Monday, August 31, 2015

Nerd World

Youtube has brought about a fascinating portal into a world that previously you either understood intuitively because you were a prt of it, or you didn't understand at all.

But now the observer can observe without fundamentally changing the environment. That world is nerd world. You can gaze on it via youtube clips called 'let's play'.

I didn't really stumble on nerd world by accident. Rather resentfully. What I as an artist was looking for was the mind numbing hours of entertainment videogames provide without needing my hands that were occupied with drawing.

The annoying thing was that these lengthy youtube playlists arent just screen capture recordings of people silently playing video games, but often come with the commentary of the nerds playing these games.

At first I felt like offering the advice I heard was often offered to non-comedian talk show guests, 'don't try to be funny'. I've written before that for me the defining character trait of nerds is a lack of imagination. Hence the draw to high fantasy epics and computer games and movies with lots of explosions and plot twists, because to the unimaginative a little entertainment goes a long way.

But I strongly suspect that an being easily surprised makes for a geat comedy crowd and really shitty comedians. (Scarily alt-comedy rooms may subsequently be able to feed off theselves)

So at first I was in pain but at a loss for reliably long sources of quality entertainment.

Eventually though, I began to appreciate being able to see the world through the prism of a nerd.

I'm sure many nerds have for example heard about Donald Trump's run for the gop ticket or the mike brown ferguson riots and other topical news stories. They may even have strong opinions about matters of social justice. But in nerd world, the decisions of blizzard game designers are actually important to their lives. The inclusion of characters in the street fighter 5 roster are worthy of debate.

Which isn't to say matters like these are important. They are in fact quite sad, and sadly unlikely to be improved by actual fans, just like fan fiction's greatest contribution to the world is 50 shades of grey.

But we are most judgemental of others when they remind us of ourselves, and it is what nerds can teach us about ourselves that makes the study of this human extreme worthwhile.

The ability to get emotionally invested in the completely trivial at the expense of a real and fascinating world around us is common to us all but exemplified by nerds.

I'm afraid though if you are having belly laughs to the commentary in-jokes of a lets play video there's probably no helping you.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The days that are hard

When you are in the zone, your muse is singing, you are experiencing the neurological state of flow, being an artist is easy.

The days that are hard are when you aren't. The work is sluggish and feels like actual work. And that's when you can just put your pen away as a hobbyist until you feel it again. But I think when you want the job you have to enjoy these hard days too. Work through them to set you up for more flow. Like running through your wall in a marathon.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Marry Well

A few hours ago I recieved a text from my motherto inform me she's coming home for her uncle's funeral. I expressed my condolences for this great uncle I'm not sure I met and then I recieved this backstory about her paternal grandmother's family not liking my own grandma.

My maternal grandparents were a mismatch. An unhappy marriage common in that day and age where divorces were unfortunately uncommon and furthermore came with dire economic consequences for mothers.

And yet to some extent I, two generations down, am paying for the mismatch.

I don't want to sound like one of those 'we gotta get the population down' dipshits whom are the grown up uneducated version of smarmy private school dipshits that argue the merits of totalitarianism, both of which have to be argued from the perspective of the least favored in the solution.

But I do wish we just removed the pressure to find a mate and have children in general. Not that I have problems with breeders, but that I have problems with settlers.

Looking about at your friends that tend to care about this shit, what do you observe? Broadly speaking people who do relationships tend to date 3-5 serious partners before marrying the last one.

In the breakups people do ask a lot of questions of the world and themselves, but do they carry this over to the hookups?

How common is it for a person to actively ask 'how is he similar to the last guy I dated?'

I'd say not common at all. Generally Tristan can be very similar to Trent, the crucial difference is that Tristan has a clean slate, he may have a history of cheating but he hasn't cheated on you (yet).

It's also not uncommon for the next partner to actually be the last partner. Is it more common, do you feel, for somebody to ask 'has Trent changed?' Or to say 'Trent has changed.'

And for that matter have you changed?

I pride myself on learning from past experience, though I'm not sure I am lsuccessful. But one thing I wont do for example, is date somebody because I can. This isn't to say I pursue unobtainable partners per se (though the result is largely the same) but that I won't ever again enter a relationship because someone is perfectly nice and into me and I do get lonely. That's not enough.

I've even learned from non-starter relationships what is now an article of faith for me - "wishing somebody would change is at the expense of the person who actually is that someone else." And that cuts both ways, I won't date somebody that gives me the impression they need me to be somebody else.

These though are lessons specific to my experience.

I watched the Big Bird documentary earlier today. I was touched many times over but he was a guy that had been married to both the wrong and right woman. Particularly touching was when he described crying inside the big bird costume as he was going through his divorce.

His children are rare exceptions, born into an unhappy marriage they were raised in a happy one and loved their stepmother.

I remember reading in 'How to Love' about histrionic personality disorder how histrionic make 'poor child rearers' and I think thats a good hueristic as to whether you're settling for a particulalry poor partner. Based on how they treat you and what you know of them, would you really put your child in their arms? Or are you hoping that parenthood will change them?

Maybe not. Earnestly, I don't know if people with low self-esteem for example, would be capable of having the double standard for their children. I don't know.