend of mine for the last couple of months regularly. I cannot tell them how I am, even in one-on-one chat. I cannot illuminate them to the fact that living with me is, not just impossible, but expensive if you want to try. I also have a grand narrative in my head that this matters at all: that this is actually something I have to nip in the head before it actually comes to chopping bock.

See? All of that was a lie. Was it, though?

To that question, I simply ask if you were entertained? Did you read that paragraph and find yourself invested in the narrative that I wove for the 3 or so lines? Did you actually forget that I am married?

Yeah, it probably wasn’t that good. In all actual honesty, I am kind of loosing my mind. I have been writing the same thing now 9 months. I have just over 10 000 words down, which is 10 times less than I want in the end. Now; what I have, I am very proud of. I have had things proof read by a few different people from all different walks of life. The input I have recieved has helped me craft a world that is almost believable. The wall I have hit is around the part that makes things sci-fi ajacent. How do you describle a concept that is literally impossible in the world of physics? And, to be clear, I don’t mean we haven’t achieved it yet impssible. I mean literally was-proven-impssible-by-Einstein impossible.

Anyway, my point is simply that I see my life as a narrative to be written. Some points embezzled, some points taken at face. I like to pretend that this is what keeps my writing interesting.

…like the sky…

I was sitting in front of my computer listening to Deja Entendu by Brand New, thinking about how confusing and messy I have made parts of my life. I was thinking about the brash decisions I have made in the past, the things I have not taken hold of when I had the chance, how certain things were ignored for a perceived idealistic situation that never actually existed. I was lost in my head for almost an hour. I started to wonder if I was alone in doing so: I felt like voicing my depression would be a shallow cry for help. I started to dwell on the fact that my morose feelings on my life were nothing shy of a manifestation of regret, and I could not relieve myself from the idea that expressing my emotions honestly would be regarded as selfish. After all: I make the fact that I am here for people common knowledge. Why would I hazard someone coming to me with an actual issue because they worry that I have my own stuff to work through.

For the first time, in a very long time at least, I actually analyzed the words in the album that I held in such regard. They are an expression of pain, self-sabotage, regret, and belittlement. I then noticed how a large part of the music I enjoyed, the movies I watch, and the TV I entertain myself with are just perpetrating the same narrative: that everything is wrong and it is all ‘my’ fault. Of course, my used in this context is more the idea of the narrator. I see parts of myself in all of the media I enjoy. I place myself in the shoes of the protagonist. Since I have not finished my own redemption arc, I get stuck in the part where everything is horrible and I did it to myself.

I am under no illusion that I am alone in doing so. As a millenial, and being friends with mostly millenial’s, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that we are tasked with fixing all of the worlds issues that we have adopted. Even though we are not the only ones here, it has been (whether intentionally or not) placed on our shoulders to fix the climate, social issues, hunger, slavery in other parts of the world, and many other things. The most egregious part of that fact, is that the generation that has truly tasked us with this is the generation that caused all of the issues.

I am well aware that hindsight is clearer. I know that advancements in science have shown things that we have had no way of even considering not twenty years ago. So, technological advancement can explain away PARTS of things, like climate change. It does NOT explain away things like social inequality or the inherent flaws in capitalism. The worst part is that, in saying that, I know of many people who have already stopped reading. I can hear people chanting for the silence of me because I am a “socialist” and a whiner. To those people I ask: what’s actually so bad about socialism? Why is talking about social well-being or mental health a sign of weakness? Why are you angry with me, when the system has failed you over and over again?

Do I have answers? No. Will we have answers soon? Probably not.

Hey, remember how I started the rant with an analisys of the emo movement from the early 2000’s and hinted about how alternative rock coupled with that probably assisted me in getting lost in a cave of disillusionment and neglect? I wonder how I am going to tie all of this together?

The answer is only kind of. The lyrics latch onto aesthetically simple premisses (relationships, work, school), then express the emotions attached to those situations in a rather exaggerated fashion.

No, the girl or boy rejecting me does not end my world. The constant barrage of how everything is either my fault or my parents fault is literally destroying me and my sense of being. Yes, attaching all of my definition to one person is silly and juvenile, but it distracts me from noticing how quickly I am destroying everything.

Hello, New Year

Hi, 2021.

I have little faith in you. 2020 was promised to be a fantastic year, and look how that turned out! I know that it is unfair to blame a man-constructed unit of time for all the failings that we experienced, but 2020 was kind of amazing. To do a rundown of all the not-goodness would take way too long, so I will just leave the note as “last year sucked” and move on from there.

Really, what we saw was mankind falling suddenly and harshly. Minus the earth quakes, everything can be easily traced back to something we did as a species. Even if it wasn’t species related directly, we saw large portions of our population for who they really are. It turns out that a large portion of us are racist, and even more are blind of fascism and hate.

There were some amazing things that came from the year, and they are easy to forget. We saw unprecedented speeds in developing a vaccine for the worst pandemic that we have seen since the Spanish Flu, though I am not saying their impact was one-for-one. We have done some amazing research into the things in our immediate biom, and continue to make massive leaps in space travel.

We have lost some amazing talent in the acting sphere. Some due to pandemic-related stuff, some not. We have seen a host of ironic deaths where the people were convinced (publicly, anyway) that they were invulnerable to the plague, then succumbed to its apathetic hands.

It is hard to do a retrospective on the year without spending a majority of time on COVID: it truly had defined the year. If it was a person, it would be very proud with the impact that it has garnered. It ALMOST over shadows the immensely important and (unfortunately, still) necessary message of black lives matter (BLM) that shook society to its core this year. We (whites) didn’t know that it needed to happen, but a large majority of us are so happy that it. brought so much to the forefront.

So, what should we expect from 2021? Are we going to be barraged by the same stuff, or will the next year actually be better?

I am taking a lesson from this year: next year will just be another in a long line of years. Do I think society will collapse, that we will finally see racial and sexual freedom on a grand scale, or environmental reform? I wish I could say we will. I do think some things will get better. I think we will start to see the impacts of the change that needed to happen. I think that the arts are fucked for the next few years, and I think the environment has passed the point-of-no-return.

Overall, I feel pretty uneasy. I would love to be proven wrong.

Please, let me be wrong.

Write v. Speak

I was about to say something horrible to my brother, then remembered that I was unable to take it back if it didn’t land. Then, I got thinking about saying the wrong things in general, and the potential repercussions of words. I think I can confidently say that I prefer the written word over speaking.

When you say something stupid or offensive, you have maybe a quick moment to course correct. If you absolutely meant what you said, but had the wrong tone, you may have alienated everyone around you. Sometimes, the words that leave your mouth is knee-jerk and the consequence is greater than the intended.

Compare that to the written word. Everything is potentially methodical and, at least, kind of looked over. Mistakes can occur: I remember back in High School I had a “moment” with a friend and she said “I feel like a slut” in a text message. Me, trusting autocorrect like a moron, replied with “you should” instead of “you shouldn’t”. I have apologised profusely for the oversight for years, and in the even she is reading this, please allow me to apologise again. It was one of those moments when I wish that you could delete messages. The damage would have been done, regardless. I didn’t even notice the mistake until she called me out on the seemingly brash and stupid reply.

(This anecdote is horribly simplified for narrative purposes. My embarrassment is true, though.)

Minus that one situation where I was just a degenerate, I always feel like written words are easier to explain if there is some sort of ambiguity. The situation described above devolved due to my ignorance and my attempts to course correct seeming disingenuous. There have been other situations with people I would never meet where text was the only option for the situation. Those exchanges devolved due to an inability to convey the proper emotion in the written word.

In conclusion: I acknowledge that both the written and spoken word is privy to misinterpretation. In text, you are able to either delete stupid or explain further the actual intent. Spoken displays trust in, not only what words you choose, but the listeners ability to comprehend your tone. With the relinquishing of power comes the potential for misunderstanding.

Classic Album Review :: After the Burial — Rareform

I usually take off the Christmas season because I do not want to bother everyone with depression and philosophical arguments for why life is both tragic and amazing, but I feel like writing something. In spirit of not doing what I normally do, I want to highlight probably the most technical, and brutal, album in my collection. No, it’s not death metal, and I am sure that someone would argue that I have heavier and more technical, but I still feel like this album needs more attention.

After the Burial have done a lot more than I have. I think they are kind of amazing, and I do not see enough love for this group. It is probably because they are in the “scene” part of music, somehow. i will never understand how that could be.

The first track is the most brilliant introduction for this band. Berzerker opens with a blistering dueling guitar riff that would make Van Halen’s jaw drop. From that point, it’s nothing but the most orchestrated chaos for the next 5:30.

I am proud to say that I figured out the drums in this song at the pique of my abilities, but that was after many hours of failing. I probably never figured them out perfectly, but even the version I had crafted was close enough to be nearly as impressive.

The song has an amazing ‘bop’ to it. Starting around the 2:50 mark, the swing being demonstrated will get even the most ardent haters of this band to tap a toe. That goes on for about 30 seconds, before the heaviest bits.

After a beautifully crafted flourish on guitar, a devastating breakdown that does not follow any conventional musical crafting. Then. a reprise of the first bit of the song before quite literal chaos reigns over the last minute.

Fuck, that’s only song one and I have already written that much. I will not be writing about the rest of the album, but that first track is a great example for the ear-bleedingly good time you are in for.

No, this album is not for everyone. It is a perfect example of what conventional metal can do. It is heavy. It is technical. It is brutal and loud. I never have to put my headphones too loud to enjoy the sounds. I mean, I DO crank the volume, but I don’t have to.

I don’t give enough attention to the bass, but this video gives an idea of the musicianship portrayed in this song. Please, watch and enjoy. (There are no vocals, so go this route if you do not wish someone screaming at you)

Before I started writing this, I had assumed that this band was a five-piece. The “dueling guitar” that I mentioned, is done by one guy. Fuck me, this band somehow got MORE amazing.

2020 in review

I am writing this restraining myself from just writing “HAHAHA YOU ARE ALMOST DONE” and leaving it at that.

In fact, I would argue that this year is one of the most important years in my life.

Yes, it was brought on by pain, but the BLM movement coupled with the worst pandemic in a very long time showed us the human strength. We saw an attempt of the rise of fascism* thwarted. We found a vaccine for the aforementioned pandemic developed in record times, though the long-term effects are still to be discovered.
*THIS IS MY OPINION

The main places that are going to be effected are the arts. There have been mass permanent closures of music venues, theaters are closing doors, and museums are vanishing (kind of). It is almost like an artistic reset. Some would argue that it was needed: the reset will force a change in industries that have dominated and destroyed avenues, resulting in a stifling of change. Most would agree that we will not see the change take hold until the future.

As of the time of writing this (December 17th), schools have been allowed to reopen in Ontario. I will not voice opinions on the matter: you can ask me directly on my FaceBook page if you are curious. Ontario has seen a spike in cases not seen since the first cases were identified on Western borders. Again, I will keep speculation out of this.

CyberPunk finally got released! I, personally, am not upset in regards to its performance on previous gen consoles, nor am I offended that we are still seeing issues almost a decade after its first announcement. The game is massive, complicated, and ground-breaking: issues should not be a surprise, and I have faith that CD Projekt Red will fix it eventually. Call me “the eternal optimist”, but fixing something as broken as it’s been reported would look amazing on them. Especially if they can do so without putting their employees through the dreaded “crunch” to complete it.

I did not explore many new releases this year, so I am not even going to pretend to do a rundown on new music that came out this year. I don’t even have a worthy opinion on new shows that came out, though I will probably release some sort of opinion regarding the new Archer season in the coming weeks.

Anyway, I will close with a “FUCK YOU, 2020!” because, even though I consider it a very important year, it still sucked. Here’s to the hope that 2021 is less abusive.