December 17, 2011
Sign the AVAAZ petition which will accept anybody’s signature, even though US senators don’t care whose nation they’re inconveniencing with this:

Sign the AVAAZ petition which will accept anybody’s signature, even though US senators don’t care whose nation they’re inconveniencing with this:

November 20, 2011
How a game Final Fantasy fans hated taught me to live again

Earlier in the week, as always, I was so down in the dumps that I could barely interpret the ending to All Star Superman, a great comic I liked, but I somehow was too hazed over by tears that refused to shed that I missed the point where Lex Luthor turns good for a brief moment before turning evil (unrelated to the comic, of course, some men have cried over this, but it’s weird how not a lot of Western comics ever have made me cry).

The point of this tangent is, I found myself in a dark place where I saw no exit in sight.

It was like trying to read The Great Gatsby, while in the bowels of influenza. I’d recommend the book, sure, but not while you’re fending off a cold so awful that every ounce of beauty in this world is robbed from your eyes which starve for warmth and comfort. I saw Bill Cunningham, New York in the cinema this week for that reason, as my eyeballs had been starved of warmth and comfort given that not only had I been depressed the entire winter, but I was unsure when my awful cold would go away.

Bill Cunningham, New York is a great movie, so great that it made me take off The Fashion Industry from my list of “Things That Need To Be Nuked From Orbit (It’s the only way to be sure)”. I remind you, The Club Scene and The Rapper Pitbull, are still on that list. If Bill Cunningham hadn’t warned me that nuking The Fashion Industry off the face of the Earth would have been a horrible mistake, I would probably be even more dissatisfied with my life than I was before.

"Those who seek out beauty… will find it!" said Cunningham. I did not believe him as I sat in that cinema right away, but particularly important cinema has a way of lingering with you. I’ve only seen the Mad Max Trilogy of films once all the way through, and that little nugget of Australian culture is still seared into my memory like my father’s farmer relatives seared their brands into their cattle.

Yet it was about two days later, after I’d rewatched The Lord of the RIngs: Special Extended Edition in its entirety via my Blu-Ray box set I’d been meaning to get around to, that it hit me. It hit me like Mike Tyson in a title fight, it hit me like my old school Taekwondo teacher in the 1990s did when I didn’t remember to get out of Master Wayne’s (we have speculated whether he was Batman, but even if he wasn’t he was still pretty much a live action Street Fighter character) God-damned way when he was practicing his mid-range kick-strikes.

The Lord of the Rings films by Peter Jackson are a childhood memory to me and my generation, to the extent that LOTR has a nasty habit of making you want to relive other, associated childhood memories. One of said associated memories was video games.

Video games, to me, were my nemesis, the very reason why I felt isolated and exiled from men and boys my own age, I was rubbish at them, the trash talking that went down rivalled that of a WWE Wrestling Event. I grew to hate video games despite my friends finding them much more fun and entertaining than I ever did, precisely because I was rubbish at them at the time. I was a n00b, hardly 1337 and unworthy of being called a mighty warrior amongst my digital kin.

But then it hit me again, a king hit not unlike the punch Snooki recieved on Jersey Shore. “Why exactly do I hate video games again, is it because I can’t find joy in anything right now because I’m so fucking depressed?”.

Pondering this upon a troubled brow, like the Riddle of Steel from Conan The Barbarian, I long struggled to find what was best in life. For years I had taught myself to work hard, create a body of work to make a name for myself, write novels, make art… but in this toil on the Wheel of Pain I had neglected an important aspect of the age demographic I had entered without really noticing.

Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs may have died out of nowhere, but at some point they must have had some form of leisure activities outside being brooding artistic geniuses?

Michael Jackson had his SEGA arcade game cabinets after all. Me, I’d won a Playstation 3 in a Sydney Morning Herald competition as an adult man, possibly one of the most badass prizes I’d ever won in my life, ever, since it came just in time for Christmas.

I mostly used this guilt-free PS3 for playing Blu-Ray movies of late, but I decided after watching Spoony’s Final Fantasy reviews for Final Fantasy VIII and X - I resolved to make a goal to beat Final Fantasy XIII before the end of Summer as a challenge to myself that existed outside of just slaving away on my art stuff all the time.

It’s weird how a man driven to awful extremes of depression through inability to deal with reality can find a modest cure-all for himself by actually allowing oneself to not focus on grim reality all the time just for once and enjoy himself again.

Final Fantasy XIII was the game that taught me to live and love once again, its colourful graphics did not so much remind me of Avatar-era cynicism of pretty CGI, but instead of what I had been missing all this time. In my attempt to adopt a more realistic approach to a productive life, I’d accidentally thrown the imagination-heavy baby out with the bathwater, but to my delight I was able to rescue the anthropomorphic personification of my brain’s imagination when the metaphorical firemen arrived.

It taught me that games were fun once more, even though I’d heard many complaints from less casual gamers that this particular game was no fun at all. I’d never even considered the fantasy of a “gamer chick” girlfriend, mostly because I’d assumed I’d be crap at games and she wouldn’t love me, defeating the appeal of the “gamer chick” archetype to begin with. But alas, to love a woman of any kind again I had to learn to love myself once more.

There are strange things in this world that remind us of the beauty it contains. My twin brother’s terrified of Russian women for personal reasons I won’t go into, but the actual Russian National Anthem’s been stuck in my head ever since I’d been researching European National Anthems all week for a book I’d been toiling on.

I cannot explain why I for a brief moment was so inspired by Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys music that I wished to emulate his haircut for about five minutes either.

When one is questing for meaning in life, it is no wonder that a video game involving, well… QUESTING, would be some sort of warm fuzzy comfort for a beleaguered and lonesome soul. As Bill Cunningham said, "Those who seek out beauty… will find it!". 

July 5, 2011
It’s Gonna Get Real In The Thunderdome!

I just read this article, and it PISSED ME OFF.

Look, bookshops in Australia are in trouble for a number of reasons, local price gouging is one of them. Price gouging in Australia makes Australia a beautiful, if nanny-statish place to live where a lot of people are priced out of some decent culture because they can’t afford it due to local price fixing. Americans pay less than us, always have, for books.

It makes no sense even though we’re a smaller market, and now’s swallowed Book Depository, the free shipping and good service this independent retailer provided as a respite from Amazon’s clumsy Americentric giant is gone.

Let me tell you something about Australia. We may look friendly and approachable as a tourist friendly nation, but by God man, if you’ve ever seen the Mad Max movies, you have some idea about what savagery, violence and hatred lurks under the skin of our convict descended citizens. After all, what other people could survive living in a place with such dangerous animals?

What I’m saying is, if things get bad enough for people who are disillusioned and angry with something down here, it’s fucking rare, but it’s fucking furious enough that it’s gonna get REAL in the Thunderdome. Bust a deal, face the fucking wheel.

Because if you push the Australian people hard enough, they go beyond apathetic into something akin to the Cronulla Riots. And that’s real. Yeah, that happened. Not because of a good cause mind you, racism never is, but just imagine what would happen if Australia as a collective whole of bogans and angry young intellectuals alike rampaged over something more valid as a subject of righteous anger, such as exploitation by corporations, or shitty government censorship? They’d fuck shit up! You know why the government is probably trying to make a nanny state authoritarian nation out of us, all subjugated and docile to abuse of power? BECAUSE IF SHIT LIKE THAT HAPPENS AGAIN FOR UN-RACIST REASONS, AND BECAUSE OF PUBLIC CYNICISM, OH LAWDY-LAWD, THESE POLITICIANS BETTER BOARD UP THEIR WINDOWS NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD STYLE, CAUSE IT’S COMIN’! CIVIL DISORDER IS ONLY A PISSING OFF OF A BOGAN AWAY!

You know why we should still consider certain circumstances where Men’s Rights should be given value? It’s in shitty situations like this BS where rich white people bully the not so rich, kind of shy, meek and nerdy white people who don’t have the corporate clout into submission. White men of the meek and nerdy variety need protection from rich and powerful (and fucking mean) white men, because if there was ever an example where white men needed a hand up, it’s this kind of fucking situation.

And the worst part is, even Germaine Greer, who yelled at me in public, would probably agree with me on this one for a change. “White guys who want protection from the rapacious nature of white male ogliarchy while respecting women’s need for similar rights which both genders benefit from? Sign me up!” she’d probably say. But probably in a more complex sentence structure. Because that’s how Germaine Greer rolls.

Enough is enough, I’ve had it with these motherfucking capitalist snakes on my motherfucking plane of existence.

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