GIFT or CURSE? A piece about WRITING, PUBLISHING and UNIVERSITY

 

Contains some coarse language.

Plan? What plan? Talk to the architect if you want a plan! Yep, that’s right – if you came here for advice, you are sadly mistaken, cuz here, you will find anything but…

…Going to a university after college/high school/whatever it’s called, is all well and good, but are there repercussions to this as well?

As a person who wanted to work professionally in the writing field, I found out the hard way that employer’s do not take people seriously who do not have valid credentials in the field they wish to enter. Now, by writing, I meant a professional, who worked on pieces from prose to poetry, through to novels and screenplays. Yes, I suffer from delusions of grandeur, but a dream is a dream until it is proven to be 100% unachievable, and I am yet to reach that unfortunate stage.

But, why a writer? So many people these days want to be teachers and shrinks and work in PR. Well, I could that writing has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, but I think that Australian author Michael Hyde, who was my lecturer for my introduction to Creative Writing class during my first semester of University put it best. Now, I hope to write this properly, but it has been a couple years since he explained this, so I might not be entirely accurate in my words – if he happens to read this he’ll probably shake his head at me. Dr. Hyde (yes, doctor, not mister!) explained how he was once teaching at this school. There was a student who could write very well, but to impress his friends he did his best not to focus on writing as much as he did sports and drinking, and other usual Aussie bloke stuff. Anyway, this literary competition is held at the school, and Dr. Hyde asks this student to submit his piece. For further encouragement, he explains how women like writers – they find men who write absolutely irresistible. The student is quite unsure; his friends laugh at him, believing writing to be the kind of thing done by losers and nerds – not by stereotypical Aussie blokes. Anyway, after much convincing the student decides to enter his piece into the competition – and wins! But, the morale of the story has not yet come to pass…the following morning, Dr. Hyde is walking down a corridor – and he sees the young woman who every man in the entire school had been lusting over embracing the student who had won the competition – yes, the same student Dr. Hyde had encouraged to enter. So, walking over to them, Dr. Hyde whispers into the ear of the student ‘told yer so.’ So, there you have it…the reason why I want to write – to gain the attention of all the foxy ladies.

Besides, in regards to other avenues of study…in relation to PR, 1) I’m no good at communicating with the general public, and 2) I’m no good at communicating with my relations, so how the hell could I ever be any good at Public Relations? And as for teaching – often has good opportunities for economic compensation, but other than that…besides, students usually freak the hell out of me, so it’s one of those thanks but no thanks ventures. Some people are scared to fly. Some people are frightened of the dark. I’m terrified to students. Moving on…

…Between the ages of thirteen and fifteen during some of my spare time I completed three short story collections, each containing six pieces. However, by the end the word ‘short’ may have very well been the last word I would have used to describe them, with the shortest piece indeed being 7 pages in length, whilst the largest was 102, and the average was 60; not exactly the definition of the term ‘short’ now, are they?

Unfortunately for me, at the time I had no literary agent, and only a very small per cent of Australian publishers are willing to accept unsolicited content; Penguin and their subsidiary Puffin, Allen and Unwin (at the time at least), Text Publishing, just to name a few. However, these publishers may say ‘we will accept unsolicited material’, but never is there a clause that expresses ‘we will publish unsolicited material.’ I learnt very quickly that every single publishing house had a problem with short stories; unless you were a known quantity in the industry, then this notion did not apply. I remember reading on the MacMillan page that they did not publish short stories, yet in the exact same month I read that known Australian author Andy Griffiths, most notable for his ‘Just’ franchise, had another of his short story collections published by their company! So, the rules are rules, unless you are a published author, in which case none actually apply to you.

Unfortunately for me, on the first occasion I happened to submit something, I mentioned my age, which at the time was 14. After almost half a year, in which I had given up waiting for this particular publishing house and had sent pieces to a couple others, I was notified in the mail whether or not I was successful. Of course I wasn’t, as depicted by the general tone of the paragraph. Did they supply a reason? Yes, amazingly enough…they explained how a 14 year old writer could never be taken seriously in the industry, and if one is writing short stories aimed for a young, adolescent audience, then they cannot be members of that readership – they need to be older, and more experienced in age and life, for nobody would ever want to read the work of a teenager. Safe to say I never mentioned my age in a cover letter again.

Anyway, long story short (pun included?) I contacted a literary agency, and after a few months was able to successfully converse with one of their employees about how short stories were not a popular market – in which I found out that they actually are! True, short stories never sell as many copies as novels, but they are especially well enjoyed by younger audiences because of their general length. It’s that publishers do not want to take the risk with a short story collection. On occasion, these collections have gone belly up for publishers, which is why they are after something more – a novel. Luckily enough for me, at the time I had an idea for a science fiction novel which I had been developing for some time.

Of course, something always gets in the way, right? Well, in this instance it was plain ol’ me…I finished the novel in December of 2009 after working on it for roughly six whole years. I took one look at my finished product and thought ‘what a piece of shit.’ Okay, honestly, it may not have been all that bad, but there was more I wanted to develop within the story in regards to the centralised characters and the lead antagonists. Additionally, I leant a lot whilst writing the story. The one thing I took away with me from high school was this; it don’t matter if you are writing a story set in the past, present or the future, if you do not have themes, or if you do not discuss pertinent issues that are reminiscent of today’s society, you will not gain a very broad readership. So, what are strong themes or issues transpiring today? Well, there is gay marriage, war, especially the one in the Middle East, racism and terrorism. There is love and sexism and rights for women. Safe to say, one can develop a piece with futuristic themes and such, but only the writer will really be privy to such a fantasy. The reader needs something that they can understand and clearly relate to, else you ain’t gonna succeed.

Additionally, I thought another aspect of writing on my lonesome, which Michael Hyde further discussed in his second lecture. What is this you might wonder? Well, at the beginning of my first novel (the term ‘beginning’ is loosely used – basically means the entire first half) I dominated my characters. I ruled over them with an iron fist! I wanted each and every one of them to live up to the notions and developments that I had conceived in my mind, and nothing was gonna get in my way from having them end up the way I wanted them to. However, by the second half of the piece I had altered my train of thought and relieved my characters of my ruling and allowed them to run free across the page. What did I learn from this experience? If you sit back, your characters will do everything for you – all you need to do is write it down. The freedom my characters had from this point onwards guaranteed them change from my initial plan that I had scheduled for their futures and changed many of the conclusions I had initially conceived.

I also happened to unfortunately find when I tried to publish this first novel of mine that I had just chosen to write in the one genre that I probably shouldn’t have. Yes, sci-fi is a very well rounded and broad subject that is enjoyable around the world; the problem? At least half, if not more Australian publishers are scared shitless of publishing sci-fi because it could blow up in their faces! Why/how did I not know this when I first began? SHIT! Anyway, instead of giving up ion such a genre or reinventing parts of the novel, I decided to move onto the development of another sci-fi oriented piece – which I am still developing to this very day.

True, probably not one of the most intelligible of things to do since I knew what to expect from the industry, but there was one more thing I was counting on; the experience I had been told that was a necessity for me back when I was fourteen…I was, and still am, attempting to acquire it. I’m in my third and final year of my undergraduate university course, but I have no intention of stopping there. Next, I wish to complete my masters, and then my doctorate, and then I can be Dr. Naughty Nefarious! However, what I am really aiming for is plain and simple professional courtesy – if I have gone all the way to gain a doctorate (that is if I succeed, which I hope to do so), I am hoping to look pretty darn respectable. I mean, how many people in total within Australia have gone on to gain doctorates? I don’t mean to seem pretentious or egotistical, but I am hoping this may provide to me a bonus, as to allow me to stand out from the other hopeful writers of tomorrow.

In the meantime though, what can I possibly do? Well, that is where the Gift/Curse part of the headline comes into play…one can gain a university degree, or go on to complete their postgrad, but all of this comes at a price. And I don’t just mean economically, although that is gonna be one helluva issue whine it comes time for me to pay off the rotten bastard of a tab that I have wafting over my head like a dark, angry storm cloud. No, I of course mean professionally. If one is after a job after attaining such qualifications and is unable to gain one in their intended industry, what next? That is the problem, because ‘what next’ is a great, big puddle of utter nothingness. Employers not in the field of study one has accomplished want NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU! Why not? One, you are too over qualified. Actually, that is basically the one and only point. Due to this, you will constantly be searching for another occupation – one in your chosen felid that you explicitly studied for, and once you acquire that dream job, you will leave the one you currently have. Employers don’t want to put time and investment into a worker who will inevitably leave – no, they want someone they can train and bend to their every whim like to an able pet. So, gaining one’s dream educational qualification is all well and good, but it will ultimately prohibit oneself from gaining an employment- anywhere but in their chosen field, and if the job you seek is not hiring, well, to be blunt – you’re fucked!

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

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Freedom of Speech? No Mate, the Dissolution of it…

 

It’s amazing how in the past one could get away with saying more than what one can say today. We have technology like none that ever was before. We live in a society where rights are been equalised more and more each decade, kind of. And society, culture and communication is continuously changing right before our very eyes. So, with that said, why is it that the freedoms regarding speech that we once knew have changed quite radically over the past few years?

The issue I have found is that every time someone says something that another person does not like and a court case is brought about to resolve the dispute, certain freedoms begin to be pulled back and rules safeguarding people from certain things expressed verbally are entrenched into society. A good example of this is located within the link found at the conclusion of this paragraph. In this instance, two journalists working for the ABC mentioned the name of the woman who was the victim of a sexual assault, which is a blatant disregard of the law. So, because of two bad apples (who were subsequently fired), the law cracked down harder on those who use freedom of speech to say what they wish.
Although this article is a few years old now, the information inside reigns true to this very day, and there is a great quote from Nicholas Pullen which perfectly summarises my fears for the future in regards to free speech.

http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1892911.htm

Adjunctively, there are the rules that journalists are forced to comply with. This however is only the beginning of my next argument, which revolves around blogging. Those who blog are now being visualised as stereotypical journalists; they communicate to large audiences and motivate those who read their posts and provide to them arguments which can alter and change their opinions. This in itself is what journalists have the potential of achieving, hence, the reason behind why government agencies are considering the crack down on web based content. At the moment, the law is still yet to catch up with technology, which alone is quite ridiculous, but when it does, what will bloggers be prevented from expressing online?

There was a time when you could walk up to a person and say what you wanted without them becoming so unbelievably taxed at your commentary. You could walk up to a woman and simply say ‘you look very beautiful today’ without any ulterior motive, agenda or bias. Now, if you say such a thing you are likely to be accused of being a sexual deviant and a few seconds later find a pair of hands around your neck.
Worse still, you can gently tap a woman on the shoulder as a gesture of motivation when she is about to, I don’t know, provide a verbal presentation to a large audience, and in the same second find yourself accused of sexual harassment!

There was once a time when you could say to a person ‘I think you’re an idiot’ and a few seconds later laugh it off, but today, you could say the exact same thing and suddenly find yourself being hauled into court with the person who you were just laughing and talking to a few seconds earlier, who is now suing you for damages done to his/her name.

You could in the past say to a person ‘I hate your rotten guts’, and today say the exact same thing and be accused of being a psychopathic murdering scumbag.

When do privacy laws that relegate freedom of speech obsolete become ludicrously unnecessary?

The major problem is that the complainant holds a large majority of the power, whilst the defendant, a.k.a, the accused, has very little. There are so many legal avenues against free speech, whilst there are few protecting it, truth and the public’s right to know being the primary excuses often utilised, and you would imagine in a society that promotes it there would be many more avenues for its protection.
To ensure prosecution of the defendant, all that needs to be proven is that damage was indeed caused by what was said or done, which is very easily provable in the eyes of the plaintiff, leaving the defense with little leeway, because even if they did not necessarily mean to maliciously cause harm, the plaintiff is immediately seen as the victim for they are the party expressing how they were violated.

I guess on one hand, free speech is a liberty that people very much enjoy. But the right to privacy and other such laws that protect people from this freedom are just as important. A person who has never had their privacy invaded may not completely understand the importance of such a law, and upon this happening, their ideals in regards to the freedoms they once trusted may be considerably tarnished. My point is that yes, we do need protection to ensure that our private lives are not explored; to ensure we are not violated verbally or literally by others; to ensure our reputations are not destroyed by slanderous material; to protect our families and the ones we love so dearly – but at what cost? We may turn around one day and find the entire conception on free speech to be entirely extinct.

Just because we live in a society that allows free speech, does not mean that we allowed to speak freely; quite the conundrum.

NBN – (un)Naturally Boring Numbskulls

 

The NBN – the National Broadband Network is what the government is attempting to roll out. Beginning by updating small towns in the middle of the Whoop Whoops with this new supposed high speed internet, this next generation advancement in internet technology is, according to the Prime Minister, going to put Australia on top for high speed internet. This, coming from the same Prime Minister who says Australia has the great economy in all the world, yet Brisbane is several billion dollars in dept? Interesting…Adjunctively, the PM may never get to see her project come to life, cuz if the PM gets kicked out in the next election, it may be cancelled by whoever takes office next. I mean, the NBN has been in the works since 2007, and less than what, 2,000 homes in a country of 25 million people have gained the ability to use this technology over the past five years? Billions of dollars have been poured into this project and those involved in its orchestration have complained and pulled out and new people have been called in. I guess some people doubt the PM’s ability to successfully integrate the software into the country. Of course, after the home isolation fiasco, can you blame ‘em? (for those non-Australians treading this, the ‘home insulation fiasco’ was a scheme instigated by the Prime Minister in which all insulation companies were given the ability to place new insulation into the homes of people. All these home with the new insulation in ‘em, subsequently burnt down due to shit insulation. That is the Australian government for you – ‘we care’ they say…yes, they care so much that they try to kill you in your sleep!) Supposedly by the year 2015, a cool 200,000 people will have the ability to use this high speed internet. I won’t probably be living in Oz by the time the entire country is fully up and running, and by then, the NBN will be so far out of date and the Americans will have an internet so far more advanced that the very mention of the NBN will bring about hysterics of laughter rather than plans for national domination.

Of course, the whole meaning of this post was to state my pros and cons on the subject matter of this technologically advanced system. Positively speaking about the software, my current internet, no offence, but it is pretty friggin’ pathetic. It cuts out frequently, and when that doesn’t happen it automatically shuts itself off, forcing me to sign back in. I have a contract with Optus – it’s a wireless dial up connection with a 5 Gigabyte plan with costs around 50 bucks per month. On top of these issues, the internet takes so damn long to load pages that I could have designed them personally by the time they have loaded, and the internet is so slow, that on occasion, if it managed to become any slower, I would be travelling back through time. I could argue that this occurs because the Optus tower where we pick our connection off from is also shared by Telstra. So, anyone on either of those two plans, using either the internet or their phones are bouncing around the same data port. Basically, there would be an awful lot of people trying to connect to friends, family and the internet at once. However, it would be worse if I was with one of the other companies. Virgin, 3, Vodafone, Chariot and Dodo all use the other tower. Imagine trying to get a connection with one of those companies in my neighborhood. You’d be lucky to even download a kilobyte before the internet died on yer due to the prioritising of other customers using more juice than you are. I should be glad I at least got piss poor internet service cuz the other companies might not offer me any service at all.

Basically, if and when the NBN ever comes into the works, it may very well be able to sufficiently boost the internet connection that I have to work with now. But since the PM ain’t prioritising major cities, towns or suburbs, and since like I said, I may not even be living in this country when the day the NBN is 100% turned on, I may never get to know how much of a success, or potential flop, the entire scheme is. For that, perhaps I should be glad. You see, on a negative side (apart from the fact I’ll be old and grey by the time the NBN is on), the government have stated (but governments, especially the Australian one always lie) that the NBN will change how everything works. If that is true, then that in itself kinda freaks me the hell out. I like the way things are running now without having them change. I mean, people of previous generations felt the development of mobile phone devices and portable music players and the like have been huge leaps forward in the advancement of technology. I never felt it was. Such came naturally to me, and that was probably because I was born in the time when technology is continuously changing at an incredibly rapid pace. However, what the NBN is emphasising, seems like a substantial leap forward, and if that ever comes to pass, then the older generations and I will have something in common.

I do not like the fact that those responsible for the NBN’s promulgation are stipulating how the project is going to alter life as we know it – how shopping, work and life in general are going to be dramatically changed with this technology. Now, they are yet to actually be specific about such generalisations, but what I have heard thus far seems pretty mind blowing. I look at my life and the way I live it, the way I work and the plans I have for the future and I base them on the technology today and the opportunities that are available to me. The way the NBN designers are talking – it sounds very much like the past is going to be terminated and a new future will be brought in and ultimately change everything that I believe. Now, I am all for an advancement in technology and I believe change can indeed be good – but the NBN is making it sound as though that change will be instantaneous – a bit like Skynet. Plug it in, and suddenly, everybody’s dead. That is what the NBN sounds like. Plug it in, and watch the world that you know vanish and a new one be erected before your very eyes.

I can only hope when and if the NBN does come, the change is more subtle. But like I already mentioned governments lie. Besides, most people in government office cannot tell the difference between Twitter and a toilet seat, so what the hell do they know about the NBN?

Looking towards the future and beyond, this is Naughty Nefarious, signing off once more.

What I am looking 4 in a Doom 4

 

It was in 2007 that id announced the promulgation of the fourth installment in the Doom franchise, and since then I have been patiently waiting. Quite often, such hype is exposed, and later it draws to a close and the project is called off and left unfinished. Apparently not in this case, with little bits and pieces of detail emerging each year with the exception of Quakecon 2010. Recently it was rumored that the fourth Doom game would be loosed upon the world in December, and I have heard nothing since to deny this rumor as anything but what could very well be the truth.

With the announcement of Doom3 BFG Edition at E3 2012, the roll out of Doom 4 seems almost even more ‘exciting’. Could this be the appropriate word? Dunno. However, it seems rather odd that so little information is being broadcast about the upcoming Doom title, although when Doom 3 was on the rise, trailers for this particular title were put out as early as a year before its release, although the game was indeed postponed on a couple of occasions, thus my disbelief that it may actually arrive as planned, but here’s hoping.

What is strange about Doom 3 BFG would no doubt be its release. The 12th of October for the Yanks and many other countries, and the 19th for Australia? Perhaps the distributors temporarily forgot there was a country that existed above Antarctica? Or the games are being placed on very slow ships. Additionally, there is of course the price. In America, the game is set to be $50 for XBOX360, $40 for PS3 and $30 for PC, all of which are rather attractive prices. The Australian prices have been unveiled as well, with all platforms to be charged the exact same allotment of cash – $98.99! Last time I checked, the Aussie dollar and that of the American were very similar, so I am at a loss as to why the game is set at such an exorbitant price on this particular side of the hemisphere. I remember when Halo HD came out; it was only $60 over here, which seemed rather cheap – especially when in contrast to the rebooted version of Doom 3 in HD.

However, this post is meant to be about Doom 4, so back on topic. What has been unveiled so far by some of those involved in the project, is that the graphics are meant to be ‘awesome’ and better than that of Rage, but will run at a slower frame rate at only 30 bits per second, whilst Rage ran at 45. The game is additionally not a prequel, nor a sequel to Doom 3 or any of the other titles in the franchise, and is not intended to be a reboot, but a standalone game in the Doom universe. It however is meant to be similar to that of Doom 2, in that it is set on Earth. The forces of hell have torn the planet a new one, with the world of Doom 4 set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, which seems to be the current setting for many an id game. The game sees the remnants of the human race, in particular, what is left of their military fighting for survival against the forces of hell. Other than that, very little is yet to be showcased, with id specifying that any and all trailers and clips that have been showcased thus far to be fakes, and that when they finally do unveil any content to the public, the fan boys will be thrilled beyond belief.

With that in mind, since the contents of the game are still yet to be brought to light, I thought I might compile a list of what I would like to see in the future of the world of Doom.

One: I would like the option of playing as either a bloke or a chick. Such would spice up the battles and bring a different flavor to the fight. We have played as blokes for so long, so why not take time out and play as woman?

Two: I would like around 95% of the game to be set on one’s lonesome – basically, I do not want any back up most of the time. Doom has proven over its longevity that it is about taking on the forces of hell all by yourself, so why trade tradition in for a team based shooter?

Three: I would like the next gen Doom game to last me a while. I remember Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 lasted me seven hours and eighteen minutes on the highest difficulty setting – not very long I will admit. Halo Reach however lasted me approximately 25 hours on the highest setting – now that is the kind of length I would be more impressed with.

Four: I would like to see all of the monsters from the original Doom and Doom 2 games, along with the creatures from Doom 3, and a couple of new ones tossed in to add more spice to the fight.

Five: I would like the Cacodemon to be red and have one eye. I mean, back in the original, he was pretty cute – that is of course when his giant fire balls weren’t depleting your health of forty five hit points per attack cuz you failed to have any armor on…

Six: I would like the creatures to be really hideous. Many a time during the development of games when the designers showcase the way creatures are going to look, they seem far more gruesome initially than when they do when the game is finally released because additional changes were made. This is reflective of many titles, but a great example would have to be the third installment of the Doom franchise. The Lost Souls for instance, were far more gruesome during their initial unveiling a year before the game was finally released, when the faces of the creatures were far more uninviting, whilst the latter versions had far smoother features that were not covered in blood. Additionally, the original conception of the Arch-vile was friggin’ grim, the creature being a cadaver, with flesh hanging from its limbs, blood dripping from its torn body and fire encasing its hands. The final version was a thin white creature with a flawless complexion – not exactly the creature from hell’s dominion, eh? More like a Caucasian pyromaniac waltzing around in his birthday suit.

Seven: I would like the game to have a pretty good story. Often in games, the likes of Prey, Bioshock, Halo 3 and Mass Effect, it is great to have a story where your character needs to save someone of importance to them, whether it be a friend or loved one. This would be a good theme to have throughout the piece.

Eight: Although I would like a story, I would also like the game to be restored to its original roots. The original 2 Doom games were quite open, whilst the third installment kept the player stuck in repetitive corridors where it was difficult to maneuver. In the originals, the levels were not linear, but that did not matter, and the primary goal was to get in, and then get out alive, with keys having to be often found to ensure the completion of this goal. The return of this, along with the score the player gains upon completion of each level, with perhaps a reward for gaining 100% quota for all avenues, would be quite impressive.

Nine: I would like the bodies of the dead to remain. In almost every game today, as soon as you kill a bad guy, their body simply vanishes into thin air. Back in the days of Doom, Heretic and Hexen, this did not occur, and I would like to return to this. Having the bodies remain allows one to remember their accomplishments. Not having them – it’s like walking through a ghost town after you’ve killed all those who once resided in it. It is quite depressing. At least the dead provide you with, all be it, limited company.

Ten: I would like the health and armor hit points to go all the way to a thousand! Bearing in mind, this can only be achieved by picking up those tiny pickups or through using those special mega spheres.

Eleven: I am worried about the amount of violence, or perhaps the lack there of. The previous Doom game did not have much. True, the walls and floors wee drenched in blood, but the enemies gave off very little as you blew them away. Rage especially was a game that was so blood thirsty, you could take all of the spilled blood and store it in a vial approximately two centimeters in height! Doom was seen as the end of the world by those who do not wish to have an R18+ classification in Australia for games due to its excessive violence. I want Doom to be returned to its original violent state. I want the game to be drenched in so much blood once more, that you literally need a towel to wipe it from the screen.

Twelve: I want the A.I of the enemy to be quite impressive. In Doom 3, the former human opponents were smart enough to take cover – if there was cover to take, whilst the denizens of hell simply attacked the player with little regard for their survival. I would like to face off against an enemy who cared about living as much as they did about killing, which would be more challenging, cuz a creature that simply kills without mercy is not much of a threat when you have yourself a bazooka and all they have are a couple little arms and a fireball.

Thirteen: I want the games released on the non-PC platforms, in particular the XBOX360 version to come equipped with a split-screen multiplayer match capability. Online matches are all fun and good, but they lack one little thing; on XBOX live, you cannot physically see the other player – and therefore, you cannot yell at them and slap them over the head when you kick their ass from one side of the map to the next. That in itself, is classic. Kodak moments are born from moments like these!

Well, that is about it. I know, thirteen is an unlucky number, but since Doom is a game franchise where one tackles the hordes of hell, perhaps in this case it will bring good fortune rather than bad. Time can only tell I guess, and one can always only hope.

I am not afraid of spending my life with someone forever. I am afraid of never finding that someone I am to spend forever with.

 

Marriage. It is seen as quite a big step for some. For others it is a part of their culture and a necessity for their way of life. For others – it ain’t ever gonna happen. So, where does little ol’ Naughty Nefarious reside? On the fence? In any of these three previous areas of society? Actually, no. So, where exactly? I am actually looking forward to being married. I know, weird! I ain’t even twenty five yet, and I am ready to settle down.

I am just tired of the whole dating game. I mean, what is the point of dating a person for a couple days, or months, or years, only to find that the relationship comes to a grinding and excruciatingly painful halt? So, I can either bench myself, which doesn’t exactly help my cause…or I can find ‘the one’ and move on out of the whole dating game. Yes, ‘the one’. Now, I am not a-ah, shit! I’m gonna say the truth. It’s not like I’m a liar. It’s just that I would rather not admit the following… (giant sigh)………………………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………….I’m a romantic. Yes, I said it. I stand by it. I think I just lost all of my masculinity in that one moment by saying that, but I am going to stand by it. I am a heterosexual twenty something year old Australian bloke – and I’m a romantic to boot. Now, before I go dunk my head in a vat of acid from total embarrassment, allow me to finish my post.

I remember in high school, my year eleven teacher basically made the point that I am certain almost everyone of my age believes in. Why get married when you are so young? People want the opportunity to make mistakes, to have some fun, to have lost and lots and lots of sex with random partners, and do all three of these things and more up until the age of thirty five. Then, and only then will they settle down. Now – they are composed, and they have done enough exploration to finally have a family. In my view, why wait? If you truly love someone, you just know, right? So why not just get married immediately when you realise? I’m not saying you find a girl and one month later become Mr. and Mrs. I got married right quick. No. I’m saying after a cool couple years, then get married – do not follow the social normality that I have been told is the average stereotypical norm and wait until you have been with half the people in the state before coming to your sensors and deciding to spend your life with the one hundredth person you so happen to find.

Now, I ain’t trying to create the idea that the human race is one giant whore and I apologise if that is the view I appear to have orchestrated thus far. No, so please, allow me to explain my last paragraph. People I believe are simply naturally scared of what they do not understand. We live in a world where love is so very often not found. True love especially appears to be entirely absent from society. So, when a person is overcome by such a feeling, I guess it is normal for that person to be naturally frightened of the feeling and decide to not commit to said romance. I however am one of those people who just say ‘the hell with it – go with it!’

Now, I might say that I believe it is nonexistent, but that does not mean that people do not feel it. I am certain that every day someone is overcome by this feeling. The horrible truth is that love, it is quite possibly one of the single most painful experiences one is ever going to feel, for the loudest sound ever recorded was without a doubt the breaking of the human heart. However, the feeling can also be one of the most rewarding. The problem is with the human heart…people and nations can both be neutral. The human heart however cannot. It is the one bastard that always takes a side – and therein lies the rub. The whole connotation of ‘the heart wants what the heart wants’ reigns true, but what is the point of falling in love with someone when they cannot love you back? This is the unfortunate truth that so often occurs. In my case at least.

Now, I don’t know how it is for other people, but I have a system. I never created it, I just had it from the moment I began to become attracted to women. I obtain feelings for a woman, one single woman, and for no one else. When that happens, I pursue those feelings until I cannot pursue them no more. When is that you might ask? Once I discover that I cannot 100% have a relationship with the woman, the feelings disappear. Remarkably I have found this happens quite quick, but bearing in mind in such circumstances neither of us have dated so I basically have nothing to be mourning about. I liked the woman and had feelings for her, but never did a romance bloom. Now, I would like to state that when I successfully reel in a woman after obtaining feelings for her and I verify that she likes me too that we begin to experience a beautiful romance. I would like to say that, but not so much. Why not? My feelings change.

My heart and my mind are in constant battle with one another. My heart is all feeling and imagines the woman liking me as much as I like her and all that we can do together. My mind, that bastard is a different story. He, she, it, is up there in my head, explaining to me how my heart is wrong and how everything is going to come crashing down and how the woman could never love me in a million years. Yes, I have the most negative mind in the galaxy. Now, I have not been rejected so many times. That is not the reason why my mind believes such things. I mean, I have only been rejected three times in my life. I have only ever asked five women out (yes, I know, three plus one equals four, but I do not count the time I was in my final year of high school and playfully asked out one of my teachers – a foxy 23 year old food teacher).

Basically, I don’t think my mind has any reason to think such thoughts. So, once I verify the woman likes me, what happens? My mind, now in full control of the situation, takes control of the wheel and begins to reverse! My heart drove all the way up to the woman in question, put itself on the line, was accepted, and is now leaving. My mind officially comes to the conclusion – it is not going to get any better than this. You like her. She likes you. Nothing else is going to happen. In the end, you will inevitably fall out of like, or love, if you have unanimously grown such feelings for one another, and you would have wasted away all that time together only to leave with a broken heart. So, my mind, the safety net, believes it is saving my heart. How so?

I gain the feelings of boredom in relation to the woman. I have not been out on a date with her. Never spoken dirty with her. Never seen her fabulous naked body standing before me. Never slept with her. Never had sex with her. Never been sprung by her parents. Never been sprung by my parents. So, why the hell am I bored with her? No idea really. My heart obviously reaches the same deluded conclusions as my mind and decides, what is the point? This did not happen during my last relationship. No, this has happened since then. I really did not want that last relationship to end, so obviously my mind has adapted since then and decided it no longer wants to hear my heart bitch and whine about been broken after giving itself away, only to have the relationship come to a conclusion. I know deep down however that if I begin that relationship with a woman, my heart will grow contented and successfully retake control of the wheel. I just need to take that step. I didn’t last time though. Last year, September, I came to the conclusion that the young lady I have spoken of before in some of my previous posts liked me; maybe at least. I had proof that had been verified by my heart, but like already mentioned, my mind thinks me heart to be an idiot. So, basically, no fabulous evidence that my mind could not disavow as been anything but delusions. Anyway, at that time I began to become bored with her – over the course of about forty minutes. And suddenly, I had no control over my legs – they simply took me away from her before I had the opportunity to say anything from ‘s’up?’ to ‘I wuv you.’ What I want is for next time, if there ever happens to be a ‘next time’, for this not to happen, and for my heart to remain in friggin’ control.

I only wish that could be the case…but, like I said earlier. If I get married – I no longer have to worry about shit like this.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off.

Video Games, Religion and Politicians – Not good bed fellows

 

What  people who don’t play video games say: ‘I don’t know about video games. They sound awful complicated.’

What people who don’t play video games would say if they played them: ‘Da! I shoot u ya BaSTarD! i kill u d00d, u r DOA lama!’

Maybe that is not what people inexperinced with the gaming world would say, but still, gaming has changed an awful lot since its orchestration. But I ain’t here to talk about the history – no, I am here to talk about the possible future. Films today in general are, can we say ‘not very good’? So many are total blow outs at the cinema. Creators and story tellers are running out of original concepts it might seem and are looking towards books for ideas. I mean, how many days was Twilight out before someone said ‘I could make a movie about that!’

When might this unfortunate occurrence hit the world of the video game? Perhaps it has already happened? We might be living in such a world right now. How so? For one, the sequel; almost every single game now-a-days comes with a sequel. And it ain’t like in Hollywood where you watch a film and the entire storyline plays out and then they create a brand new story line for the following title. No – games have sequels because the story gets to a certain point – and then gets chopped – only to be revisited in the following two games. Yes my friends, I am talking about the trilogy! Mass Effect, Gears of War, maybe even Crysis and Rage – all have elements of the sequel. Bearing in mind I am not complaining about the content – they were all equally awesome in their own way – but they were chopped off at points where they leave the gamer crying out ‘Oi! WTF!’, before forcing them to wait a cool 2-3 years for the next installment. I mean, who here has heard the rumor that a possible Doom 4 will come out in December of this year? Id and Bethesda have been awful quiet, but still – that there is the sequel at work. We gamers are but slaves to it, for if we liked the predecessors then of course we are going to buy the sequel – even though by the time the sequel comes out it is twice as expensive as the game that came before it in the series when released a few years before!

Secondly, there is the HD version of games. When people run out of ideas, they plan to remake the old!
Recently the creator of Alone in the Dark specified how he wished to create a HD version of the original concept that was designed back when games were but new and people looked at them with suspicion. Halo HD, Silent Hill HD collection, Serious Sam HD…Duke Nukem, released on XBOX360, PS3 AND PC 2010, but in old graphics format (never released in Oz though). The problem with the HD versions of games, or the re-release of them is…that they never offer anything new or exciting. No new weapons. No new levels. In fact, they often take segments out. Serious Sam had no Split Screen function on XBOX360 and several movie clips were removed from the campaign. Halo HD had no new weapons or abilities and almost all of the original multiplayer maps failed to make a return. However, imagine what Doom or Doom2 would look like in HD! Now, that is one wet dream of mine I would like to see become real…

…then there is the whole concept that video games are the root of all evil; that they cause violence in society and turn children into uneducated delinquents. Of course, the people who always make these comments are those of whom in society would not know a video game from a glass of water. Take Australia for instance. No ‘R 18+’ rating all these years, and on January 1st 2013, they intend to have a ‘test run’ of this rating system. That don’t sound all too ominous to me, but if it means I will temporarily have no restrictions on my games, then I am fine with it for as long as it lasts. For years Australian gamers have been craving such a rating as to be treated like adults rather than little children who desperately need protection. There is such thing as too much protection. Most gamers are between the ages of 18-32. Don’t tell me they require parental protection?! When will these restrictions begin to grow more lenient? Or are they to grow more fierce as the years go by?

The politicians are in constant debate over this notion for an ‘R18+’ rating, yet no politician plays video games, so what is the point of having people with no knowledge on such subject matter making choices that ultimately affect the world of gaming in one entire country? All be it, not a very large one, but a country all the same! According to gaming specialists who accuse games of being violent, ‘Doom’ was basically the beginning of the end for our society, yet none of these speculators have any actual evidence to support their ridiculous claims that gaming causes intense violence amongst its community. Apparently earlier in the year a known gamer defecated in the hall of the hotel they were staying in. Yes, that might not be the smartest thing to do when travelling the world, but still – I have not played a game where shit was used as the primary weapon.

What really shits me (pardon the pun) is when groups who have no real say in the world about games decide to put their bib in. Before March, when it was decided an ‘R18+’ rating would be allowed in Australia, the last meeting on the subject occurred in around August of 2011 in Brisbane where the members of parliament involved in the meeting came together for three hours. There are a cool couple million people in Oz who play video games, and the government decides to give away three hours of their precious time for video games? They spend more time giving each other additional surpluses of money on the general public’s dime! After this meeting occurred and it was said that the politicians left without an informed decision – a Melbourne Christian group came out and said this decision was a win for them. Why did they need to comment anyway? Not one of them had ever played a game, yet they were frequently accusing games of spreading the root of sin!

On top of this, it is almost ironic for a Christian group to come out and accuse video games of being the excuse for the world’s problems. Video games it would seem are nothing more than a scapegoat in the eyes of such organisations that wish to change the world to that which they want. Why can’t it be that some people are just naturally arseholes? Why does it have to be that everyone began as ‘good’ people, and then played a video game and then, and only then, did they turn into raving nut cases? It’s rich that Christian groups like the one that saw video games as an antagonistic evil labeled it as such, specifying that they should be banned and restricted. Now, what I am about to say is going to seem quite controversial to some, but couldn’t religion and Christianity be viewed in the exact same light as video games?…

Now, I may be an atheist, I will admit it, but that does not mean that I naturally despise religion. It simply means that I can look at it, discuss it and interpret it without being blinded by personal religious bias. But, I digress.

 …Seriously – if video games are responsible for but even one death, and I ain’t saying that they are – I can assure you, religion is responsible for more deaths in the entire human history than anything else combined. Video games are considered harmful to the people – they promote violence supposedly. Couldn’t religion be articulated in the same light? The Crusades – hundreds upon thousands of people slaughtered by armies of Christian soldiers just because they chose not to believe in Jesus Christ. And what about extremists? Are not their causes religious too? On top of this, Christianity reaffirms the idea that a person can kill and kill again and not feel at all guilty for their crimes – hell, a person could kill a million people, go to Church, ask God for forgiveness, and it shall be granted to them. Then, they will not only feel free of guilt – but will probably go out and kill another million people and feel the same exact lack of guilt immediately afterwards.

Moreover, video games are seen as been dangerous for children. Here’s a question for you – how many times have you heard a report on the news that a child has been grievously injured by a video game? Has been influenced to bring harm to another individual because of a video game? Now, with those answers in mind – how many times in the news have you heard reports that a priest or member of the church has sexually assaulted a young boy?

If you intend to ban video games, or restrict the content within them, then why not ban every single thing that is potentially hazardous to one’s health, regardless if there is verified proof to back up the allegations or not. This not only includes religion, but what about driving one’s car around? Having a shower? Walking down the street? Joining the military? Becoming a law enforcement officer? When will it end? Almost every single thing in the entire world can be seen as a tool for violence if it is interpreted that way. My idea – if we removed every single supposedly violent thing from our society, we would no doubt be relegated back to the Stone Age for anything and everything can be used aggressively if placed into the hands of a violent aggressor. On top of this, I would recommend that one does not quickly judge something before they have all the facts to make a substantial case. Not only is doing this foolish, ignorant and boring because one is simply copying every other group or person like an army of brainless sheep – it is also blatantly rude to prevent people from experiencing their entertainment just because a couple people here and there have a supposed ‘problem’ with the product. If every single thing the church had a problem with was forever banned, there would be nothing but the church left in this world.

Is this the future of gaming – a restricted world where content is blocked and games are banned? Where restrictions reign supreme? I certainly hope not, and if so, it ain’t the kind of world I want to live in!

Thank you for reading

I think Twitter has it out for me…

 

…yes I do! And I ain’t paranoid! Here are all of my reasons why I KNOW Twitter is out to get me!

1)      My profile picture has disappeared three times this week! I keep putting it back, and the next time I go on there – it is a blue circle! Where the bloody hell is my image going? Am I hideous or something? Have people reported vomiting at the sight of my image? Or is it because I am wearing sunnies? Do people want to see my ravishing brown eyes? Well, we’ll see what we can do about that!

 

2)      My profile description has disappeared on a couple occasions! Where does it go? Does it grow legs and wander off to spend time with some saucy minx? What is happening elsewhere on Twitter more interesting than me bitching about life and all things in it that my personal description needs to flee! Come back I say! Come back! I WUV YOU!

 

3)      My followers keep disappearing. I admit, I don’t have many, but I once had over twenty. Now, I have what, 16! What’s more, these people who no longer follow me? They didn’t just stop following me – they have gone completely! Their profiles are gone! Twitter swallowed them up! It ate them…it’s only a matter of time b4 it eats me too me thinks…

 

4)      It keeps saying ‘Oops, you already tweeted that!’ when in fact I never did!

 

5)      A couple times a week Twitter announces that it made a mistake and that once rectified I will need to redo whatever it was that I did to ensure that it is done because they have undone what I did. Yes, sense that truly makes!

 

6)      It has automatically unfollowed some of the people I have followed. It once unfollowed Virginia Madsen! Of all the people to unfollow, why unfollow my Virginia? Why unfollow the most beautiful woman in all the world? Oops, did I just say that? Well, I guess now everyone knows who my celeb crush is… (It’s actually Ash Sroka, but since she don’t have a Twitter page, I followed no.2 on my celeb crush list instead)

 

7)      I cannot send a direct message to people who do not ‘follow’ me! Two days ago Dr. Tara Mokhtari, my fav Australian poet sent me a direct message. I don’t know why – but I could not send one back BECAUSE TWITTER DENIED ME! THAT BASTARD! I SHAKE MY FIST VIOLENTLY IN TWITTER’S DIRECTION! And like a bitch I will be blogging on Twitter again tomorrow.

 

8)      The girl of my dreams of whom is on Twitter refuses to reply to any of my tweets. I followed her and she followed me…but still she refuses to reply! Okay, by ‘tweets’ I mean ‘tweet’ because I only had the balls to send one. Maybe two. But she never responded to either of them! SHE HATES ME!

 

9)      The first person who ever responded to one of my posts tried to upload a virus to my computer! The link attached to his post was to a friggin’ virus! Lucky for me my spyware picked it up! Else I would not be writing this right now…I would be in the depths of hell!

 

Anyway…that is why I believe Twitter is out to get me. I have now finished my rant and feel quite content with me self. Oh oh, I feel another rant coming on…stay tuned for ‘why I think the neighbor’s cat is out to collect my toe nails.’ Yes, all will be revealed!

Thank you for reading, and may your travels on Twitter be slightly more pleasant than mine.

You know you have been playing video games too long when…

 

-you think by walking over things you will automatically pick them up.

-the last time you had a girlfriend, Cleopatra was Queen of Egypt.

-during a fight, you frantically look for the ‘b’ button as to perform a successful melee attack.

-you duck and roll into office cubicles rather than walk into them.

-at work, when a person throws a file at you, you quickly toss it right back from fear it might explode.

-you think your LAN connection is faulty when things go wrong in life.

-you would rather toss a hand gun than use it, preferring a minigun because if you want to kill something, the last thing you wanna do is miss.

-you think ‘Facebook’ is a Reaper indoctrination device.

-you and your friends walk around, bumping into any and all areas of the environment like a bunch of brainless bots.

-your fingers are permanently fixed into a claw from continued use of console triggers.

-you become annoyed when weapons do not load quite as easily in reality as they would in a video game.

-‘Tali, do you want to go out for dinner tonight?’ you ask your girlfriend who is in fact named Rachel, Stephanie or True.

-your boss fires you for failing to come to work for the past two weeks, and the last thing you ever say to the man is ‘but boss, the Krogan need me!’

-you feel more at home in sewers and ventilation shafts than in your own bedroom.

-you’ve sat on your ass, played video games and eaten food so often that the last time you saw the numbers 1,096 was on the bathroom scales.

-when purchasing clothing, you check the label to see how much damage resilience it will offer you.

-you are unable to perform a jump because your body is not equipped with a space bar.

-you remove all the doors in your house from their hinges and have everyone you love wear bells attached to their necks for their protection, along with your own, to ensure you know where everyone you care about is at any given time in your house as to not have them sneak up on you and force you to inevitably slay them.

-you look for the little blue ‘x’ button when entering and exiting vehicles.

-you can’t find your flashlight, so use a flame thrower or chain gun to light your way instead.

-when your wife throws items at your head even she is amazed when you duck and roll with record reaction time from the amount of practice you have received from battling killer mutants from outer space.

-at funerals, you wonder why the dead bodies do not fade away, and question the priests about whether there is a fault with their software when this fails to happen.

-you attempt to install cheat codes into your body as to allow yourself to walk through walls and have infinite ammo.

-you look for an invulnerability sphere at your local pharmacist.

-the sun hurts your eyes after you emerge from what feels like an eternity of gaming, whilst your beard seems a few meters longer than what it was when you began.

-to begin a conversation with a person, you wait until they are highlighted, or look over their bodies in the hopes of discovering a ‘use’ key.

-the growl of the dog and the meow of the cat cause you to leap over the couch for a better vantage point whilst reaching for your semi-automatic.

-you take a vowel of celibacy as to lose your virginity to an Assari Huntress.

-you take an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher, not Role Playing Game!) to your high school reunion cuz you know when the shit hits the fan an area effect weapon is better than a pistol.

-during game play, when an enemy attacks your character, you slide off your chair as to tactically avoid them.

-your television and monitor are riddled with bullet holes.

-your XBOX 360, PS3, keyboard and mouse require cleaning every couple days rather than every couple months.

-after playing a video game you need a long hot shower as to wipe away all the excess blood from your face, whilst your friends wonder why you are covered in so many scars and bruises.

-your girlfriend’s snoring reminds you of the Hell Knight from Doom…and makes you consider leaving the chainsaw beneath your bed from fear she might actually be the Hell Knight from Doom.

-you dress up as your favorite video game character for conventions, Halloween and all manner of other occasions, but your friends always recognise you.

-you move all of your first aid kits closer towards your game console.

-you mistake your wife’s best friend’s boob job for a couple rocket launchers.

-you randomly speak your mind, knowing if you do something wrong, you can always load from the last check point.

-your trigger finger twitches whenever someone enters the room.

-you ask for the Quad Damage weapon multiplier at the local gun store.

-all of your consoles automatically boot directly into your favorite games unless you press a specific key.

-you find yourself looking for Kevlar and anti-radiation suits at your local K-Mart.

-when buying a helmet, you ask the shop keeper for the one with the A.I port at the rear.

-you don’t bother turning on the lights because you know your eyes come with a night sensitivity mode.

-when a man insults you, instead of saying ‘I challenge you to a duel’ you say ‘I challenge you to a deathmatch!’

-you don’t worship God – no, you worship the Covenant forerunners.

-you walk up and down the super market complex looking for ‘Citadel Souvenirs.’

-when sick, you ask the doctor for a stim-pack.

-you look for sniper towers in toilet cubicles and elevators.

-you‘re annoyed when your parents buy you the new car they have been promising you – only to find it was not a Warthog.

-you find it odd when your environment does not stall or become pixilated.

-during physical altercations you ask your opponents to pause so you might heal.

-you think the mole on your left wrist is in fact the Omni-tool activation switch.

-you quickly run in and out of rooms, watching your back to see what creature follows you out.

-you choose to play a video game rather than spend the night with a woman. Funny fact; in 2009, a survey in Australia looked at male gamers – the question? Would you rather spend the night playing a video game, or spend the night with a woman. 78% of those surveyed – said they would rather spend the night playing a video game.

-your girlfriend leaves you, slamming the front door as it comes back to knock her in the ass. She cries at the top of her lungs ‘you love your friggin’ game box more than you love me you selfish bastard!’ You don’t twitch nor flinch as you persist in trying to eliminate the final boss at the end of the game. Besides, saving the universe from total destruction is more important than she was, right?

-during conversations, you pause as to allow time for the next conversation option to appear before your eyes.

-you believe certain mushrooms will bestow onto you a temporary boost of magika.

-you walk into Best and Less and ask where they keep their Spartan Armor.

-you barter for random goods and services, and try to sell goods you don’t need back to perspective shop keepers.

-you squint your eyes, rub at them and close them completely, wondering why it is that the crosshairs are not appearing.

-you volunteer to carry your all of your friend’s goods, along with your own, from the belief that you can carry several hundred kilograms worth of equipment before becoming over encumbered.

-you think it’s odd that the bodies of all the women you know look different rather than similar and that their breasts are not huge and cumbersome.

-you think during the two minutes it takes you to walk from one side of the house to the next you can experience morning, noon and night.

-your friends are worried that you are not getting enough sun, explaining to you this is the first time you have been out of the house in the past six months.

-you go pressing up against walls in the hopes that one might open to reveal a secret area.

-you randomly look around your environment, hoping to find spare ammo clips.

-you search your girlfriend’s body for the following pieces of equipment; power cables, the ‘on’ switch, volume control and the mute button.

-you are so used to been called ‘marine’, ‘Shepherd’ or ‘Master Chief’ that when someone actually says your name you simply ignore them.

-when at the local car dealership you notice the vehicle you are after is not present and so ask if they have run out of Ghosts’.

-at the local shooting range, you ask the clerk behind the desk for the BFG.

-when you look at your reflection in the mirror you expect to find the ‘change appearance’ button.

-you pick fights with people, knowing that if you lose you can always respawn at full strength.

-when you enter a friend’s house you always look for where their flag is located so you might steal it and take it back home with you when they’re not looking as to score yourself a point.

-you believe every locked door can be opened with a red, blue or gold keycard.

-you are constantly being arrested for the minigun emplacement attached to the rear of your vehicle.

-you frequently wonder why you feel pain when injured.

-your best and most truest friend is a five inch tall, seven year old woman named ‘Cortana’.

-during family altercations, you reach for your assault rifle, believing a team deathmatch is on the verge of beginning.

-you side step down hallways as to avoid your work colleagues from fear they might assault you.

-you haven’t been able to open your fridge in the past two weeks because you are having difficulty locating the ‘use’ key.

-when your girlfriend blows you a kiss, you leap out of the way to avoid it whilst reaching for your shotgun.

-you don’t care so much when you are gravely ill or dying because you’ll probably be able to find one of those mega-health’s lying around.

-your favorite Backstreet Boys, Lady Ga Ga and Daughtry albums are left in the corner of your bedroom gathering dust, whilst the illegally downloaded music files from Halo, Doom and Mass Effect reach the rank of ‘most played’ in Windows Media Player.

-you expect to receive ‘paragon’ every time you say something nice.

-you wonder why you have five fingers on your hand rather than three.

-you constantly find yourself wondering why everything is not in third person mode.

-you think you are ill when your HUD does not appear before your eyes.

-‘I’ll be there in a minute honey, just let me finish this level’ is your most frequently used expression.

-when you open a door, instead of turning on the lights, you toss a grenade into the room.

-where everyone else puts on trunks or a bikini (if you swing that way), you equip anti-radiation suits before entering swimming pools.

Is communication dying?

 

Communication is a market that is continuously changing. Where once people spoke and wrote in a particular way, now it has adapted to the next generation, as it will for the next after it. But it isn’t really the spoken word that is the focus of this piece, but the written one. According to recent surveys of people in Melbourne, it was theorised that around 40% of the work force could not read or write. Now, if we were not living in a country where there were schools every few blocks, I would find that to be a rather average statistic. But because we live in a country that actually offers education, I am quite surprised at this statistic, which has grown considerably over the years. Perhaps the general notion of this is that if the government who preside over the state, country, or what have you, are unable to care about such a subject, then so shouldn’t the people who live in the country. I mean, if the government do not see grammar, spelling and reading as a priority for its people, then perhaps it no longer is, and thus, those in the work force skip out on what once was a necessity.

I remember back in year 11 when I was in literature class, a couple students walked past and made the comment ‘only losers read’ in regards to everyone taking the course. If this is the view of a majority of the people, then it is quite obvious as to why such a statistic has come about. Basically, the end point I would like to make is that basic reading and writing does not require too much intellect, right? I mean, how any brain cells do you need to formulate words onto paper and successfully read sentences off from it too? However, if intelligence dies, then technically, we die too, and I would much rather remain alive. So technically, I am proposing that writing and reading should be prioritised, instead of being underrated by so many people. I only say so many people because if 40% of the work force can’t read and write, yes perhaps some had no choice in the matter, but the ability to improve oneself is always available to them, how many people in society as a whole are afflicted with this disease, and believe me when I say, unintelligence is a disease. People conform to the social norm, and if one day there are more people who can’t read and write than those who can, who are people going to side with? All they need to do is take the step. 40% is not far off from 50%, which I fear could very well be the statistic come the next decade. If we live in a country where the work force is suffering such an issue, then what is the statics for the society in general? How many of those 25 million people in total find it impossible to read and write? Bearing in mind the statistic was just for Melbourne alone. Quite a scary thought. In a state of what, seven million people (?), the amount is quite significant. It is just quite odd that in a country with clean water, electricity, proper housing developments, a stable government (I use the term stable very loosely), and what the government is bragging to be a triple A credit rating – why the hell do we have such shitty statistics for reading and writing? What is wrong with reading and writing, and when was this thought injected into society that it was only for the losers? What kind of government allows its education to go unchecked to such a degree that it supposedly gets everything sorted but the education sector?

In a world where if you are unable to fathomably (is this even a word) communicate then you are basically gonna be unable to be incorporated into any sector of society, communication being a key aspect of the human condition. I mean, why were we given tongues, lips, and a mouth? To eat, yes. To taste, yes. If you’re romantic you could say to kiss those we love most dearly. But, we are also given such equipment to talk. If all that comes out from one’s mouth are unintelligible sentences that are not properly formulated into coherent patterns of thought, then who in their right mind is going to bother prioritising you as the kind of individual they want supporting them in the work place?

Of course, I feel one of the major reasons behind this breakdown in communication practices is just pure human laziness. Technology has given way to aid us in every single thing we do, so all we really need to do as a species is sit back and let technology do the work for us. The same goes for communication, with technology adapting and enabling us to communicate over long range distances and such which is all really great and productive, but somewhere along the line people began to act lazily in this respect. For instance, the use of abbreviations and the deliberate shortening of sentences. Whenever we do this kind of stuff, are we not saying ‘screw you’ to the world of communication and every single lesson we ever learnt? I mean, 2day in society, whr is it dat we r lerng 2 write in da sam manr we r doing so via txt lik sirvises? I don’t c teachrs teechng dis theorem in clas, so why is it been used in socity so regularly? Y do we communic8 in such a manr as to 4get our basic teachngs? Hell, curnt wrd sftwar is allwng us 2 get away wif such communic8ive erors by not pikng up on ny of em wen we r typng. So, wat 1nc strtd on mobil dvices, has movd 2 reprt wrtng + othr such pecs of wrtn wrk. Da profsnl wrld has basicly been releg8td 2 an obsoleat ideology bcuz nobdy wishs 2 use it anymr wen it is easir to simply use wat may hav 1nc been intrpretd as the increct methd of communic8ion. Wat knd o socity alws 4 da misuse of communic8ion? Aparntly tis 1!

Now, I personally have a problem with spelling and grammatical errors. I cannot stand to see something that is amiss in a document but that was just the way I was educated, or raised. It’s shame that such is not the same today. Teachers are taught that near enough is good enough, which is quite the opposite from a couple decades back when anything but the most flawless of accuracies was considered worthy. However, who will care in the future if everyone today is now priding themselves on not doing anything to solve the issue with communication? In the future it will be pointless of me to make a post like this because the damage will be so far entrenched within our society. Now, I guess one could ask ‘well, why don’t you do something about this mister?’, and I would argue ‘many have come before me; people of action, who have been continuously shot down time and time again. It would seem however that the government sees education as an issue that is quite worthless in comparison to other such areas. People can protest about an issue, but rarely does that change the way a country will react, especially one like ours where the government listens to its people as regularly as it sends space shuttles to Mars.

One fear of mine is books in particular. Now, I will admit it has been several years (2005) since I last read a book for fun. I know a few people who still do so (the number is 3), but will there even be a book industry in the future? People have argued in the past that there will always be people willing to read books. They said the same thing about newspapers, and now we live in a time where more people access their news online rather than in paper based format and it has been theorised by some that the days of the newspaper are numbered. Perhaps reading will not die out, but evolve to compensate for the changing environment. I however fear the day when I might open up a book which begins like; ‘Adam wnt 2 da br 2 acquir sum alcoholic bevrags 4 da dinr he had pland dat night in which his prnts, of whom he had not seen in a numbr of yrs wr cumng ovr 2 meet his galfrend Natalia 4 da 1st tim since dey had bgun datng back in Septembr of ’08.’

A friend of mine enjoyed the Baby Sitters Club, Goosebumps and the Harry Potter franchises and recently finished the Hunger Games. Would she have received as much satisfaction from these worlds of fiction if they had been written in short hand? In the future when they are reprinted, will they be written in the same style as produced above? I for one hope not.

This, as always, is but my opinion.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off.

Am I Australian?

This piece contains the following: coarse language, sexual references and horror theme (involving hair). You have been warned….

BTW, to any Australian who might happen to read this, allow me to apologise beforehand. I think perhaps on several occasions I might take our society off and make Australians seem, I dunno, like a bunch of raving psychos perhaps. Well, I hope that is not the interpretation orchestrated within this piece, but if that is the way my words are interpreted, allow me to apologise. But in my defense, which is pretty shotty I’ll admit, is it not better for an Australian to attack (?) the Australian way of life than have an outsider who knows our culture as well as they know the planet Neptune analyse us? Well, here goes…

…Am I Australian? Of course I am, what a stupid question, but that is not my point. Yes, I was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, as were my parents and the seven generations of my family that came before them. So yes, ethnically I am indeed Australian, but my question evolves more along the lines of the cultural dynamics of such a country.

So, what makes an Australian, Australian, and do I have such qualities? Well, according to a Robin Cook novel, whose title eludes me, he explained how all Australians; wore shorts, idolised Ned Kelly, and their hero was the kind of guy who would dress all in khaki. I would assume this to be considerably inaccurate. One, I don’t wear shorts. Two, I idolise beautiful women, and only wish they’d do the same unto me. And three, my hero? Well, to be perfectly frank, in my mind I am the number one super hero! So, what would I put in this interpretations stead? Well, even though I have lived in this country for a cool 23 years, I would never go so far as to call myself someone who properly understands the cultural atmosphere of such an environment.

First off, I would explore beer. According to the stereotypical norm, Australians are notorious for drinking beer, and are supposedly the largest consumers of such a product. The quintessential larrikin Australian bloke is always seen with a beer in hand, a six pack beside the BBQ, and a giant beer gut that extends a few feet out from the rest of his body. Problems with this assertion? Well, for one, I loathe beer. I hate it to such an extent that those nerds who invent new words, would have to come up with a brand new word to describe how much I detest beer. Me? I’m a wine guy myself, or perhaps port. Nothing short of a stereotypical bottle of wine will ever pass these lips, and if the letter ‘b’ begins the product, or the liquor inside looks remotely like the evil product that, like the antagonist from the Harry Potter novels shall not be named, it is not drunk. So, no to beer. Also, no to barbies. No, not the dolls…BBQ’s. Such a piece of equipment is believed to be what all Australians use to cook their dinners. And their lunches. And even their breakfasts. The stove? Huh, not for the colloquial Australian my friend, no, it is the barbie all the way. Well, I do suppose I get bonus points from having a barbie. It is however covered in so much dust and grunge and filth from the fact it has not been used since the days the Tyrannosaurus Rex still walked the Earth. This however don’t exactly score me anything in the cultural department.

Third – the Australian accent. This is quite possibly the second most quintessential thing an Australian needs to earn such a title. Shouldn’t be too hard to gain, I mean, one should have one from the moment they are born in such an establishment. Me? Not really. Odd, since like I mentioned, my family have been living here since the first fleet arrived, and that is no joke. My father’s relatives all those years ago – one of them was arrested for stealing bread, true story, no lie. So, if my relatives have been around all this time, you would imagine that I would have an accent? No, apparently not. In fact, some people (half of whom I wouldn’t trust with a stapler) have said that my accent sounds somewhat similar to that of a Chinese or Middle Eastern accent. But what do they know? Might have something to do with the fact that my voice is just very, very DEEP! So, no points in this area of necessity. Damn, if I were in competition here, I would be falling short.

Food. More importantly, lamb. This is seen as the essential delicacy in this country. The Chinese have fish. The Americans have McDonalds. New Zealanders have fish and chips. Australians – we have lamb. Beautiful, little, white lambs, who frolic through the meadows laced with beautiful red and white rose petals. They munch upon the green, green grass. They bleat under the gorgeous yellow sun. And then they have their legs hacked off and thrown onto someone’s plate. Me? I hate lamb. I love lamb when they are alive and bleating. I don’t like them when they are lying on my plate, its mutilated, decrepit cadaver looking back at me, smoke wafting off from the flesh that was, up until a few hours before, covered in white, silky wool. I used to live on an acreage when I was very, very young, with a couple sheep on their too. Ramsey and Blacky their names were. Ramsey was the lady – all she liked to do was eat grass, and probably smoke it too when we weren’t looking. Blacky, the bloke, all he cared about was Ramsey, more importantly – her vagina. Luckily for us he had, rather unfortunately for him, his balls removed upon purchase, so, no baby lambs, otherwise after a couple years the ratio between sheep and human would have been 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 3.

I’m not a big fan of ham either, which is meant to come in second from the lamb. I personally enjoy beef, or chicken, and when I do purchase beef, I go for the heart smart stuff, which is supposed to have very little fat. You try telling those who hand it out at the shops though. Sometimes there’s more fat on a 250gram packet of meat than there is on a humpback whale. Moving on though…

…Swearing. Yes, swearing is considered something that Australian’s do quite frequently. Almost every person I know cannot go five seconds without using one of the three major profanities, which I will not list. Why? Well, I personally don’t think I use profanities very often. On occasion, yes, but I just don’t have the time for them. I would like to think that perahps…oh my fucking God! I just fucking spelt fucking ‘perhaps’ wrong! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Oh, maybe I do swear. Wow, that’s a lot of curse words. I have never seen anything so beautiful in all my life!

Music. Yes, I enjoy such an aspect of life, but it is the variations that are most notable. If I were to make an assumption based upon most of the people I have been unfortunate enough to meet, I would say that most of the people of my generation have an infatuation with rap music. Every time a car drives by, rap music is pumping out through the stereo. That, and according to the news, a hail of bullets. Every time your neighbor throws a grossly oversized and incredibly loud party – rap music is pumping through the subwoofer’s of the stereo. Every time a guy with an MP3,4 or iPod walks by, rap music is heard pumping through the speakers. My point? Wherever you go, rap music seems to play a crucial part in contemporary Australian society. The problem? I would rather burn in the fires of hell – the fires reserved for the most nefarious of individuals than listen to rap music. There is no such word that I can find to describe how much I detest rap music. Simply put? I fuckin’ hate it, which apparently puts me at odds with the rest of my generation that cannot seem to get enough of it, and I truly mean that. I really, truly, deeply, unconditionally, unrealistically, unbelievably, unfathomably, incalculably, intoxicatingly, immeasurably, with a passion loath rap music!

Whilst on the subject of ‘entertainment’, the next subject up for discussion is Australian films. A true Australian it would seem hates Australian products. I enjoy watching Australian films. When I was younger, I used to ignorantly believe like most people that I know today that Australians were unable to decently create a good film. Once I turned twelve however, I began to worm my way out of such a belief and came to the conclusion that although Australian film finance companies have less green on hand than what American and other film companies do, this does not necessarily mean they cannot create a good feature film. Funnily enough, back in the early twentieth century when the development of films had commenced, Australia was the largest contributor of films in the entire world. Then Hollywood found its druthers and cancelled the Australian cinematic chain forever. But here’s some additional things I know – I was the only person in my entire last year of high school to have seen all three Mad Max films – some people didn’t even know there was a franchise called ‘Mad Max’. I found this to be utterly atrocious. I’ve known Americans who have known of the franchise for crying out loud! Additionally in my performance writing class at university, I was the only person to have seen the likes of Undead, Daybreakers, the Tender Hook and Sleeping Beauty – the other thirty odd or so students hadn’t even heard of the titles, let alone seen the films. Quite disturbing if you ask me.

As for clothing? Shorts are seen as been the fashionable accessory of clothing according to advertisements and the like. Me? Well, if you follow the information from the previous paragraphs it is obvious that everything is downhill from there. The last time I wore shorts I was in primary school. Since then, I have worn jeans. Except for the occasions when I didn’t, but even during those occasions, my legs were not graced by the likes of shorts. No, this has nothing to do with the fact that there is more hair on my leg than flesh. In fact, I think there is more hair on my entire body combined than flesh. Yes, that’s right folks. I make gorillas seem bald, in fact the film, Gorillas in the Mist? It was filmed in my shower. Well, not exactly, but it might as well have been, which leads me to my next point. Hair. Many of my friends (the guys I mean) have no hair. I don’t know this fact from peering under toilet lavatories and perving on them whilst they did their business in the shower. No, they simply talk about it. And so do the women who have seen the men when their clothes were no longer on their person. Now, I don’t know if such a thing comes from the fact that they have grown up to look very much like the day they first came into this world, or if they simply shave it off. At high school I went through a phase, many of them actually, where I changed my hair style frequently. My facial hair remained the same in which I had chops on either side of my face for quite a while, and a goatee on my chin. This did not go down so well with the ladies. Apparently, the women of today in this particular hemisphere, on this particular continent want their men to be bald – at least on their bodies. Now, I ain’t taking a razor to any other part of my body that is not either attached to my face or the top of my head, which might explain why some women never give me a second look. Perhaps they can just sense the hair. Safe to say, if they were to run their fingers through it, they would probably never get them back. Now, I’d have no problem with a woman being permanently attached to my person – but they might. Considerably in fact. I found out, quite quickly, that if my mother had given birth to me in the early seventies, I would have lived through the eighties rather than been born at their conclusion. My point? The eighties was the time for hair. Women loved it, and the hair loved them. Boy have times changed.

Now, this next point I intend to make may seem kind of racial – well, it is, but I don’t mean in the sense that I intend to talk about ‘race’. I mean, some people may consider me to be ‘racist’ after saying such a thing, so allow me to make this point as delicately as I can. I believe I have mentioned in the past that I was the only person in my high school year with an Anglo Saxon last name? In my university classes I am often the only person on the class roll with an Anglo Saxon last name too. Perhaps in a couple classes here and there a couple other names join mine in such a genre. My point? And I do have one…is that perhaps the key to been Australian is to typically not be Australian at all! We live in a multi-cultural society, which the government frequently refers to as an amazing aspect of this continent, so technically, if you are not adding to the wide diversity of cultures within the society I would suppose that you simply are not a part of it period. The days of the Anglo Saxon I personally sometimes believe are numbered. I’m not saying we’re going to be murdered. I’m just saying that eventually we are perhaps going to be bred out. That is of course if parents of children who are not Anglo allow their children to actually have a relationship with an Anglo, which from my experience is as likely as wings sprouting out from my back due to the overall strictness of their cultures. In fact, I’d probably go so far as to say that in a few years time, the Australian Anglo Saxon may very well join the humpback whale, polar bear and white tiger on the world’s endangered species list. Now, I’m not sure if this next point is pertinent to the present subject or not, but I do believe it highlights the point that Australia is filled with cultures that are not quintessentially Australian. Year 10, high school geography class. We are given a task; look at an atlas and discover the countries listed on the piece of paper. First person to do this successfully will be able to leave five minutes early as reward – quite the reward if you ask me since geography to me was as gratifying as running a cheese garter over my testicles. Suddenly, a student calls out ‘Sir! What is that oddly shaped country in the centre?’ The oddly shaped country he was pointing at – the one that was supposedly in the centre – what was it exactly? Australia.

So, basically that is all the essential features apparently which are necessary to build a true Aussie. Well, I get points for having a barbie. And maybe for the swearing. But apart from that, it would seem that I am about as Australian as an American French Fry. Is that wrong?