Universum Student Test

Hey guys!

I don’t often advertise on this particular blog, but this is important.

Universum, a major company which works alongside organisations from around the world has recently unveiled their annual survey for university students to undertake. By completing the ‘Wet Feet Career Test’, students, who are uncertain of their future career paths, will be able to know their career profile and discover which jobs are right for them.

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In my spare time I am working as a Student Ambassador for the Australian survey. I believe this is an important endeavor because in the coming year, many university students may not be able to find themselves a job. Making the right career choice can be one of the hardest decisions, and this survey will assist students in finding the career that is right for them.

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For university students in Australia, the survey can be undertaken here: http://unisurv.co/1010auss14

I wish you the best of luck.

Derek Childs parades through the streets, searching for a darn good book

15bzx2Title: Puppet Parade
Author: Zeinab Alayann
(
http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/)
Genre: Fantasy,
Young Adult/Tween Fiction

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4

Summary: An entertaining magical
adventure that is both satisfyingly
unique and character driven with
moments of emotional greatness,
intellect and excitement.

Perhaps I’m being presumptuous, but every child believes they can make a wish and have it come to fruition. The sad truth is that such can never be. Author Zeinab Alayan however intelligently uses this as the initial force to cause her text to vibrantly come to life.

Sophie, a young woman who has been locked up inside her own room since she was very young (think Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French), wishes upon a falling star to be released. All her life, Sophie has been told that a sickness which engulfed her body turned her hideously ugly and over the course of the text she is often found wearing a mask to shield the world from looking upon her supposedly wretched face. Ms. Alayan does such an efficacious job at articulating this particular part of Sophie’s character that the readership is unable to imagine Sophie has anything but an internally beautiful young woman. At worse, Sophie does seem to represent characteristics that could make her appear like a prima donna, but she is so genuinely sweet, intelligent, thoughtful, kind and courageous that you cannot help but greatly enjoy her character for the amazing young woman that she is.

Adjunctively, Sophie’s want to not let anyone see her face seems reminiscent of the character Tali Zurah from the Mass Effect Franchise. Tali was a Quarian, a member of a race who were forced to wear suits and masks due to the lacking properties of their immune systems, without which would cause inevitable and almost instant death. Tali was a highly intelligent, resourceful and well trained operative who was also unbelievably sweet, kind and very charming and Sophie’s attitude, not to mention her mask, seem reflective of this completely.

On another note, at the beginning, it is difficult to discern Sophie’s age. For this particular reader, I only realised how old she was not long after she formed a friendship with Oliver, the other protagonist in the story. At this point, before Sophie’s age was unveiled to me, to say that the relationship between Oliver, who had been described as a young man in his early twenties and Sophie, who I believed was younger than she was eventually revealed to be, seemed a little odd.

At the same time, Oliver, a puppet master who creates his own wooden creations wishes for his inanimate objects to be bestowed with life upon noticing the same falling star that Sophie wishes on. One thing I would note however is that Oliver’s voice does not always seem entirely masculine. His character has a very gentle demeanour, along with a formalised attitude that does not always seem to fit the stereotypical male.

Both Sophie and Oliver’s dreams shortly after come true, which inevitably cause them to stumble upon one another that same night after Oliver’s puppets, now very much alive, decide to flee to experience the great wide world. Oliver’s quest to reacquire his escaped puppets is the driving force of the story, with Sophie quickly deciding to join in on the adventure.

The banter between the characters is incredibly entertaining, with Sophie and Oliver’s friendship being reminiscent of ‘will they or won’t they commit to a romanticised relationship’, which is reflective of Bo and Lauren in Lost Girl and Richard Castle and Kate Becket in the self-titled Castle. On top of this, the author additionally articulates feelings the likes of jealousy and attraction which the lead characters do not properly understand as they feel them, yet the readership does. This technique is especially well orchestrated and allows the reader to know things even when the characters do not, emboldening the reader with a great deal of information. This is further exacerbated with the use of the puppets, who, although are wooden creations mind you, provide the text with more humanity, each one embodying a certain character trait, whether that be politeness, religious values, crude humour, violence, et al. Additional emotions the puppets display, from hugging their master, to feeling legitimate fear, loathing, anger or happiness is additionally well executed.

The lead characters, Sophie and Oliver, and the relationship they share, has been very well articulated. Over the course of their adventure, their friendship grows stronger and stronger as they reveal more to one another. Much like in a conversation when a person gasps and giggles in all the right places, the same is done here, Ms. Alayan beautifully conceiving the conversations and revealing hidden truths at all the right moments.

At the same time however, the characters themselves are flawed in their behaviour, which does not seem real at all. On many occasions the characters become shocked by supposedly obscene crude humour and sexual references, which I did not find at all offensive; in fact, they were unbelievably tame and the idea that one could possibly take offense at such sentences is utter folly. This is quite possibly where the text is perhaps at its weakest.

The author appears to have some very loyal views and values and appears unable to be rude or blatantly sexual in her textual nature, instead being considerably polite, sweet and well mannered. This is very admirable; however, in a text where some of the characters are indeed supposed to be sexually rude, this is not furthered with the use of their vocabulary, which maintains a strict PG tone. In a time when texts are more often than not paved with four letter words and often sexual expletives, the fact this one does not require such profanity is indeed a welcome relief, however, at the same time, it is unfortunate that a reader such as myself has become quite accustomed to the indecent swearing found within literature today.

On that note, although the decency of the text works really well, at times I could not properly assimilate into such a world because I had been corrupted by prior texts where that particular author was, on occasion, unable to write a single paragraph without coating every line with vulgarities. Now, I may sometimes argue that a number of these words in texts are unnecessary. Growing up in a country the likes of Australia, where on average, at age three you already know every foul word in the English vernacular and from that moment onwards frequently use such expletives in everyday speech, I have unfortunately become accustomed to having my pieces paved with profanity.

Perhaps in the author’s part of the world swear words do not play such a mandatory role in conversational ideologies and if that be the case, then that is quite honourable and respectful. At the same time, the reason why this text may be self published and not published by a major publishing house is because many an audience outside of the author’s home country may not have been able to thoroughly enjoy the text as much as they should due to its overall genuinely nice nature. If that’s the case, then such is a rather sad conclusion for a text deserving of attention.

The puppet characters too are just as effective in their lines, but at the same time just as courteous. Harold the Hare and Boris the Brutal Bear for instance don’t quite sound the way one might typically believe. I imagined both of their characters having these thick, almost unintelligible accents and yet after conceding this view, the characters began to show other traits; like grinning and smiling, which seemed ill-apparent in the original postulation of such characters.

Adjunctively, on occasion the narrative becomes rather stereotypical of other texts generated today. There often seems to be this implied stigma in texts where women require men to protect them, which seems rather misogynistic as it degrades the female characters and prevents them from becoming the individuals they ultimately should. A number of times the character Oliver unnecessarily reasserts his masculinity by saying how he will protect Sophie’s character, when in fact it is revealed on many an occasion that she can take care of herself. This is reminiscent of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, where the character Katniss is shown to be an incredibly strong willed and capable young woman. Peeta however is seen to hold her back with his borderline chauvinistic attitude when he later emphasises his need to protect her, or, as it so often seems, dominate her. Heroes very rarely need another individual to rescue them, so why is it in texts that often a heroine needs a man to come to her rescue? Women are just as capable as being heroic as men and ought to be able to express their powers of strength and intellect without being overshadowed by dominating men, and at times I thought it would be great for Sophie to venture out from the protective shell that Oliver unnecessarily casts upon her.

Moreover, there are a number of incredibly powerful moments in the text that Ms. Alayan wondrously orchestrates. The few action scenes are well paced and keep your interest from beginning to end, preventing you from stopping even for a fraction of a second. The violence that takes place during these particular scenes is often incredibly blood thirsty and, if anything over-exaggerated to the extent that younger readers should probably be barred from experiencing such content until a more suitable adolescent age. This seems almost ironically contradictory. It feels at times as though the author can barely bring herself to write the word ‘crap’ in her text, but Ms. Alayan has no problem with articulating blood thirsty scenes with rampant violent fighting. This is adjunctively heightened, for instance, in a region dedicated solely to violence, when she meticulously articulates the weaponry used in one particularly gruesome scene, adjunctively using accurate terminology to describe what takes place, all of which is very effectively promulgated.

Moving on, the story begins in the town of Silver Lakeshore, a fictitious community which could be internationally unanimous across a wide number of countries for it is universally symbolic of the stereotypical residential environment. This is a great tactic by the author for anyone in the world can read the text and immediately feel at one with the original textual location before the adventure begins. The story sees the two central characters move from one fantastical realm to another, each land comprised of a central community, dedicated either to religion, scholarly intellect, magic, violence, et al, each one coming equipped with their own unique laws and regulations. These particular lands seem reminiscent of the worlds in Enid Blyton’s the Far Away Tree franchise, each filled with suspense and magical mystery.

Of course, all of this is shrouded by a menacing force located in a desolate region of the fantastical lands. To avoid giving away any plot twists, this reviewer will simply state that the antagonistic force is represented as having powers of persuasive indoctrination, reminiscent of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatches.’ The author does such a great job at developing this evil realm over the course of the storyline with a significant build up of suspense, that Ms. Alayan becomes a victim of her own success, because from this moment on I was hooked, wanting to know more and more about this evil dimension, the information about such a land often being relatively slow coming from its original unveiling.

The ending of the text is something that the reader will in all likelihood not see coming, with a number of very convincing twists that continuously keep one’s attention. At the same time though, there was at least one answer I was longing to acquire that did not seem to be adequately provided.

However, even with this said, by the end of the text I was very satisfied to have had the opportunity to read this unique fantasy novel and to share in the many adventures with the characters. Clearly Ms. Alayan is an author worth looking out for in the future.

What is the Australian writing scene like today? Is there a bright future ahead of it? Or is its future shrouded in eternal darkness?

 

‘There has never been a better time to become involved in the writing industry in Australia.’

Those were the words that were once said to me by a lecturer at university back in 2011. Now, the comment made by this particular educational professional was very broad and did not take into account many existing factors. The comment did not make any reference to what genres or styles are at present most acceptably chosen by publishers. The comment also did not make any reference to the self-publishing industry.

Writing in general is also not the most economically powerful field in this country either. Less than five known Australian authors are involved in writing alone. All of the others have additional jobs, the likes of teaching and editing because they are unable to earn as much wealth from texts alone as they can from undertaking additional occupations.

Fact: In the past year, more books by self-published authors were sold in Australia than books published by professional publishing organisations. This statistic alone makes clear that there is considerable strain on publishers from self-published authors who are generating popular texts that the general public wish to read.

You can almost imagine that all those publishers who rejected manuscripts which have gone on to be self-published are shaking their heads in frustration in regards to all of the money they could have made from such writers.

Book establishments in Australia are drying up faster than our water catchments, but is that any reason to rationalise why the publishing industry has become so incredibly difficult to enter into? With the sudden expansion of e-readers and other like devices, you would imagine that publishing industries would be more willing to accept writers because of sites the likes of Amazon and Google that are making a fortune selling texts online. If people were having difficulty attempting to procure hard copies of texts, the simple and easy way to acquire these texts online should be having the opposite reaction than what it apparently is in Australia.

Moreover, the comment stipulated at the beginning of this post also did not take into account the factor that writers who have never been published find it incredibly difficult to have their first manuscript accepted. Publishers in general are unwilling to take risks on writers they do not know. Very few publishers accept work from unsolicited writers, many wishing for a literary agent to submit the work on the behalf of the individual writer. Literary agents have a significant amount of pull in the industry, and their general appreciation of one’s work holds significant merit in the industry.

Of course, just because you submit a manuscript to a literary agent does not instantly mean that your chances of being published automatically change for the better. Initially, one must enquire as to whether or not the literary agency wishes to receive their manuscript. If yes, in most cases they will only wish to receive a small portion. Then, upon reading what they received, if they like the piece they will then ask for the full manuscript, and if they like that, then and only then will the agency begin going through the process of looking for suitable publishers. Of course, it is then up to the publisher as to whether or not your text is successfully published – quite a fair few ‘ifs.’

On top of this, if you wish to acquire the help of a literary agent, it is best to consult them before you send your manuscripts to publishers. If you send your work to all of the publishing houses you can find, then consult a literary agent after you have been rejected by every publishing organisation available to you, then the literary agents will have no luck in helping you. Solicited work or not, publishing houses will not accept work they have previously rejected.

Today, Text Publishing, Sleepers and Puffin are three of only a few publishers willing to accept unsolicited work.

On top of this, there are only a few variants of work that publishers are often willing to consider. I was told back in 2010 that Sci-Fi and Fantasy are two of the greatest genres that one can write about because they can be broadcast to a large amount of people globally. That may be a fact, but most Australian publishers are interested only in contemporary fiction. In layman’s terms (I initially didn’t know what ‘contemporary fiction’ was), fiction that is set in the current time, basically 2013 to around 1960, bare maximum.

Science Fiction and Fantasy is very rarely looked upon with excitement by Australian publishers, and only a limited few literary agents are willing to accept such genres.

Additionally, short stories are also negatively viewed by the industry. In university, I was told how short stories are always going to be popular because unlike a novel that can take up to and over a week to complete, a short story can be read on a plane or a train ride, or even whilst waiting for a class, and can be completed in that short time frame which makes them very edible for readers wishing to digest some entertainment.

Apparently, neither the universities nor the publishing houses are in communication with one another, else lecturers and tutors would be explaining to their students something completely different than what they are currently telling them.

Unfortunately for me, it seems that I am one of those writers that decided to commit to the two styles of writing that are most unaccepted in Australia – short stories and science fiction. Even poetry is looked down upon like poison.

‘Very hard times in the (writing) industry full stop, but for short stories it’s a very dark time’ – those are the words used by a literary agent I contacted not a week ago when enquiring about a certain project of mine.

According to Text Publishing, and I am assuming this is the same for a majority of publishing houses in Australia, in the past they have had considerable trouble attempting to market short story collections and anthologies of poetry to the general public.

What I find most unappreciative in the publishing sector is that these rules on genres and styles only apply to unpublished writers. As soon as you have successfully had a text published, no longer do these rules regulate what you can have published. One example is the well known Australian author Andy Griffiths, who in 2010 had another short story collection published by Pan McMillan. Funnily enough though, Pan was expressly telling people on their sites and in their articles that they were no longer accepting short story collections. What they should be saying is this; we will not accept short story collections from anyone, unless you are a published writer and a known quantity in the industry. This double standard is unfathomably annoying and downright appalling for those of us wishing to become a part of the industry.

This would no doubt explain why self-publishing has become increasingly more popular over the last ten years. Now, I have nothing against self-publishing. In fact, everyday I think I am one step closer to just giving up on big publishing houses altogether and going at it on my own like a majority of other authors have.

However, I always enjoyed the idea of being picked up by a major publisher because of the advantageous benefits that would come from their publishing houses; they have access to PR professionals and marketers to help sell your text to a wide portion of the general public; the name of the publisher holds considerable merit; additionally, I always believed that one could garner more attention with a published text, or at least acquire more attention faster than if one were to go down the self-published track.

On top of this there are the editors who can professionally proof your work and make sure there are fewer errors. There are errors in every single book, but one might imagine there are fewer in a text published by a major publishing house. I myself may have in the past worked as an editor, yet even I do not have complete faith that I could find every spelling and grammatical error in my piece.

I guess at the end of the day it comes down to what one feels is most beneficial – if you self publish then you are in full control. You do indeed become published, but not in the stereotypical; sense of the word. Also, you are in control of your own promotions and need to put in your own money to have your manuscript published online. If you manage to attract the attention of a major publishing house on the other hand, you do not need to supply a dime, and all of the hard work is done on your behalf. However, at the end of the day, any literary agent will take between 20-30% of your profit when your text is signed to a publisher. The question remains – is being signed to a major publishing house so important that you will pass up the opportunity to self publish? Is being published by a major publisher really all that it is cracked up to be when self-published authors can be just as successful, if not even more so in some circumstances?

What are your opinions?

If you happen to live in Australia, do you agree with what I have written? What are your experiences with major publishing houses and literary agents?

If you happen to live outside Australia, what are your thoughts on the publishing industry in your countries? What are your experiences? Can you compare the publishing industry to Australia’s, or is it entirely different?

My thoughts on the Boxing Day Sale

 

I am not geographically savvy, but I am pretty certain that many countries across the globe have after Christmas sales, and in Australia, as with a number of other countries, this particular occasion is known as ‘Boxing Day.’

I believe that this after Christmas sale is almost reminiscent of society’s way of presenting the public with an opportunity; if you failed to receive that gift which you truly wanted and do not wish to insult your friends and family by criticising their inability to take a hint, you can instead go out and purchase that which you always wanted at a supposedly cheaper price than usual.

I have often enjoyed this particular aspect of this occasion. Last year I left for the event with a cool $500 in my pocket and came home with only $132 remaining. This year I managed to limit my craziness by taking $100 less, and by some miracle on my part, managed to only spend $180 on presents that I accumulated during my travels through the couple stores that I visited.

However, even though the after Christmas sales presents this unique ability, I also have a rather negative interpretation of such an event. In fact, I think the sales could very easily be compared to the depths of hell.

How so?

One: The shops you visit are often cramped and crowded with an exceedingly huge number of people. The crowds are so vast and numerous that you often find yourself pressed up against a wall, gasping for your last, precious breath of air as your lungs fill with toxic gases, the likes of methane, BO and carbon dioxide.

Two: There are a large number of people running around, and many of them have a rather displeased look upon their faces. You often find yourself thinking ‘is that bloke gonna get me?’, ‘is that woman gonna get me?’, ‘is that toddler in the pram wielding the candy cane gonna shove that delicious sweet in my eye?’
At one point there was this short, chubby kid who couldn’t take his eyes off me as we crossed paths. My friend who was with me at the time, she said that he must have been jealous of my tall height and ruggedly handsome appearance. I asked her, if I was so tall and handsome, then why wasn’t she dating me?
She deflected the question with humour.

Three: Many of the gifts you are attempting to locate and purchase for yourself are lusted over by many other individuals, and often you will need to beat other patrons with a stick to successfully get out of there alive. N.B – other patrons don’t often appreciate being beaten with sticks.

Four: Often, stores only have a couple of check outs open. It is their way to ruining your day because their day is obviously ruined by the sheer force of the stampede that is rushing about what was once a relatively peaceful work environment, and is now tarnished by the fact that their store now looks a lot like an unpleasantly deranged asylum. With that said, the check out queues are often so unfathomably long, they make those huge traffic pile ups look like nice tropical vacations.

Five: There are very rarely any staff moving about the store, and so assistance is not guaranteed on this occasion. Any staff who are supposedly on duty you often find cowering behind large crates, their eyes looking over the tops of their hiding places in terror as they whimper ‘go away! Go away!’

Six: By the time you successfully find what you want, have fought off the attacking locals, have lined up in the queue and have survived the harsh environments, you then need to get out of there – which is made harder by the fact that there are now a hundred times more people wandering about the shopping complex than there were originally. If the zombie apocalypse ever goes down, it will probably look a lot like the after Christmas sale.

Anyway, if you did attend the after Christmas sales, or are just about to – I do hope your experiences were/are better than mine. Cheers!

Doom3 BFG Edition – is this the Biggest Friggin’ Game in the Doom franchise?

 

Last week in Australia, our shores were graced by the arrival of no, not more ‘boat people’, but by Doom3 BFG Edition, which comes equipped with the original Doom, Doom2, Doom3, the mission pack, Doom3 Resurrection of Evil, and a new campaign consisting of eight levels titled ‘the Lost Mission’.

Doom3 in itself was a terrific action shooter that went out of its way to make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, and boy did it succeed! The high definition reboot of the action classic is graphically sublime, and cannot be faulted in any way with the seemingly stupendous visuals that it throws at you in every frame. The in game movies have been beefed up along with the general gaming experience to fully immerse you within a realm that has been graphically redefined.

The monsters look absolutely terrific, and some, especially the Pinky Demon seem especially grotesque in their appearance.

The sound is in your face, exploding out from the speakers with an unrelenting fury as it envelops everything within the vicinity.

Moreover, the game itself has not been changed, so gamers will be able to expect all that they once endured and suffered at the hands of Hell’s demon spawn to once again suffer some more.

Suffering is the right term though for those of you who think I have lost my mind. Playing the game on Veteran – I had forgotten just how difficult it could be. It is easy though – as long as you don’t get hit by anything. After a couple hits you’ll find your character lying on the ground with his legs and arms in the air, so you need to be extra vigilant whilst exploring the UAC Mars Facility for the enemy can come from everywhere and anywhere.

There is also the fact that id decides to teleport in a demon or too into a room if you fail to leave in an unspecified time frame, or you decide to begin retracing your steps in an attempt to find some health or are looking for the cabinet that wouldn’t open before because you failed to have the right combination.

However, one will not suffer at the hands of the boss monsters. As one will recall, the boss creatures from the Doom games are never that complicated – all you require is ammo – you can never have too much of it. From the original Doom, in which you blasted the Spider Mastermind a couple times with the BFG to make ‘im blow up till now, the bosses of Doom have never offered the worst challenge imaginable, and most of them (minus the guy at the end of Resurrection of Evil, unless you have the strategy down) will be taken out on your first attempt.

The multiplayer experience moreover for those enjoying the game on console is strictly for online multiplayer, so don’t expect to go round fragging your friends in a split screen game.

However, id compensate for this by allowing the original 2 Doom games to come equipped with such a function.

Yes, Doom and Doom2 can be played on all platforms now, which is really impressive, although don’t go expecting the graphics to be any better than they once were. Hailed as the greatest graphics ever conceived back between 1993-95 when the games were originally launched, now they seem rather obtuse in comparison to games of today, but the fun they will provide has not at all been extinguished. What’s more, both the Doom games come equipped with all of the add on packs that were conceived, so for Doom you have all four original terrifying episodes, and for Doom2 you are granted the ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ game as well.

What is a little upsetting for the biggest Doom fans might be the fact that Evilutions (which wasn’t exactly the best Doom game ever) and the Plutonia Experiment (or, as I like to call it, the hardest Doom game ever – people may remember a secret level filled with Cyber Demons!) are not included in this limited edition reboot.

However, as previously mentioned, the multiplayer is capable of allowing gamers who experience BFG Edition on console the ability to either play the campaigns co-operatively or in a death match via split screen. Massive Doom gamers will no doubt remember the fun that Doom multiplayer provided back in the day – I mean, it was what, the first ever game that allowed people this opportunity?! That fun has returned and is exceptional!

It feels incredibly fun to once again blast your enemies away in these original Doom conceptions, although at the same time the music and the sound of all the items respawning is no doubt capable of making your brain turn to juice as you slowly but surely lose your mind.

I guess the only negative feature of the original games is the weapons – the keys to select which one you wish to use are incredibly fiddly and never will you properly get used to them, which becomes especially annoying during a massive fire fight. If that’s not enough, not all of the weapons are in the order they once were on PC all those years ago – you would expect the Super Shotgun to come after the Shotgun? Nope, it comes in as one of the last weapons.

However, do not let this little addendum cause you dismay; the original games are just as fun as ever before!

Moving back to the Doom3 series, although Doom3 in itself looks fantastic (although once or twice you can see something’s a little off but that happens in all games), when it comes to Doom3 Resurrection of Evil you can clearly see a difference when you start to play – it is as though whoever was involved in rebooting this particular campaign into high definition lost their passion after being involved rebooting its predecessor.

The graphics in game do not look quite as beautiful, and the cinematics – they have not even been changed. These parts of the game, of which there are quite a few mind you, look exactly as they did back in 2005, which isn’t all that bad – but when you compare it to Doom3 you can clearly see the graphical differences and feel a slight ping of disappointment.

Again, when playing Doom3 and its sequel the keys to switch the weapons can be a little annoying, but less so in these particular games than they are in the originals. Upon acquiring the special artefacts found in either game, these can be accessed just by pressing the left button on the D-pad, although it is annoying when the game fails to register your pressing need for the artefacts and so decides against giving them to you – often resulting in a rather unpleasant death.

As for ‘the Lost Mission’ and the eight ‘levels’ of entertainment that such a campaign provides – I’m sorry, but I have to ask – what’s the point? This particular campaign will take you less than two hours to complete on Veteran difficulty, and the supposed ‘levels’ (hence the reason why I put such a word in quotation marks before) are incredibly minuscule – in fact to even call them levels is a downright insult to the levels in the other Doom3 games which are by far larger in size than what you shall experience in this campaign.

In this new campaign you find yourself in the shoes of a member of Bravo team after this small militarian group were attacked by ravenous demons in the Empro Plant. Waking up to find you only have half your health left, if you are anything like me, you begin by thinking ‘what’s the point?’ (as previously stated).

In Doom3 and the sequel, the games both focused on you bringing a stopper to the invasions that had taken over the base. The objective, as you will find later on in the second level, is as follows; a scientist is in need of your assistance. Believing himself to be the only person who has survived the invasion, he needs you to be a good boy and go into what he calls ‘the other realm’ (why can’t he just call it Hell?) and switch off a teleportation system there that is still online and linked to the UAC Mars Facility. Worse still, the demons could use it as a means to travel directly to Earth! Good times!

Much of what you shall find in these eight levels look to be rehashed from the Doom3 experience. Segments in the Empro Plant and the Mars City Underground will leave you with great feelings of déjà vu, and the secret ‘Exis Labs’ that is supposed to be capable of bettering the Delta Complex upon completion looks exactly on several occasions like sections of the Delta Complex that it is supposed to be bettering!

A couple sections in the game are new, including running around, trying to hopelessly find the code to the cabinet with the double barrelled shotgun in it; fighting a couple of the enemies that appeared in the mission pack; the updated looking teleportation units, which look considerably impressive mind you, and at one point using the ‘Grabber’ to send energy from one pylon to another (think Portal, but less challenging).

When you eventually do find yourself in the midst of the ominous ‘other realm’, this I have to say does look very different from previous experiences in the Doom3 games – if anything, it looks a lot like Hell did back in the original Dooms, which classic fans will no doubt be impressed by. The final boss is nothing special though, but the big bastard will have you on your toes on a few occasions, but as long as you run and gun you will eventually prevail with very little injury on your first attempt.

All three campaigns for Doom3 furthermore will take you less than ten hours to complete on Veteran, however, don’t do what I did and play them all one after the other in a row, else you might find that you suddenly become Doom3’d out!

Long story short – you simply must buy Doom3 BFG Edition as to partake in the HD Doom3 campaign. The multiplayer aspect in the original Doom games is an additional reason to add this game to your collection, whilst the rest of the Doom experience seems a lot more like random bits and pieces that will mildly entertain you if you have nothing better to do.

All in all, a quick little appetiser to entice you for Doom4, which is supposed to come out on the 31st of December this year, but who knows? What can be said about id is that their games are always long awaited and very fun, with no bugs to speak of. However, never have they been really good at keeping to their schedules, i.e. Doom3 – meant to come out August 2004, then September and then October, and then eventually came out mid 2004. And don’t even get me started on Rage!

In summary:
8/10

-Doom3 graphics are sublime

-Doom3 cinematics are beautifully articulated

-Doom and Doom2 multiplayer is fun

-Doom and Doom2 graphics remain unchanged

-Doom3 Resurrection of Evil graphics seem less than exceptional in comparison to Doom3

-Doom3 ‘the Lost Mission’ seems pointless and trivial, yet flawlessly presented graphically

-Doom3 multiplayer strictly online

-Switching weapons is a lot like putting a red hot iron down your trousers – it’s a risky business

-Many levels, but rather short in all

The rat bastard playing loud music down the road from me must be silenced!

 

If I can hear the sound of the bass, the drums, the guitar, the lyrics and everything else several houses down, what is it like for the occupants of the residence where the music is playing?

I for one have never truly understood where playing music as loud as friggin’ possible ever managed to be described as ‘enjoyable’.

Having your eardrums blown in by music that is been performed by a band playing some brute European deranged rock song is not my idea of a good time, but who am I to judge the deluded, deranged lunatics down the road from me who get off on it? Whatever rocks your boat I say, I would just rather prefer not to hear it over where I am.

The second issue, apart from the noise, which is bad enough, is the time. The music starts at approximately 9:30 at night, and then proceeds to continue until 2 in the damn morning.

Now, calling the cops about this is like calling the man who runs the ice cream van and telling him the exact same thing; some arsehole’s idea of a good time is playing music louder than any sound that has ever been recorded. On top of this, calling the local council about this is as productive as calling the cops, which already illustrated, is pretty friggin’ useless.

Of course, you could always try communicating with the guy playing the music, who takes your attempt to calmly deescalate the situation as an act of war because not only is he a few tiles short of a roof, but he can’t even speak a word of English so you might as well go beat your head up against a wall cuz if you stand there any longer your head will certainly look just about as terrible.

Of course, this leads me back to the title of this post; the rat bastard must be silenced. First off, why rat bastard? Well, because he is a rat. No, he didn’t inform on anyone to the cops – remember, he’s no good with speaking the Eng, so he’s informing skills will be about as useful as his ability to play music at regular room volume. By rat, I mean, he really is a rat. He has tiny black rat eyes, a little nose with whiskers protruding out from the sides, has a pink tail sticking out from the arse end of his body and is additionally covered in a gargantuan layer of hair. Okay, maybe it ain’t such an in-depth comparison, but there certainly is a similarity.

Now, let’s access that word ‘silenced’. I’m not saying that something untoward needs to happen to him – I’m saying that something untoward absolutely must happen to his sound system – it has to be silenced; muted; permanently.

The question would ultimately be how to successfully do so – hypothetically speaking of course.

As previously mentioned, any legal means would ultimately be unsuccessful, which would perhaps leave the illegal, or as some may call it, the desperate means. Basically, I would need to gain entry to the residence, temporarily gain access to the sound system – then grab hold of it and run out of there faster that Road Runner been pursued by Coyote.

I guess it would come down to how many people were at the ‘event’ in question, and, on top of that, how many people were inclined to have the music system there.  Surrounded by a bunch of angry, drunken music loving freaks who came for the songs would be somewhat unimpressed in my view by a certain handsome, intelligent, amazing, quick witted, humorous, fun loving individual stealing their reason for been there.

I could additionally take a sledge hammer to the sound system – that would put both it and me out of our misery, for I cannot imagine that it enjoys having terrible music pumping out from its mouth. The question would be how to get there – a person walking about a party scene with a weapon of mass construction would stand out like legs on a rattlesnake at an event of this proportion – unless there a builder theme to the occasion – then nobody will question me.

Or I could take a pair of scissors and chop the cable – but this issue can be easily amended to some extent or another – unless the cable is fed into the sound system rather than been an attachment which can be connected to the arse end of the device.

Decisions, decisions. Oh, maybe it’s all too hard. How many parties can these people have in a week? Quite a few it would seem. This would make me wonder what the hell they are celebrating? The fact that they are alive? Come on! What happened to the days when a party was just that – an occasion to celebrate the birthday of an individual. Now…well, wish me luck, in any event. Desperation makes people do crazy things and I fear I may be on the verge of doing something really out there. Now, where did I put that sledgehammer?

…And the Crusade to hath hold unto: The story of youth, of life, of what is and what should not have been

 

This piece will contain some coarse language.

All World Issues is one particular blogger that I follow. A young, Australian woman, this particular blogger has some many interesting, yet at the same time relatable views on life and other such ideologies and concerns. On Saturday I do believe, the young lady conceived a post on bullying, and her general dislike of such a nefarious issue in society today, the post that she wrote located at the link below:

http://allworldissues.com/2012/09/08/my-crusade-to-help-the-youth/

By the conclusion of her piece, All World Issues asked her readership if they wouldn’t mind developing a post of their own in regards to any experiences they had endured in regards to bullying. So, with that said, this here post is my response in regards to such a question.

Now, I myself have had some experience with bullying in the past. Perhaps I should amend that last statement. I suffered quite a fair bit, no, a shit load, that’s the word, a rather large amount of bullying when I was younger that was active during my high school years.

If there was one thing I could say about high school, it’s that I survived.

All World Issues is not wrong when she says that bullies will often target you for no particular reason. So, why me? I wonder how many people say that when it happens to them?

I was new. Most people at the high school knew each other from primary school. I came from an area that was farther out, whilst a majority of the other students just lived around the corner, so had grown up together.

Amazingly enough, I was lucky – at first. I befriended those who were perceived as the ‘cool’ crowd. They allowed me access to their friends and appeared to treat me like one of their own – to my face. Behind my back it was a whole different story, and eventually I guess they just grew tired of talking behind my back and made sure it was to my face.

I guess I realised I was not wanted when I was simply told that – in one way or another. The guy sitting next to me said I did not belong there at the school. Then he said I should go fuck my mother. I was 12 at the time, and believe it or not this was the first time I had been told this. I had no prior experience and didn’t really know what to do, and so told him to go fuck himself and I wished him best wishes in getting his tiny prick any larger than one centimeter.

That apparently didn’t go down well.

I realised again that I was unwanted that same week when the same guy, along with all his friends said they wished that I would ‘fucking die’; how so – a sword to chop my head off – and then to hack me into a thousand pieces with.

Maybe a little over the top, but still, the message was acquired.

Then the violence started.

I was winded twice during my first year. On both occasions I did not suspect the punch was coming.

Later on in that semester, the guy who had said he wished I was dead became angry with me when he attacked me and I knocked him to the ground. He managed to get the better of me and beat the shit out of me for fun. The class laughed.

In the second semester though, something new happened. Wood work and other such classes are supposed to be fun for the guys. I leant three things during the class. One, I’m good enough with wood work that I would probably always pass with a solid C. Two, I’m probably always going to be a shitty carpenter, and three, a piece of wood hurts when you get clocked over the head by one.

I guess that guy who said he wished I was dead really meant it. I just never assumed he would take the threat to the next level. Perhaps I should have known – surrounded by sharp objects and such that someone who hated me enough might see the potential opportunity to do some damage. When the teacher temporarily left to go into the back room, the guy saw his chance – he grabbed a nice shiny piece of wood whilst my back was turned, and whacked it across the back of my head.

I got a whopping good head ache, nothing else, which I should have been glad for. I tried to tell the teacher what had happened – and apart from ignoring me, when it came time for the truth to come out, the entire class sided with the guy who had hit me – I apparently was a clumsy son of a bitch, had tripped, and had hit my head in the side of the metallic bench I was working at.

I came to the conclusion that I could not win and chose not to tell anyone else. I was the freak in the eyes of a majority of the people.

There were some that were not so bad. In music class I befriended a couple guys, and over the course of high school we founded ourselves a school band with some older students and managed to do a pretty good job at rocking and rolling around, which is probably one of my better moments from high school.

I could have left I guess to escape the times that weren’t so good, but a bunch of rotten apples were not going to scare me.

In the second year it was much of the same thing. There were less physical attacks and more verbal ones.

I must have been called every name available. A couple that stand out would include:

-fucking friendless freak (‘triple f’ for short)

-disgusting fucking creature

-mother fucking fucker

-fucking hideous lanky cunt

-Anglo cunt

-dead cunt

Imagine this every single day. It does get a little tiring.

I was also called gay, faggot and pofter a lot. It would seem that people who bully you are scared of sexuality. I however can attest to the fact that I’m a hetero, although I think those posts should not ever see the light of day because of their incredibly graphic content.

However, year nine was the definitive moment in my life.

Physical attacks went from one extreme to the next. I was frequently water bombed. I had my locker broken into on a couple of occasions and had my lock broken, with some of my goods been stolen.

Class also became more violent than ever before. I had a pair of scissors thrown at me on more than one occasion, and they clipped me twice. Once in the head, and once in the ear. I had a calculator thrown at me, but I guess my number wasn’t up cuz it missed. I had several pencil cases thrown at me on a number of occasions. I even on one occasion had a chair thrown in my direction. Now, you might ask, what was the teacher doing? My home room teacher and my English teacher were one and the same – and she joined in on the attacks. Not the physical ones, but on the verbal ones. I overheard her call me a freak on a couple occasions. I only assume she was talking about me because my name, the word ‘freak’, and the pointing in my direction all lead me to believe one thing. On top of that, on two occasions I told her about attacks and she said ‘what exactly do you want me to do? The class is working to the best of their capability, so quit your bitching.’

The only bitch in the room was her in my eyes. She didn’t last though – she left the following year to go make some other schools’ unhappy.

I began to do my best to keep out of the way of students. No one ever sat near me in class, and I was only so glad for that. I became quite sick and tired of doing things for those who hated me; staying out of their way, was more for them than it was for me.

This didn’t really work anyway.

Later on in the year, a substitute teacher took a class. The class, well, excluding me, joined into a circle, drew a picture of me, then set it on fire, and laughed as it burnt.

I guess for some that wasn’t nearly enough, for come lunchtime, it did not take me long to realise that the hissing sound I heard was deodorant – and it was been put onto me. You know that fire warning label on each bottle of spray. I always assumed it was there for a reason, and I suppose the guy who sprayed me was smart enough to figure that out too. I spun around to confront him and knocked the bottle from his hand. I turned back to close my locker, before taking off my jumper and dumping it in there too, shutting it and turning around – to find the guy with an ignited cigarette lighter in his hand.

Everyone around me looked real disappointed. I managed to avoid all of them, but not before they managed to spray me again.

I suppose the class was still lusting for blood come the conclusion for lunch, because when I returned, the class stood around me and the guy who had intended to turn me into the human torch took the lead. He shoved a knife in my face and told me he would kill me if I ever touched him again like I had when I knocked the spray can from his hands.

A teacher suddenly came around the corner, and everyone moved to their lockers.

Out of fear for my own safety, I began to carry a small knife in my bag. It was a simple switch blade piece, where you flipped it out from the side. It had a good enough point to it, but also had a ruler along the side of the metallic blade, for that was its primary job – ruling lines on paper and then cutting along them.

Unfortunately, one afternoon when I was placing books in my bag, a fellow student saw the blade, and told a teacher about it. Instant suspension for me – for one week. I told the vice principal who interrogated me everything that had led to this moment for I concluded that if I was going down, I would take as many people with me. The guy who had been attacking me all these years – the leader – suspended for three days. Justice?

During the course of my week long suspension I had the decency to acquire bronchitis, and so was away for two weeks rather than one, and upon returning to school, it was a very different place indeed.

For starters, the kid who saw my knife – he told the whole school it was plastic – and they believed him.

A foxy young woman who was a year older than I who I obviously in regards to my previous comment had a thing for also believed the stories. Let’s just say if she ever had a thing for me, it officially came to an end when she trusted all those who hated me over my word.

Secondly, a book had been passed around the year level – a blank exercise book, that was no longer blank at all. The pages in and around the middle were filled with the signatures of 126 people. I counted them myself. I assumed there were around 150 people in my year level, which meant that a lot of people had signed this petition, for that it what it was. A petition for what? The sentence in the very central pages said it all; we want Derek Childs to die.

How did I come by this book? My year nine homeroom/English teacher gave it to me. No, she didn’t sign it. I guess she thought she would get in trouble. I took it to the vice principal. His response?

He asked if I had been attacked recently. I said no. He asked if I had any wounds on me. I said no. He came to the conclusion that this was simply students been students and told me to toss the book in the trash and forget about it.

Forgetting about it was a little difficult. It did not take long for me to be attacked in class again, and after I ended up on the ground, in an attempt to redeem myself I really went to town on the guy who had attacked me – and I kicked his arse up and down the classroom. Well, not quite, but I did a good enough job.

There are however always consequences for embarrassing your enemies, and I paid mine the next day. I only wish that when people chose to fight you, they did so on their own. In a fair one on one fight, although I would have rather avoided such an occurrence, I had a considerable chance of winning. One on several though – excuse my language, but I was fucked.

Long story short, I ended up on the ground.

Eventually all of this became too much for me. There is some aspects of what happened I am going to avoid due to the fact that I feel I’ve embarrassed myself enough and there are some other occurrences that I do not want to touch because I don’t want to write about those painful moments, so I will just skip to what I inevitably did.

In class one day I found myself in another confrontation when the teacher left to yell at a misbehaving student. I had a number of items thrown at my head, before been told again how the class wished I would die. One such item thrown at me was a pair of scissors – the person who threw them also yelled out how he wished I would kill myself with them.

Now, I don’t know if I really wanted to actually kill myself, or if I simply wanted the attention of the teachers who had been ignoring me all these years; but I took that pair of scissors, opened them up, and with all my might I shoved one of the sharp tips into my left wrist. I then proceeded to do this five times, over and over again. I did not slice – I simply stabbed. I aimed for a beautiful blue vein and went to town.

As for the class – they cheered me on. That was until the blood began to seep out from the wound I had created. For some odd reason as I sat there, the blood flowing across my fingers and onto the carpet, the class actually became frightened and the one who had lead the attacks all these years ran for the teacher and told her what had happened.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on who you were at the time I guess, the damage I had done was not terrible enough that I found myself on deaths door – no.

I didn’t need stitches, but I did need a few Kleenexes and a good couple large band aids that needed to be changed a few times over the course of the day because the blood kept seeping through. I was fixed up at the nurses office, and the leader of the bullies was expelled.

Well, it only took three years.

As previously mentioned, he was their leader, so after that the physical violence died down. The verbal attacks didn’t though. If anything, the classes seemed more pissed off than ever that I had survived.

There was one teacher at the school who was particularly nice though, and he told me that as students grew older the attacks would die down, and very gradually I guess they did over the next three years. Very slowly, but still, they died down.

Of course, the one change that happened in year nine was that I changed myself. I began to stop caring what people thought, and I instead wore that ‘freak’ title they gave to me like a badge. This was of course after my little incident with the scissors. They thought I was a freak, and so I made sure that they would not forget it.

I survived high school. I made a couple friends here and there that are still friends to this day, and I was loathed by all the rest.

I am certain that lots of people have experienced worse than I. I agree with All World Issues that bullying is pretty horrible, but it ain’t going to stop. I don’t get bullied any more, but I know that some people don’t like me, but you’ll get that wherever you go.

I think you can either attempt to outgrow those who hate you and not care, or let it consume and overwhelm you until it takes control of your life. It is difficult to avoid the unavoidable, so me recommending that option is like me recommending you avoid the killer shark that is one second away from making you yet another trophy between its teeth.

Bullying gradually will become worse. There are numerous news stories about people been stabbed at school and murdered, and I am glad I didn’t become a news story.

Anti-bullying campaigns don’t work, and neither do the videos. You will never stop it; you just have to outlive it. If you can do that, then you have officially conquered it. This is my view, and not that of All World Issues.

That particular young lady wishes to start a campaign to build awareness against bullying and has other great ideologies in regards to such a plan. I’m glad that such a person is committed to such goals. I wish her luck and anyone else who attempts such a plan.

You ain’t gonna stop bullying for it is imbedded inside human culture, and honestly, how are you going to change human culture when there are 7.4 billion human beings on the planet. Now, many of them have not bullied others. Many of them have never been bullied. But the other couple billion people have either bullied or been bullied. I ask those who wish to help, can you really help solve all that pain?

People are capable of the greatest of things. They are capable of love, of happiness, of amazing intellect, of generosity, of selflessness. People can also do unspeakable evil. They are capable of hate, misogyny, and violence. This is human nature. Everyone can do good, just as everyone can do bad. Can you really change a couple thousand years of evolution?

The Birds…but this time Mr. Alfred Hitchcock ain’t there to direct ‘em

 

This week I came to one conclusion – a Magpie quickly changes from been a docile, well behaved bird, to been a sex crazed loon.

Last Wednesday I took a walk through the park just outside my house. I saw the male Magpie. The male Magpie saw me. Both myself and the male Magpie saw each other. We greeted each other with insecure nodding of the heads as a bird of nature and a citizen of one country would do.

The Wednesday past of this week was a little different; I saw the male Magpie – and then he flew in my direction in its vain attempt to knock my block off, before proceeding with this strategy several times over before I had officially left the territory the little guy had carved out for himself.

Now, for those of you who are not Australian and are reading this piece thinking ‘what in the blazes is a Magpie?’, allow me to provide to you the answer. The Magpie is a bird, yes, very good description indeed. And now you know – no, I’m joking, allow me to elaborate. Basically, they are beautifully decorated in black and white smooth features and make quite vibrant noises in the mornings as they wake. They are carnivorous, and in the eyes of some are quite hideous, but in the eyes of other’s such as myself are actually really beautiful. Come Spring time however, the male Magpie becomes aggressive. Yes, he is now officially in heat, along with all the ladies, and the blokes what to prove they are awesome by attempting to kill every other life form in the vicinity of the ladies to ensure their dominance over the sectors they choose for themselves. It is for the good part of the entirety of Spring that any beauty that male Magpies once had is all but reduced to nil – they are violent, enraged, sex crazed creatures that will do anything to remove you from their realm.

However, over the past couple of years I personally found a strategy to bypass this violence, which is the reason behind this post – how to prevent been swooped by your local Magpie. Now, this has worked twice for me. It is also incredibly dumb – but it has proven effective. In 2009 and 2010 I used this stagey, In 2011 I simply avoided Mr. Magpie period – which is also a good strategy – but can become quite time consuming.

My way of dealing with Mr. Magpie…let him swoop you – and let him hit you. Preferably not in the eyes for that is where they have been known to go for – but a good hit in the back of the head should do the trick.

Now, I do suppose you are shaking your head right now thinking how much of a dope I am. Perhaps. But after hitting you, Mr. Magpie has proven his authority. He has hit you and proven his masculinity. He attacked you and won, and all the ladies will love and respect him for it, allowing him to have a bunch of baby Magpies in the future – who will grow up to hate you come Spring time too. Good times!

So there you have it – how to deal with your local area Magpie. It really works! Well, it isn’t entirely tested, so if he hits you and keeps trying to do so, well, I can’t be held liable. I again would like to say – this is quite foolish, so unless you, like me, have zero per cent brain, zero per cent integrity and zero per cent care in the world, you shouldn’t do it; perhaps you ought to simply avoid Mr. Magpie.

Your choice people!

Hollywood; Loyal Movie Developer, or the Murderer of Movies?

 

The following content is but my opinion, so if you don’t agree that is purely your prerogative, and you have every right to it.

However, I would like to state that over the past few years, the varieties of films that have graced our screens at the cinema and at our own homes I would say are less ‘gracing’ our screens as they once did, but are tormenting them with stories that require additional development, characters who are either very similar to others or who are simply brain dead and are unable to postulate a single thought of their own, and special effects that inevitably cause the audience to become lost within the, sometimes, beauty of the graphics and forget what the plot was in the first place – which doesn’t say much about the plot.

I would argue that it seems that Hollywood has officially run out of gas. The vehicle that is the movie making monopoly has stalled on the side of the road and is attempting to make its way back to the city on gasoline that is less that the required ‘premium’ variety that it is used to.

How often recently have you seen a film that was an original concept? I mean, every second film contains vampires, every third film contains werewolves and every fourth film contains aliens that are hell bent on our destruction. There are only so many ways you can create a storyline that is reflective of these genres, and eventually they all just blur together and it is as though you are watching the same film over and over again.

And don’t you dare get me started on the remakes that are been tossed out from Hollywood faster than its trash.

I have always wondered, how do the creators, the actors, the writers, the producers, the directors, and all the other hundreds of people involved in the original features feel when Hollywood decides to orchestrate a new film based upon the original story. Hollywood claims it is ‘better’, but really – these stories are shorter, chuck out the original script and take out all the ‘unnecessary’ parts (you know, the story) and riddle it with enough action in the hope of keeping the audience on their toes. Now, this can work; Poseidon and Fright Night were both, in my opinion, terrific re-imaginings of the original film concepts. But still, how do the people involved in the original feature feel when Hollywood markets the re-make as though the original never happened. I remember with Poseidon, which I just complimented by the way, the trailer said it was the first great film from WB and bla, bla, bla, but never in the trailer did they say it was based on the original film, or on the book that the original film was based upon. They said that in the titles, but who honestly reads them anymore? According to statistics in Australia, 40% of the workforce cannot read. And we are a ‘developed’ country. HA! My point is that I was the only person I knew at the time it was an actual remake. Hell, none of the other people I knew had even heard of the tele-movie ‘the New Poseidon Adventure’, let alone the original Poseidon Adventure.

Then there are the remakes that ruin the original films. A great example would have to be Clash of the Titans. The original film stuck to the concept of Greek Gods and the mythology that the ancient culture that believed in them based their religious theories upon. The Gods were mischievous and interfered with the lives of mere mortals. They could care less for humans, and never physically made their way down to the planet to mingle with them, and instead watched their struggles, and, if they became bored, would make said struggles even more forebodingly difficult and treacherous.

In the remake – well, for one, the robotic owl that appeared in the original – is scrapped! The Gods, well, they love humans. Zeus is constantly jumping down to Earth to talk to his half-son Perseus and give him warm advice and offerings and much needed encouragement, which he refuses, which is a first for me. I mean, who is offered a great array of amazing powers and tools, etc, only to say ‘no thanks’?

Then we have the insufferable love story that gets in the way of enjoying the real storyline. I remember when the young lady died (I could care less for the film which is why I forget her name), at the cinema, a little girl sitting not far from me said ‘mummy, is she going to Heaven?’ I felt like leaning over and barking ‘no you little idiot! She’s going to Hades! Now hush!’ My point? Our society has an imbedded ideology of our religious concepts thanks to films and other such factors, and in doing so we have ultimately forgotten where all of the religions began and many seem to think they never occurred at all.

And the ending – typical Hollywood – unable to generate an ending that is anything but happy. For once, I would like to see the hero fail or the loved one perish and never return or some other tragically emotional occurrence.

That leads me to the other issue – sustenance. All of the films made by Hollywood are so nice and sweet that if aliens are really watching these things, they’ll probably invade Earth just based on the principle that humanity seems to be a bunch of sissy’s, no offence. Well, I have offended thee, so let me explain why…the romantic, happy, hero always wins and gets the girl storylines are so far from being realistic that to call them so would be outrageous. In reality, such beautiful storylines are not articulated. Humanity would not survive against an alien force with bigger guns, bigger brains and better technology than us – but in films we always do. In reality the vampire would not be a tragically defeated soul looking for someone to soothe his lonely, wounded heart – but in films, that’s all he ever is, and the idea of sipping blood is suddenly turned into a big ‘no! No!’

I would like to think that people who watch films are intelligent. If that be the case, then intelligent people would expect more from their films than the stereotypical Hollywood jargon that is continuously been promulgated and force fed down our throats. True, we don’t have to watch it, but the thing is, do we have a choice? Australian films are few and far between. Foreign films – well, unless one understands the lingo you ain’t gonna have much fun because the subtitles fly across the screen faster than a Formula One Racing Car. At the end of the day, if we are to endure films to acquire some pleasing entertainment from them, I think we would very much appreciate to gain that entertainment rather than be denied it time and time again.

This leads me to my next argument. Video games that are turned into movies. Okay, I will admit, on occasion, the films in themselves stand alone as not half bad features. They are often action packed, fast hitting and quite enjoyable for a good couple hours. On the other hand however, when in comparison to the actual video games they are ‘based’ upon, I cannot see the resemblance. Take Doom for example. In the original Doom game, the Union Aerospace Corporation is taken over by demons spawned from Hell that kill everyone and leave only one man surviving – the hero the gamer plays as. In the film, the monsters are scientific organisms that were once people and have thus been transformed due to genetic experimentation, and have escaped and are running rampant throughout the scientific facility. Apart from a three minute FPS experience and the fact that a couple monsters looked similar to the ones found in Doom3, I failed to see the resemblance.

Now however, Hollywood has announced that Mass Effect, Just Cause, World of Warcraft, Bioshock and a couple other titles are all on the way to been turned into movies. My question is…why? Games are like movies – you experience them for the entertainment. Games are basically you could say like anime – they are animated features with the exception that the viewer becomes involved in the storyline and is thus further immersed into the world than one ever would in a film, which is beneficial if you ask me. Now, the shortest game I have ever played lasted around 4.5 hours. The longest lasted well over 36. My question – how do you compress all of that story into under 2 hours, cuz, let’s face it, there has never been as movie based on a video game that has gone for longer than 108 minutes!

Of course, there is always the Halo film that is continuously been put on hold by the fact that the directors keep running away from the project as far as their legs can carry them. I would presume they are right to flee from fear of the reprisal that will be brought upon them if the film is anything less than an accurate articulation of the entertainment that was acquired from the original video game.

In conclusion to this section, I find Hollywood’s continued use of turning video games into films proof that they are officially out of ideas, and so instead of creating another lame plot, need to turn an amazing video game experience into a lame plot.

Then there is the Australian film industry. I have spent enough time attacking the American version, so allow me to move onto one that is closer to home. However, this too is linked back to my argument on Hollywood; I blame Hollywood for the current state of the Australian industry. Not in regards to its financial issues or its lack of productivity, but in relation to the fact that Australian films are becoming much more Americanised. The perfect example of what Australian cinema used to be like would have to be the Mad Max films, especially the second in the franchise. Mad Max is the perfect anti-hero, which is what Australian cinema used to be riddled with. Americans have always loved their heroes. In films, their heroes will do anything to save people, country, God and anything else that stands for freedom and liberty just because they can. In Australian cinema, Australians in general used to like their heroes to be a bit dirtier. In regards to Mad Max, he agreed to help the settlers who were under siege from the antagonistic armies; however, he had a price. He wanted a vehicle, fuel and ammunition. If his demands were not met, he was not going to assist them. That is the perfect representation of the anti-hero. However, such an idea seems to have dried up and died with Australian heroes, when there are heroes, often they are now-a-days been articulated as true blue heroic characters that will lay their lives on the line to save anything and everything. The impact of American films on Australia has ultimately rendered our film traditions moot as audiences crave more and more American content that has caused the industry to adapt to the changing face of the Australian audience.

So, after that rant of mine, what does the fair readership of this piece think? Do you believe that Hollywood is still as fantastic as it once was and is spewing out pieces of amazing work? Or do you think that I may be onto something, and that Hollywood is in fact a ravenous monster, keen to devour everything in its path and turn what could be great into quite the opposite?

Thank you for reading,

Naughty Nefarious, signing off!

A Predictable Failure?

For anyone who has frequented certain previous posts of mine, you would know that I have on (frequent) occasion mentioned my infatuation with a certain young lady named ‘Elisha’. Well, my ingenious plan was to tell this ominous young woman how I felt about her. I had written a few soporific pieces in regards to my feelings of infatuated love for her, and if you have endured the hardship of reading these deranged cries of love and heartache, then I feel it is my duty to fill you in with the conclusion to this reoccurring love story.

Think of this as your gift for reading all of the previous romanticised drivel that I have thrust upon the pages of this site. Every story is deserving of an ending, even one as tired and boring as the one I have generated on this blog, so allow me to give you the end; in great, verbose detail.

If you have not read my previous posts, then here is quick and very brief recap (of course, my definition of ‘brief’ usually spans around two thousand words).

Two years ago, a young woman named Elisha from Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory, made her way to Melbourne and began to attend the same university as I, appearing in a number of my classes. I immediately became attracted to the commitment she applied to her work, in which she endeavored to accomplish everything she began with all of her capability. I found this personal drive of hers to be very attractive, and the fact that she was incredibly beautiful was just an added bonus. Smart, easy to communicate with and with a great personality to boot, she was gorgeous, and often dressed in rather short attire (so short that at times if it had been any shorter her vagina may have made an entrance); to me she was the bees knees.

I came to the conclusion that my telling her how I felt might adversely affect her time in Melbourne if it all went belly up, and so left it to the final semester of our final year together to tell her how I felt.

Well, now with that recap over, I can officially announce that Saturday past was the day that I told her how I felt – via e-mail. Yes; daggy, pathetic, and absolutely without dignity.

‘Why?’ you might ask me, stunned by this sudden admittance. ‘Why use e-mail. Why not confess it to her face?’

Well, you see, I think I’m too much of a gentleman (meaning I’m too much of an emotionally weak bastard) to admit anything to Elisha’s face, although I had every intention of doing so. I asked her at the beginning of Friday if I could borrow some of her time to discuss with her something that was weighing on me. She agreed to do so at the end of the day.

So, I waited, and waited, and waited, and after I had done waiting all that time I then began to get started on waiting some more.

Finally, by the day’s conclusion at approximately 3:46, Elisha and I had our moment to talk; all six seconds of it. The conversation went something like this:

Elisha: ‘Did you want to talk to me?’

The idiot (me): ‘Yes, but if you’re busy we can reschedule to talk next week.’

Elisha: ‘E-mail it to me, okay?’ (Quickly hurries for the door and is already half way across the room)

The idiot: ‘Okeay doakey’ (is this spelt right?)

Okeay Doakey? As I said it, the words did not even seem to be coming from my mouth. You know that moment, when it is like you are watching something from afar rather than actually participating in the occurrence? I personally had never had this happen to me and doubted it could happen – but believe me, if you have not yet experienced it, allow me to tell you – this kind of crap is real – and I warn you, it can, and will happen – if you let it.

Let my experience be a warning to you – now please, go out and live damn it, live!

Anyway – judging by Elisha’s power walk to the door that very action should perhaps have alerted me to the fact that Elisha’s want to talk to me was about as potent as my want to be eaten by a Great White Shark – which I do not want to have happen. My point? I think I should have realised Elisha did not really want to talk. Of course, been a Friday night she probably had a couple parties to get to.

So, on Saturday morning I managed to get up bright and early at around 4 a.m. to write my feelings down. She had told me to write to her, so I felt that I was doing her justice by following her wishes. In the end, I wrote five whole pages worth of me feelings, followed by a love poem.

I have no intention of producing either the confession or love, or the poem. No need to thank me, okay – please, thank me! Yes, yes, I appreciate your warm gratitude. Now, now, don’t get carried away! Please, hold the applause! Okay, let it go! Applaud me baby! YAY!

I will tell you that I confessed to being in love with Elisha. I outlined what I liked about her, and why I had these feelings for her, and then I explained why it had taken me all this time to confess my feelings as I outlined in the ‘brief’ recap. I then asked if she felt a romanticised, legitimate, long term relationship could happen between the two of us, and if she could provide to me an answer to my face, rather than with a tweet, e-mail, voice mail, txt or other like service in case there was a misunderstanding brought on by anything that did not involve direct verbal commentary.

Elisha however decided that the last point I had made in the e-mail was laughable – because she did exactly the opposite and at 11:05 Sunday morning sent her response by e-mail. Now, this I will provide to you:

Naughty (this part (my name) has been changed, obviously. If I actually went around being called ‘Naughty’, who do you think would have been blamed for the past twenty two years every time a cookie disappeared from the cookie jar?)

I just read your e-mail, and although I am flattered by your affection for me, I do not feel the same way.

I hope you can understand where I am coming from and that we can keep things at a professional relationship.

Sincerely

Elisha

P.s (I always thought the ‘s’ in ‘P.S’ was meant to be capitalised. Go figure?) I know you would have preferred me to tell you this in person, but I think my response is clear enough that there shall be no issues with its interpretation.

So, after all this time blogging about this woman of my dreams (not in every post but in at least a good quarter of them) everything officially went belly up.

For anyone who has not read my blog before, you may take one look at what I just wrote and think ‘Jeeze, does this guy e-mail every woman he fancies? He must have never hit a home run!’

However, let me assure you I have had a girlfriend before, bearing in mind it was two years ago, back when people went around clubbing each other over the head with wooden sticks and wore the skin of animals over their private parts. When I did confess me feelings to that particular young woman, it was flawless, and happened a lot easier than this occasion. I told Elizabeth (my then soon to be girlfriend), (I must have an ‘E’ complex, first Elizabeth, now Elisha) that I wanted to be more than friends. Of course, I said this after I pushed her up against a wall in my home and kissed her lips for a good few minutes, before we later went to bed and had lots and lots and lots and lots of…………..food. Yes, hot, steamy, exhausting, passionate, sweaty food. Okay, that’s enough innuendo for one day!

So, now you know how that ended. My Elisha, who is in fact not my Elisha, is to be never more.

Unfortunately, I have found that trying to get over her is a very difficult thing to do, and it would seem that I am completely and utterly in love with her. If I didn’t know this before, then the fact that I am borderline heartbroken due to the fact that I can’t be with her now should indicate that quite clearly to me in vivid heart wrenching detail.

Of course, I do feel that I screwed up, and that on the Friday I should have been a little more persuasive. This is all heading towards a question that I would like to put to my audience. That is if you survived this long…

…should I attempt anything over the next week or so to win Elisha over and gain her affection? This would include anything from kissing her, talking to her, etc, because I honestly am at a loss and would appreciate some much needed guidance. I haven’t had a girlfriend in two years as I pointed out previously, and I don’t know if it shows, but it would seem that I’m a little rusty; like a knight’s armour that was left out in the cold rain for forty five years.

Any answers would be much appreciated!

Thank you for reading people!

Sincerely and with kind regards

Naughty Nefarious