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Sunday, 6 March 2011

Break : Some Heavy Reading

Reddit is a site that features content and commentary to go with it. There's a section where uses say "IamA...." followed by a detailing of who they are. It may be someone famous, it may be otherwise. A commentary and conversation ensues.

This weekend, two threads caught my eye:

IamA Man with 51 hours left to live 
A man who has fought cancer for a long time and has lost. His thoughts on dying and commentary.

IamA Man who is killing himself on Monday 7/3/2011
A man who due to constant depression and anxiety, has decided to end his life.

It's extremely heavy reading so I've decided to quote what really, really struck me. The man dying of cancer was asked about what he would tell the man who has decided to end his life and he said;
"I would tell him that it's not living that's failed him, it's life. We can always change our life as long as were living. He's addressing the wrong issue."
Pretty incredible reading. Reddit is now a regular visit.
Ego Prevails.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Day 16 - Yours views on mainstream music

Mainstream is an odd one. Some music is designed to be mainstream and is good (Lady GaGa, Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson) and other music simply becomes mainstream because of its often deserved popularity (Radiohead, Muse, The Cure). There's music that I like as well as music I dislike on both sides of that fence.

The question is really - Are you enough of an elitist to dislike music solely because of its popularity? To which the answer is no. Though I understand the desire to discover new music once you feel something you enjoy is beginning to become overplayed.What I don't understand is the concept of 'selling out' all too often spouted as the rationale for that behaviour.

"Selling out" does not involve becoming popular. The act of selling out is, in my opinion, when an artist compromises their integrity or desires as a musician/individual and does something purely to make money instead of doing what they want to be doing. If an artist releases a track with vocals from Katy Perry - maybe that's what they've always wanted to do. It does not mean they have sold out.

Changing sound, style or taking a new direction don't indicate a band or artist has sold out either. All too often, fans of music seem to be under the impression that musicians should want to produce exactly the same kind of sound as before. I can't think of anything more boring. When someone releases music I enjoy, the money I send them in exchange for their albums, t shirts, gig tickets or anything else are simply a token of my support for their expression. Whichever direction that may take them in the future and whether or not I am a fan of it.

I hate the term 'fan'. All too often fans seem too self-entitled. I consider myself more of a supporter of bands, individuals, movements or genres that I enjoy either forever or for a short time only. I think the world would be a better, more expressively interesting world if others were the same.

Ego Prevails.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Day 15 - Your Favourite Tumblr

Too easy.

Some people are simply able to seek beautiful things. This Tumblr says all sorts of incredible things about it's owners soul.

Ego Prevails

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Day 14: Your earliest memory.

I'm not sure it's the earliest, but I remember back in the house I grew up in - my parents were having a loft conversion done. I headed up there and there was a floor with beams laid accross it - creating a grid of  holes about 2 feet deep. I had been told not to fall in the holes, but I totally did.

I also remember going to school dressed as Robin Hood, and riding down my friend Samuel's stairs on a mattress.

Ego Prevails

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Day 13: Places you'd like to move or visit.

I'd like to see the Northern Lights and the bright lights of Tokyo's computer city. Also, that giant robot statue in Japan but I feel like naming specific places I would like to visit to contravene the idea of spontaneous adventure. I would to travel all over, but with a purpose of some sort. There are some possibilities I can't blog about.

I think I'm in love with London, it's convenient that the hub of the industry I work in is also here, though I think for a good while it's going to be an immovable base of operations for me. I want to venture out a fair bit more though. At some point I need to let go of the routines lifestyle I have obsessively created and be a nomad for a little bit to appease my self concerns of being boring.

Ego Prevails

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Day 12 - Bullet your whole day

  • Awoken by the choral singing of "hallejujah" followed briefly by the Thundercats theme. The latter ends with quite a deathly scream which I am sure was ignored in the innocence of my youth. It made me laugh to myself though. Slowly, the process of awakening begins.
  • Make toast, take medication (another story) and prepare for work. I leave shortly after.
  • The awkwardness of seeing girls you fancy on the tram is ridiculous. I simultaneously hate British society for making it rude to approach her whilst traveling almost as much as I am thankful that she is at least spared my cumbersome advances, saving me the embarrassment.
  • I arrive at work early. Look up to the sky and say goodbye to the grey sky. I enter the basement to find that I am alone.
  • I leave for lunch and meet a friend, who is extraordinarily busy with work. I take a step back and observe their frantic blackberry messaging for a while before she can give me some attention, which I squander by waffling about rubbish and being generally nihilistic. I save some face by making some sexist remarks which she laughs at.
  • Returning to work, I once again confront the problem that there is nothing to do and yet I am still getting paid. I resolve to create some work for myself that will serve as beneficial to the incoming project. Eventually I just download and play Minecraft.
  • Still playing minecraft, pleasantly discover an old server is back where I look to be getting admin rights. Noobs be afraid.
  • I've spent most of my day playing minecraft now. Time to go home and stop writing. Today has been almost entirely free of epiphany or interest. When the surface of life is this smooth, even my critical eye has trouble latching its barbed tentacles into anything from which to create meaningful commentary. I worry that I am a boring person.
Ego Prevails

Monday, 28 February 2011

Day 11 - Put you iPod on Shuffle and write the first songs that pop up

1 - Put a Banana in your Ear : Jason Steele
This is a song from I believe, the second episode of Charlie the Unicorn. I had totally forgotton about it and am a little surprised that a copy has made its way on to my iPod. There was a time when I couldn't stop singing the chorus aloud around the flat, and I fear that time may be seeing a resurgence as of this evening. The catchiness level on this one is quite phenomenal.

2 - Sehnsucht : Rammstein
Ahhh, another blast from the past from the pyromaniac german industrial metal fellows. When I was 18 or so I saw Rammstein twice and was entertained both times. There's something addictive with the driving guitars with complimented by the ambient synth.

3 - Kicking and Screaming : The Presets
I was listening to these guys very heavily about 2 years ago. Sort of depeche mode meets Pet shop boys, driving rhythms define this almost indie electro. I still like their music today.

4 - Please do : C418
I first heard of C418 via Minecraft, he's the guy who composed all the beautiful music that plays occasionally during the game. This track, from his album 'life changing moments seem minor in pictures' is one of several peaceful, beautiful and somehow knowing peaces of ambient music that is always a pleasure to listen to.

5 - Dried up, Tied up and Dead to the World : Marilyn Manson
From the album; Antichrist Superstar which was the first of what would be many Marilyn Manson album purchases. I've always liked the end of this track, with the chugging guitars punctuated with an end of bar squeal as Manson speaks the title lyrics over the top.

6 - The Four of us are Dying : Nine Inch Nails
From their free album, The Slip. NIN are one of the bands that I started listening to almost as soon as my musical tastes developed and they are still a regular listen today. Their recent Oscar win for The Social Network was a little vindicating. Ranging from Shouty guitar anthems to foreboding ambient. I love Nails.

7 - Symptom Finger : The Faint
Another band who I feel like I've been listening to forever. Again, a band that betray a taste for electronic music mixed with another medium. I'm sure the source of this will be revealed all too soon.

8 - Headstrung - Distance
Almost. Some heavy and rather doomish dubstep courtesy of Distance, who I discovered the War of the Worlds dubstep retelling (Skeleton Grin is used). I owe the same re-telling as the reason I got into Dubstep. Though I've enjoyed Electronic music since I started developing any musical taste. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson were joined by Chemical Brothers and the Prodigy. I remember when I first heard Block Rockin' Beats (is it even called that?) Blew my mind.

9 - Dumb - Nirvana
Nirvana are, although it's cliche to say it - the first band I ever really started listening to. I used to close my eyes and fall asleep to Nevermind. Eargasming to the sound of the Smells like Teen Sprit guitar solo. I still love Nirvana though often avoid at risk of over-playing. I think they are mentioned too often because they're actually rather brilliant.

10 - Pathogen - Made of Hate
Some rather heavy technical metal, Which is, interestingly quite a recent thing for me. People unable to discern one kind of guitar music from another will insist I've been listening to this kind of music since the dawn of time. They are wrong!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Day 10 - Discuss your first love and your first kiss

Jesus fucking christ, why don't you just come out and ask me to discuss my hotmail account secret password answers already?

The wording of the question makes me think that a first love and first kiss are shared with the same person, for me this isn't really true. Though I suppose it depends on what exactly is meant by first love and first kiss. First peck on the cheek or first time using tongues? First girl I loved as a child, or who I fell in love with as an adult? It's complicated, so I'm just going to answer the questions I want to.

When I was very young, I had a female friend. Her name wasn't Amber. But me and her would do everything together and our friendship lasted what must have been 7 years. I totally loved her. Then her family relocated to Australia. I remember the day before she left, she was giving her friends at school cards with her photo in and a message to say goodbye, but I didn't get one - I was upset, and then at the end of the day she found me and gave me a special card and message and a kiss on the cheek goodbye.

I cried the whole way home. I remember my dad holding me as I sobbed uncontrollably. I saw her once after that, about 3 years after she moved. Then never again. Later, when I studied Drama and I needed to act upset or cry, this is the memory I would think about.

My first kiss, as in my first proper full on mouth on mouth kiss was with a girl who wasn't called Jennifer. Me and my family used to stay with ex neighbours at their place in Somerset every other Christmas. It was actually brilliant. One particular year there was a big New Years, and other parents also brought their kids. One of them was Jennifer. We got along and went on random walks into the countryside, getting lost and lying in fields. I was awkward and completely lacking experience around girls but we kissed for hours. I remember awkwardly thanking her afterwards. Cringeworthy.

God, I used to be such a sweet boy. What happened?
Ego Prevails

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Day 09 - How you hope your future will be like

When I've already detailed where I want to be in 10 years, who really gives a fuck about how I get there? I mean, ideally the whole imminent hostile robot takeover won't happen in my life time.

I hope my future is happy, and that those around me I care about are truely contented. That's the only true definition of success.

Ego Prevails

Friday, 25 February 2011

Day 08 - A Moment you felt most satisfied with your life

I'm going to be honest, via the charity of my parents allowing me to discover what I wanted to do, and then spend years training and working towards it on a low/no salary through the time assured method of living at home - I didn't move out until I was 26.

When I finally did, it was in to a place in East London with two of my long serving/suffering friends. The whole process of moving in was strangely fun, with our first visit to IKEA feeling like we were a little family. I distinctly recall the first night we moved in, around 3am we ordered a Pizza and sat in our almost empty living room eating it.

Glorious Freedom.
Ego Prevails.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Day 07 - Your Zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

Recently, in an effort to rejuvenate horoscopes, the star-signs shifted according to the powers that be, meaning that many people now had different horoscopes - which sort of shattered the idea that the Zodiac was something ancient and mysterious.

Fortunately for me, my sign remains 'Skeptic'. (Jan 1st - December 31st). I find that all the star-signs fit areas of my personality. Human beings are complicated creatures that arrive in more than 12 categories.

Ego Prevails.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Day 06 - Write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

1 - I work in Visual Effects for feature films as a 2D Compositor. The first film I was a compositor on was Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox.

2 - My eyes and hair change colour depending on the weather. ( I don't believe this is unique in any way, but I find it interesting).

3 - I have a slight phobia of Ancient Egyptian Mummies because of an Audiobook I listened to at school when I was in Middle School. Specifically - the nightmare the protagonist is having set in a tomb during the books opening and his scream as he wakes up.

4 - I run a Tabletop Roleplaying Game with my flatmates called "Call of Cthulu". Meaning I own several rule books and lots of dice.

5 - I have been on camera. I was an extra in V for Vendetta, Children of Men and the Da Vinci Code. I was also stand-in for (just for a day during DoP tests) Draco Malfoy on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I got to wear the robes, though.

6 - I've played Guitar since I was 16. I am about as good as someone who started playing at 16 and then stopped after 2 weeks.

7 - I climbed Crib Goch (Snowdonia) with my first ever pornographic VHS in my backpack at the time.

8 - I earned a Marksmanship award shooting the L98 Rifle, but am not a gun ownership advocate.

9 - Over two days, I kayaked down the Ardeche River in the south of France.

10 - I conquered a fear of heights when I was 18 though remain an Arachnophobe.

11 - I've been to Switzerland twice. The first time was ski-ing, during a big series of avalanches, the second time I spent a week in an abandoned pig farm, helping shoot a movie.

12 - I used to aggressive inline skate, though despite persisting for several years - was never any good. I also used to attend Judo lessons as well as a small amount of time fencing.

13 - I taught myself web design, flash actionscript and Flash animation at the age of 16 because it just seemed interesting to me. My current skill set in the above remains on that (low, low) level. The skills I later made a career with are ones I sought on my own initiative rather than through University. I am a very ordinary self taught geek.

14 - I google everything. Most people that think I am intelligent don't seem to realize this.

15 - I've done Jury Service. It was uninteresting and no one believes me when I tell them.

16 - 'The Ring' is the scariest film I've watched. The Japanese original, not the western remake.

17 - I cry when I watch movies all the time. Even adverts set me off sometimes. However - I am very good at not showing my emotions if I'm watching a movie with someone else. The best example of this is probably when I watched "Into the Wild" with my brother. We were both on the verge of crying - yet managed somehow to man it out.

18 - The Most embarrassed I have ever been is a time when a girl who had recently slept with a friend who fancied her, drunkenly crept into my bed in the middle of the night. I was too shocked/mortified to do anything other than pretend to be asleep until she left. She doesn't know I know.

19 - When I was 19/20, I had a fight with my dad which ended in me being kicked out. The dispute was very teenage and temporary - but during the whole thing, one of my closest friends and his family looked after me. He is someone I hope to know forever.

20 - I've been Dr Horrible for Halloween 3 years in a row. It's getting old.

21 - I saw The Rocky Horror Picture show for the first time in my life, 2 days ago. It's fun, I enjoyed it.

22 - One of my pet hates is when someone is filming something with a video recorder/camera and they turn it sideways. That doesn't work.

23 - Someone once told me I look like Christian Bale "From the side". It's still the best compliment anyone has ever given me, ever.

24 - The main reason I don't have any tattoos is because of the very loud criticisms of any mention of Tattoos from my parents.Which is pretty lame.

25 - My younger brother (Aged 24) Skipped University so he could live at home with the parents, working weekends and doing nothing to further or start a hobby or career other than playing computer games all week. I envy his lifestyle, but sincerely fear for his future prospects. I am the typical older brother.

26 - The first time I ever went to laser Quest was when I was 12 or so. It was a friends birthday party. I was too scared to go in, and cried outside instead as all my friends played laser Quest. I would correct this later, spurred into being amazing at Laser Quest.

27 - I used to be in the Masters of the Universe Fan Club (He-Man). My membership name was "Mandock". I was also a member of "Rolf's cartoon club". Ah, my childhood.

28 - Sometimes I worry that I lack something fundamental to the process of being human. I can be too cold. I worry that things I dislike about myself are things other people like about me. I am self-critical and can be a perfectionist.

29 - I didn't like the taste of Bacon until I was 20 years old. I still don't enjoy Mushrooms.

30 - My bedsheets have been on TV. But that's a story of it's own.

Ego Prevails.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Day 05 - A time you thought about ending your own life

I would be lying if I said that at no point in the last year and a half of constant pain (Believed to be Migraines, treatment is ongoing) that I had never thought about killing myself. I'm facing the very real possibility of living my entire life in pain with on occasions, becomes debilitating for an hour or so and that's a future I can't examine without asking myself if I would prefer to avoid the suffering and to just end everything.

It's a question that is on my mind as I wake up to recognize the numbness in my forehead, and it's a question I fall asleep to. Though it's a question I am unafraid of, because the answer has always been, and will remain : No.

Occasionally, often as I am about to sleep - I am struck by the heaviness of existing. The sheer insignificance that my unremarkable life has on the bigger picture. The realization that I, some day, will die. It's enough to not only make me desperately want to live but also to breathe life in to other people too.

And I sincerely hope that I won't be done for some time.
Ego Prevails.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Day 04 - Yours views on Religion

To me, Religion feels like the simplest of answers to an infinite series of complex questions. I find the concepts of creation philosophical existentialism to be fascinating topics to which Religion almost always offers uninspired and manipulative explanations and I find that through a simple study of history - It's quite plainly obvious that Religion is most often a tool of control.

I am an Atheist. I don't pretend to know whether there is a god or not - to insist one way or the other is a little silly given the lack of absolute evidence, though it's that lack of evidence that leads me not to believe. And I feel, quite strongly that when your decisions as an individual are justified by you on account of an invisible supreme being - you're probably in the wrong.

Ego Prevails.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Day 03 - Your view on Drugs and Alcohol.

I feel sorry for people who have never experienced drugs of any sort. I'm not someone who believes that through drugs you can achieve some higher state of consciousness - the experiences are always a deviation from reality. It's during and after the recovery where your self analysis leads you to interesting places.

It's because of this, that my pro-drug feelings are tempered with caution. Some substances are addictive, just as some habits. When those habits occur with such frequency as to allow the deviations from reality to become normal... I think there's a problem.

There are means to be safe with recreational drugs regardless of whatever shock stories the ignorant or critical propagate simply because they are afraid. It's scientific fact that, for example Ecstasy is less dangerous than Alcohol or Tobacco. These are uncomfortable things to deal with if you're a politician or parent - which would be why Professor David Nutt was relieved from his advisor position when he mentioned this.

If drugs are something you are interested in trying - make sure you take those measures. Research your substance, don't dive in at the deep end, draw the line before substances that are going to fuck your entire life up (common sense dictates what they are) and enjoy yourself.

Ego Prevails

Day 02 - Where you'd like to be in 10 years.

Short of detailing my transcendence from human form into cybernetic super-consciousness (yes I'm being serious), there isn't a specific place I want to be in 10 years time. Though I appreciate the question is really "What would you like to have accomplished within 10 years?"

There are the obvious things, for example - I would like to have improved my career. Become a better artist and that kind of thing. I enjoy it - yes, but the motivation behind that desire is money. More experience = More Money. All Jobs are after all, just a job. I hope that in 10 years time I still have work in order to provide myself the financial comfort from which to realize other ambitions.

Because of that, I am still deciding what those ambitions are. I've been working on a book concept for a little while now, starting a blog about my nerdy endeavours is something that will happen soon (and which this is the precusor to). I'm slowly but surely making music these days. , though these are tentative feelers allowed in the wake of having realized the ambition I had since I was very young (and which is my career). I am yet to work out which are realistic.

But what about the bigger picture? Within 10 years time I will have needed to decide if I want marriage, a family. These are questions I'm simply not ready to answer. The pursuit of happiness is a complicated thing, I don't have a battle plan. I think trying to realize more of my creativity and expand my knowledge of the world around me are  a relatively decent place to start, though.

Ego Prevails.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Day 01 - Your current relationship, if single discuss how single life is

Like all great egos, I'm in a relationship with myself. But before you get excited, I sleep with other people. Before I get into that, I have a question; How do you describe a love life that essentially involves sleeping with several people whilst dodging commitment or responsibility without coming across like a stereotypical chauvinistic lothario? Because that's what I am going to try. If you have any suggestions - by all means get in touch and I will update/edit this post. Here goes.

I like being single and uncommitted. I like the view into other peoples lives I get from their bedrooms. I like having enough sex so that the desire to fuck does not lead me in to bad decisions and the way that allows me to think about decisions I might make about my future love life.

Some might look down on that and to some extent I can understand why. I am not the embodiment of puritanical relationship standards or Chivalry. I am, however, honest - which tends to fly in the face of some of the assumptions people make when they hear about my lifestyle.... But in the interest of self-preservation, I respect all of my partners enough to be open and honest about what I want, and I won't pursue people who I know want something else. Being in a relationship with myself does not necessitate that I am the only person who benefits from my decisions. The opposite is true; I would be upset if in the pursuit of my own desire, I was the only to be satisfied.

The idea of a relationship is not wholly unattractive to me. Sleeping with 4 different people in a week is enough to make you realize that the conquest of several different partners is less important and attractive to pleasuring someone you genuinely like. I could settle, though time is an issue and I somewhat doubt the fairness of entering a relationship that, thanks to my career and personality (I like my own company) at this moment in time - I know I would not be able to dedicate enough time to. Some people like to believe that their hearts are held within safes that only they hold the keys to. My heart, however is simply atop a very large castle that overlooks an ocean of magma. The base of which being guarded by a battery of remarkably cruel goblins. I will lower the drawbridge when someone I fancy asks to be let in and I have time to find the right levers.

Let's hope that makes some sense, eh?
Ego Prevails.

Thirty little things

I've just received a memo from high command; apparently originality is no longer a virtue, will everyone please alter their reality accordingly so that the following statement will not cause shock, outrage or vaginal discharge.

I'm going to give this 30 questions/subjects blog thing a go and like all bad ideas, it's only after several of my friends have started that I myself am compelled to join in. If you're one of those people and you read something you don't like on these pages you really only have yourself to blame.

Ego Prevails.