It's the thing.

14 December 2013

On Video Games: Yearly Releases

Howdy Internet!

As I was in my state of "Fucking hell I can't sleep" last night/this morning, I got to thinking. How do they even manage yearly game releases?
(Yeah, my thought patterns when I'm trying to sleep are stupid, I know.)

6 December 2013

Deaths of Public Figures

Indeed.
Today, we lost a huge person.

Nelson Mandela was an amazing person. He did everything in his power to end the apartheid in South Africa, going so far as to get imprisoned, but emerging 27 years later and becoming the first black president of South Africa

He's one of those people who just will never be forgotten. Along with Martin Luther King Jr, John Kennedy and many others whose names will stand the test of time.

Mandela was freed from prison 5 days before I was born, and was elected to presidency when I turned 4 years old. I learned a lot about him and Apartheid during my primary school years.

Rest In Peace, Madiba. You've earned it.

1 December 2013

Regarding: Black Friday

Hi America!
It seems you've survived Black Friday (If you ventured out of your house), and for that, I commend you.

Here in the UK, the Friday (And your Thanksgiving Thursday for that matter) is just a plain ol' day. Nothing really special.
That was until Black Friday Fever finally made it to ASDA. Of course ASDA would be the first retailer here to open up Black Friday. It's owned by US retail giant Walmart.

28 November 2013

Creativity, Escapism and World Building

Prepare yourselves, It's 4am and my brain goes more unfiltered than usual at this time.

Okay, so while I'm not at all professional in my (hopeful) writing career, I go into some intense detail when I'm plotting out my worlds and societies and stuff!
Currently, I'm plotting out an entire universe - which admittedly is probably a bit too deep for my first novel series, but it's something I've had in my head since I was 18-19, so I've been slowly picking at it and creating characters, worlds, things.

22 November 2013

Current Events vs Pop Culture

It goes hand-in-hand that Current Events can influence, or even be Pop Culture in a lot of cases

I love keeping my finger on the Current Events dial. It gives me a whole new world to explore, everything isn't all suits, talking and video games. War, Festivals, Floods, National Pride, Tsunamis.

What the world hides is both amazing and devastating. I'd love to be out there, exploring.
Sure, the world is pretty much explored, every corner of it mapped thanks to our ancestors and Satellites, but there's still that whole culture thing to see. We here in the west are quite similar to each other. We have our little differences (Okay, I lied, we're quite different. And that's just the UK and the US!)

I'll admit - I've been listening to Billy Joel again. "We Didn't Start The Fire" is basically a huge list of events, but made it into this rather huge pop song that did quite well. Which is what prompted me to think: "How do current events affect pop culture anyway?"

18 November 2013

Material existence

It's coming up to that time of the year again. The one that generally fucks me up financially.

I'm not here to talk about my finances though.
"It's Christmas, after all" the adverts keep reminding me.

Well, apart from the fact it's only the 18th November, you eager bastards, I'm not a big fan of the commercial side of the Christmas holiday.

What has seemingly moved from a festival of goodwill, has now turned into this horrible corporate nightmare where everyone is forced to buy presents or give cards and generally spend a hell of a lot of money on things no one really needs, or in some cases even want. But we as a society seem to accept this as the norm.

Anyway, that's the atheist socialist  environmentalist in me coming out. Yes, I'm kind of a Scrooge, but only until mid December.

But what I'm really digging at here are the really material people. I can understand kids writing huge lists of what they want and hanging it up on the wall for Santa to see

But I'm seeing people of 20 years and older writing these huge expensive lists, knowing full well that whoever sees this list is going to feel obligated to buy this stuff.

"Spread it between yourselves" I've seen one cheekily say.
It's tablet computers, designer perfumes, fancy fashionable gadgets.. It's nothing even someone on a higher than average salary wouldn't blink at.

I can understand gift giving. But guilt tripping and forced social demand in this economy will ruin at least one person's credit rating.

Also, I really hate getting asked repeatedly what I'd like for Christmas.

You know what I'd like for Christmas?
Feck all except some peace and quiet, and maybe for the payday loans I owe to be suddenly and inexplicably cleared with no effect on my bank balance.

But maybe I'm just asking for too much.

How about an economic recovery? That'd be nice.

13 November 2013

Introversion and the Internet

(A quick foreword: I have finally enabled ads on my blog! I promise not to let them get crazy - I've only enabled 1 block for now, text only. I hate stupid, flashy, pop-up ads, but IMO - Text based ones are fine)

So, Introversion.
You'll find that a lot of people are introverts on the internet. It's sort of like a social ground for the introverts. The Extroverts are too busy having a good time with other people.

What is an Introvert, you ask?

7 November 2013

You won't believe how much I hate Clickbait headlines!

I really fucking hate clickbait headlines like that.

I'm subscribed to that "old" way of thinking where people a little too busy to be reading articles can scan the headlines and gather the general news of the day via the headlines. Sure, some headlines can just be wildly misleading. Highly sensationalised. Or utter bollocks - but at least you can get a feel for the current events of the day.

6 November 2013

On being Triggered:

Mostly digging at Social Justice bloggers today. Inspired by a tweet, my fresh rage for the run-of-the-mill bloggers on tumblr has been rekindled, and now I'm out for blood. (Or keyboards. I'll take your damn keyboard and bust your PS/2 or USB Ports, you loons)

Okay.
This one actually probably qualifies as "Getting Mad At Nothing" because it's pointless for me to get mad at these people, but AGH, this isn't a rant blog for nothing. Warning. I will probably get nasty. Purely for shiggles, I assure you.

21 October 2013

A Breakdown of Fandoms

Okay, so this weekend I attended The Great Furscape - Essentially a furry convention in a theme park's conference centre. Had a helluva time, met a few great people and generally managed to get some sorely needed downtime.

But being a formerly active member of the MLP Fandom, and a now-getting-active-from-lurker status in the Fur Fandom, I've noticed a lot of differences despite their similarities.
Both are heavily internet based, deal with anthromorphised animals, and are fandom based; with almost zero to few outside influences when it comes to the main part of the fandom. They are self sufficient machines at this point.

Furries and Bronies get somewhat of a terrible rap on the internet, but aside from the occasional obvious troll here or there, I've never been really targeted. So I'm quite lucky in that regard.

But after attending countless brony meets and attending one convention, and working one, the bronies; while a little bit on the crazy side, are genuinely happy people, mostly in it for the fandom. They do lean to the younger side - It's a little odd being one of the older convention attendees/staff members - I'm only 23!

This, along with the declining state of the fandom (not the wider aspect of it, but the individual members I've found myself interacting with lately) made me distance a little bit.

If I was to pin an average age on the bronies - I'd put it around 16-17 years old

Now, on the other had (or the other paw, you might say!) the Furries are a lot more of a serious fandom. This is probably due to the age of the fandom, possibly older than the internet itself - its ranks bolstered and made more widespread due to the internet becoming as big as it is.

Now, while I'm fairly "new" (despite my endless lurking on the edges of the fandom since 2005-6) to the furry fandom, they seem to have more of an older average age, and a lot more of a calmer disposition in the flesh - while on the internet they're a lot more wacky. Especially the younger "random" members you'll come across for sure.

I've not really been to any meets outside of the Furscape this weekend - but I lurk on the UKFurs forum and in general, the UK furries are a lot more well spoken, more interested in current events and on average (from what I've seen) a lot older.
This weekend, I roomed with 2 great guys - Ant and Dan, both older than I am. Seeing and talking to the rest of the group this weekend - and I must have been one of the younger members of the party of 48.

Yes - both fandoms have their older members and younger members, both have their utterly insane, immature types, and their creepy types. But from my experiences so far, furries definitely seem to have the older average of the lot

This was a totally pointless and unneeded and totally uncited pointless rant, and I don't know why I even started writing it but looking back on it now it'd be a waste to to bin this writing so meh.

2 October 2013

Hypocrisy

A nice short title this time, though anyone who's following UK current events might know who I'm going to walk about today.

The Daily Mail.

Sitting as overlord in the Daily Mail hive, Paul Dacre sits as editor in chief of the newpaper empire, including The Mail, Mail on Sunday and The Metro; Paul Dacre sits cackling in his office, rubbing his hands greedily, employing the "Bad publicity is still publicity" outlook on this whole sordid mess surrounding Ed and the late Ralph Milliband, Newsnight and nazis.
The latter option will make sense in the end, trust me.

23 September 2013

Violence and The Media

I wanted a longer title but that'd be a paragraph in itself, so I decided to sum up what this post would mostly be about in a few words.

So, with the release of Grand Theft Auto 5, reared the ugly head of Video-Games-and-their-relation-to-gun-crime discussion.

I'll start off with GTAV, then slowly roll into mass shootings, then talk about media portrayal of these events. I'm going to feel like I'm writing some kind of report or something, but it's something I passionately HATE about rolling news and media coverage on games

11 September 2013

Defining Asexuality

I hate to be the soapbox-y type, but I am prone to it every now and again. I cannot guarantee I won't do it here either.  Also, actually putting a jump break in, because this might get long.

So, in the last year or so, there's been a huge rise in the awareness of Asexuality. The BBC, and Huffpost in particular being huge boons to the cause with the BBC article from 2012 and HuffPost's recent six-part series really helped Asexuality to get a lot of good exposure on the wider scale of things.

But, while lots of people are now aware of Asexuality and what it is in humans (How many times I've had to tell people I don't reproduce by mitosis.. or I possess both sets of genitalia), it still also has a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about those who identify as Asexual.

Here is where I make my personal attempt as showing what (maybe) the average Asexual actually is and is not, and maybe quell some Myths:

2 September 2013

UK in Syria

I was originally going to write this up last night, but I got distracted by FF XIV.

So in case you've been hiding under a rock - The UK held it's impromptu debate and vote in the commons last Thursday. It was a close call, but MPs voted to stay out of Syria.

Now, I'm not completely against military action in Syria. But I personally think leaping in this quickly is just a silly idea.
Yes, there are civilians suffering and getting displaced - but look at this way throwing more troops in there would cause a 3 way clusterfuck

In one corner, the Assad Regime, In the other, the rebels. And in another, the UK. Oh, and maybe the French. Also maybe the US.

Throwing more bombs into an already unstable and suffering country is not going to help in the slightest.
Aid and diplomatic negotiations at this point are the best bet until more evacuations take place.

I got quite mad at a fellow on Sunday Morning Live who was insisting that military intervention is the only way to help Syria, and shooting down any suggestion that aid and diplomatic negotiations would even be slightly useful.

Warmongers like him scare me. Thankfully the UK MPs have saved my opinion of the UK political scene, and they're not all war hungry nutters. Just that quite a few are.

My open question to the UK MPs who voted yes to military intervention in Syria:

Did we not seem to learn anything from Iraq or Afghanistan? Leaping in there before evidence was provided and now, 10 years later, we're still there. It turned out the whole WMD thing was a load of arse and now we're seemingly stuck there.

Do we want the same thing to happen in Syria? Defense budgets are already astronomical and we're spread everywhere, another international war zone is not a good thing. Sure, The West can be a force for good, but one thing we are not is the international police. (Even though the US seems to think it is exactly that)

Yes, we have a responsibility to help when we can, but charging in to an unstable area with guns blazing is not responsible. It's the opposite.

First up: Last 2 weeks

Okay. It's been quite an eventful few weeks for me. Gonna try and sum it up.. Kind of a brag as well at one part. Don't care, feels good.

Okay, so as my last post says, I worked BUCK this year, as security. I initially took it up because the Chief of Sec for them needed bodies and thought I'd fit quite well in his team. I didn't think much would come of it, fancied a bit of a change of pace in my weekend, and there was no way I'd be able to afford actual attendance.

So it turns out it's been one of the best weekends this year (so far). I had a blast out there, not only with the rest of the security guys, but the rest of the con staff were amazing. Except the gophers - we couldn't find them.
I had a few flaps (Namely, Chief and Deputy both disappearing before big things leaving me to try and mitigate as much as I can while I also tried to find out where they'd gone - or in one case - wait for them to stop dancing on stage)

Now, I'm a terrible person to give praise to. I'm convinced I'm just me. A guy who does a just-about-okay job at everything he does. I try to give my all at everything I do, but I'm just so convinced I'm just so bad at everything I do, even with everything behind me thrown at it, I can just about do an okay job.
I guess this is the downfall of working in a very corporate environment. The only time you're praised is in your first few weeks, or if you pull off something amazing. Otherwise, it's just business as usual unless you fuck up. Then it's the worst thing that ever happened and you should be ashamed for cocking up something so simple.

But this weekend (We went out drinking. Unofficial BUCK Hangover/chief of Sec's birthday), I have had the praise heaped on so hard, I'm feeling buried. I'm told because of my efforts, CoS has been offered a job. I feel he may be exaggerating in order to make me feel good, but if he has a job because of the convention, that's amazing.

They want me back next year, anyway. I was glad to take them up on it - I had a lot more fun working it than I probably would have just plain attending.

I've also been offered a place at the CoS company, should I get SIA Licenced.. which I am considering taking him up on. I'd have to ask him a lot more questions about the line of work and stuff, but it sounds very promising.

It's just been a very novel experience for me - praise.

I feel.. I don't know how to explain it.
I'm told I do well training. I'm told I have good ideas for writing, I'm told I "Did really fucking well" as security.

What.. do I do?

27 August 2013

Not actually mad or mopey - BUCK 2013

So, yeah!
Wondering where I was over the weekend?

Working at a convention!

It all really started for Security on the Friday. I was in Manchester Central at 7am to pick up my radio, get used to it and prepare for the evening.
We hosted one of the biggest brony music shows in the Fandom so far. It was a huge success, and we somehow managed to knock a door off it's frame at one point.

There were no crowdsurfers, so I was free to boogie on down while keeping my eye on the crowd (I was front of house, behind the barrier and in front of the stage. It was a laugh! It was a long day though, and I didn't get out of there until around 2am - a 20 hour day.
I feel sorry for the techs though. They were there until at least 3:30am.

Saturday was a minor freakout. I turned up and was immediately drafted in to help the only tech guy who managed to get in. But we got it all sorted out and opened the doors to the convention

It all went smoothly, I was patrolling pretty much all day. The attendees were amazing to watch, the cosplayers were amazing (apart from one, we don't talk about him. We had to escort him off premises) and everyone was so well behaved!

I never thought I'd work 46 hours in 3 days completely voluntary and want to go back for more the next day!

Monday was takedown day - although my manager for the con wouldn't let me in. I'd apparently worked too hard and if I turned up anyway, he'd throw me out.

I unfortunately didn't catch any panels or events other than the Summer Sun Celebration on Friday evening due to patrolling the Vendor Floor and being unable to scarper off for long.

There was a quiet point were me and some of the Sec guys had a bit of a chill and a bit of a laugh. Got a picture of my fellow sec redshirt with The Living Tombstone - who I'll add is one hell of a chill dude.

I'm trying to get my SIA license now - I had a lot of fun even working at the convention. Maybe moreso than if I attended normally. Everyone I work with are amazing. Even Samuel the scary German Scotsman. Same time again next year, eh?

19 August 2013

Feeling better! & Some Writing Practice

Yep!

The usual mad content will resume soon. Getting mad at whatever gets me mad or whatever I happen to have quite an opinion on.

I had a whole Sexual Identity crisis for a little while, but I'm over it now. Took a long walk in the rain on Saturday. Let me see if I can write it out like it might appear in a novel; I need the writing practice.


"God damn it" He cursed under his breath.
He'd put off coming out until the rain had stopped, but it started again anyway. He was too far to turn around now. He'd put up with it. It's not like he had a purpose to be out here anyway.

He adjusted his not-very-waterproof jacket and maintained his speed down the road, the sprawling woodland in the distance was his destination.
He needed to get away from any kind of civilization for a few hours. The buzzing and beeping of phones, the madness of home life, the glare of the screens - it distracted him, annoyed him, suppressed his thinking.

He wanted to do this earlier, but things kept coming up, or it got too dark. Not today. He just left the house without warning. Still with his phone, of course.

Walking the street, he pulled his phone out of his jacket and booted up his AR game, Ingress. Until he got to the woodland, he couldn't get to thinking. He needed utter silence, and cars were not going to help any.

"It's been Thirty. Nine. Hours. since your last login. I was getting worried about you." said the phone.
It wasn't worried - it just liked to think so.

He walked down the street. Devoid of pedestrians, bar the occasional person running with their coats over their head, looking like some crazed hunchbacked beast, needing cigarettes and booze

He didn't care though. He just walked down the street, tapping on portals, hacking them and collecting items as he went. Pointless in the long run, but a good distraction from the rain.

Eventually, he reached the woodlands. He made his way down the pathway and into the trees and down the dirt path. This place was quiet enough, even in sunshine. The skies were grey and it was raining - there'd be no-one here for sure. Perfect. He hacked one last portal, and put the phone back in his pocket.

He walked for a mile. Two miles. Completely lost in his thoughts. He wandered over a small footbridge, walked along a hillside, crossed what he thought was a path, but had become a stream of sorts with the rain. It had gotten really heavy over the last.. Hah, who knows how long it was. His jacket was almost thoroughly soaked now, his boots were wet, he was sure he could feel the damp soaking through, but that was probably his head, he was wearing walking boots.

Eventually, he came across an extremely large pond. It was too big to be called a pond, but too small to be called a lake. The sign at the entrance of the park called it Crompton's Lodges, but as far as he knew, Lodges were small wooden buildings, not these.. lake things.

There was a small footbridge crossing the lodge at it's narrowest point, There was some tall water plants on one side of it, and the other side overlooked the lodge. It was hard to be seen when you stood on the bridge. It was perfect.

He walked to the center of the bridge. It was quite a nice view, even if the water was quite brown, and there was even an old broken concrete pipe sticking out near the center of the lodge.. And is that a tyre sitting at the bottom? He couldn't tell through the murkiness of the water.

He stood there for a while. He lost track of time. He didn't touch his phone once, it was blissfully silent. He'd never been anywhere so quiet and alone in a long time. You couldn't even hear the cars. The the pleased sound of rain, there were ducks splashing around in the water, and the sound of a million thoughts racing through his head.

He was having an identity crisis. Everything he ever thought he was came crumbling around him a few days before. He wasn't even sure of himself. And that was the worst thing, because until now, the only thing he was sure about was himself. Everything else was an unknown.

An INFP, he is the analyst, the introvert, the guy who needs all the details before doing anything.

He stood and thought in great detail for easily an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Maybe someone walked past him. He'd not notice. The only way he'd snap back to attention at this point would be if he finished thinking, someone tapped him on the shoulder, or he fell in the grimy water below him.

He snapped back to reality eventually. He was soaked to the bone; wetter than the wooden barrier he was leaning on - and that was wet when he turned up.

But in that moment - It was a moment of clarity. An entire hour and a half devoted to questioning himself and everything he had done in order to get him here. He left a new(ish) man, more acceptance for himself, but most importantly; he knew himself again.

He pulled out his phone. "Huh. Better get home, the cats will probably be trying to open the bin".

He tapped Ingress.
"It's been. Two. Hours. Since your last login. Welcome back." It said, it a not-so-welcoming voice.

That path he crossed before? Practically a river now. He walked down it anyway, he didn't have a care in the world, for now.

15 August 2013

I'm (Not) Okay

Shamelessly ripping the title from a MCR song. Don't care!

So, reading my previous blog post, I seemed to come across mostly unperturbed, maybe a little confused.
In reality, it's really not like that.

I'm really freaking out here. Not a full on meltdown - I'm still functional and working.. It's.. just tearing me up inside.

I mean, I know I've conditionally labelled myself as Demiromantic for the last year while I've tried to work myself out, and it's felt all alright for now. And it's probably still true. In fact, it's probably very much true.

I'm just weird.

It's like.. my mind wouldn't process all available outcomes of being Demi-romantic, y'know?
Sure, I've had my minor crushes on girls which have come and gone. One recently is still kind of there, niggling in my head, nibbling and biting like a persistent mosquito that got up my nose..

But I could never see myself in a long-term relationship with another Male. I felt like I could settle down, but felt the chances of it happening were pretty slim, so I didn't dwell on it too much, if at all.

But recently, I made friends with another person. We've sent messages back and forth just chatting, and I can feel a crush forming. Still entirely platonic, but it's like my brain was like "WOAH! - Dude! We weren't expecting this!"

He's local (Heh, relative to my only actual relationship thus far - Still 90/100 miles away), so it's not like getting to them would be too much of a rarity that it would be a deal breaker. I.. want this to happen, you know? I want to know how it feels to cuddle, to snuggle and just be close to another human being again. It's been nearly a decade.

But why the fuck am I so scared?

We had a little tiny discussion on Google Plus last night and it helped a little bit to get my brain in stock, and someone raised this:

Internalised Homophobia

Now that's not to say I'm actually scared of being "Gay" or other Gay people, in my case, I feel like it's a case of the way I was brought up.

I was raised in the 90's. I was the Generation who found themselves being teenagers just as the Internet was rising to popularity. I remember getting my first connection back in 1998 - A dial up connection. But I'm digressing, again. I always do.

My parents were never homophobic. They always said "It's okay, if you're gay, you know?" 
I imagine they liked to tell me this because I had a severe lack of girlfriends growing up. I didn't actually get my first girlfriend until I was 16. And that was a Long Distance Relationship - She lived over 500 miles away!

But they always said "When are you going to get a Girlfriend, Nathan?"
I imagine they're like any parent - Eager for grandchildren. Don't blame them, in a way. In a few months, I'll be the age they were when they had me. I'm old enough. My school friends have kids themselves, or are all settled down with Significant Others. 

This constant reminder made me feel as if I had to get a Girlfriend. Hence the Internalised Homophobia comment. 
I wasn't afraid of being gay, or afraid of gay people. I was - am - afraid of not being normal.

I am well aware being gay, bi, trans, whatever is perfectly fine and not to be shunned. I'd be shunning a lot of people I'm networked with if I was to say it was bad.

It's.. New territory to me. I think that's what I'm afraid of. It's what's driving me crazy. It's something I've not dealt with before. I don't know how to handle it. I know how to make a girl comfortable (I like to think, anyway) but I've only ever met guys I can be friends with. How do I handle it? I just don't know.

I like change. I like to learn.. Apply this to relationships and you're going to see me freak out a little bit.

14 August 2013

Being Asexual and unsure of myself

I've made it no secret on this blog - or anywhere, really - that I'm Asexual.

Like sexualities, there's many different kinds of Asexuality.

Hetero, Homo, Demi, Pan, Bi and A-romanticsm.

While I'm going to hazard a guess that you all at least know what all of those mean, except maybe the Aromantic option. If you're an Aromantic Asexual, there's no sexual nor romantic attraction in you. According to you - maybe - you'd just prefer to be alone romantically.

But here's where I'm not sure of myself. Until last year, I thought I was just terrible at being Heterosexual. Then, just clicking though Random Subreddit on reddit, I found /r/Asexuality. Read a bit into the subreddit (As I usually do with any subreddit that piques my interest) and found the lack of sexual attraction was pretty much me!

After many days of reading, I still wasn't sure of my romantic orientation. I thought this would be a thing I discovered over a few weeks. Its been a year and I'm still not sure now. I'm leaning with the idea I might be demi-romantic. I'm definitely some kind of romantic. But I sit here and I'm just not sure at all.

I find it quite intimidating going out, as I've touched in my previous post "Pop Culture and Sexuality" - because I have absolutely zero interest in sex, and I'd hate to be expected to give it out if I have to hit it off with someone.

But here's the thing. I appear to be hitting it off with someone. We pretty much just spent all day talking today and this.. feeling. I've not felt something so similar as it did 7 years ago. Like I just want to grab the person and give them a tight hug and never let go. We could probably just sit there for hours and just talk.

I never thought it would happen again, you know?

I guess this is where I find out if I'm Demi/Bi-romantic or jus' plain ol' Heteroromantic, I guess.

13 August 2013

Clothes sizes and sod's law.

So today, I attended an event which required me to be formally dressed.

I am not a person who formally dresses often. So, I take a trip to Matalan - Cheap-ish, but still good clothes. Usually my first port of call when I need some new stuff.

I pick a nice shirt - black.
I also pick a nice pair of trousers - black.

Both of these, I pick my usual size. Size 49cm chest, 18in collar.  40in waist, 33in leg.

The shirt fits me as usual.
I made the mistake of not trying on the trousers, though. I mean, come on. I can fit into size 38in waist jeans! Worst case scenario, I'd wear a belt.

Nope.

This morning, I woke up and got dressed. The trousers wouldn't fucking fit. I mean, seriously. What!

Unless clothes manufacturers use different versions of metric - what the FUCK are you doing?! I'm petty sure my waistline doesn't expand and deflate that quickly. I had to make a mad dash back to Matalan for a new pair of trousers that were 42in waist - And I just about got into those!

And then I couldn't find my shoes.
Typical - you're in a rush (I was running a few minutes late at this point) and everything fucking hides.
Anyway, I snagged my dad's snazzy shoes (A size too small, I'll have you know.) and got in the car to drive 20 miles. In small shoes. Dressed formally.
Oh man, it felt weird.

I normally dress in Jeans and a t-shirt.. even for work. but anyway, I'm digressing and hiding my point of actual rage here.

Is there like a Metric v2 someone's using? Because no matter what shop I go into, I'm a different fucking size!

In Tesco's F&F Range, I'm a 38/39in waist
At Matalan, I'm 42in waist
In ASDA's George range, I'm 37/38in waist

If you're hiding a new metric from me, world, I'll tear your fucking heads off!

Edit: Metric, Imperial. Tomato, Tomato.
Yes, I'm a fucking idiot. Shh!

11 August 2013

A Dystopian Future

The blur of life.

We never found how how it became like this - all squeaky clean.

One day, we all had these devices on us. In our pockets.. Eventually they just stayed in our hands - too busy reading, messaging, watching, playing. We never did talk much to our neighbours. The devices just helped us to blot them out even further.

It's funny.

We could be talking to them on our devices and we wouldn't know. I mean, it's all our real names these days on the devices - but for all we know, it could be our next door neighbour or someone across the world. It's the same difference these days.

But it's not just the devices that have us under their glowy control. Everything that's been nailed has a sensor in it - beeping and booping and sending signals all day long. All those names logged into the networks, all being gathered and no-one gives a damn. Bins, Lamp posts, shop doors..

But no-one cared. We had our devices.

The power creep started slowly at first. Someone might look something funny in consecutive - innocent things - a polite knock on the door and a search.
Then it got worse. They followed you for a few days. Just to make sure you weren't acting funny. They watched you through the machines - the sensors. You couldn't hide from it.

Soon enough, an incentive for these device manufacturers to lower their prices - the citizens were overjoyed! Finally, brand new devices for such a low price - everyone rushed out to buy new ones - more advanced ones. Ones with more GPS features. NFC features. Bluetooth. All these shiny technologies, but no-one cared. As long as they could play and read and watch, they didn't care.

They're mandatory now, you know?

Yeah. If you can't afford one, the companies give you one for a discount. It's not a very good one, though. You can read and watch and play with them, though. Good enough for most people.

Now everyone in the world had one. They could follow you anywhere. Like watching little worker bees buzzing around the world - returning to their hives at the end of the day. But no-one cared.

It started then.

Didn't go to work one day? Felt a bit off and just wanted to spend the day in bed, maybe on the device? It had to be authorised, and not just with your employer. Those who ran the streets. After all, if the counter came one person down that day and they were unaccounted for - who knows what they could be doing?

The people with the devices liked this.
"Don't want no terrorists screwing with us!"
They'd happily type.

No-one talks any more. The only people who talk are on the devices. They tell us where to go, what to do, what we should like, who we should like. They lie, they cheat, they manipulate.
"It's for the good of the world, and the network!" the voices would yell.

But no-one cared.

6 August 2013

Pop Culture and Sexuality

Yeah, yeah. I know you're probably expecting a typical rant about objectified women in the media and yadda-yadda-yadda.

I might touch on that, but what I'm really here to have a bit of a rant about tonight is a bit on the Sexual side of the society at large we live in today.

Okay. Here I go.
I don't hold it a secret. I'm Asexual. If you're not sure what that means, to put it simply, we don't experience Sexual Attraction. AKA. We won't tap dat (straight away) - Not to be confused with reproducing with oneself. Which would be kind of cool, I'll admit. (And weird.)

You might be thinking "So what, you moany cunt?"
To be totally honest with you, nothing much. I'm just merely observing a trend in modern media.

It's been "subtle" for the longest time now, but I've started noticing it consciously. (And trust me, me consciously noticing something is pretty much being smacked in the face with said object/metaphor)

It was Katy Perry's "Peacock" that first slapped me in the face with the (Almost Literal) Johnson.
If you're not familiar with the lyrics, let me remind you;

"Let me see your Peacock, cock, cock,. Your Peacock, cock, cock."

As subtle as a brick to the face.

Or maybe getting phallic objects thrown at you. 

But hey, if Katy wishes to sing about getting flashed, so be it. I'm not one to say "No! Men, do not show this lady your Johnson!" - Because any normal heterosexual bloke will quite happily flash his Johnson at Katy Perry given the chance.

And here's where I say "No, that's total bullshit, society. Stop this shit."

As a young white male, I'm immediately assumed to be heterosexual and LADdish. I am neither of these things.  I do not "Banter", I do not want to "Tap dat ass" and nor do I want songs sung about penises played on the radio played 10 times a day. (In short, fucking quit saying "Ooh, she's nice, I'd so take her"

That's just creepy. 
Anyway, I'm getting distracted (as usual. That fucking gif up there is not helping either. Why the fuck is it so hypnotising?)

I'm noticing more and more media being completely and utterly uncaring about their metaphors (Not saying Rock is immune. Royal Republic, I'm looking at you!) And as an Asexual - it's off putting. I don't mind some media being a little oversexualised, but practically every song being played on Radio 1 being either about money, sex or women, I'm finding it really, really hard to find myself engaging with it. 

As a young white male, I am in the target audience for this stuff, but I find myself turning to Radio 2 for Jeremy Vine's 2 hours with the mad bastards or just listening to my own music while getting lost in my own head.

Yes, I know this type of media is literally just pandering to the lowest audience possible, but it honestly surprises me how much people are scooping this up. I sit here completely flabbergasted that people are going out to pubs and clubs with the intention of pulling and having sex.

Now, before you probably end up laying into me because I think I'm all high and mighty and "More cultured than you plebs", I'm not getting at that. At all. I understand that a lot of people enjoy this lifestyle and I'm not going to preach. That make me look like an arsehole. (which I can be, but I try not to be an arsehole consciously.)

Every time I'm asked to come out to town, I politely decline, because of 2 reasons;
1. I'm an awkward motherfucker in clubs.. which is where most of my colleagues/friends/family end up
2. I feel pressured into finding a partner.

Which, both of these in turn make me feel broken

I sit here, 95% of my peers are into this shit, and I sit here week in, week out wondering "Is it me? Am I being a fucking prick without realising it?" they might genuinely want to hang out with me and just party the night away, but I'm so paranoid and such a low (Almost non-existent) libido that I fear I'm being manipulated into finding a partner. You might hear it on other Asexual-cause websites. "Oh, you just need to have sex", "What, so you just don't want sex? Let me change your mind" 

I've heard them before, so I just avoid going out now. 

But you can't escape it, even here on the internet. Admittedly, I hang around in places like Reddit, which is the world's largest circlejerk. (And I'm not kidding. Differing opinion? Prepare to be shot down) where if a woman doesn't want sex, she's a "Teasing Whore" and if a male doesn't want sex he's a "Fag/Prude" or even a "Prude Fag"

Is this what we are these days, humanity? Males are sex machines, women must bow or prepare to be shunned by society as teasing bitches? I appreciate that not everyone is like this, but recent reports of twitter being "boycotted" over a lack of a report abuse button (which is a whole other debate in itself, which I will not weigh in yet beyond saying it's a fucking waste of time) because of rape threats against women, makes me seriously think otherwise.

It doesn't become a stereotype unless it's got a bit of a basis in fact (Ssh, I'll touch on stereotypes in the future and why I think they're (mostly) bullshit)

What drives me even crazier than these people are the sex crazed maniacs who have to relate every conversation to sex or fetishes. And don't say they don't exist - Have you seen FurAffinity sometimes? Shit, I avoid the "Recent Artworks" for this sole reason alone. these people drive me completely up the wall, but I respect their choice for the life of debauchery. I might not like it, but if that's how they roll, I don't care.

Just for god's sake, please leave talking about squishy subjects to people who like hearing about it. It puts me off talking to you in future, because for all I know you'll bring up that you like sitting, festering in your own waste when I try to talk about that film you watched the other day. 

Another little tangent for you now. Yesterday, the new actor to play the iconic Doctor from TV series Doctor Who was announced to great fanfare. Much excitement was built in the days running up to the announcement show, which was watched by roughly 3 million people (officially, anyway)

This fellow here is now The Doctor:

Peter Capaldi, famous for his role as Spin Doctor Malcom Tucker in "The Thick of It"

Since the reboot of the Doctor Who franchise, The Doctor has been played by relatively young adults (Matt Smith being the youngest Doctor ever, being 26 when taking up the mantle - It has drawn in the teenage crowd because the actors playing them were "Cute"

Peter Capaldi has made his appearance, a whole quarter of a century older than Smith right now.
The teenage girl audience has freaked out, claiming the show to be dead. It's been totally fucking hilarious watching them screech, like casting has bent the show over the rails, stabbed it in the back, shot it in the head and thrown it over the edge and into an awaiting bin.

Were these girls honestly just watching it for the cute guys running around in tweed coats, long coats and leather jackets, being charming and saving the day? If so, that's a pretty shallow base to "Love" a TV show.

Anyway, I'm getting distracted by talking about one of my favourite TV shows again (Even though it was kind of relevant. 

In summary, It's getting drilled into us from seemingly quite a young age that we're all sex maniacs and anyone not interested in sex is the odd one, not normal and broken.

I'm happy that LGBT causes are getting a bit more worldwide recognition recently (Even though it might not be good everywhere (Fucking Russia..), but spare a thought for us Asexuals, wudja? We do not want sex, bitches, and especially not penises in our faces. Can you just let up a little bit? It's making us feel a little bit awkward and left out.

2 August 2013

I'm a writer who can't write.

Look at me, I'm terrible.

Here I am, claiming to be a writer - with all these wild things going on in my head. So many new cultures, races, places to see; all in my head... But I just can't get it down onto paper. (Or screen)

Is this what they call writer's block, or am I just a lazy writer?

It may be that I just have too many projects going on at once! Who knows.

Either way, I sit here with some WIP's open and I just can't progress. I sit, I stare, I write things and immediately delete them. I stare some more, then immediately just give up and go and play some video games.

It's a terrible backout plan, I know. I should at least play the video game that inspired the worlds I'm making, but I instead play Skyrim. Two totally contrasting games and genres, yet I'm choosing the one completely opposite of my worlds.

Maybe I'm tired of Sci-fi? No. I still love to get inside my own head and imagine all these amazing, futuristic ideas and inventions, with amazing sunsets as seen from space.

The amazingly advanced Canir, with their traditional, yet progressive ideals and the most amazing technological minds.

The strong and reliable Feln, when everyone thought they were gone, they crept from the ruins and came back stronger than ever.

But I just can't write about them. It drives me crazy. I want to show everyone in the world how amazing my worlds are, the totally awesome characters that live in there, the events that happen that are beyond belief..

But it's all just stuck in my head.

28 July 2013

The Slippery Slope

I've seen this Argument used a lot in recent issues. And I mean, a lot

Not to say that I'm totally innocent of it, I sometimes find myself slipping down it, but I try my best to correct myself if I do find myself engaged in a debate where I've unconsciously deployed it.

What I'm here to talk about today is the prolonged use of the slippery slope.

Conservatives are well known for this one. Lord Tebbit recently so on Gay Marriage

“It would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter? Why shouldn’t two elderly sisters living together marry each other?”

But it's not just the crazies who use it. Everyone uses it, from the Far left to the Far right.

Now if you viewed my last blog, you may notice I used this here image about the UK's proposed internet filter:

This one, to be precise

Now, because David Cameron simply praised this system (Which is probably a good system for those who use it!), the Internet has latched onto this connection and is screaming something about this being part of the proposed system he's put forward. 

I've tried my best to make them see this, but everyone screeches about "BUT HE'LL BLOCK EVERYTHING EVER AND-"

Holy fucking shit everyone. Calm your tits. Listen to what you're saying. This is a perfect example of the Slippery Slope.

Yes, there is evidence that the filter will contain more than just porn, but here's the kicker.
It doesn't include Games, Social Networking or Dating

Gasp.

Let go of this image and use the one from Open Rights Group instead. It's a lot more accurate and not as bad.

It's still a fucking stupid idea, don't get me wrong. 
Just avoid the fucking slippery slope, wudja?

26 July 2013

Cameron and his Shitwall

So yet again, we have yet another internet control policy, disguised with the "Protect the Children" wrapper.

I'm not entirely sure what part of Cam's brain thought this through, to be honest with you.

(If you're not aware, some articles on the topic:

But if you're not in the mood to read through those links.. Basically, "Adult" websites will be blocked at an ISP level in order to prevent children seeing porn. I'd imagine anything with sexual content would immediately get blocked. Which - rightfully so - has wound up everyone and Cam himself has backed down a bit.

I'm taking this moment while he's backing down to throw that last rotten apple at his stupid smug face.

Just look at it.

Attempting to block Adult content on a huge scale like this is obviously going to cause some problems logistically, but I'm not a networking wiz, so I'll refrain from talking about that to prevent myself looking like a massive tit.

The Great Shit Wall of Cameron will block Sexual content, unless you call your ISP and opt-out of the filter.
This seems like a pretty fair practice in theory. In theory being the key phrase there.

Have you ever wanted to just call a random person on the phone and say "Yes, I like to watch porn, just thought I'd let you know!"?
Didn't think so.

Now, it isn't just your typical porn sites getting blocked. It's anything that could contain sexual content.

Reddit's /r/GoneWild could potentially disable reddit by default
Because of the amount of NSFW blogs on Tumblr, that could be gone too

And I'm only just getting started.

My point being, any amount of sites which lots of people use quite innocently will be blocked because a section of the website is used as a NSFW host.

As an example of what Cameron hopes to Implement with his shitwall, here's a system he praised - TalkTalk's "HomeSafe" filter.


See that?
That is what the HomeSafe can filter.

Now obviously, Cam's shitwall won't block all of those by default - otherwise the entire internet will just be blocked. But it's a good example of what Cam doesn't like.

I'm not going to get screechy conspiracy theorist like a lot of people are getting like, screaming about slippery slopes and chinese firewalls.  (Just thought I'd throw that in - Previous few paragraphs felt a bit OTT)

But here's the thing, Dave.
Children are going to see porn. There's no ifs or buts (heh, butts) about it. If a kid accidentally stumbles his way across a "Content Blocked" filter, and then gets it in their head that they want to see this thing, they will find their way around it.

I used to do it in School - When the IT Admin decided to block "Stickdeath.com", we all found a way around it. When they blocked Miniclip, we found a way around it. You couldn't stop us playing or watching silly little flash games in "Computing Club"

But, what about Pornography or Adult content off the internet? Dave already said he would not ban Page 3 from The Sun newspaper

The only time you will see me post gratuitous titties on this blog.

If this isn't adult content, Cam, I don't know what is.

Anyone - and I mean anyone - can buy The Sun. What do you want me to do? Call the police every time I pick up a copy of The Sun?

But what makes this filter even more infuriating is that it was recently revealed that Chinese IT security company Huawei is in charge of TalkTalk's HomeSafe filter.

The USA and Canada have both expressed desire to never use this company due to it's "alleged" links to the Chinese Government. (The USA no longer has room to criticise because of its recent NSA widespread spying scandal)

But here's the kicker. This filter, while is currently Opt-in (And any ISP can set a filter if you call up and ask for one!) has traffic filtered through Huawei's systems anyway!

Customers who do not want filtering still have their traffic routed through the system, but matches to Huawei's database are dismissed rather than acted upon

So if some nosy techie at Huawei wanted to have a peek at what you were looking at, even if you weren't filtered, he could probably have a look at it anyway.

So here's my open letter to David Cameron, The Daily Mail and anyone who thinks that this Widespread mandatory filter is a great idea:

I appreciate that you are concerned about children and their activities on the internet, but blocking the entire country's internet into an opt-out system is a terrible idea, but logistically, this is a fucking terrible idea.

Children are destructively curious, and incredibly quick to learn creatures, (As well as bloody invincible) - If they can't get to the page they want, they will go to a proxy and get at it anyway. And if they can't get at those, they will go for TOR. And you do not want your children on TOR. While it can be used to browse the Internet anonymously,  It's also pretty much the only way to get into the "Dark Net" (Which sounds fucking hilarious to me - Like some kind of Nega-Internet) but it's actually a hive of villainy. Drugs, Slaves, Hit contracts.. you name it, it's on there.

The easiest way to stop kids getting at porn? Set up your own god damned Parental Control systems and just watch your kids when they're on the computer. We're not a babysitting service!

25 July 2013

Payday Loans

Two posts in one day, I spoil you.
Anyway, this one comes from the core. There's nothing I know more than about Payday Loans.

Payday loans are a scam. I'm not just saying that because of the absurd APR.
The APR on a payday loan is irrelevant. It's only at 32145% because they are a short-term loan. Imagine setting an APR of 17% on what is a typical 1 month loan of, say, £100. That's £17 per year. Which is about £1.20-odd per month.

Charging £1.20 interest on a short term loan is not viable for a business. As absolutely abhorrent these businesses are, it's not an evil thing to be charging this much interest. A convenience charge, I tend to call it.

Anyway, I'm not here to defend them, it's just that I tend to see a lot of articles bashing them, then hooking onto the APR as a point.

While it's true that companies providing these loans have a lot of happy customers who can pay back no problem and carry on without borrowing more, there are lots (including myself) who fell into the spiral of borrowing more because money got low again toward the end of the month.

If you are on Minimum wage or thereabouts DO NOT GET A LOAN LIKE THIS! 
You might think "Oh, the interest is fine, I can pay that back no worries." Think a little ahead. I was an idiot and didn't.

I spiraled out of control, and only a few months ago, I decided to seek help to pay these companies back.
I ended up borrowing from 5 lenders, all at around £500 each. I'd maxed a credit card and I'd hit my credit limit, my history was poor (I can't get much lower on the scale, so banks were turning me down for a more reasonable long-term loan.)

When you can't pay them back - your lack of money does not matter. You might be totally broke, but it doesn't matter. "Give us that money or we double your interest" they always said. This is how I ended up borrowing from multiple companies. Borrowing from one to pay another. It's a vicious cycle you cannot escape.

Sure, that "Money within 10 minutes" might tempt you, but be honest with yourself. Do you NEED that thing? Can it wait until your actual payday? If you can wait, for god's sake - WAIT - It's not worth the potential stress these shits can cause.

These companies chase you down. They only turn nice when you actually seek help (In my case, I went to a debt management and consolidation company).
Now I get at least 7-8 e-mails in a week offering 10-20% off the total amount I owe if I pay it back right there and then.

It's nice that they only start thinking of those in serious trouble once they've actually gone to get help. Talk about throwing a lifebelt to a guy already in the rescue boat.

24 July 2013

"Sneaky Hate Spiral"

(Hello to Blogger! I've moving from Tumblr to Blogger because of a more "reader" friendly environment. :) )
Hat Tip to Allie Brosh for this one: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html - She’s awesome!
I usually end up with at least one per summer, and I thought I’d got away with it this year. (It got so bad pre-2011 and actually thought I had Summer SAD but that was just circumstance.)
I had one last night. It started quite innocently. I hit snooze one too many times because getting me out of bed is akin to performing a miracle. So, I didn’t have time for a shower, and if anyone has been following the news, you’ll know that Britain has been under Heatwave conditions for the last 2 weeks.
So I was a stinky-butt from the get-go. Deodorant shower is go. Gross, I know, but for the first time in months, I was up early because of some training I had to be at at work. I’m nocturnal, so I wasn’t in the best of moods. I’d also only slept for 4 hours because of the heat.
Now, because I’ve had quite the busy month this month, my car is low on petrol.. And I’m out of cash. Rather than risking running out of petrol on my way to work and getting stuck on a road, I've opted to walk to work this week, which I don’t mind - I need to lose some weight anyway and I don’t mind the walk!
What I do mind, however, is the weather being muggy as hell (Honest, I checked the weather when I got to work - 97% humidity) and it was still warm (20C - which is about 77F) which wouldn’t have been too bad for a nice t-shirt and shorts walk, I guess. Unfortunately, It was also raining
I didn’t want to turn up to this seminar looking like someone threw me into a river, So I donned my waterproof jacket and jeans and headed out into the furnace
I hadn’t even walked a mile and I was already drenched in sweat, my bag hanging off my back feeling more and more like a stupid anchor. I just wanted to take off my jacket and t-shirt, lie down in a puddle and let the rain cool me off. But no - I was already running late. I carried on. 
I got to work, I might as well have just walked without the jacket with the amount of sweat coming off me.
So here’s the situation so far:
I’ve woken up late, I fucking stink, I’ve walked 4 miles in godawful heat and humidity, got to work late, my entire body is damp through sweat and I’m causing the building to need a fumigation - and I’ve only been awake an hour. Not a great start. Worst of it over, right?
Nope. Not in the slightest.
As I sit down in the seminar room, I can sense people trying to avoid me. Fair ‘nuff, I’d probably avoid me right now anyway. No offense gang. Feel free to throw potpourri at me.
So after a total of 6 hours of listening to a guy talk on about stuff we don’t even need in our job role (I was verging on passing out due to a combination of heat, boredom and lack of sleep) We got out and I went to chat to my best pal who works in another department. 
I got a lift home from another pal in another department, which was good. I definitely would not have made it home. I hopped out of the car a few streets early so he wouldn’t have to make a diversion. As I was walking toward home, a car drove through a puddle and soaked me. Motherfucker!
After eating, I immediately dived into the shower. So good.
I fought with my hair and ripped half of it out again because of all the knots in my hair that just happen.
I got back to my desk to find some horrible personal news which I shall not divulge here. This was my tipping point. This is the event that I could do nothing to prevent. There was nothing I could do to help. I sat there, fuming to myself and checked other websites before I just went to vent my frustrations on video games 
(If you must know, I went to play Dishonoured and instead of a sneaky style, I just went mental and stabbed everyone like a madman)
I got a call from another friend. “Hey dude, any chance of a lift?" 
Yes! Finally, A little drive I can have to get my frustrations out! I pulled £10 out of my super-emergency fund, and hopped into my car and turned the key. Ch-chug went the engine.
The Battery was fucking dead. I was a massive idiot a few days ago and left my car door ever so slightly open, leaving the cab light on the entire time.
I screamed and headbutted the steering wheel. A long, loud, satisfying Hooooooooooonk echoed down the street. This is it, the day I snap. I sat there for a moment. “It’s happening again. The Sneaky Hate Spiral has arrived."
After a few failed attempts of giving it a jump start with the sister’s car, We gave up and I sat in the passenger seat while we went to pick them up.
And then the highlight of the day. Despite me not using my car, my friend gave my sister the petrol money she needed, and then just gave me £10 because she “Knew what it was like to be skint"
I would have kissed her if my friend - her boyfriend - wouldn’t have probably smacked me in the mouth.
Sure, people have way worse days than me on a day-to-day basis. But there were just so many little annoyances building up into one hate filled, rage driven screamfest while I was sat in the car. 
Think of this gif, but it was in a car instead.