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Sunday 28 July 2019

Unexpected Items

You know how last time I talked about ideas and where they go to die? The reasons why they don't work?

Well, here's something I dwell on semi-regularly.

We've all been there. You get out of work, and you realise you have to get yourself something to eat for that night, and something for the morning before you go out and do it all again, oh and some toilet paper, and maybe a snack, so you trudge your way around your local shopping place.

You avoid the guys somehow drunk already that are trying to buy cigarettes. You grab your dinner, and dinner for tomorrow because you're smart like that. You circumnavigate the older folks who are double-stacked in an aisle because they're talking about something unrelated. There's the bog roll. There's the breakfast. Oh look, those things you like are on sale. Grab them too.

You check your mental shopping list. We got it, we got everything. All that's left to do is go pay.

And now you are presented with your choice.

Out of the eight checkouts, two of them have people sat at them, and one of those has the little thing out to indicate no more customers please - they're half an hour late going home already because nobody's come to relieve them - and then...

...and then you have these guys.


I will say up front that I use these things quite a lot.

One reason is that, when I am done for the day, my social batteries are empty. I kind of want to deal with people as little as possible. This may come across as arrogant or elitist, but it's more just... god, I am a stressy mess when I'm tired and in pain, and I don't know how anyone else deals with me. So it's at least halfway sparing someone else the bullshit of dealing with me.

"But John," I hear you cry, surrounding me in the street and pointing, always pointing. "But John - you're usually so very much on the side of the worker! How can you patronise these soulless bastard-machines!?"

I mean, I'm not gonna deny that they are annoying. Even when properly calibrated they kind of train you to do everything at their own pace and in their own way, otherwise they don't co-operate. Sometimes they don't co-operate because, well, they don't really want to. If they break, there's a good chance that you are waiting for days for repairs.

Unsurprisingly, given that they are generally annoying machines and also appear to be replacing actual workers, there's movements against using them. Campaigns to suggest not using them, ever. Lining up in a queue for as long as it takes - anything, rather than using those new-fangled robot overlords.

Here's the thing:

That ain't gonna work.

So... picture this. You walk into your local big ol' grocery store. Not like a Happy Shopper or a Spar or something - like a BIG place. In the US, think Wal*Fart. In the UK, think Tesco or something. You got it.

And there's... like 25 regular checkouts. 25. But only 12 of them have people at them. And there's about 24 self-service machines. But nobody's using those, because they stand in solidarity with the workers.

Except the number of checkouts - regular and self-service - is predicated on the store's average footfall. Guarantee you there's been analytics done and they have worked out how many or how few they need. They just happen to be low-balling the amount of staff available right now because nobody has any money so people are buying less so nobody has any money et cetera.

So the staff on the checkouts are having a hard time, now. Because everyone wants to use them, and that means people are waiting longer, which puts people in a bad mood, and it's no fun being rammed in the first place. But it's okay, right? It's all in solidarity with them. And it isn't the customer's fault they are being put in this position, it's management. Right? It's corporate.

Yeah, it is corporate. And guess what?

Corporate aren't gonna change their current policy when they've already paid the thousands upon thousands of pounds required to install those machines.

See, the current methodology behind dealing with problems at work is as follows:

1) Make staff bear the brunt of the hardship.
2) Failing that, pass the suffering on to the customers, as long as they still pay.
3) Don't piss off the shareholders.

We all want better rights for workers, because we are workers. We work for a living. We don't want to get treated like dirt just to make sure that the reduced amount of money coming into a business can still maintain management and shareholder income levels.

I'd like to think that direct action like customers not using self-service will work. I don't honestly think it will - not unless it is accompanied by a far more wide-ranging overall campaign.

Unionisation, for one. Get organised. Get legal representation. Get members of the public involved. Spread good information about the facts of the situation. Push for your peers to enter management if at all possible, to try and change the abiding culture. Vote for pro-worker political parties. Organise.

I know it's difficult - I know it takes longer than just using a different lane. I know it isn't as trendy or as funny as talking about how much we all hate self-service machines.

But it IS effective - and if you don't work at one of these stores, then I promise you, you know someone who does.

We're all just rats in a maze down here. Let's see if we can't spread out some of this cheese.

If you'd care to share my blog with your friends, I'd appreciate that! If you'd like to thank me in a fiscal form for entertaining you a little bit, I do have a Patreon right here, but please - no pressure. Thank you for reading, and check my social media to the right to keep in touch.

Sunday 21 July 2019

Good Idea, But...

So one sign of "growing up" - and by that I mean a growing sense of cynicism, of world-weariness in general, and of dissatisfaction with society as it exists - is that every good idea you have is followed up by all the reasons why it won't work, before the notion even leaves your lips.

And it's specific reasons why it won't work, too. It's not, for example, that for a human to be able to flap a set of angel wings sufficient to carry them airborne the wings and muscles would have to be huge and their bones would have to be hollow. Like, sure, that's part of it, but - sorry, I got off track.

No, the real reasons why things won't work is when you add the societal, political, fiscal element.

Ideas is a pretty broad term, I know.

It covers a wide variety of common-or-garden stuff. It is everything from an idle musing about how a certain musical genre should make a comeback, to the best way to end the illegal occupation of Palestine, to the way in which the DC film universe could be made interesting again.

Four words for you, on that last one: Booster Gold, Blue Beetle.

I digress, again.

So I had this thought while stood inside Brighton train station a week ago last Friday.

I was looking at the roof. That big old roof, just... sitting up there, doing very little. It's about 60 meters across by about 120 meters lengthwise, slightly curved, slopes facing east and west - it's slightly narrower than, but slightly longer than, Brighton & Hove Albion's home pitch at Falmer Stadium. (No I'm not calling it the American Express Stadium, fuck off.)

That's a lot of solar panels.

Now immediately you should start hearing, in your head, reasons why that thought should be discarded, because that is exactly what I am talking about.

It's a listed building, for one. Right? Can't go messing with a historic train station roof. And where's the money gonna come from? And besides, it won't generate THAT much power, and the disruption to commuters and travel services, so on, so on, on it goes...

Well a 3.5kw array set up on the roof of a house, with an area of 25 square meters, costs £6,000 and generates about 3,000 kw/h a year. The roof of Brighton Station is 7200 square meters. A significant proportion of that is glass, but solar glass exists, so the actual lighting situation can remain the same. Assuming the cost is the same but we lose some efficiency for the sake of scale and non-ideal facing, let's scale up: that is a cost of around £1.8 million, but it could generate 600,000 kilowatt/hours over a year.

In comparison, Drax Power Station - the biggest power station in the UK, which runs on biogas and coal - produces 24 terawatt/hours a year, some four orders of magnitude higher. However: Drax Power Station also outputs over 25 million tons of CO2 a year, and runs on materials which aren't renewable. Also, in fairness, Brighton train station isn't a power plant. It's a train station.

There's a lot of train stations in the UK.

The UK uses some 2,300 terawatt/hours a year in total, from figures taken in 2014. That's a hundred Draxes. I know we can't make all that up from solar train station rooftops, not implying we can - but every watt/hour we generate from the sun and the wind is another lump of coal we don't have to worry about replacing, and another chunk of sky unpolluted.

Drax Power Station itself is on a 15 square kilometer site. If we ripped out the burny bits and replaced them with solar bits, that would make it the second biggest solar plant on the face of this earth, overtaking the Kamuthi plant in India.

Speaking of renewables. Brighton also has this: Rampion offshore wind farm.

Rampion produces about 1,400 gigawatt/hours a year. E.On, who built Rampion, claim that it is enough to power 350,000 homes - given that Brighton and Hove only has a population of about 230,000, that isn't too shabby.

There's also tidal and geothermal, which I'm not even going to touch on, but both of which are tried and tested methods of powering us without digging massive fucking holes in the earth and chucking molecules of nastiness into the air.

It's not a case of renewables being unable to take up the slack of our other energy production. They patently can. We have the technology. We have the resources. We have the knowhow.

But, but, but...

All these solutions don't fall short because of physical impossibilities. We've built solar plants. We've built wind farms. What stops more of them happening? What stops them, but permits stuff like fracking, which is genuinely one of the most despicable things one can do to an area?


People, with vested corporate interest, and lackadaisical attitudes towards crisis. People who literally profit from crisis. People in positions of privilege that either know they won't be troubled by this crisis, or that they'll be dead before it happens.

People who think that throwing their full support behind renewable energy is probably a bit of a political risk, and are unwilling to give up their significant payroll to stick their head over the top of the trench works.

People who didn't want wind turbines in a big empty field, and dug their heels in, and didn't get a wind turbine, who are now facing the possibility of that field hosting a fracking site - which has a lot more push behind it from outside of government.

People who like lovely old buildings and want them to remain lovely and old.

People who see headlines like this...

...and don't realise that the problem isn't the power being used, it is how the power is being generated.


I have talked about hoverboards, before. This is just an extension of that particular thought process, really - a hyper-specific one. (Weirdly enough as I look back on that blog, that one links back to another blog I did ages ago which includes me bemoaning the lack of solar panels everywhere. I've blogception'd myself. BLOGCEPTION.)

It just gets... tiring, I guess. To have one simple idea and immediately hear all the crappy reasons why it will never happen. Not why it wouldn't work - why it will never happen.

Really fucking disheartening for a scifi writer.

If you'd care to share my blog with your friends, I'd appreciate that! If you'd like to thank me in a fiscal form for entertaining you a little bit, I do have a Patreon right here, but please - no pressure. Thank you for reading, and check my social media to the right to keep in touch.

Sunday 14 July 2019

37 Sure Is A Number

So as you read this, I have turned 37.

I try not to get too introspective, but I fail. It's the nature of the beast. Can't not think, right? Can't turn the brain off at will. Too easy. So we end up thinking. And fair warning, this is going to get pretty introspective, and not necessarily in a good way.


It's been the seventh consecutive year of steadily - albeit slowly - worsening chronic illness.

That's a hard thing to look in the eye, you know? That's a hard thing to cope with. I mean. One of these illnesses just started affecting me worse after I turned thirty, but one of them was brought into being by two separate bouts of illness that left me... basically fucked.

A lot of life, passing by, half unlived.

It is the hand we are dealt, though. We can only play with the cards we hold.

Looking into the future can be hard, from that perspective.

Like at one point I legitimately thought there wasn't going to be one. I thought I was dead in the next day, week, month. I couldn't envisage there being a future, certainly not one to plan for. That isn't even to do with the lung condition, that's just depression talking. (I say JUST depression. You know what I mean.)

I just want to finish the book I am working on, generally experience as little stress and suffering as possible, and... yeah. I understand what dad meant when he said to me that all he wanted was some peace. I can understand that.

Just keep on keeping on, right?

Happy birthday, me.

Sorry it's a short one, this week. I'm busy painting Brighton red.

If you'd care to share my blog with your friends, I'd appreciate that! If you'd like to thank me in a fiscal form for entertaining you a little bit, I do have a Patreon right here, but please - no pressure. Thank you for reading, and check my social media to the right to keep in touch.

Sunday 7 July 2019

Readers Request - Perfidious Albion, Milkshakes & Pangolins

It's come round again folks - it's another edition of the blog you love the most, the show without the host, you asky and me talky - it's Readers Request! If you don't know, it's where I ask people to provide prompts or questions for me to address, and then I... address them.

And I got a boatload of them this time round, so let's crack on, shall we?

Boobs! - YAY someone did it! (For those not in the know, almost every time, someone suggests boobs.)

Favorite spider man film. Also favorite super hero film. - I blogged about the Marvel List recently, and... though I haven't seen Far From Home just yet? My favourite Spider-Man film AND my favourite super hero film are one and the same. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

(Also bewbs) - Excellent, excellent. Yes.

Moobs - Also kind of a fan. I mean I have some. Picture not included.

A treasure Planet live action remake perfect cast and any other additional changes - So in 2002, when Treasure Planet came out, I loved it. I like my scifi, and this one had a main character that I genuinely saw a lot of myself in. I think it's one of the few Disney cartoons that could actually benefit from a live action treatment. Casting is difficult - but I think you could do a lot worse than having someone like Taron Egerton playing Jim, someone like Rory McCann as Long John Silver, and Captain Amelia - well I dunno, maybe Charlize Theron or Zoe Saldana?

A reboot of The Deerhunter ... using only boobs - I am... not sure that the average boob can convey the pathos required for the Deerhunter. (Which is an amazing film, if you haven't seen it.)

JourneyQuest season 4 Kickstarter. - Okay folks. JourneyQuest needs our help. Check it out on Kickstarter right here. It's a fantasy series that is made by folks well-acquainted with the tropes of the genre and of gaming inside that genre. They're a driven, talented bunch and they deserve success.

Favourite parts/moments of collectable card games - My favourite moments are when either myself or my opponent pull off the most weird and outlandish combo that you can possibly imagine. Like you are laughing halfway through the description of how it all works, and you aren't even mad when you have to concede. That's why I play these games.

Thoughts on 'Pirates of Darkwater' - NOY JITAT! I loved this show. Such a crime that it got done dirty. It deserved like a hundred episodes and a movie. If you don't know? Here's a link to a "history of" video that I liked.

If you could give any song the superhero treatment, like Immigrant song in Thor: Ragnarok, what would it be and how? - Hard question. I loved how Immigrant Song was used in Ragnarok (both times), and how The Chain was used in Guardians 2 (both times). So if we assume songs from a similar period, then I am thinking that a particularly emotive, introspective or soul-bearing moment would be suitably accompanied by Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Perhaps something involving certain members of the Avengers or their compatriots who are no longer present?

Times when a creator has talked about something they've done that you found interesting/changed perspective/deepened your like of the thing. - I really enjoy listening to songwriters in particular talk about their songs and the creative process that goes into them. I like making-of documentaries in regard to movies, too; Dangerous Days about Blade Runner is particularly insightful. Actors, though - when you listen to an actor talk passionately about a role they've enjoyed playing, that juices me a lot. The one example I think of? Will Smith, talking about making Ali. About his respect for the man, his dedication to making it all look real. The results speak for themselves.

Really interesting director's commentary was my first thought but interviews, online posts anything firsthand really. I love Song Exploder podcast for exactly this ^.^ - This was an additional comment to the above, but deserves to be included, because my second example comes from Song Exploder - if you don't know I love Nina Cried Power by Hozier, well you do now, it's an AMAZING song. And my appreciation for it only grew when I heard him on Song Exploder, discussing how he wrote it and how it came together. You can catch that here.

Coping with existential dread. - Literally the only way I can do this is by not thinking about it. I know that's not a suitable solution but it's all I have. Also; if you have seen any of the recent articles talking about how likely it is we are living in a simulation, or seen Sword Art Online, or similar - well my answer to all that is, if your life is still here even if it's just a simulation, then you still have to live it. The risks and rewards are all just the same. Even if none of it is real, that means everything is as real as it is going to get. Your happiness is as real as you are, and that is why we exist. To be happy.

Perfidious Albion - I mean, yeah. We have a rep for backstabbing and self-interest, and we have that because we're self-interested back-stabbers on the world stage. Not much we can do about that if a significant swathe of the population keep voting for assholes.

Also perfidious albinos - The Other Being The Bad Guy is a trope that makes me kind of sweaty. Albinism gets kind of used like that. Matrix Reloaded, The DaVinci Code, The Princess Bride and Star Trek have all used this particular trope in a pretty shady way. Not a big fan. It's a shame when you have generally cool people like Yellowman (reggae artist), Anderson Cooper (news anchor) and Shaun Ross (model) doing their best in the face of this nonsense.

Also perforated albinos - Caliban in Logan gets perforated. I think. Shrapnel?

And perfidious albatross - YOU CAN'T FUCKING TRUST AN ALBATROSS

Bewbs -

Current favorite podcast - I don't listen to podcasts really, but I recently got referred to Start With This, a podcast for creative type folks from the Nightvale crew.

How you go about getting out of bed when every fiber of your being is screaming to remain in your warm, cozy, cocoon. - I kind of have to, the longer I spend in one position, the worse I hurt - so actually getting out of bed is sometimes an absolute blessed relief. Unless moving hurts more than laying still. Which I don't get to find out until I try it.

Mecha (or anything really) you'd love to see fight Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - Well gee, I dunno - but I'd love to see Coop from Megas XLR throw down with TTGL. If only because I know he and Kamina would be instant friends afterwards. Can you even imagine?

For bonus geek points the tightness of ones shoes and the relevance of said fact in light of ones amnesia in relation to the methods of dancing -  "Something my father said. He was... Old, very old at the time. I went into his room, and he was sitting, alone in the dark, crying. So I asked him what was wrong, and he said, "My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance." I never understood what that meant until now. My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance." I love Babylon 5.

Transformers gundam throwdown - Okay, do we mean Gundam universe, or actual Gundams? Cos like. In a fight, even the gruntiest Transformers are gonna win against Zakus and GMs. But the Gundam itself is a whole other beast. Not a lot of Transformers are powered by psychic craziness. I probably think Megatron would win against the Grandpa Gundam, but that's mostly because of who Megatron is rather than his actual capabilities - he'd use every single dirty trick and nasty ploy to get one up on the hapless Gundam pilot before blowing his ass out of the cockpit with the fusion cannon. (Optimus and Amuro wouldn't fight, let's face it.)

The inevitable heat death of the universe - SOON PLEASE

The "nice" weather that's indicative of the impending climate catastrophe - I mean... yeah? ...what's there left to say, we're fucking doomed.

Favorite milkshake flavor - Either whatever is splashed over the fascist it's been thrown on, or, strawberry.

How we can avert heading towards an even greater dystopian hellscape - Immediate and total revolution.

Favorite author (other than yourself ;) ) - HAH as if I would ever believe I am my own favourite author? Uh. But I digress. That's actually a hard question, but I think I'd have to swing for Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman. Not strictly because of their work, but because of who they are (or were), and the messages inherent in their work. And also they are (or were) both generally amazing people.

Which SINGLE member of the Tory party would you most like to give a swift kick to the genitalia? - Seeing as Maggie is dead? Boris Johnson.

Top three snack foods - This is a hard one. Uh. I'm tempted to go with the stuff that I can't often lay hands on in this country. So - flamin hot cheetos, chilli cheese fritos, and sour patch kids.

Your take on the current state of the human condition, and do you feel there is cause for optimism, cynicism, or a mixed bag? - The human condition is pretty much defined by insecurity. It's core to who we are. Now, if society as a whole was capable of dealing with that in a constructive or healthy fashion, then I'd be optimistic - but that would make the money sad, so we have to use it as a marketing ploy rather than recognising it as part of us and coping with it. So yeah. Cynicism all the way down.

The cultural normalization of casual alcoholism - This is a big thing in this country. Casual drinking to excess is accepted as basically being normal here, and alcoholism appears to be determined as "when I have a problem big enough that other people notice and talk to me about it" rather than its actual definition. So, not entirely surprised that it is a huge problem in this country. And as the financial problems mount up, it is only going to get worse. It always does.

Favorite candy color - Red. I like the red ones.

How long do you think we have before the technological singularity? Or do you think we're already there? - The date that was previously predicted was 2029; recently Ray Kurzweil of Google has predicted it will happen by 2045 in this article right here. I think that's hard to predict, though. The definition of the singularity is a point wherein "technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible", and... okay, imagine your life without microchips or combustion engines. Boom. We're there, already. There's just depths ahead of us.

Your best case scenario that ends with a unified Earth - ...I don't think there is one. Unless we see a total overhaul of our politics globally, which leads to an overhaul of corporation, industry and finance. Which - lets face it - simply isn't going to happen.

Will the be armed opposition to our eventual machine overlords, or will they simply take control of everything and people will barely notice? - If they are smart, they will take over long before we even realise they have done so. We may not even actually notice, ever. We may just start doing the stuff the machines want us to, because it's easier for them to arrange that than to make us accept machine rule. It's what I would do if I was an AI.

Happy Treason Day Ungrateful Colonials - You've got to laugh, or you'll remember our colonial past and realise that any success this nation has enjoyed on the world stage is built on the exploitation of others.

Bewbs² - Ah yes, yes indeed. Boobs squared. I prefer boobs rounded but all boobs are valid, including a lack therein.

Your arguments against violently seizing the means of production - I only argue with the term violently. Every chance to get it done without cracking any skulls. I think we owe that to our humanity. Necessary force only, people. We're not cops.

Top three colors - Magic, wind, red.

The effects of people enclosing themselves in like minded echo chambers and discrediting anything opposed to that as categorically false - Well, look around you. Our entire society is built on echo chambers. Our history is built on people only listening to the things they want to listen to, and mostly untroubled by the voices of those beyond the boundary. This isn't a new thing that the internet has helped give birth to. It's just easier to see it play out in real time, now. Humans like to be surrounded by those that think the same as they do. It emboldens them, it plugs that hole of insecurity in their hearts. It can be especially freeing to be surrounded by people that hate the same things you do. With some things (insert name of band here), that's something you can share with society; if it's something closer to racism, sexism, antisemitism or any other crime against people - you're likely to try and surround yourself with people that agree, so you don't suffer social consequences for expressing your (already shitty) views. CGP Grey did do a video on this though, which I was linked to in the comments.

Magnets, how do they work? - "And I don't wanna talk to a scientist, y'all motherfuckers lying and getting me pissed!" ...honestly I still kinda love Insane Clown Posse, and I love the fact that they did a whole album trying to convince people that they were evangelical Christians AND IT WORKED.

Someone 40 years ago would never believe we can have incredibly powerful computing machines in our pockets and wisely available to the public. What do you predict to be similarly unbelievable in 40 years time? - That we all had such powerful always-online computers in our pockets and still so many of us believed in such stupid things and acted in such stupid ways. That every house and building that is built isn't absolutely covered with solar panels. That we were still using the internal combustion engine. ...the cynicism aside, I think there will be a space elevator in forty years, and the idea of that absolutely blows my fucking mind.

"Oh hi Mark" - "WHAT IS LINE"

Why rats make the best pets - They're friendly, smart, clean and affectionate. They're adorable. I know they get a bad press but I think we can kind of accept that it is nonsense. I speak from experience: the best pets I ever had were my rats. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. I just. You know. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS LITTLE CUTIE PIE

The ethics of having a kid in a world with late stage capitalism - ...I mean... yeesh, it is a heavy one. Not that I am a kid-having kind of person, but at the same time, the world being as on-the-brink as it is has to be an additional consideration, right? Like, I am gonna bring a person into existence on a planet that may be unsuitable for sustaining our lives before the person reaches middle age. It's awful. There will be a collapse, it may well happen very soon, and when it does happen, shit is going to go sideways for literally everyone. Not sure I could advocate bringing a child into that battlefield.

PANGOLINS!!!!! - I LOVE PANGOLINS I love pangolins so much they're amazing. I actually had an NPC character in a Mutants & Masterminds game called Pangolin, who could grow the armour plating thing out of their skin. I love pangolins. PANGOLINS.

Boobies - I love boobies. Here's a nice pair.

Breasts. <3 - Oh lawdy yes. My favourite part. (of the chicken)

The fall of Cybertron - Superb game. Best depiction of Grimlock ever. Metroplex? Metroplex!? Just a great game overall, and a fantastic retelling of how the Autobots and Decepticons ended up on earth. Maybe not the best Transformers game - Devastation is amazing - but still. Get it. Get itttt.

Favourite fictional (!) post apocalyptic universe. - I love that you had to incorporate Fictional in that. Uh. That's hard, because I don't usually like post apocalyptic stuff? But in terms of media set in that universe - I have to say Mad Max. Fury Road is an EXCEPTIONAL film, and the Avalanche Studios open-world game is superb too.

Forgiving others and yourself. - I find this hard. Myself, specifically. I try and it just doesn't stick. I am still beating myself up over dumb shit I said when I was twelve, let alone mistakes I've made in recent years. Up to a point I'm very forgiving of other people. I like to think I am understanding in terms of people having things going on in their lives and how that may impact my interactions with them. Malice, though - malice I find very hard to forgive, nigh on impossible. And they say forgive and forget - like, no. If I forgive, I will forgive, but I will absolutely not forget anything that I have had to forgive someone for. Even if remembering it means I treat them kinder and have more understanding for them. If you fuck with me, and I forgive you, better not assume that I don't remember that you fucked with me.

The Emperor's New Groove - This was great. Really great. I liked the animation a lot, the musical number at the beginning is a classic, a lot of good lines, it just... always felt a bit like there was meant to be more? And of course now we know there was actually meant to be more. It just got rushed out. Which is a shame. Like there was a plotline involving Yzma trying to devour the SUN for god's sake.

The art of storytelling - I dunno if I can really cover all of that in the boundaries of this blog? But like... it IS an art. More of an art than a science. I could never get the hang of the whole arc structure, but you notice when it's done badly. If your story requires a different structure - give it that structure. Push it. See if it works. Readers are important for this. Get some! (Hey, if you wanna be one of my readers, you can totally hit my Patreon. Or just ask nicely.)

Should more artists stand up for their work. - This day and age makes it a lot easier for the consumers of media to contact the creators of that media, or for an artist or creator to see people's reaction to that work. Should you defend your work? I mean, that probably depends on the work, on the criticism raised against it, and on how you are going to stand up for it. Often what is called for isn't so much a "standing up" as an acknowledgement or a clarification. If only because outright haters aren't going to be pacified by anything whatsoever. It doesn't matter what you did or what you do, haters are just there to cause you misery, and then leave you on read while they go off and hate on someone else when you try and do right by them.

But, but, what if I want to do more?? - NO COLIN NO YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH BAD COLIN

Things that have made you laugh out loud - Huh. Well. Usually it's goofy shit. So I am gonna include some examples below, from the playlist I maintain on youtube called "Shit That Makes John Snart" - also included, a link to the entire playlist...

And that just about wraps it up this week, and what a week it has been. I think that's a record. 56 entries! And some of them weren't suggested by Colin I'M WATCHING YOU COLIN

Anyway. Thank you for joining me. If you made it this far - thank you for your patience!

If you'd care to share my blog with your friends, I'd appreciate that! If you'd like to thank me in a fiscal form for entertaining you a little bit, I do have a Patreon right here, but please - no pressure. Thank you for reading, and check my social media to the right to keep in touch.