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Sunday 22 June 2014

Lessons Learned, Hard Knocks Earned

So in follow up to this post right here wherein I talk about the lessons taught me by various media, I'd like to expand upon that lineup, and impart yet more wisdom.

Ghost In The Shell taught me that who we are is a terribly nebulous thing, and what we choose to do with our lives - the battles we choose to fight - sometimes matters more than winning or losing.

Paper Towns taught me to never jump to conclusions about situations or people. Especially people. Always people.

When We Were Kings taught me that there's a metagame to every game, an outside to every box, and a setting to every event. Also, determination and the ability to outlast your foe - be that foe a person or a problem - can and will lead to victory.

Transistor taught me that when the entire world is falling apart, sometimes all we have is each other. Sometimes, that's all we need.

It taught me that clowns are evil. Not just sometimes. Always.

Watch Dogs taught me that privacy is a basic human requirement, because even when you don't think you have anything to hide, you really do.

Blade Runner taught me that we can count the years all we want, but the numbers are never going to feel sufficient. That's because they are numbers. People need more than numbers to survive. Yes, even accountants. Yes, even scientists. Yes, even me.

Little Miss Sunshine taught me that "normal" is just a way for people to say "enough like me that I won't shun you".

Transformers: The Movie (1986) taught me that evil must be matter the cost.

Big Fish taught me that, sometimes, anecdotal value is more important than accuracy - and that on the day we leave this world, far more people will shed a tear for us than we really expect. It also taught me that Tim Burton can actually make a good film, despite appearances.

Reign Over Me taught me that wounds are never just physical, and that even the most broken human being is worth the trouble of putting back together again - because if one day we break, we hope tat someone else would do the same for us.

Transcendence taught me that science isn't evil. Evil is evil.

Megas XLR taught me that anyone can be a hero - even an overweight gamer nerd. Also - and I have yet to find an exception to this rule - you dig giant robots, I dig giant robots, we dig giant robots, and chicks (no offence meant!) dig giant robots. Nice.

Duck Tales taught me that being rich doesn't make you right, and being right doesn't make you rich.

Again, there's probably more to follow in the future.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Superfly Alumni

It's about fourteen years since I left Ryde High School, clutching a handful of A-level results and a misguided notion of how life would turn out for me.

I have a lot of memories of my education. Not all of them great. School shapes you in ways you don't often appreciate until later on in life. It forms how you relate to people, influences your tastes, pushes you out into the world in a specific direction.

It left me with a distinct distaste for authority, an abiding love for rock music, several scars, a few mental issues, respect for those that can make learning fun, and a deep affection for several branches of literature.

It also left me with friends.

I am spectacularly bad at staying in touch with people. This much is obvious. That doesn't mean I don't think about those folks that I shared these formative times with. With fair regularity, actually, I recall the times I enjoyed - and kind of avoid thinking about the ones I didn't.

Everyone's moved on and grown up. Everyone's grown into lives. I've always wanted the best for all of you - even the ones that bullied me, especially the ones that I in turn bullied. We're all so different, now, of that I'm sure - different in many ways, the same in others.

I just got thinking about it, on the way home from work. Got thinking about all the folks I knew so well that I didn't see at all after we all left school, or after two years, or five.'s my own fault for not staying in touch. I should have. I was kind of messed up but I'm getting better every day.

If you're reading this, and you know someone we went to school with that hasn't - would you do me a favour and pass it on to them?

Just so they'll all know that however far they go in life, and however well they do, THIS oversized nerd is cheering them on.