Busy Writing

February 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Believe it or not, I still put in time writing a good amount of the week. I’ve even had some semblance of an idea of what this story is shaping up to be about. I know, it’s not the best example when you’ve got the whole thing coming down the pipes and you’re still not sure what it is you’re writing exactly. Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of free time lately. I’ve also noticed that the more free time that I have, the more time I spend not filling it with writing.

When I’m hard at work it seems that writing comes a lot easier because I am constantly busy and thinking about how I need to just get home and work on this writing. I used to find that keeping track of the writing that I was working on and the word count I amassed each day helped me tremendously. These days it doesn’t do so much. I’m jumping back and forth so much and changing issues here and there in the story that it doesn’t really end up being all that easy for me to tell what did change and how many words it too.

It doesn’t really matter. Worrying over word count is great and it feels good when you’re getting those words on the page, but I’ve spent far too long beating myself up over the lack of writing at times when I could have been trying to write or doing something else.

There’s something romanticized about the self loathing of it all, but I don’t think it’s the only way to do this. I think that’s why I am so against the ideas put forth by NANOWRIMO. It seems like something designed to help, but it really seems to encourage people who aren’t used to writing to force themselves to do something that’s not easy and that you have to train yourself to do. And then, even when you’ve done it, you’ve put yourself there on the page to be vulnerable.

The Weight of the Issue

February 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’ve been noticing more and more that people have a strong hatred of the overweight. We’re not even talking about people who are big enough to be featured on a TLC reality show—I just mean people who happen to be twenty or thirty pounds overweight. This idea that you can just lose it, or that the weight comes off of everyone just as easily is something I don’t really understand.

You’ll see people claiming they’ve done all this study about weight loss and the like, but then they’ll never acknowledge that maybe it’s a little bit harder for some people (or the fact that it’s been proven that belittling someone makes them less likely to lose the weight). There is kind of this internet culture that is made that people out there dare to be bigger than they should be. People who are disgusted by the prospect of something that doesn’t really affect them.

I mean, sure, they’ll tell you it makes their insurance prices higher because they’re having to share the burden of treating people, but a lot of things like smoking and drinking do that too and no one really gets all that mad about those things.

Not sure when it happened, but around the time I started seeing more and more people talk about accepting their weight and body the way it is this other thing started to pop up that was upset about that. That’s what is really going on with a lot of issues: people are upset with personal choices made by others that don’t concern or affect them. Most of these people are the same ones that preach about libertarianism, free speech and the right to do what they want.

Go figure.

Underlying Problems With Reddit

February 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

It doesn’t take much digging to learn that Reddit has hundreds, if not thousands, of little eighteen-plus sections with not safe for work content galore. And some that are just pictures of pretty women and handsome men, too. For one that fits work safe side of things, just Google search “Reddit Gentleman Boners” and you’ll find pages of beautiful celebrities dressed in formal wear. As you scroll down you’ll realize something slowly, though.

The section features almost exclusively white women and it’s not the only one. Most of the sections that are for posting pictures of beautiful are just like this. And it’s not for lack of trying. When a person of color is posted the comments tend to be racist and, often times, the post itself will receive down votes.

I’ve spoken before about how Reddit puts on this façade to make itself sound like this progressive thinking place for educated sixteen to forty year olds. In reality, Reddit seems to attract people who often hold sexist, racist or just fucked up opinions. These people aren’t a vocal minority as the voting system often shows. Thus, the need for the people of color versions of a lot of sections is explained. People didn’t want to see us there, even though many people find people of all races attractive, it’s frowned upon.

Probably one of the most baffling prejudices that Reddit seems to have a problem with is over weight people. Especially overweight women, if you post as a woman over a certain weight or with a different body type than what’s acceptable you’re going to get talked about. A lot of the comments on weight in many areas aren’t regulated the way someone calling someone a faggot or nigger would be. You’ll find people calling woman disgusting, cows, fat cunts and all manner of other things simply because they bother to show themselves on the internet.

And because of Reddit’s libertarian free speech bullshit (which essentially boils down to one of the main problems with Reddit, hiding behind the idea of free speech when there clearly is a problem with what’s being said, even when the thing being said might be illegal, like posting nudes of a minor) people seem to take the opportunity to blast over weight people. This isn’t just something that happens in certain areas, it happens in a lot of the larger parts of the site. It’s to the point that the only good thing an overweight person can say, even someone slightly overweight, is that they’re working on losing it. That might not even be enough to save them.

Not going to say that I am not going to use the site. The site is very useful, but I believe that the site should be looked at for what it is. This idea that it’s the most relevant place to go to for all things is kind of a sham. A certain kind of person goes to Reddit and uses the popular part of the site (there are many parts that hardly see the light of day) and those kind of people have created a little community of sorts to support their ideals and world views. Reddit has given them the means to support this system via the upvote and comments.

People need to be aware that the way “Reddit” feels only represents that, the way Reddit feels. There are a lot of other opinions out there and some just off the beaten path inside of Reddit itself. It’s important you look for them.

Reddit Update

January 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

A smallish update. Not even worthy of being called a rant. Not really long enough to register as anything other than a statement.

While I like to browse Reddit for the funny and often times strange things I learn, the more time I spend on the site the more depressing I find the way its user base seems to homogenized to one set of ideas. You can basically go anywhere and find examples of them blasting fat people for being disgusting and irresponsible and all of these other things. I’ve seen countless discussions about black culture carried out in disrespectful ways (blacks are ugly, black people with strange names deserve not to get jobs because their parents dared to name them that, a topless black woman is somehow “National Geographic” where as a topless woman who is white is fine), and there are a load of other opinions which seem to be all too prevalent on a site that claims to be so open minded and all about higher thought.

I don’t think that the solution is to leave the site, but it is important not to drink the Kool-Aid. On most of the examples I’ve given that’s easy, but there’s a lot of hivemind bullshit on the site and it’s best not to buy into any of it.

Can We Finally Go Ahead and Admit That the Oscars Are the Award Show Equivalent of a Circle Jerk

January 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

Thesis statement in title.

With this year’s list of nominations it seems like everyone is talking about the snubs. I don’t mean Selma, by all accounts the movie was mediocre at best and only got what it did because of the subject matter. What I’m talking about is Gone Girl  and the Lego Movie. When the latter came out it was all I heard about and all I heard was praise. People even liked the people who they hadn’t wanted to see in the movie.

In the case of Gone Girl the face that it doesn’t even appear on the list for best adaptation should tell us something. I think the main problem with the Oscars is the things they like and the things they seem to think are important. It shouldn’t matter if you like Clint Eastwood. It shouldn’t matter if someone said something off color in the press. It shouldn’t matter if some other, unrelated element of the movie was unlikable if the category its being judged for is on point.

There’s a lot of politics in award shows and this seems to be the mother-load of them all when it comes to letting that get in the way of wins. I’ve never been big on Oscars, but I’m not going to watch this shit now.

No Right Answer

January 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

Politics at this point seems to be little more than an attempt to score points in a war, rather than a means to achieving actual goals. Criticism was aimed at the American President for not going overseas to what was basically a photo op in France. Never mind that we’ve stood by the French in basically every major war that they’ve needed us in for recent history or that we’re going to stand by them now. This is somehow our fault. The fact that terrorists attacked one of the world’s oldest cities and that we weren’t there to take pictures in the aftermath.

The thing that really bothers me about all of this is that if the President had gone one of two things would have happened—this would have been treated as a non-issue or something not worth his time or it would have erupted into a debate about how the President postures himself and shows up to take photos and look popular. We’ve been with this guy for seven years and it’s like he can’t win.

Gas prices are down, unemployment’s down, the world looks at us a lot better than they did when we were starting wars in any country where we saw too many guys with facial hair and turbans and yet some of the stuff that has happened on Obama’s watch has damaged the country. The release of the terror report, despite the fact that it needed to be done, didn’t make us look any better. The Snowden stuff a few years ago was similar, although the Snowden thing, I still maintain, can’t be blamed on the White House and shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. It crippled out intelligence agencies and the trust that we place in them, but now we’re looking at corpses in France, a dead police officer who was doing their job bravely and more criticism being leveled at the fall out from the Iraq War that has become the Arab Spring.

I don’t hate France. I don’t think they’re not our ally or that we don’t need to stand by them, I just think there’s more important things to worry about than photo ops and I think that if he had gone, people who are so critical of him now would have agreed with me. Twenty-four hour news channels have got a knack for inventing crisis. They’ve made it their work to turn everything into a scandal. The IRS thing a few years ago where despite all the whining by GOP related entities, more Democratic ones were flagged. The whole Benghazi thing, which anyone with half of a brain knew was nothing. The handling of Super Storm Sandy, which was a storm—we don’t have a weather machine.

I’m ranting now when I should be wrapping this up, but we’ve only got a year of this president left really and when that’s over I don’t know what’s going to happen to the next President. Maybe this is how we end where we just fall into an endless cycle of our leaders being unable to make changes or be respected—or maybe we end up in a position to realize that we can’t do that and we pick up after this and somewhere down the line in ten or twenty years there’s a reform of thought and education so that people understand what’s actually happening around them and don’t just bounce from crisis to crisis.

I doubt it though.

Ideas on Page

January 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

Writing is a frightening thing. An overrated thing that your friends and family will not understand takes a lot more hard work than they think. To be the next Faulkner, or Rowling or C. S. Lewis you’re going to need more than just a bottle of liquor and an idea. Most of the would be writers are failing out there because of the simple fact that they never put ideas on the page.

No one will ever read the story you don’t write.

Part of my time is spent doubting myself and my ability. I know I’m decent, but decent doesn’t get you far in most other things. Decent shouldn’t ever be enough.

These last few weeks have been getting back into that routine and doing something with these ideas that I was keeping to myself. This isn’t to sound pompous, but I know there’s a collection of snippets in there that would create the story that people want to read. I know this because somewhere in there is a story that I would want to read and no matter what anyone tells us, we’re not all that unique.

So I made a promise to put ideas on the page, because the ideas you don’t will never make it out.

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