Tag Archives: Fiction

Review of 2017’s “It”

Saw the movie “It” yesterday. I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as the first miniseries, so I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed. It was a CGI shitfest. Hollywood keeps churning them out because people keep buying the tickets. I guess most people enjoy the ugly patchwork of CGI “action” (or, at the very least, are willing enough to put up with it to buy a ticket for a story that they want to see). But the way CGI is used today produces within me a mental fatigue.

CGI can be a good compliment, but it was heavily overdone. I’ve heard this a lot from people who are more avid movie watchers than I. I’ve heard, for several years, the complaint that “There’s too much CGI in movies nowadays.” I understand their complaints. If you can’t make it look right practically, then use CGI. But at least make an effort. Yeah, I know it’s cheaper to use CGI. And that’s the problem. It’s cheaper and easier, so we get shittier products (as far as I’m concerned). Once again, I don’t watch a lot of movies. But I’m disappointed that CGI has become a crutch that is broken itself. One reason that I don’t watch a lot of movies is I find the CGI in the movies that I do watch too mentally fatiguing. My suspension of disbelief disappears so often when I see obvious CGI mixed in with “real life”. It can be done right, such as with creating aliens. (Whatever CGI in “The Dark Knight” is perfect). But so much CGI in movies that I’ve seen is just ugly. I’d have to give some examples of what I’m talking about at another time.

The “action” sequences in “It” involving CGI were very bad. Maybe it was just bad CGI. Maybe it could’ve been replaced with CGI that was actually GOOD. But I hated it. I’ve become numb to CGI, and I don’t enjoy movies that heavily rely on it. For the most part.

I was also disappointed with Pennywise. His look was fine. It’s hard not to compare him to Tim Curry’s Pennywise. Nothing can top that masterful performance. But my main problem with the clown was how he was used. There were way too many shitty jumpscares, in my opinion. He just rushes at the camera, from side-to-side. Such shit. Jumpscares are like CGI: I’m not completely against them, but don’t make the whole movie jumpscares. The original “It” was so creepy. It was very slow. There was a fantastic build-up. And Tim Curry could scare the shit out of you when he snapped: talking normally, and then the last word of a sentence, he sharply YELLS. Amazing. This movie did not have that creepy mood to it to me. It was a little too over-the-top. Too obvious. Georgie’s “You’ll float too, you’ll float too, YOU’LL FLOAT TOO!” pained me to watch. Some people in the audience seemed to enjoy it, but I hated it. It wasn’t creepy. It was just annoying. Like a shitty horror video game. That’s what it felt like: that they tried too hard, and made it too obvious. Not enough suspense to warrant the excessive loud noises and jumps at the camera. They basically substituted Pennywise’s personality for jumpscares. That really hurts. The personality Pennywise did have wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t feel enough of why we should be scared of him. Obvious CGI isn’t a reason.

I did enjoy some of the non-Pennywise CGI, however. The zombie or mummy, whatever it was, without a nose was nice and creepy. The painting that came to life was very creepy (it should’ve had more screen time somehow).

I didn’t like the teeth of Pennywise, for some reason. Yeah, there were rows and rows of sharp teeth, like there should’ve been. But I didn’t like the look of it. That’s the time you should use a jumpscare: when he BITES. But they instead decided to keep everything well-lit, and then, his mouthful of teeth come out so you can see them all. It wasn’t scary enough. It was more like “Oh, look at those teeth.”

One of the very first scenes, Georgie running into that caution barricade, completely took me out of the mood (when I saw that in the trailer, I was hoping to God that it was only in the trailer). It was nice and eerie up to that point. And that one moment of slapstick took me out of the mood. “Is it going to be a slapstick comedy? Or creepy?” I was very disappointed with that decision. It occurred too early in the movie. They didn’t take enough time to develop the mood (the audience’s expectation, considering how popular the story is, isn’t enough of a “mood” setter). The mood of “It” shouldn’t be slapstick. It should be fucking CREEPY.

I thought most of the characters were well done. Bill as a kid is always a hard character to do. It’s hard for a kid to stutter right. I wasn’t a fan of Bill in the original, and I wasn’t a fan of him, here. Mike’s character was great. Bev’s was fantastic. Ben’s was very good. Stan was forgettable. And Eddie and Richie were both very good. Aside from that initial stupid barricade moment, Richie and Eddie were the “funny”. Richie, as a character, is supposed to be “comic relief”. And he was good at it. The other characters had a seriousness to them that didn’t try to overpower Richie’s humor with humor of their own, so his one-liners actually worked very well: especially for a kid his age. Eddie’s “unintentional” humor was also very good. The parents of the children were fantastic. You could really see why Eddie was as nervous as he was. Bev’s dad was very creepy, and the moment she cut off her hair after her father touched it was very powerful. I found Bill’s father to be forgettable. I didn’t really like his character. Mike’s grandfather was a good character: very no-nonsense, straightforward. Actually giving wisdom, and killing the animal in front of Mike because they needed to sell the meat. The bullies were great. Especially Henry Bowers. His performance was very good. Very believable. Much like with Bev and Eddie, you could really feel how Henry was raised. Not much time needed to be spent with Henry’s backstory at all, but you just knew how his home life was (I think that’s mainly due to King’s storytelling ability, but the movie portrayed that well). That one moment where Henry’s father, a cop, shoots three shots from his pistol into the ground right in front of his son to scare him told you all that you needed to know. Fantastic scene.

The scenes where the kids are around the clown are weird. I realize the actors are children, but they weren’t scared enough of the clown for my taste. Even when you’re fighting the clown, you need to be able to show some fear. How could you not? Fighting a clown in a sewer? Felt like just basic fight choreography.

The blood looked fake as hell when they were cleaning it from Bev’s bathroom.

The decision for them to be kids in the 80s was a good one. Keep it more relevant for the audience. A nice update. I personally wish they would’ve been a little more obvious with it. You could tell when the music played that it was supposed to take place in the 80s, but there wasn’t much else that I noticed that made it feel like the 80s. Granted, the mood shouldn’t be something like “Saved By the Bell” (it’s “It”, afterall), but just a little more would have satisfied me. Maybe one perm, or something. There was an ’80s car, and Henry had a mullet. But I wanted just a little more. Maybe some pink and teal somewhere.

The nicer horror scenes (the ones that weren’t shitty CGI) were funny, as good horror scenes should be.

The movie definitely felt like they were just trying to hurry up and release it “27 years” after the original. Like they didn’t even start planning the damn thing until 2 years ago: “Holy shit. We have to make a new ‘It’ movie for 2017! Fuck! What do we do?!” I found it very bland. Not the way a movie like “It” should be. A below-average-to-average horror film. Not worthy of being associated with Stephen King.

The most entertaining thing about the whole experience was my best friend’s navigational skills on the way to the movie theatre. His sense of direction doesn’t involve looking at road signs. VERY funny.

(Disclaimer: currently a little over halfway through with the book. Slow reader, so I can’t compare the movies to the book. I was heartbroken when I saw the tower of kids in the sewer, as I haven’t reached that part in the book yet.

Also, every time I start watching the original “It”, I get tired of it because the thing is so damned long. Pennywise is entertaining, and I remember seeing the spider CGI when I was a kid (because my dad called me in cause he knows I’m afraid of spiders. Honestly, I think I’d prefer that shit CGI over what was done here). But I’ll try to remember to review the book when I’m done with it in a few years, and I’ll eventually go back and try to watch the original “It” miniseries and write a review of it (haha) as well).

Review of the book.

Map Making as a Metaphor for Literature

We begin on another journey. Another day; another desire to write. Another piece unplanned, for the plans are too great. Where will this take us? The same place we’ve always been? Are we circling the block again? Has the navigator lost his sense of direction? A real vacation takes a lot of time and effort. A long distance. How about we just drive around the block again? Do we notice anything different? Or are we comforted by the repetition? There’s a folder full of maps. But who needs a map? Who needs a plan? The plans are too great. Let’s drive around town. Have I traveled down this road before? Or have I spent my whole life with the street in my peripheral, but never going down it? Have I lost my mind? Who wants to ride with me?

There already exist maps of the whole world. I can read whichever one of them I want. But what if I wish to be a mapmaker? I can’t copy other maps directly. But they are more accurate and thorough than my own. Why can’t I desire to be something else besides a goddamned mapmaker? I don’t even have a sense of direction. How trustworthy am I, anyway? I can’t sell maps. I barely read any. What makes me think I can do what has already been done, but better, and as a tabula rasa? I know the basics: north. South. East. West. But what about elevation? What about the roads? The rivers? The landmarks already discovered?; already pictographed on maps? Why not choose a different craft?

Let’s not go anywhere today. Let’s stay at home. Let the fat waste us away. Sure, it’s stupid. But traveling is work. And scary. The isolation: what if I get lost? Go down a wrong path? But what is my destination? That’s the greatest problem of them all. Wishing to make maps without a destination in mind. Or is that a blessing? What about reading maps of countries not yet traveled? What map should I read first? What aspects of the map should I study first as someone who desires to make maps? I can’t read all of the maps. But I desire to create my own direction. But this is fucking hard.

Let’s just go to the backyard today. There’s South Carolina. Tennessee. Virginia. Texas. California. Wyoming. Spain. Turkey. Russia. Alaska. Why oh why do I want to make maps…

I’ll tell you what: let’s make bad maps. Let’s just make rough sketches. For fun. Why not? Sure, everyone else will be reading the detailed maps. But they should. If I’m going to make maps, why not start off small? Amateurish? If I want to make maps for a long time, I’ll get better somehow, right? When, and how? I haven’t finished creating the map yet, so I’m not sure yet. But at least I’ve written about making maps, even if I haven’t made one. That’s a start.

Write.

Don’t Mess With My Head

Devin Stevens Presents Literature

In the post modern era of literature (1950’s and on), American writers wrote of classic struggles between tyranny and liberty, some from fears of Stalin’s Soviet Russia, others from the demoralization caused by America’s involvement in Vietnam. It was important, these writers thought, to show people just how horrifying government despotism could become. The British writer, George Orwell, had already spoken of the evils of totalitarianism, inspiring later writers to dwell on the horrors of politcal absolutism. Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, John D. MacDonald’s Nightmare in Pink, and Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan each deal with the fear that governments can use neuroscience as a means to control people’s minds. Once the mind was manipulated in a certian way, writers dreaded that the common people would be subjected to the ideals of ruling parties and think nothing of it, all due to brain manipulation. Only stored information in books could…

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Narrating my life as if I’m a separate character because I’m losing my mind.

“Deep down, he had the fear. That he really didn’t care. That he cared that he didn’t care. That it would all come crashing down upon him. That everyone was right. He was wasting his time. His dreams, delusional; his actions, unproductive. His time, running out. Fearful of being crippled with inevitability. That all he had stood for up to this point was a mere facade; a way to keep from ‘growing up’. What was it about that attitude that had repulsed him so before, but which seemed inevitable now? Was it foolishness? Or the fire he needed to keep himself going? Was he crazy? Or was he right? Why was it that he had thought himself talented before? Was it justified? Or merely a childlike escapism, the only way to keep his spirit from being crushed?

Why did he spend so much time on his spirit, anyway? What was so important about it? Didn’t real life matter? What kind of point was he trying to make? What did it really matter? Was his heart yearning for something more real? Or was he lying to himself, making excuses, to keep from reading the writing on the wall? When would he know that it had been written?; or, even, if it had been written at all?

Suddenly, the life he had loathed, and tried to avoid for so long, was here. It was alluring. It was easy, even if unfulfilling. But how easy was it if it was truly unfulfilling?

The 9 to 5, and the sixpack. It was staring him cold in the face. Would the alcohol be enough to dull the lamentation from regret? Would it be enough to drown out the sorrows of natural difficulties? Would he need to ‘grow up’, or remain in his childlike construct of imagination? Would his escape be the very thing that haunted him so, but that which he desired the most?: his drive for success, and his artistic visions, despite the natural obstacles and his own limitations which got in the way of his dreams? Would he ever be as good as he hoped? As rich as he hoped? Or would he be delegated to the unknown?; Or, merely, the notoriously bad and unsuccessful?

All he knew for sure was that when the fire burned, it BURNED, and he was grateful for that. He hoped that the fire would keep him warm enough from the cold of uncertainty, and alive enough from the suicide of lazy, fearful, and ignorant, yet innocent, dejection…”

Writing.

Sanity.

Fiction.

If I could write like this every fucking day, I’d be set. But turning my brain off (somewhat) for extended periods of time is the only thing that keeps me sane. I haven’t learned to keep up with it yet, nor learn how to use it.

I’m on the stoop of literature. Once that front door opens, there’s no going back. Navigation will become a non-stop way of life, with only a vague destination in mind. Wandering the halls forever, of imagination, both internal and external. There’s no going back. There’s no escaping the escapism, once you enter. You’re trapped. You are admitted into the mental institution of fiction. You will talk to yourself, and talk to the voices in your head. And they will talk to you. Readers will call it “fiction”, but the horror is all too real. You have lost your mind. You are creating worlds and problems, only adding to your level of stress. You truly HAVE lost your mind. “Come on in,” the writers say, cheerfully, if only to keep a happy face in front of the interviewing camera to keep the world spinning. “The world of literature is WIDE and wonderful.” I’ll be damned if it is. I’m fucking talking to myself in a piece of quasi-fiction, and I know that this is only the beginning. If I continue to go down this road, I will never be the same again. The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason, and I think it may be a good one. A life of talking to myself? What madness! All for what? A good story? A happy heart? Is it truly worth the insanity? Is it worth the isolation? Is it worth the poverty? The headache? Physical sickness?

Why oh why must I be this goddamned writer! Why must it feel so natural to me, and yet so GODDAMNED elusive? Why is it on, and then off again? Hot and cold. Luke warm. It flirts with me, I tell you. “You can do it, Cody.” “I think you’re lying to me.” “Nah. Go ahead.” “Well, ok. Holy fuck, you’ve left me to drown in my own sea of ideas with no life raft.” “Here.” “No, I don’t want your goddamned ideas.”

Clearly for the better, you’re left inside your own head with a jarbled mess of incoherence, and, inevitably, resentment. Occasionally, God throws you a life raft of “common sense.” But when you think it will rain daily, there’s a drought. The gap is filled with unsatisfying nonsensicals. But goddamned if you’re going into insane land. By God, what have you got if not your sanity? WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO WRITE WELL IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR GODDAMNED MIND IN THE PROCESS, BY GOD!!!

What is it that you fear? Clearly, it cries out for you. What is the problem? A heart of stone? Too much thinking? What is it that keeps you saneWhat will rid you of it? WHAT WILL COMMIT YOU TO THE LIFE OF THE WRITER?!?!?! Why do you fear that life so? Is it the ridicule? The possibility of failure? Opportunities foregone? The fear of making a mistake? What prevents you from writing? From reading? Life-changing commitments are always difficult decisions. I suppose the fact that they are difficult just means that you value your life. But then again, why can’t it be easy? Oh, how satisfying success would be, though. An independent decision leading to good things? My, how fulfilling of a life. What is wrong with that? Are you afraid you’ll change your mind later? Are you afraid you’ll invest time and effort into something you later regret? And then what? What will you fall back on? Is the more important question: what could you possibly care about more? Could it ever be more fulfilling than this? Once again, why, oh why, do you fear so? Clearly, it is the ball and chain you were cursed to carry in this life. We’ve all got our burdens to bear…

The seductive mistress taunts you with her golden jewelry. My, oh my, how beautiful that jewelry is. So elusive. So comforting. We all must live before we die, musn’t we? Is it a mirage? Or is it actually waiting for you, as you, truly, deep down, believe? Will you die from dehydration in the desert? Or live as a king? What is it that makes you believe the latter? And what is it that makes you ignore the former, if not for the latter, and also the love of the craft itself? Truly, there is nothing else. No other reason. It is your IDENTITY. It is YOU.

But the mistress is not within your grasp. She’s just out of reach. Or, perhaps, further back than that. But is your perspective the problem? Do you not see happiness as an ultimate ethical virtue? What is wrong with being a little maniacal if it helps?

Back to reality. The desperation. The dreaming; the difficult independence; the uncertainty; the roller-coaster; the self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-confidence. Fighting through the brush towards the enemy, only because you are crazy. This war is widely unavoidable. But is it? For others, maybe. But for YOU? Can you truly avoid this war? Why does it burn within you so? Why does it fuel your hunger for belonging in this world? Why does it consume you, night and day, when others are at peace? Are they at peace? Or are they in the back while you are on the front lines? Are they looking for someone to lead the charge, if only because they are desperate to fight, but feel unable to? Are you the leader they need? Or are you the local schizophrenic rambling about fictitious wars and delusions of grandeur? Will you ever know which one FOR SURE?! AND WHEN, FOR GOD’S SAKE?!

…It yearns; lingers; burns. In the cave, it burns. Once the oil is added, it burns uncontrollably, and no one wants to deal with an ignited madman.

Isn’t that what you want, though? To be left alone? More than anything else, don’t you just wish to be left……ALONE?……

You aren’t truly alone. Many men have wandered the very sands, the very cement, that you desire to tread upon. They have looked for the same treasures, with success and failure. They have gotten lost in the cave, and they have never returned.

And maybe they aren’t saying it’s a good thing simply for the camera…………

Stoop kid is afraid to leave his stoop, but, with small steps, he will embark upon the sand, the cement, the halls, and deep down, he hopes there’s no way out. He hopes he becomes lost in this world. He hopes it becomes all he has, if only to feel like he has something that he actually wants…………

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing.

Getting Sucked Into the World of Writing

It’s time for me to take writing more seriously. I hate writing, because of the headache it gives me. How to begin a piece, elaborate on it, make it coherent, make the language better, more efficient, easier to read, and end it on a witty, snazzy note. The mere sight of a word processor makes me want to close it out. But yet, I still write. In some ways, I feel like my nature opposes writing. And truly, it does. I think a large part of this is my desire to be carefree, and relax (I can probably thank my father’s genes for that desire (it ain’t a bad desire to have, I might add)).

I can’t do that if I’m going to write.

I think this is why I have been avoiding this dreaded day for so long. I have started to become tired of my writing for various reasons, and I don’t think I’ve known how to fix the problems that I have with it. Perhaps (cringe), it is that I need to study literature more. Read more. I can hear my best friend when I hear my own internal voice. I really do need to read more to know what the fuck I’m doing when I decide to write. As much as I want to vomit at the thought of becoming an “avid reader” (because patience is not one of my strong suits, nor is feeling like I’m not productive (I don’t feel productive when I read fiction, although, for example, I am being productive when I read if reading helps me become a better writer)), reading is a great way to become a better writer. If I read people who are better writers than me (as if), I will become a better writer (impossible: I’m already the best). I know that, as a writer, there comes a point when I become tired of my writing. Or, rather, that there comes a point in time when I need to do something about the fact that I’m tired of my writing, as I’ve been sick of my writing for quite some time.

The problem is that there were (and probably still are) things I needed to say before I could get to the current point that I am now. Even though this sounds crazy to me, I feel like all of my writing is related in some way. Indeed, it may be as simple as this fact that I have overlooked until now: that it all comes from me.

But I have not been ready to commit to writing. Although it makes me cringe to write this, perhaps it was because I had nothing to say. There’s clearly a combination of factors that have prevented me from “getting sucked into the world of writing.” I feel like I have written about these a million times before. Part of the problem is that I’ve been focused too much on marketing instead of writing; caring more about the views than the pieces themselves. Now, that isn’t entirely true, because I don’t write simply for the numbers. But the numbers discourage me from writing.

I’m a typical victim of words just not coming out right from my head. Communication is a huge problem for me. I don’t care to practice it very often, for I’m content with being by myself (or I “talk to myself” in the form of creating things for my own enjoyment). From a creative standpoint, I only talk “to” other people as a seller. “These are the jokes I have”, “The insights I believe I have”, etc. I don’t particularly care for “back-and-forth”, getting to know readers and other writers, etc. And I personally think that because I don’t enjoy communicating, I’m not as good at it as I desire to be. Writing is the best way for me to practice getting better at communication. Why would I desire to communicate if I hate it, you may ask? I may have written this before, but writing is a desire that overwhelms me at times. Even the introvert has things to say after he stews on things a bit longer than most. But I don’t write as often as I feel like I want to deep down. And I believe that it is a fear of commitment to “getting sucked into the world of writing” (that was a joke. You see, the quotation marks exist because that’s the title of this piece- ok you got it).

Writing fiction makes me want to vomit. The initial process is the fun part: the “first draft” (I’m not quite sure how to label my writing, so I’ll go along with common vernacular that I’ve heard (or read) authors use). I’m very eager to share my works, even if my works aren’t very good (lol). Probably because I’m eager to get that “million dollar deal” that isn’t on the table. Probably a good deal to do with it. But I need that motivation to keep me going.

I suppose that I’m merely developing as a writer (something that I truly didn’t think was possible, oh, 4 ½ years ago now). My best friend, a fellow writer, always talked (and still does) about improving as a writer. When I heard that, I thought “How can I improve? I know I’m not the best, but I’m good enough.” (Good enough for what? My own standards, I suppose). But after 4 ½ years, the state of my writing (particularly fiction), as I said, makes me want to vomit. It’s a tangled web to unweave; a commitment that I haven’t been sure that I want to make or not. It’s not that I don’t love to write. I really, really do. But there’s aspects of writing that I don’t like. I like the initial idea that I come up with for a particular piece. And then, I write that idea down. And that’s typically where it ends. Very little editing (if any, because I haven’t wanted to “get sucked in the world of writing”). No revisions. Just “Hey, I like this thought. Write it down.” And done.

I’m not satisfied with that anymore. Currently, I think the biggest reason for this dissatisfaction is my boredom. I’ve got things to do, but I’m becoming bored of doing them. And I always start writing again when I’m at my most bored. When I enjoy doing something, I don’t want to do it so much that I lose my love for it. That is what I have always feared about writing: that if I do it more often, I’m not going to enjoy it as much when I do it. Is there too much of a good thing, in this case? I haven’t dared test it, just in case. For what would I replace this with? What could I do that would replace writing? It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing other things; but writing is very important to me. It has its own purpose. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand why I write. And that bugs me. I enjoy being introspective. But am I really willing to spend the time and effort to figure out why I enjoy writing? ‘Tis a very daunting task. Perhaps it is just better to enjoy it and not question it. It remains to be seen for me. (Why Do I Write How I Write?)

I love non-fiction, and the possibilities for fiction are marvelous. But it’s the fiction that bugs me, because fiction is a lot harder to write for me. Perhaps it is because literally anything can happen. And the thought of selecting things, and organizing things into a good story irks me. I have countless notes in a word document that say “Write a story about __________ where ___________”. And then, I’ll open up the blank word document to start it, and that’s when it hits me. “Holy shit. This is a big commitment. This is a sanity commitment. A creative, insanity commitment. A commitment to language; developing it, organizing it, thinking about it (and thinking about it…and thinking about it……and thinking about it………………..). It’s terrifying to me, because I know that I will, much like my best friend (much love), become insane. I can see the insanity in my best friend. I worry for the poor boy. A man lost in countless fantastical worlds, that cause his hair to prematurely turn gray because of the stress from not getting everything read and written. I’ve desperately tried to avoid that fate for myself, but I’m afraid that the fates are drawing me ever closer to that dark hole of “literature”, and I beg for God to have mercy on my soul. But, then again, perhaps I’ll feel most alive right before my literary-induced spiritual death.

I truly do have to thank my best friend. His love for language, I know, will help me with my own writing problems. Clearly, he’s already influenced me, much like countless authors have influenced him. I’m beginning to understand his words more now: literature truly is a lifetime commitment. And I’m always terrified of committing to something for fear of missing out on something else. I think a big part of that is how I was raised. My mother always told me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and my father encouraged me to “use my brain and not my brawn.” So my mind wandered, and I envisioned all the possible careers I could take. Most of them didn’t interest me (regardless of how unrealistic the prospects actually were). But I’ve tried to keep my mind open to the possibilities, which has, up to this point, resulted in me not committing to any one particular thing.

And the world of writing does terrify me. The patience required to read, the things that you are sacrificing while you read due to time constraints. It terrifies me to think of committing myself to writing more because of whatever else I may be missing out on. Now that I think of it, what is it that I’m really missing out on? Sleep? Laziness? Truly, those may be the biggest things; coming up with anything else is probably just an excuse. But writing terrifies me. You’ve got people critiquing your works, asking for clarification (and you better be able to provide it), and, in my opinion, the two worst things that can happen: a reader getting bored of your writing, or a reader never knowing of your works at all.

Maybe another reason that I haven’t “gotten sucked into the world of writing” up to this point in my life is that my brain just doesn’t think good. I’ve written a little bit about reading here (this has a lot to do with it). But maybe I don’t have a brain well-equipped for reading. It’s not that I’ve always hated reading. But I think for me, the problem now is that I know that my future hangs in the balance at this very moment, and I need to do everything within my power to be successful; and reading feels like an unproductive waste of time, if only because I’m not creating anything when I read (even if reading would help out future creations). And, once again, I’m lazy, so there’s that.

My brain craves excitement. I’m constantly looking for new things. And I get tired of reading the same thing for an extended period of time (including a piece that I’m working on while I edit, like this one, currently). I guess I’m naturally a different type of reader than “avid” readers or “real” readers. It seems as if many “readers” stick with one thing at a time until they finish it or until they can’t take it anymore due to it being “bad”. My threshold is much lower. Once again, it is because I am afraid of getting lost in fantastical worlds. I’m afraid of the commitment. Because I know that my life will forever change, and change scares me (lol). I am afraid of transforming into a “reader”. The life of a reader is a different world. I am afraid of the improvement I’m sure it would offer me. Why? Well, I’m sure that (depending on what I read), reading will make me smarter, and will make me “sound smarter”. And, ironically, I have found that the smarter you sound, the harder it is for people to understand you. Now, clearly, I realize this is unfair on my part (or, at least, I hope so). My life experience is very limited, and I’m basing this mainly on my childhood, where I was schooled with kids of all sorts of demeanor, intelligence, etc. My confidence was affected by my peers in school (and, at times, my family). Once again, I’ve always dumbed myself down, and, therefore, have not had much practice in “sounding smart”. Acting like an idiot has made people more friendly towards me, and that explains why I love stupid humor, and acting like an idiot so much. I’ve been working my whole life to come out of my expressionless shell. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, but I can’t accurately describe a measurement which would tell you how much further I have to go. Language truly is a full-time commitment. Scary.

Perhaps this is “bad” of me, but I don’t really care what you, the reader, think of my writing. Obviously, I care from a monetary standpoint. And, of course, I respect it when someone compliments my work. I’ll even read the criticisms, and determine whether or not I think they are valid (I think it’s about 50/50). It has been my experience that many people do not know what they are talking about: people that I have taken advice from in the past. I know this is “normal”. I know that “everyone goes through this”. But I don’t understand why you (I’m being presumptuous now, but with good reason (past experience)) feel compelled to tell me this fact simply because I’m stating that I’m one of the many people that are experiencing this. Why trivialize the experience of one by saying that many or all go through it? I think it’s a symptom of trying to be helpful, but not being very smart at being able to actually do it (I think that’s kind of a common, tragic theme that I’m learning (but slowly accepting) about humanity). Let’s just put it this way: it has been my past experience (many, many times) that when I spoke, the listener did not understand what I was saying. Perhaps they hadn’t considered it, and couldn’t relate. Of course, I could have elaborated on what I was saying. But when I did, I was just called a “smarty pants”, and then, they basically stopped listening. So honestly, that explains a lot of this. I stopped speaking because people weren’t willing to listen.

That’s pretty fucking depressing…

Welcome to my dark world. Lol

All I wanted was for someone to understand what I was saying without having to elaborate on it. In other words, someone to relate to. Sadly, those people were few and far between. I felt like they were more of a student than someone who could empathize with me. And that bugged me for many, many years. A large reason why I lost my voice.

From my childhood to my late teens, I felt crazy and self-conscious. I repressed my expressive desire, including what it was that I wanted to express. People either weren’t interested or didn’t understand what it was that I was trying to express (once again, it could’ve been my fault, but I was looking for a friend, not a student, as I said). Also, a lot of it was other kids just not liking my personality (still true to this day. Kids still hate me). I grew a desire to express myself comedically because when I was the clown, other kids laughed at me. They gave me attention. I acted like an idiot to amuse other people for social acceptance.

…That’s kind of fucked up and counter-intuitive, isn’t it?

However, the comedy grew not only as a way to try to fit in, but I truly believe it would’ve came out regardless of whether I was accepted or rejected by my youthful peers. Sarcasm; exhibitionist idiocy; humorous, creative associations between multiple things: I think all of these “funny” things (and other “funny” things) would’ve came out of me regardless.

Also, strangely enough, there is a sympathetic guilt on my part. My heart has always went out to those that I have felt were less fortunate than me. Currently, I think of those with language skills less developed than my own. Now, I’m not saying I’m a literary genius. But despite how meager my word skills may be, I pity those who are even less effective than I am at communicating. Like I said, I’ve always felt sympathetic for those that I feel are less fortunate than I, and I feel very fortunate to be able to communicate like I can. There’s tons of room for improvement, but I think I have a little “knack” for writing, and I pity those that don’t share that same knack. This pity has often made me feel guilty, which has contributed to my “not writing very good” situation. Dumbing myself down not only to be more sociable, but to be more “humble”. Independent gifts from God have always bugged me: probably due towards religious conditioning to “always be thankful”, directly contrasted (although immediately followed) by a message of fiery fear.

People don’t like it when you talk good. My desire to be readable contrasts with my intrinsic desire to be exact, thorough, and pertinent (I suppose that I am implying that you, the reader, are dumber than I. At least I offer a formal apology right now). I suppose time and practice will determine the balance between “readable” and “exactness” at any given time (perhaps an acceptance of a “readable = exactness” equation), but I’m really hoping I develop the confidence to be smarter in my writing. Once again, language truly is a full-time commitment. Still scary.

You, the readers, are a hindrance to me. I know that’s a bit harsh. But you, as people, by definition, contrast with my introverted nature (lol). My desire to be left alone, even though I want to write, and even though I want readers. This is probably a struggle that all creative introverts face. I know that when I write, you are free to comment, and tell me what you think. It’s not that I don’t respect criticism; it’s that I wish to be left alone. It’s not that I, as an introvert, do not desire communication. It’s that I just desire less communication than “normal”. Even the introvert has a voice. I’d like to think that I think a little bit before I speak, but I can recollect too many instances where this isn’t the case to shatter my own view of my humility.

The fact that I can’t figure out why I want to write hinders me from writing. Because I want to write about why I want to write. My brain can’t let things go, and I have to build upon previous thoughts to move on to something else. I truly believe that things that I write are connected, but I need the beginning blocks to get there. And that’s just another step towards getting sucked into the world of writing…

(Thank God I found my best friend when I did. He may have single-handedly saved my writing. If not for his persistence in the face of his own self-perceived limitations, I may not be writing this today, and may not have written some of the things in the future that I will write in the future).

All of these things keep me from writing. And, truly, I’m probably not ready to “jump right in” at the moment. As I said, I think I have a way of starting from the beginning from a personal analysis perspective, write about that, and then move on to the next phase of my own personal development. Because when I think of it, I truly don’t think that anything I’ve written up to this point is a waste of time. They all have a purpose, even if they are kind of shit. But boredom and restlessness create works, and make them better. A part of me wishes I was motivated to create without the boredom and restlessness driving me, but in another sense, I am content with my own personal reasons for writing when I write.

I will have to consult with my best friend about how to move forward, because he is the one that spends all his time doing this (within my small circle of people). I’m sure that reading will be a part of it; developing patience and the willpower to get lost in a book. Once again, I always fear what I’m missing out on, regardless of what I’m actually engaged in. I’m growing tired of this, however, and I need something that I can commit to. Sadly, I have a feeling this is going to include reading, writing, acting, filming, and comedy, and just thinking about how much work will be involved makes me want to, once again, close the word processor and go back to watching Youtube videos. But there’s also the side of me growing restless.

My best friend and I have talked about this before several times: eventually, you just become bored with what you’re doing. Everyone does. All creative people go through phases. They do something, then they change it up. This is my first small, slow step towards changing it up.

I can’t keep writing the same things over and over and over (or, at least, I want to work on not doing that).

Also, something that I consider that may (or may not) surprise you: what if I’m actually an idiot? I don’t think so, but past experience makes me doubt myself. And what of the writers that I think are intelligent, but are widely ignored or dismissed? How will I handle the thought of me writing things that are intelligent, but also widely ignored and dismissed? I suppose the simple answer is “practice makes perfect”, and I don’t know how I’ll react if I become as reviled and ignored as someone such as, say, Murray Rothbard (for you simpletons, I’m not comparing my writing to Rothbard, but am merely asking the question: what if I become as obscure and disrespected as he is? How would I handle that? That feels like the worst-case scenario for me as a writer, which is why I brought the example up).

Word choice, editing, and confidence will (obviously) be a big part of “getting sucked into the world of writing”. But the next big step is to figure out how to do it without becoming overwhelmed (and, thus, disinterested) in it all……

I think the key, for me, will be small steps.

I want more confidence in myself, and to be less concerned with what others have to say about my works. Contentment and bringing my creative visions to life (and a lot of money) are what I desire. I know that I will become more confident the more I practice. Now, it’s just finding the desire to treat this as a full-time endeavor (God forbid?). Once again, I have uncertainty regarding writing. How much do I want to do it? And when? Maybe that means I’m not a “real” writer. Maybe I’m just a poser. But I’m a poser with things to say, so I’d consider myself a writer, even if only part-time.

All I know is that I want to do it. I couldn’t say how, nor what, nor how much, exactly. Time will determine all of those answers.

Thank you for reading the thoughts of a bumbling idiot. I may or may not resume bumbling idiocy after intermittent messages similar or dissimilar to the ones you’ve just read here.

(There’s the witty, snazzy note I was praying that I’d end on, thank God. Oh yeah, and this one is as well. And this one).

A Philosopher’s Mind.

Highly Sensitive Mind.

On Boredom

I decided to write this article on a day when, no surprise, I was bored. To remedy this problem, I decided to drive to McDonald’s: my deadly way of typically dealing with boredom (not only is eating when you are bored deadly; but eating at McDonald’s? Premature death, here I come). I debated it briefly, as I know how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And I had already eaten there the day prior. But, after a few minutes, I decided to, anyway, and left the house full of guilt.

On my way home, I contemplated my boredom. I remembered that, throughout most of my teenage years, I experienced extreme boredom, with little stimuli to remedy it. Boredom led me to start writing again after many years, back in 2012. But there are some complicated things that arose in me on that way home from McDonald’s, and I’m going to attempt to write them all out here.

After I remembered how bored I used to be, I thought of all of the different things that I am able to do today. Particularly, I enjoy writing, making Youtube videos, and writing jokes. That’s what I enjoy doing, and I dream of making money at all of these someday. But then I realized that, for some reason, I get bogged down with these things. Not bored, but just…unmotivated. Why is it that I’m not working on what I like to do? And the answer was the amount of work involved.

I come up with ideas, but rarely complete them. Coming up with a good idea is the easy part, but I’m always so unmotivated to complete them. And I don’t know why. It’s some kind of commitment issue. I realize that at the rate at which I come up with ideas, to complete them all, and as well as I would like to, would require a fulltime, life commitment to these projects. And I have always been terrified of spending too much time on one thing to the detriment of doing other things. I feel like that was taught to me at some point (and conservatism prevented me from dedicating my time to anything other than God, and that’s probably a huge part of it as well). But I’m in a constant state of boredom, and, typically, I have to rely on myself to get myself out if it. I am a consumer of the works of others, but no one can entertain me like me.

I already wrote an article about my laziness, but my laziness causes a conflict with my boredom. I said in that piece that I typically create things when I’m at my most bored. And I’ve stated that a main reason for my creativity is to entertain myself. But, I believe I’ve said before, something is missing. My work ethic and time commitment to my projects is lacking. Part of this is I like relaxing, having fun, and consuming the works of others (as long as they entertain me). But sometimes, the well runs dry, and I need to do something for myself. But I’m lazy about my work. My ideas require a lot of skills that I currently don’t have, and that’s what is most frustrating about this. I work on the simple things, which are fine. But the really good stuff is the stuff you put more work into. But that would require me knowing how to use my software editing program more than I do, which means I need to learn it, and it aggravates me to have to learn certain things that I don’t already know. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it pisses me off to be stupid, so I remain in ignorance to somehow pout? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m too lazy to learn how to do it to the level that I need to create what I want to create. But I think there’s something more to it as well.

I think a great deal of it goes back to my own personal history with religious conservatism. For some reason, I have always seen working towards a goal as something to be avoided. I think it has to do with being taught that I should focus more on Heavenly rewards, and not Earthly ones. I think I have trained myself, over the years, to hate “Earthly” rewards. And if working is what gets you those Earthly rewards, then I don’t need to work. It sounds stupid now, but I really believe that I have trained myself to do this over the years. And when I finally realized that I needed a job so that I could have money so that I could have a car, etc., I started studying economics to give myself a perspective about money that wasn’t the religious one that I had developed prior. Although I’m naturally a lazy person, religious conservatism taught me to hate working for goals (unless those goals were religiously-oriented). But now, I have so many different things that I want to do, and I need to find a way to get over this pious hump.

I realize to many people, all of this “religious conservatism” talk is gobbledy-gook. And, for your sake, that’s probably a good thing. You don’t want to be able to intimately relate to my words about religious conservatism, because all they do is stunt you, and make you feel like shit. So you aren’t fucking missing out on anything. Consider yourself blessed.

So I have this bias against completing goals. Like I said, if the goal wasn’t “God-oriented”, then it was sinful, worldly, and should be hated and condemned. I don’t believe that today, but the problem is that emotionally, I’m still stuck back in those old days. It’s similar to knowing that McDonald’s will kill me, but eating it anyway. And hating myself for it afterward. Something has to click for me to stop eating at McDonald’s. Maybe it’s a heart attack. Maybe it’s actually learning about how the body works, and ignoring my religious history with the body and medicine, which, for some stupid reason, was me repeating stupid phrases about God in an echo chamber within my head instead of intently paying attention to the body, how it works, and how to take care of it when I first learned about these things as a child. Seriously, anything “worldly” I ignored. I know that’s fucking stupid. And I know not everyone can relate to that. But fucking welcome to religious conservatism; welcome to the fear of God.

So now, I sit. Full of ideas. Videos that make me laugh, things to write. But I don’t fucking do them. Because it involves sitting and thinking; starting, elaborating, and completing. The biggest hurdle I have, in my opinion, is the religious conservative hurdle. Once again, I know not everyone can understand this. But the idea of putting so much time, energy, and passion into a project triggers my old “that’s a sin” reflex, and I have to train myself to stop doing that. Because nothing is getting done. It’s so fucking stupid. And disastrous. And I hate the conservatives that put those thoughts into my head. (Hell: maybe they were my own brand-spanking new shit ideas. I don’t know). But I have got to find a way to dedicate more time and energy into my works. I’ve got to find a way to organize all of this shit, ignore the previous religious fear, and dedicate all of the time that I want to into my works. It will typically occur when I am the most bored, but I’m tired of only skimming the surface with my work. I know I have the potential to create more work at a faster pace, and create more meaningful work. Better work. I know it’s in me. And it’s going to take a lot of work to get it out of me. But I fucking want it. And I need to find my own, healthy perspective about my work, so that I have goals in mind, and can work towards them. This is going to take some time, as unraveling prior shitty thoughts is always hard (I think of poor people raised in an Islamic world, and realize that they have, perhaps, a harder time than anyone unraveling the shit taught to them, as they are taught violence to a degree unlike anyone else in the world: absolutely senseless, deplorable violence). But I want to dedicate my life to writing, and comedy. I really do. Of course, 10 years from now, I could change my mind. But right now, all I want to do is write, and make myself laugh. That’s it. And I’m fucking tired of not doing it.

As I have always said, I need more practice sitting, thinking, organizing, and I need to find a way to dedicate myself to all of this full time, so I can get it all done, and so I can stop being so fucking bored and miserable all of the time, because this is the shit that makes me happy.

I don’t have anything to add about getting paid for all of this garbage at the moment. Although, I think there is a part of me that gets discouraged that my work is not as popular as is my goal to make it (only for financial purposes), and that prevents me from working as fast or as hard. But that’s a topic for another piece.

I’ve got a whole life of work ahead of me, and I need to figure out how to actually fucking do it……

Insightful.

McDonald’s?

More McDonald’s?