Another week later…

Well, goddamnit.

I am entirely hopeless at regularly updating this blog – this I have accepted. It’s a thing at the back of my mind that I always pretend to intend to write up an entry on, but I always seem to be doing something else these days. And hell, even this is another “non-entry”, as I have nothing in particular to talk about once again. No matter though, for it’s better than nothing , or so I’ll pretend anyway. Let’s have another list (without the bullet points this time though, since those things look horrible with large paragraphs) about random stuff that pops into my head and see how that goes, shall we?

Well, perhaps not totally random. If there’s one thing I’d like to bother talking about briefly, it would have to be how fucking miserable the world is right now. If I’m being perfectly truthful, I’d have to admit that it took Robin Williams committing suicide for me to really notice actually, as terrible as that sounds. When I saw that particular headline – something which saddened me a great deal, because the poor man had fought through depression over the course of his life, and even alcoholism and drug use, neither things small feats to overcome, let alone talk about so openly, which I think is incredible of him – I guess that I was just hit by cynicism pretty hard. It was probably also seeing suicide prevention awareness spread throughout Twitter that did it too, the thought that so many people may also kill themselves after being “given permission” by someone much more famous than them being a tad depressing to say the least.

Whatever did it, I was no longer ignoring the madness going on in Gaza – something I and many others have become so accustomed to hearing about that we just shake our heads sadly and move on with the day – but before I could move it off my mind as usual, here appeared the hashtag #Ferguson all over Twitter and oh my god what the fuck are the police in America doing? Yeah, that was another downer all right, and still is, particularly as the media put their own spin on events, as was also the disgusting case with Williams’ suicide from a few outlets that sensationalised the tragedy.

But even as I considered avoiding the news this morning, on Twitter I read a few articles about Zoe Quinn, a games developer known best for her interactive novel (I think so anyway, as I’ve not actually played it), Depression Quest, who is being accused of sleeping with a former boss, a man who was married at the time; sleeping her way into good reviews with a journalist or two; and all manner of other, more personal things with names released to the internet and everything courtesy of an angry ex boyfriend. Honestly, I don’t even have much of an opinion on this one. It’s blown up hugely and the shitty gaming community has reacted as predictably as always, bar some sensible folk here and there. It’s a messy situation with issues worth talking about – if any of its’ true – but most of what I’m seeing right now is your usual shit slinging, mainly directed at Quinn of course, and feminism for good measure. More crap to make one feel thoroughly miserable at the world.

Oh, and there’s also the independence referendum here in Scotland mere weeks away, hanging over our heads like a fucking dark cloud – but that sounds like such a minor thing compared to everything else. All in all, it’s a sorry state of affairs right now, is it not? Hopefully the lunacy will die down before more crazy shit happens.

Moving on to slightly greener pastures, it seems rather suitable, given all the above, that I started watching The Shield around the same time, possibly the most cynical of shows I’ve ever seen. Having moved past Deadwood with tears in my eyes, I wasn’t sure what to watch next when I saw this and asked my dad if he’d seen it and would recommend it. He did, but he didn’t fucking tell me how miserable the damn thing is! It’s about a dirty cop, Vic Mackey, and his likewise corrupt strike team who do some very naughty things for the greater good in their eyes. It’s a show I intend to continue past the first season, having at first hated Vic as a main character, but then came to not necessarily outright like him (because make no mistake – this is a terrible man) but definitely understand him, and appreciate some of his smaller actions, the highlight of which, of all things, was him beating the shit out of a close friend, Connie – a prostitute he goes far out the way to help on several occasions in this first season – so that she wouldn’t be arrested for the murder she committed, but could plea self defence instead. He can be a surprisingly remarkable guy like that, as can the rest of the cast, who have notable revelations of their own that adds a great deal of depth to their seemingly ordinary exterior (in fact, one thing this show immediately did very well was make the characters seem like real people, which did grab my attention).

But it’s miserable. Utterly, utterly miserable. One very minor story arc of a three way love triangle ends tragically with one of the men murdering the other and the woman they’re both in love with as the song, All My Little Words by The Magnetic Fields, plays in the background, we seeing the result of the triangle I might add as we hear the lyrics, “And I could make you pay and pay / but I could never make you stay”. And that prostitute I mentioned? The last we see of her this season is as she fails to stop using drugs, abandoning the baby boy she had tried to kill during her pregnancy for them (which is how Vic first discovered her, and the reason why I find his going out of the way to help her, even if it means beating her, a lovely aspect of his character). Oh, and if you thought Vic was a character you’d be giving the thumbs up to for the finale, as he has an old friend arrested for his corruption, one of the things we subtly see throughout the season is he and his wife growing apart, eventually meaning that the final scenes are of him discovering a home empty of her and his two children as she runs away.

It’s that kind of show – beating you down every time you think there’s a silver lining in sight. In a way it’s actually a little similar to Deadwood, but I think that one is more hopeful, particularly with its focus on the town’s community drawing together during hard times, such as the large turnout for William Bullock’s funeral. On the contrary, the community of The Shield – which is set in L.A., the so-called “city of angels” suitably – revolt against the police for the first season’s last two episodes, rioting against the corruption and lack of justice, and then luring and killing a small number of cops in furious anger. Despite the sheer cynicism of it all – the word of the day apparently – it’s really quite good though with solid acting and filmography across the board, and of course very good writing.

Now on to truly green pastures, a cloudless blue sky overhead and everything – I have a job. It’s not exactly a super fun job and I get less than 16 hours for it, which means I still need to sign on with the Job Centre, but it’s something, and actively doing something instead of sitting indoors all day has cheered me up a bit. Add to that more time allocated to my favourite hobbies of reading and playing video games, and yes, I’m doing pretty good, the misery above considered.

And before I say something else that’ll ruin that, or start moaning about something or other, I’ll end this entry here and hopefully have better posts coming soon. Yet another new idea I had, for instance, was making short posts about very specific things about…things. Um. Okay, for example: I’ll maybe write an entry focusing on Doom 3’s jump scare tactics and why they’re maybe not so bad. You know, home in on one particular aspect of a game, book or what have you and perhaps focus on something else in another entry. Ach, who knows? This is dependant on me actually updating this blog after all, so who knows how that’ll go?

Until next time, whenever that is.

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A week later…

Fuck, but I am hopeless with this blog, aren’t I?

Hello yet again. I think / don’t know that I’m back for more frequent writing this time, having decided that I do have topics of which I’d like to speak about…in, um, later entries. Alas, this entry will only be a brief rundown of some things I’ll be chatting about in the near future, which seems rather pointless now that I think about it, but it’ll give me something to do. Think of it as me giving myself a push to actually write more entries for this damn thing. But don’t consider it any serious attempt at practice because I’m going to be a terrible person and use bullet points, listing stuff I intend to talk about it soon and any other nonsense that pops in my head. So let’s begin, shall we?

  • For starters, the Artist’s Edition of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy in Hell (and other stories too!) that I mentioned having bought in my last post arrived this morning. And holy fuck but is it gargantuan! Of course, I knew it would be a massive book, reprinting Mignola’s artwork before it was sent off to be coloured and whatnot, but having not bothered to check the actual dimensions, I was taken aback when I dug it out its box (the signed copy I bought, that came with several comics and goodies as well as a limited shot glass is now sold out it seems, but it was a brilliant service, providing tracking service the entire time and arriving perfectly intact). Disappointingly, unlike other Artist’s Editions, captions are completely missing in all but the extra stories; but it’s an amazing book otherwise – and this does clear the artwork to be enjoyed completely, you could argue – and I’m certainly pining for others in the future now. A review with pictures is very likely indeed, although I’d also like to write a bit about Mignola as an artist, the book itself demonstrating how minimalistic his artwork has become compared to the past, which I find quite wonderful.
  • Image comics are fucking great! The first comic I bought of theirs was The Wicked + The Divine, a fantastic new series in which the reader finds Gods taking the form of pop icons, which is marvellous; and this being written independently (it’s a fully creator-owned comic) instantly piqued my interest for what else they had going on (I’d of course already read Saga), and I’m keeping up with other recently started series’, such as Warren Ellis’ Trees and Robert Kirkman’s Outcast (I’m surprised I’ve enjoyed the first two issues of the latter – believe me, one day I shall rant about how crap The Walking Dead is and it will be merciless). My favourite, however, is East of West, which I somehow got hold of all issues of through eBay, all first prints and at a very good price. But, yes, these are now essential comics beside my weekly dose of thrillpower through 2000AD. Fantastic.
  • One thing I forgot to mention in my last post when talking about expanding my interests simply beyond comics themselves is that I got hold of two very lovely prints from Forbidden Planet, which I’ve yet to have framed but already treasure. These are giclee prints celebrating Batman’s 75th Anniversary this year and are that moment in The Killing Joke when the Joker is born (you know the one) and Jock’s first cover for Detective Comics, which is a beautiful, stylish thing indeed. Both of these were limited to 200 copies and come numbered and signed by both artists (the former Brian Bolland, which I was particularly pleased with). Nice, eh?
  • For the past while now I’ve been reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series from the start, having finally caught up to The Half-Blood Prince, which is where I finished years ago, having had the last book spoiled. It’s not, however, been the enjoyable experience I expected it to be. As a kid I loved all these books, of course, but reading them now I’m struck but how amateurish Rowling’s writing is. At first I was okay with the very safely played writing, these after all being children’s books, at least at the start. But after the first three forgivable books I for some reason expected the quality of the writing to reach new heights with The Goblet of Fire, which I remember quite fondly as taking the series in a darker direction. But surprisingly it’s been my least favourite of them all. Yes, I enjoyed The Order of the Phoenix – the one book in the series I didn’t enjoy as a kid – more than it, which was a shock to say the least. It’s my new second favourite of the lot so far, The Half-Blood Prince still remaining the firm best as I make my way through it, but we’ll see how much I enjoy the last in the series. Hopefully a great deal, otherwise this will have felt like a waste of time. Either way, the topic of how poor a writer I’ve found Rowling, contradicting my enjoyment of her books as a child, will be a topic for the future.
  • What about that fuckin’ Deadwood, you cocksucker? Oh, yes, thanks to Amazon Instant Video, I’ve had the great pleasure of enjoying this show all over again and now at the halfway point of the final season (boo!), may watch it all over again and write about the show as I do so. Up there with The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Fawlty Towers, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and hopefully a few more should Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy remain consistent to the end, Deadwood remains a show very close to my heart, one of my favourites of all time. Talking about it episode by episode would be great fun, I think.

Anyways, that’s all I got. A shockingly brief entry in this blog at under 1000 words, I know, but ah well. See you next time, I hope.