Thursday, 15 December 2016
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I change. I change a lot. Circumstances break and remake me, interests and knowledge flows into me, displacing prior occupations to the back of my mind but nothing is ever truly forgotten. I do believe that capitalism is almost certainly beyond saving, that is cannot be again successfully reregulated to the point of being preserved. I do believe that a post scarcity society is inevitable, that a pseudo-socialist society is the best move for society until post-scarcity technologies are refined enough. But I am still a greedy bastard at heart.
I like earning money and I like working. Zarquon help me I actually genuinely like putting the effort in. I hate it about myself because I am well aware of how shit I am but I am competitive. I like being a hard worker. I don’t want to live on social security payments or even a UBI. I want to graft. I want to save. I want to sacrifice.
The Alt-Right has a concept they are obsessed with. The proverbial Red Pill. The idea that a moron like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix can choose to be enlightened and radicalised by knowledge forbidden by the system of normality. Only Neo-Nazis can look at a concept that appeals to conspiracy theorists and the lowest of misogynists and think “That will be our swaggering cry of impending victory.” They have been haunting me with that phrase for months but they’re wrong. I’m not close to being redpilled, I’ve been blue pilled.
I grew up obeying orders, dressing smartly, never lying, working hard and saving my money to buy tat from the Games Workshop. If I was born in the 80s I would have worshipped Thatcher. I bloody devised a plan to scrap taxes in favour of a shop then tried to become an entrepreneur. I am a cold hearted, sadistic, cruel, vengeful, greedy, jealous, lazy shit at heart. But there are surprisingly few stories about selfish pricks abusing power to become successful where the selfish pricks are painted as the good guys and allowed to win. So I got bluepilled by rationality, facts and a desire not to get my head kicked in.
I am heartbroken right now and I don’t mind saying that right now if I had a gun I would probably be dead. I did everything right. I went to the interview my Universal Credit advisor told me to. I said the truth at the interview, it went well enough that despite being told no I was asked back for a job. I turned up early, despite a wretched cold, an infamously crap sleeping pattern, and the fact the bosses weren’t in till the afternoon anyway. UI did everything right and I still lost the job because my boss was somehow able to hear the words I said say on multiple occasions that everything would be fine even if my fears were true and then be completely blindsided and unable to keep me on when after 4 days of work my fears were born out.
I had purpose. I had a reason to get up in the morning, I had a daily commute involving time without distractions and a fair walk by a pub and good shops. I had an office to myself a lot of the time and a job that I could do, provided interesting challenges and was relaxed enough I could have bad days. On my honour, morality and everything I hold dear, the Farsh-nuke could turn up on my doorstep with every woman I’ve ever written about, the keys to my own tardis and a high end gaming pc and I would still rather I had that shitty little minimum wage job.
I’m not meant to be a writer, I’m not meant to be some grand lothario or youtube superstar, I am destined to be sat at a desk working hard on things that don’t personally matter to me in a 9-5 job with a commute that takes me 30 minutes my strain and 30 minutes by foot. I don’t want holidays and sight seeing, don’t want orgies and dinner parties, I don’t even really want a convention panel on the philosophy of Doctor Who or the military effectiveness of the different game4 of thrones armies. I want to work. To be employed. To earn. To see the ebb and flow of money coming in and out of my bank account.
There is one thing that this pointless diversion of a job debacle has really given me and that is closure on the Asda situation. Because this is what I’m meant to be doing, sat at a desk on minimum wage, helping make somebody else’s dreams or success come true while I quietly support and improve myself. This one wasn’t my fault. I did everything right and I still lost and that hurts like hell but I know I will come out the stronger for it.
Sunday, 11 December 2016
Alexander Gordon Jahans
In about 8 hours I begin my first proper job, and I feel fine. Nervous sure, comes with the territory, but I feel fine. I am reminded of how in World War Z the impending victory is when people would lose it. Like an elastic band round tighter and tighter until the slightest easing of the pressure causes it to snap. I have been expecting that madness, to be sent giddy or panicky with the prospect of a return to normality. Yet I feel fine.
Make no mistake I know that if this goes well not only does my short and medium term life look much better with the extra injection of cash but my whole life could change for the better. This is my first day of work and the last time I had a first day of work it broke me, utterly snapped me like a twig because I just couldn’t hack it. I am aware of the stakes but I feel fine.
Do you want to know why I feel so fine about this job? Because everything about this is screaming my name. I got the porter’s job because I did everything you’re supposed to do, I got this job because I did everything you’re not supposed to do. This was a job I applied to by chance because Universal Credit fucked up and told me to apply for a government programme I wasn’t eligible for but the interview went so well they decided to take me on anyway. My train was late, my heels were bleeding, I gave a lecture on the hell of youtube as a living and I didn’t send confirmation that I was going to hand in my application form until the minute before I left to do so, leaving me waiting in an empty office for hours. This was a clusterfuck of chance and regret and it paid off. That’s the way I do it.
Do you know why that porter’s job so destroyed me? Why there was no way in hell it was ever not going to destroy me? Because I had no back up plan, because I expected not to fail, because I was deliberately low-balling my work possibilities for an easy life. At University I learned to be confident in myself but only in a hollow fragile sense. I was faking it until I made it because the slow burning mind bomb of Kallman’s Syndrome had yet to be resolved and I was in deep denial. Everything will be fine because I am awesome. Just don’t question it. Then it wasn’t fine.
Do you know why this job won’t destroy me? Because I’m playing to my actual strengths, not society’s fucked up assumptions of my strengths. And because I know exactly what happens if it does go tits up. I sign back on to Universal Credit and put more time into my volunteering, which by the way, it also going awesomely.
I have prepared for this day, mentally, physically and emotionally. Yeah, it’s going to be boring for a while and then it’s going to get manic but this is what I am good at and there is going to be a nice lead in period. I can do this. Not in an laddish bragging sense but in a quiet calm understanding of the task at hand and my ability to meet it sense.
And finally, do you want to know why Weresylph Dawning is at 70,000 words and still not finished? Because I get nothing from finishing a story and I know how to waffle. My brain is fast and it will just keep chugging away at a task, I need problems the way a racing engine needs explosions. This is why the feminists haunted me so much, why the trolls infuriated me at all and why my fiction kept growing in length. Because my mind needed problems and I needed a purpose. On my honour I haven’t seriously written anything since I took up Universal Credit and I probably won’t seriously write anything once I start this job. Writing was a crutch to give my life meaning and I don’t need it any more.
I remember there was a time when I considered television my life, that I would pass exam after exam, suffer beating after beating and always television was there for me. Then I went to university and there was no aerial connection and I became choosier. I started watching letsplays instead but letsplays so often are just comedy and they lack the necessary drama to be really engaging and meaningful. With things like Netflix and Amazon Prime video television is alive to me again courtesy of choice and bingeing.
Writing will always be a part of me, the Farsh-nuke will always be a part of me but I don’t need to write anymore so I don’t think I will, I have work to do and television to watch. And all you sad pricks creaming your pants off at the notion that I watch a children’s show when Doctor Who was designed as a family show aimed at adults and children alike can now sod off as I am watching shows that are very much aimed at adults. Shows like Game of Thrones, Hannibal, House Of Cards, the Thick of It and The West Wing.
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Accepting The Shadow
Alexander Gordon Jahans
The Farsh-nuke as originally created is a relic of a me that has long since ceased to exist. What started out as a wish fulfilment hero with knowledge and power became a twisted shadow, an anti-hero driven by lust and rage, formed by an ego that had, after cresting, crashed inwards upon itself. The power fantasy became the monster because I no longer saw myself as the noble moral survivor but the lonely disgusting freak.
As I went to university and pumped myself up as a grand auteur the Farsh-nuke developed as his own thing, formed by experiences in stories that have not yet come to light. I tried to kill the Farsh-nuke more than once during this time, abandon it as a misogynistic monster. But this was a time when I was myself an anti-feminist. Ironic really. Most people experiment with liberalism and communism at university and here was I experimenting with bigotry while pretending I should abandon a misogynistic character because I wasn’t like that.
You can’t kill your shadow, no matter how hard you try, the shadow is part of you, it lives within you, feeds off your hypocrisy and negativity. And I was such a hypocrite. By the time Trump rolled around though I had lost most of my hypocrisy. There were no more dark corners left for the shadow to grow. Perhaps this is why the alt-right’s fake story hasn’t really troubled me, I know exactly how much of a cunt I am and I have made peace with that.
The Farsh-nuke in The Return then was back to being a hero, back to being a power fantasy, but sticking to the shadows. I had gone full circle, I didn’t need my shadow to represent the darkness in myself any more, I knew who I was, what I stood for and that I did not need to be ashamed of my shadow. But still he worked in the shadows. Still he wasn’t quite the truth. The Farsh-nuke may have been back to being hero but I wasn’t and I’m not sure I ever will be.
When Trump was elected my creativity was shattered, my world was shattered, my hope shattered. The prospect of Trump, the threat he posed, was to be the wake up call I wanted the political establishments of the world to receive. I never expected Trump to win. I never wanted him to win. I called his victory to galvanise opposition to him. I muddied the waters to throw shade on the establishment candidate. This was supposed to scare the cocky into paying attention, to make the privileged uncomfortable. Hence The New Cold War Arc. Raspberry was to be the arch villain slowly working on the tension raised by Trump long after he had become insignificant. The new heroic Farsh-nuke would be playing chess against Raspberry from the shadows because that was how I saw the task of reforming American politics would be.
Except Trump won and that called for a new me and a new Farsh-nuke. When the Alt-Right pulled off that trick shot with the fiction right around the time I was openly speaking out against Trump and his supporters it made clear to me that I am not just some outsider Anglo pundit whose opinions are at best ripples in a millpond. By making such a personal attack, an attack against someone I care about, against their very identity, to attack my morality, and with my chosen medium of power, so close to Trump’s victory, the Alt-Right declared war on me. They bought me into their conflict. This isn’t about empathy or morality any more, this isn’t about the suffering of others. This is personal. They pricked the side of a mighty beast and entirely to run.
A new Farsh-nuke was called for, a new shadow was needed once again. A cold war can be fought peacefully, can be fought heroically, but with Trump in the White House there could be no mere cold war any longer. A war is coming. A civil war in America and a world war against it and possibly Russia. War is not a time in which heroes can exist and that meant finally I could make peace with my shadow. Not by destroying it, nor by pretending I can reform it but by accepting my shadow for all its faults and acknowledging its worth.
William Dickson Wright, the first Farsh-nuke who was supposed to be a monster, orchestrated a global coup because he felt the ends justified the means, because his madness was to see threat where there was none. The new Farsh-nuke is also called William Dickson Wright and he is also going to orchestrate a coup because he feels the ends justifies the means, the difference is this time he’s right. Donald Trump can be impeached, might not even be voted into office by the electoral college votes assigned for him since the majority of votes lie with Clinton, even if he does remain in power he might not do so much damage before being voted out. But because I created Raspberry to be a much more competent and intelligent foe the new Farsh-nuke will have no choice but to wage war against him.
Saturday, 3 December 2016
Looking Back On The Fall
The Best Doctor Who Christmass Special ever (By which I mean the only good Doctor Who Christmass special because it has flying sharks that can be tamed to give sleigh rides by singing.) has a line that christmass is this great big festival that we hold every year as if to say to each other “Well done everyone, we’re halfway out of the dark!” well it’s the third of December as I write this and the shops have been selling mince pies since August, I think it’s Christmass time now and I would say that I am halfway out of the dark.
Alexander Gordon Jahans
You see I caught up with a dear friend who has been struggling with depression and self loathing for sometime now and I happened to mention that I was over mine. My friend asked how, when does it end?
When you’re depressed all that matters is survival, just getting through another day without ending it, at least that’s how it was for me but there comes a point when the problems that caused the depression are solved or in the course of being solved. At least if you are lucky enough to be in a position to do something about it. When the problem, the catalyst, is removed then the healing can begin.
I don’t do routines and I don’t do sleeping patterns or schedules. I just do what needs to be done. Which makes things difficult when nothing needs to be done or something needs to be done at a time when you can’t at the moment easily do it. This means I’m good when stuff needs to be done regularly but not so otherwise. So I end up creating things which “need to be done” to justify my existence to myself but which can be done at any time or shelved indefinitely on a whim.
I have thus created 3 separate meanings to describe my life and things in it. Safety, Different and Comfortable.
Safety is where I can be a mess, where no matter how bad I feel I know that I can recover. I have low growth hormone disorder which means if I don’t take pills I could get so tired I die and mild Asperger’s Syndrome, which means I can understand and perform in social situations but it takes energy, energy I don’t have much of. I take my pills to not die and I drink diet coke to function in public but there usually comes a point, particularly if I decide to walk home when the energy runs out and the mask slips. This is a time when I am drained and all I want is safety. Sometimes, to pick purely random and hypothetical examples, my feet might also be bleeding and I may be in dire need of a shit. My safety, my safe space, is not some mere salvation from mean words but rather a place I can feel safe tending to my problems. If I am hurt, if I am tired, angry or shit my pants. Safety is where I know I don’t have to worry, a beacon of hope and warmth to head for.
Different is different. Everything I do takes effort, a little mental will power, even things it occasionally takes more effort not to do like sleeping eating or masturbating but different is a anything so unusual It creates ripples before and after, screwing with my sleeping pattern in advance from, the stress of it and wrecking it afterwards from the effect of it. Different is a clusterfuck even if it’s a terrific success that goes off without a hitch. Different is not just a nerdy “They changed it, now it sucks” but rather a lovecraftian eldritch terror you know is ggoing to come that you can’t do anything about and you just hope to ride out half sane.
Comfort is my normal. Comfort is anything that is engaging, challenging but enjoyable, dependable and infinitely delayable. Comfort can only be comfort if it can be dropped at any moment because otherwise it’s a burden. This may be why skyrim, minecraft and now civ 5 are games I play consistently despite bitching about them and wanting to quit them and also why the surest sign that I will abandon a writing project is enthusiastically promising it, comfort isn’t comfort if you have to do it and there are standards to meet. Comfort has to be done purely for the sake of it but also because doing it for the sake of it brings meaning to me. Bollocks to the viewer, the reader or the listener, if I’m not enjoying it at that moment I’m just not going to bother. I only have so much energy why would I waste it on things I don’t enjoy doing. Something I hate for how cold it is but I know regrettably I can’t change because of how terribly finite my will is.
Of course then there is the fourth. Work. Work is not comfortable, nor safe nor different. Work is something that needs to be done, that I know I can do, that I will do, regardless of what it does to me but that won’t ever be what I choose to do for fun yet I know I would go mad without.
I got over my depression by repetition of these things. Safety isn’t safety until you’re coming back to it from somewhere different. Work isn’t work unless you’ve got comfort and different. Repetition gives you confidence in safety, confidence in safety lets you do more different things and different things are usually the most productive long terms. Confidence in safety and you’re ability to handle different lets you have the confidence to work. And once you have a routine of working and doing different things in the confidence of safety and comfort when you get home then the big long term problems can start to be addressed.
The problem with being a writer and a fan of writing is that I get used to narrative resolutions, to the plot devices, chekov’s guns and deus ex machinas. This is why I’m so on edge right now. The rule of three says that after Brexit and Trump the shit must hit the fan again some other way. But life is not The Lord Of The Rings, Word War Z, A Game Of Thrones, Blackadder or Skyrim. Instead it’s all 5 at once. We don’t have a series of conveniently timed emblematic cinematic battles, there is no denouement, no one ring to rule them all, no taking back of the world from the shambling hordes of the undead, no witty jokes and sure as shit no dragons. What there is however is the end of one era as the establishment burns itself up to defeat the evil that now threatens global security while the environment quietly withers in the background, threatening to render all efforts for good or ill moot.
My friend who asked me that question earlier refuses to watch things he likes when he feels like shit lest he taint the awesome with the memory of feeling shit but for me I have learned that it is not about the individual things but the tapestry they weave in your head. Doctor Who doesn’t matter, Blackadder doesn’t matter, World War Z doesn’t matter, Game Of Thrones doesn’t matter, The Thick Of It doesn’t Matter, Hannibal doesn’t matter, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History doesn’t matter and Skyrim sure as shit doesn’t matter. Yet they all matter combined. It matters not what I am obsessed with today but it matters a lot how I am changed by it tomorrow, how I become a different person with exposure to new ideas.
Fair and Great people across the grand spectrums of time and the multiverse, I believe there is now a distinct probability that within the next 8 years there will be a civil war in America and a world war against America and Russia. I may be wrong and I really really fucking hope I am but I the reason I mention this is that for some time now I have wondered what my point was, what my purpose was. I mean look at me? Fat, autistic, kallman’s syndrome, gynaecomastia, low growth hormone and I’ve got cataracts growing in my eyes requiring me to wear glasses. How can someone as low and morally hypocritical as me exist? Because a war is coming. A great big bad war and humanity needs every single chance it has, even the bad chances, sometimes even a critfail is better than no roll at all. And if after 8 years I’m not dead and neither is half the world then I guess I won’t be so glum anyway, 8 more years of VR development, gonna be a hell of a thing to see.