Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why Santa Claus makes no sense (and needs to go away).

     We lie to our children like total scumbags. And when they grow up, they take after us, because we are fucking stupid, and totally incapable of learning from others' past mistakes, or growing to become better than our parents. We are stuck in an endless cycle of mediocrity, unable to improve due to our inherent stupidity.

     But this is not what this cheery Christmas article is going to be about.

     No, it is about why Santa Claus, as a concept, makes no fucking sense.

     Who is Santa Claus? Well, he is an old seemingly immortal man who lives on the North Pole, and gives presents to worthy children on Christmas Day. He delivers all Christmas presents by himself.

     What is Christmas all about? Well, if you don't get über religious about it, Christmas is about sharing, and giving. Giving presents (of various kinds). On Christmas you give presents.


     Well, in case you don't, allow me to put it this way: Santa Claus destroys the Spirit of Christmas by existing. If Santa was real (WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE ISN'T REAL YOU JERK), that would mean all presents on Christmas would be from him. That, in turn, eliminates any reason for sharing and giving. Why give presents yourself, when some fat man from the north pole can just do it for you, and do it better? Cause Santa knows what everyone wants, and delivers stuff on time, never late. You cannot beat Santa. He is friggin perfect.

     And you can never beat friggin perfect, let me tell you that.

     So, in order for gift giving and the whole kindness thing to take place, Santa Claus needs to go away. Either you are nice, or somebody is being nice for you. In my OPINION, there is no middle ground here. It is either Santa Claus, or you. And I would rather be nice and give gifts by myself, rather than rely on someone else to do those important things for me.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Satyrday, a Fable. Wednesday, parts 13 & 14.

     The weasels, out of breath and frantic from their travel, returned to the owl that night and told him what they'd seen. He was still in the clearing he'd awakened in earlier, still in a foul mood at the disappointment he'd felt when the sun's light returned to earth.
     They crept from the underbrush, staying as close to the ground as possible so they seemed to the owl, who had been aware of their proximity long before they thought he was, like two furry snakes whose bellies dragged leaves and twigs behind them. "You're back," the owl said, his voice as closeto a growl as was possible for him. "You bring good news. No more ravens flying west, I trust."
     "Sire," one weasel said in a quaking voice. "It's worse than that." The owl's eyes opened more widely. "Three strangers approach the western reach."
     For a moment, the owl ceased to breathe. His eyelids drooped, and then they flew open, and their red fire blazed out at the weasels. He spread huge wings and beat them so that a cloud of dust rose from the ground, blinding the two frightened animals.
     "You come to tell me this?" the owl thundered. "Better it had been news of a reigning darkness. Better for you to have discovered where the sun spends her nights!"
     "We are sorry, my lord. We can only tell you when we know to be true." The weasel's voice was almost a whisper. "Today a fox, white as snow, and two strange creatures who walk upright, like bears, have reached the grave of the ancestors. One is slim and young, and practically hairless, a male. The other is older, with the hindquarters of a goat. Above the hips, he most resembles the other creature. They are very strange."
     "That's impossible," the owl said. "You're lying." He gave a cry and a volley of wings stained the air of the clearing. The falcons descended, thudding into the dirt around him.
     "They lie to me," the owl said to the falcons' leader. "They're perverse. It displeases me. Take them away."
     "My liege," one of the weasels said desperately. "Three creatures have arrived at the grave of the ancestors. I swear to you." The other weasel scuffed in the dirt, wildly looked around, and made a break for the forest. He thrashed in the underbrush, but the falcons were too quick for him, and his screams for mercy grew weaker.
     "Your friend seemed eager to depart," the owl said. "What did he have to fear, if you do not lie?"
     "You, my lord."
     "And are you frightened of me as well?" the owl asked.
     "T-t-t-terrified," the weasel stammered. "My lord, if I might say one thing. . . ." He stopped, asking permission, but the owl didn't say a word, just fixed him with his gaze. "I know this news angers you. And there is nothing I would not do to avoid your anger. Why then, if this were a lie, would I put my life in danger?"
     "What do you think?" the owl asked the assembled falcons, but as usual, none said anything. He turned to the weasel. "Perhaps you are telling the truth. Your logic is persuasive. Get out of here." The weasel disappeared, taking it as reward enough that he had escaped with his life.
     "Gather the ravens," the owl ordered. "Now. Be quick about it."
     As one, the falcons ascended and dispersed. They flew east and west, north and south, spreading the word of the owl's command.
     The owl remained where he was. His solitude did nothing for his mood. He seethed there on the forest floor, his breathing harsh and rabid, almost convulsive, wild thoughts racing through his brain. "A boy," he thought. "A BOY. It's impossible. No one has escaped the Keep." He would wait until the ravens were gathered. And then he would find out what they knew. His breathing grew harsher and deeper until he thought he would burst.

                                                       *                      *                      *

     "It's true," Deirdre said. "I couldn't agree with you more. I didn't like the way he talked to us one bit."
     She's grown considerably more outspoken since the sun had disappeared that afternoon, had begun to talk to the other ravens, edging  around them cautiously to find out what they thought. She wasn't taking too large a chance in this, having overheard some conversations which gave her a great deal of hope.
     Many of the clan were upset by the owl's punishment of Maxwell, peremptory and vicious as it had been. For years, they had managed to maintain an image of the owl as just and fair, but his coldness, his insults of the night before made some begin to question him. Camps formed among those who were angry with the owl and those who blindly followed him. It was with a group teetering between these choices that Deirdre settled. She masked her voice, her ardent feelings, and tried to appear dispassionate.
     "Of course he has a right to say anything to us he wants," she said. "And to do anything he wants. He could torture each of us, one at a time. We're his, aren't we?"
     "It's not fair," a young raven named Condor said. "Not fair at all."
     "But what in this world is fair, young one?" a withered crone asked from a branch some distance away below Deirdre. "The idea of justice creates false hopes. There is only strength."
     "Wait a minute, wait a minute," another raven said. "What's this talk about torture?"
     "I asked whether you'd submit to torture," Deirdre asked.
     "Red herring, red herring!" the old crone cawed, hopping on her branch.
     "Are you hungry?" Condor asked solicitously, but the crone stared at him disdainfully.
     Deirdre was flustered and she backfeathered for a minute. The crone had a subtle mind and would bear watching. Deirdre had not expected to be called on her illogical leap. "I mean only this," she said. "Until now, we've been content with our part in the owl's general plan. He wants to rule the world, am I correct?" They nodded. "But would we still owe him our allegiance if we had reason to believe that in so doing we would contribute to our own demise?"
     "What?" Condor asked, baffled.
     "She meant would we follow him if we knew we'd die."
     "I hope not," Condor said. "I don't want to die."
     "Yes," the crone said, her voice deadly, deep, serious. "He is our lord and we must follow him, regardless of the cost. We bow before his power. He is stronger than we."
     "But strength on the part of another does not diminish the power of personal choice, even in those who are weak," Deirdre said. "And I believe–due to no fault of his–that the owl, from the beginning, was doomed to fail."
     "Would you say that again?" another raven asked, and Deirdre took a deep breath, and calmed herself. Nothing would be served by her impatience.
     "Let me put it another way. The world is changing," Deirdre said, and waited for a moment to see if she'd be contradicted, but nothing was said, and she continued. "It's laws are not set. But we know one thing for certain. There is balance to our lives. Now tell me if I'm wrong."
     Around her, the ravens turned to one another and argued. What, she thought, is this all about? She hadn't said anything the faintest bit controversial. When they quieted, the crone said, "Of course there's a balance. Of power."
     "What do you mean?" Condor asked. Deirdre was afraid she'd lose the attention of the group, which swung between her and the old witch, if she didn't move quickly.
     "We are ravens," she said.
     "Go on, go on," the crone said crossly.
     "And we are not alone in the world. There are other animals besides our clan."
     "Of course, you stupid cluck," the crone said.
     "My dear," Deirdre said harshly, letting her anger show for the first time. "Keep a leash on your runaway tongue, I listened to you when you delivered up your apothegms. Kindly do the same for me. Or I will take umbrage at your rudeness."
     "What?" Condor asked.
     "She'll get mad, you fool."
     Deirdre looked at them imperiously. "As I was saying. There is a balance. On one side there is sleep, and on the other, wakefulness. We fly and we sit. We eat and we void. These activities balance each other. Can you imagine a life of endless flying?"
     "We'd get pretty tired," Condor ventured.
     "Shut your crooked beak," the crone screamed, and she hopped on the branch and flapped her wings.
     "Likewise," Deirdre continued, "other things balance each other. We have friends and we have enemies. The jay is our friend, the hawk our enemy. And though many of you may be too young to remember life anywhere but here in the Forest, I am not. When we lived in the meadowlands, many years ago, there were things called seasons. Spring was a time when earth came alive, flowers bloomed, trees put out new leaves, we raised our broods."
     "What are flowers?" Condor asked, for he had never seen one.
     "Please, Condor," Deirdre said. "Let me finish. And later came a season called fall when the leaves fell from the trees, the flowers withered, and the earth came to rest. Those seasons oppose each other."
     "Like life and death," Condor said.
     "Exactly," Deirdre said. "It is the way things are. East has its west, and north its south; everything is defined by its opposite. And finally, if you will allow me to finish, there is night, and there is.  .  .  ."
     "Day," Condor blurted, as if it were the most important thing he'd ever said. Deirdre was pleased. She'd gotten through to the dumbest raven in the group, and if he understood, surely the others did as well.
     "There are those who rule and those who follow," the crone said. "Do not mistake your station."
     There was general unrest for a minute, and then the group quieted down. They seemed not to have heard what the old crone said.
     From the air above them all, a great whoosh was heard, and like a thunderbolt a falcon fell and landed with a slap against a thick branch. His hood was black as the night, and his eyes shone, beady and evil. "The owl orders you to the clearing of last night's meeting," he said, his voice steady as rock. "What were you talking about?"
     No one said a word, and Deirdre felt fear seep from the group like a rank odor. "We were speaking of the sun today," she said, "and how it dimmed. We were saying how soon it would be that the sun was gone completely."
     She's telling the truth?" the falcon asked.
     "Yes," said Condor. "We umbrage the sun's demise."
     Everyone hushed, and the falcon looked at Condor keenly. "What is your name, young one?" he asked.
     Condor quaked on his branch. "He means nothing," Deirdre said. "He doesn't even know the import of those words. He heard them in our conversation this evening and he lacks the ability to use them correctly."
     "That's right," the crone said. "He doesn't know what he's talking about. He's stupid as a stone. All of them are."
     "Old one," the falcon said. "May your wizened heart fail if you lie to me."
     "In that case, I have nothing to fear," answered the crone, and she flew in a huff into the sky.
     "Be off, all of you," the falcon said, and he rose and headed east, looking for other ravens.
     "Thank you," Condor said to Deirdre when the falcon had gone. "You saved my life."
     "It's nothing," Deirdre said. "It is I who should thank you. Your felicitous questions aided the successful conclusion of my argument."
     "What?" Condor said.

                                                   *                         *                         *

     Apologies for not posting anything for 2 months, but I promise I will make this up to you!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The appeal of used media.

     First, yes, not everyone downloads everything on their iPads®™and consumes entertainment that way. Some people actually buy real books, and real CDs. And Blu-Rays.

     Second, you are probably reading this on your iPad. OH THE IRONY.

     Third, let's begin.

     Today, children, I would like to dedicate a few medium sized paragraphs to the appeal of used things. The things that are no longer new. The things that were owned by somebody else for years. Old used fabric will be worn out and faded and full of holes. When we are dealing with electronics, we have to be extra cautious: anything with moving parts wears out fairly quickly with constant use, and anything with lights, lasers, and built-in batteries wears out even faster. An Apple laptop that was used every day for a year might have its super-duper-long-lasting-battery already almost dead. Speaking of non-electronic electric-based technology, a light bulb under constant use dies within a few months.

     However, when we are dealing with used media, things start looking less grim. Having no moving parts, media ages really well. A book will live a life longer than of a human, providing it is not read daily, and is kept somewhere where it does not suck to be a book. A comic, being a book, is the same fucking thing. An old used vinyl record, providing it wasn't played often, will sound good, and plastic degrades extremely slowly. An old used optical disk (hint - that's what a CD or a Blu-Ray is) will live a long and prosperous life providing it was pressed well in the first place, didn't receive too many scratches, and was kept somewhere not too hot not too cold not too moist.

     Used media has more appeal though, in addition to often being cheaper. It is a testament to its strength. if a book or a disk managed to live for 20 years or longer, without losing its ability to function, it speaks to the high level of manufacturing. With books, if you have something 40 years or older, still intact, and still readable, it was really made well, and the book is really high quality. A piece of old media still functioning after all the years is like a skilled warrior who went through many battles and survived; must be a damn good warrior then!

     Magnetic tapes are easy to wear out with constant use, and even without use are easy to damage, and damage permanently. These little demon spawns are an exception to what I am trying to get across here. . .

     . . . and what I am trying to get across here is:


     . . . if it's media.

     But be careful with cassettes. They are tricky.

     That's it, really.

     . . . except there will be a sequel.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Satyrday, a Fable. Wednesday, parts 11 & 12.

     The weasels saw them coming and ducked out of sight. They slithered through the underbrush, bellies flat to the ground. They'd seen foxes before, but the other two creatures were unfamiliar to them. Through the network of reeds and rushes, the weasels watched the three pass, the strange white fox, the slim hairless one, the last with the hindquarters of a goat. They looked at one another, uncertain what to do, and crept toward the swamp.
     On its bank, they stopped and stared across the watery waste, searching the thickets for a glimpse of red eyes, the surface for a ripple. One of them crouched low and snarled, a rough invasion of the stillness, like wood cracking.
     They saw them before they could hear them. The swamp was disturbed by a low wave and then the eyes shone, reflected in the opaque water, doubling their number. The frogs looked like slowly moving scraps of log worn down by the ravages of weather, bulbous, dark, water streaming from their backs. They stopped several feet from the bank, but the wave continued until it lapped at the weasels' feet and washed back again.
     Silently they contemplated the shore, their underbellies pulsing like little hearts. "Have you seen them? The intruders?" one of the weasels whispered and the frogs shut their eyes once, together, so they glared out the water with fierce affirmation when they opened again.
     "What should we do?" the weasel whined. The frogs stared at them and the weasels shivered deep inside their coats. They knew the frogs would not harm them, but the vision of these specters filled even them with dread. The frogs felt nothing, no fear, no hurry, no anger. They glided undisturbed through the water of the swamp.
     "Should we tell the owl?"
     As before, the frogs blinked their eyes, once, red as freshly drawn blood. The weasels got out of there. They had tracks to make.

                                                            *                   *                  *

     It was a formidable sight. The sand stretched before them, level as calm water. In the distance, a slight undulation was visible, rolling sand hills broken only by an occasional tuft of sharp grass. Behind them, the cattails and reeds, the low shrubs fell away until there was nothing but desert. It slithered up over Derin's feet, around Matthew's hooves as Vera padded along on top of it.
     "Was it always like this?" Matthew wanted to know.
     "No," Vera  said. "At one time the river spilled over the marsh and onto these plains in spring, and there were lakes and ponds like the ones in the meadowlands. But that was many years ago, before the owl. The animals who lived here have been taken west. It's desert almost all the way to the mountains."
     "And how far is that?" Derin asked.
     "We'll reach them tomorrow."
     Matthew groaned. "I hate the sand," he said. "I can hardly walk." He struggled along behind the others, stopping to dislodge the grains which wedged in the cleft of his hooves.
     For Derin, the walking was not much easier. The sand dragged him down. With each step, his feet disappeared, sinking into the desert, and his calves soon ached with the effort. "Can we stop soon?" he asked. "I've had it."
     "At least we can see who's watching us," Vera said. "There's nowhere to hide."
     "How much further are we going?" Derin asked again.
     "Just a little," Vera said. "I have something to show you."
     Matthew said nothing, but he silently agreed with the boy. He, too, was exhausted, and his head throbbed from the blow he'd taken in the river.
     Just when Derin thought he couldn't go any further, he heard the fox say, "Up ahead. Can you see it?"
     In the dim light of the failing day, the boy thought he could pick out something rising off the plain before him. It looked like a grove of trees, maybe a pond? Derin imagined fresh fruit bursting from the trees, a place to swim, a clear sky, the moon and stars hanging in equilibrium in the dark field of night. But as they drew closer, none of them speaking, he saw that what stood before them were rocks, not trees, irregular boulders arranged in an awkward circle. They looked like the bodies of large animals hunkered down on the plain, sleeping.
     After trudging through the flat, dimensionless sand, the boulders were a shock. Something mysterious about the place stopped Derin from asking questions. The stones had been placed here, that was clear, but by whom and for what reason? The tension between their monstrous shapes and their careful placement awed him.
     "It's the grave of the ancestors," Vera said. "When the wind took the animals from the meadowlands, it whirled them up in a large black funnel. But over the river it lost its center, and as it crossed the plain, animals rained from the sky, thousands of them. From the river to here and beyond, the ground was choked with bodies."
     "How do you know this?" Derin asked, in wonder.
     "All the animals west of the river know of the grave," Vera said. "Every snow fox who was taken by the whirlwind died. My children are buried here."
     "I'm sorry," the boy said. "I didn't know."
     "It can't be helped," the fox said. "It was years ago." She paused and looked west across the sand as if she could see over the mountains and into the Forest. "I hate him," she said. "I lost a brother and sister as well."
     What could they say after that? Matthew and Derin stood silent, waiting for Vera to speak again.
     "The owl did not take our sorrow into account," she said. "The animals who survived were of no use to him. The Deadwood Forest was filled with their keening. Not an animal was taken who did not lose some of her family. There was nothing he could do. And so he allowed those who wished to return to this place to bury the dead. None crossed the river; that was forbidden. They came, mourning, to this spot, and gathered the bones of our families and buried them here."
     "Deirdre told me of the wind," the boy said, "but nothing about this place."
     "The raven," Vera said absently, her mind elsewhere.
     "Yes," Matthew said. For the first time that day he thought of their frantic friend. He hoped she was getting some rest.
     "What I don't understand," the satyr said, "is why the owl was not destroyed long ago. If there was such sorrow, such anger, why do the animals follow him?"
     "An interesting question," Vera said. "One I wondered about for years." She looked older suddenly, as though this place aged and saddened her. "He's very powerful, you must never forget that. He caused the win to blow to bring them west. And they were so broken down. They had no families to retreat to. Most had no friends. Each was isolated from the others of his kind.
     "And the owl promised a new world where all would live peacefully together. They believed him. Perhaps they had no choice. There were confrontations, but the instigators disappeared and were never heard of again. Over the years, most of the animals taken by the wind died, of old age, disease, of grief. And the children seem to have forgotten. The owl and the Deadwood Forest are all they've ever known."
     Derin cleared his throat, and Vera and Matthew looked at him. He stared at his feet, and he kicked the sand so it sprayed in front of him.
     "I wondered.  .  .  ." he said, and cleared his throat again.
     "What, Derin?" Matthew asked.
     "Are any of my family buried here?"
     The fox looked away from them toward the west. Matthew's eyes suddenly burned. "No," he said.
     "I just wondered," Derin said.
     The three of them were silent, and the night came on. It was different on the Plain, sudden and swift., like the advent of a storm. There was no intermediary between earth and sky, no trees or rocks or water. And so it seemed to Derin, as he stood in the deepening chill, that one minute there had been light, and the next minute none.
     "Are we sleeping here tonight?" he asked.
     "Tomorrow night," Matthew said. "Tonight we're sleeping with the frogs in the swamp."
     "Very funny."
     "I can hear them croaking," the satyr said. "They're calling your name."
     Vera crouched by one of the largest rocks. She was silent and motionless, like a stone herself. The boy shrugged, took off his pack, and sat down. The air was cold, but still, the silence was immerse. The earth rose up to the sky, and the sky reached down so that Derin felt enfolded by enormous arms. Around him, in the dark, the thought he saw thousands of animals gather. In this magic circle of friends, they would be safe.

                                                 *                        *                       *

More = later! Reminder once again to tell me if you want me to work faster.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Time >>> money.

     You heard the "time is money" phrase, right? If you took it seriously, then you probably assume that one is just as valuable as the other... right?

     Well, I am here to prove that wrong. I am here to prove that time is more valuable than money.

     Don't worry, I'll do it short. No walls of text today.

     1) Money can be regained. Time is lost forever.  Therefore, time is more precious.

     2) It takes time to acquire a skill. No amount of money will be a substitute for time when it comes to learning and practice.

      I hope I proved that time is more important than money with those 2 simple points.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

One more reason to not to respond to attention whores.

     We've all been there, haven't we? You read an article, and you read it, and you finish reading it, and you go all the way to the bottom............. to the comment section. You look through them, to see what other ppl are thinking....

     ....... and then you see it. Some smartass who thinks he is changing the world with his hot OPINIONS. His comment is so stupid, so angering, so factually incorrect, SO MAKING YOU CLICK THAT REPLY BU-......... but no, you must stop! Do not reply!

     "But why? I must show that idiot that his position is wrong and he is factually incorrect!"

     Well, that is not the smartest course de actionsé. Arguing with an idiot who thinks he is fighting a war in the comment section, will only fuel the fire; it will only strengthen the idiot's believe that there is a war. Why wouldn't there be? But of course there is! You are right there, fighting a war with him, with your comment!

     Smartasses in comment sections think they are fighting a war against something BIG and evil. By replying, you reaffirm their belief that there is a force to be fought (your comment). By not replying, by ignoring the fuck out of them, there is a slight chance they might consider the possibility that they are fighting against nothing, that there is nothing to win, nobody to fight.

     By ignoring angry idiots you just might help them become slightly less idiotic.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SIlent Hill for Pretentious Smartasses Part 2 (long awaited by nobody).

     Alrighty then, let's jump into it. If you haven't read part 1, go read that first before proceeding.

     Are the events of Silent Hill 1-3 real? Those who prefer to think that they aren't, are in for quite an offense. I'll start with the supporting characters.

     So, you think Silent Hill is all in youre heade? Okay. Explain the supporting characters then. How can the other people you interact with exist, if it's all in your mind? And you might be saying something like "oh, those people are just representations of [ blah blah Freudian Psychology 101 ]".

     Well, if all those people in Silent Hill 2 are somehow in the head of the protagonist, that raises certain questions:

     –How? How can people live inside your head? How can you have that? I personally never heard of anyone who has people living in his/her head. Yes, we all heard of insane people who have people living in their heads (or so they claim). Well, I never did, and so refuse to believe.

     –If SH supporting characters are really representations of protagonist's guilt, then what about those characters who do not represent fucking anything?? In the favorite game of the "in your head" proponents, Silent Hill 2, Laura does not represent shit. That contradicts the "all in your head" directly.

     –Supporting characters' backstory. In the much beloved SH2, Angela was raped. Eddie was abused for being fat. What does that have to do with James Fucking Sunderland?? Was James fat? Was James raepd? NO. What do those backstories represent symbolically (there is that word again) in relation to James? FUCKING NOTHING. How can these people be imaginary, if their backstories have nothing to do with James? The answer is, they cannot.

     –If everyone is imaginary, how can your imaginary characters know information you never learned? Eddie told James Laura's name. Angela told James about the monsters, before James ever saw one. Maria feels like she was meant to protect Laura, which reflects the feelings Mary had for the girl; James never knew they were friends. All those supporting characters in SH2, at least at one point, knew something James did not. That would indicate that they cannot be imaginary, and must be real people.

     Okay, I hope these are some convincing arguments to convince you that the events of Silent Hill 2 did not happen in James's head. If you are still not convinced, then wait for part 3!

Friday, July 3, 2015

In Defense of Sequels.

     if you go on the INTERNET, and look around, you will quickly find a sizable amount of humans united around the common goal of hating sequels. According to them, sequels are bad and need to stop.

     Well, why they say that is not hard to figure out. Sequels are produced only to make money, after the original did. Or at least that is the common belief. That is hard to argue with. The biggest makers of movies (hello, Hollywood) are run by Big Bad Corporations, which in turn are not run by artists, but by corporate people who do not care for quality storytelling. They will finance utter shit, as long as it makes money. From the corporate leaders' point of view, as long as there is profit, the movie can be fucking anything. Unfortunately for them, the actual movie audience doesn't give a damn about that point of view.

     And the general public knows that. People know that sequels are only made to sell more tickets.

     BUT WAIT! That is not true!

     ... at least not entirely.

     Allow me to introduce you to the glorious World of Exceptions. World of Exceptions is visited 1643 times less than Disney World, and therefore is seldom known. But it does exist! And it contains some of the rarest pieces of knowledge, the stuff of legends, the stuff self-proclaimed wise men (and women) want to get. And one of the things you'll find in the World of Exceptions is that sometimes, SOMETIMES, movies are made because the filmmakers actually legitimately for realz want to.

     But why would a film maker want to make a sequel? Why not leave every movie self-contained?

     Well, I'll tell you why. Because sometimes there are more stories left to tell in the established universe. Because sometimes plot threads are unfinished. Ever heard of Shrek 2? Empire Strikes Back? Back to the Future 2? Sometimes the directors/writers want to keep going. Sometimes they want to make more, not because it'll make money; because it would be cool to make more. Because those sequels would be so great if we ever manage to make them!

     And if I still haven't gotten through to you, let me put it like this. Imagine movies as really long episodes of an ongoing series. Imagine movies and their sequels as serials. Imagine movies as long chapters of one book.

     And I am not saying all movies need sequels. Most movies had sequels forced upon them. However, some movies deserve sequels. Some movies need sequels, or else they would remain unfinished forever.

     I know you might be burned by Hollywood and its many clones around the world. I know you probably hate sequels. But please do not hate all of them! Please visit the World of Exceptions.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Satyrday, a Fable. Wednesday, parts 9 & 10.

     The three were resting when an eerie stillness crept upon them from the east. The river calmed as though pressed by a large and powerful hand; it swept past them quickly, the current dizzying in its velocity, its surface no longer tongued by white water. It deepened past green to black, sucking all sound from the air. The wind died, the roaring of the river became a whisper, until they heard nothing but their own breathing and the solemn creak of firs and cedars shifting uncomfortably in the unearthly hush. They moved back from the river as darkness fell, seeking the harsh solidity of the trees' shelter.
     "Night comes early in these parts," Matthew said. Derin laughed nervously and pressed his back against the trunk of a fir. The air was grainy, as though it had taken the density of night, its muted weight. In that silence, each of them thought of the owl and the power of darkness. Derin looked up, expecting to see a vast black wingspread descend to them, talons tensed.
     He felt a surge of fear, and on his wrist a blue vein pulsed. He closed his eyes and tried to calm the racing of his heart. Vera crouched low between the two of them, her ears flattened against her head. She growled deep in her throat and her tail bristled. Her breathing, like Matthew's, was quick and shallow. As the darkness had come, so the day returned to them, moving from the east. First the wind's sighing resumed in the upper branches of the trees, and waves reared upon the river's surface. And then the grey light surrounded them, casting ashes on their faces.
     "What was it?" Derin asked.
     "I don't know," Matthew said. "I've never seen anything like it." They looked at Vera, half-expecting her to understand what had happened, but she shrugged and stared at the sky. "I thought we'd come to the end," she said. "I never expected to be grateful for this thin light. It only goes to show how little time is left. We should push on."

                                                   *                         *                        *

     As Vera had said, there was swamp on this side too. It stretched before them as they picked up their packs and headed west. Ice and water, moss-covered hillocks, the grooved trunks of cedars passed around them as in a dream. Derin had the feeling they'd gotten nowhere, but the river's thunder receded until its sound disappeared into the icy water. The fox, who was leading, turned, and Derin almost tripped over her. "It won't be long," she reassured them. "Don't worry."
     Matthew whistled strange fragmentary pieces of a song Derin hadn't heard before. A few notes rose into the air and hung stranded, waiting for others which never came. He seemed preoccupied, half-dazed, and the boy wondered if the wound on the satyr's forehead were more serious than it looked. Derin kept up with the fox, who wasted no time threading a passage through the water, but the satyr lagged behind. He dragged his hooves, splashing water before him, and the constant noise began to wear on the boy's nerves.
     He stopped and faced the satyr, waiting for him to catch up. "Are you all right, Matthew?" he asked, but Matthew didn't answer, splashed right past him, whistling.
     Derin took two quick steps, caught the satyr by the shoulder, and spun him around. "I asked if you were all right," he said. Matthew shrugged free. "I'm fine," he said. "Just thinking."
     Derin let him walk second, and he followed through the swamp, watching the rhythmic swing of the satyr's shoulders, listening to the occasional haunting notes without form or pattern. As he pulled his feet free of the mud, little whirlpools rushed to fill the emptiness. He thought of the say before, the declivity of silence he'd lain in. He glanced over his shoulder, suddenly afraid they were being followed, but he could see only the stately monotonous recession of cedars.
     He heard the fox call back to him and Matthew, telling them they were almost out of the swamp, and he began to notice the change. The water lapped below his knees, the mud had given way to something more solid, and ahead, dimly, the boy could see the air brighten. It was like coming to the end of a long evening. In the swamp the light was stolen by the cedars and water, but where the water ended, the grey light they'd become accustomed to resumed.
     Derin was beginning to breathe more easily, anxious to escape the walled-in closeness of the swamp, when he saw the eyes. They peered at him from a thicket of pepperbush some distance to the left. He grunted, as though he'd been struck in the stomach, and stopped short. They disappeared. He stood where he was, scarcely breathing, his arms arrested in midswing, and stared at the thicket, sure he'd imagined them. But they blinked at him once more, what seemed to him hundreds of gleaming eyes, read as coral, as amanitas, and then he heard a soft swishing, water rippling, as the frogs swam away.
     He yelled to Vera and Matthew, now climbing the steady slope out of the swamp, and began to run, thrashing through the water, drenching himself again.
     He fled from the water, past the two who stood waiting, and Matthew reached out and grabbed him, almost wrenching him off the ground.
     "Wait," the satyr said. "Hold on."
     "They're back there," Derin gasped, his eyes wide. "Let go of me." He pulled his arm loose, but the look on the satyr's face kept him from running again.
     "What did you see?" Matthew asked.
     "The frogs. There were hundreds of them. Let's get out of here."
     "Calm down," Matthew said. "Your mind's playing tricks on you."
     "I'm not so sure," Vera said. "We're in the Outer Lands, remember. I expect we'll be reported. You didn't think we'd sneak up on the owl without his knowing, did you?"
     "I didn't know what to expect," Matthew said.
     "You saw hundreds of frogs?" Vera asked. "What did they do?"
     "They were in a bush. I saw their eyes."
     "They didn't follow you?"
     "No," Derin said, calmer. "They swam off. To the south."
     "There's nothing to do but keep going," the fox said. "We'll have to be careful."
     The land beyond the swamp was low and marshy. Cattails, reeds, tall knife-edged grass grew from the ground. Derin walked between the others, and his eyes searched the reeds for the red eyes he was sure were watching them. They traveled more quickly now; even Vera was unnerved by the thoughts of animals out there recording their passage, unseen presences they could do nothing about. Matthew tried to whistle to break the tension, but he soon stopped. Low shrublike bushes, waist-high pines, manzanita, dotted the terrain. There were places for things to hide.
     "What else lives here?" Derin asked, and Vera answered without breaking stride, speaking into the hollow air before her. "I told you before," she said. "Snakes and scorpions. Some weasels. I've seen a wild boar or two, though not in years. Up ahead, when the ground becomes desert, there are fewer animals. Sand squirrels mostly and a few other clans who have learned to get along without much water."
     "Desert?" Matthew asked.
     "The Plain of Desiccation," Vera said. "We'll be there all too soon."

                                                  *                        *                        *

     I apologize for taking this long for completing a simple task of copying a few pages. If you want me to do this thing faster, just SAY it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to get thumbs up on your INTERNET comments.

     If you have been trying to solve this ages old secret, you came to the right place. I will tell you, dear reader, how to get upvoted in online places.

     Way #1: Mention something a lot of other people like, and say you like it too.

     Way #2: Use the latest, hottest meme you know, and meme it like there's no tomorrow.

     Way #3: No, there is no 3rd way.

     And, there you have it! 3 2 sure ways to get your online comments upvoted.

     P.S. I also heard rumors of another way to get thumbs up, but did not include it here for lack of solid evidence of it actually working. I believe it has something to do with posting interesting and/or helpful material, but I haven't seen such posts upvoted ever.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A small cup of coffee is better.

     Yes, my dear reader. You heard it right. Your eyes do not deceive you.

     Small cup = good, large cup = bad.

     You may never thought about it much, but coffee does nave negative effects on your body, other than robbing you of sleep.

     Right now you will read an entire freaking paragraph consisting entirely of the bad things coffee can, and likely will, do to you.

     Coffee will dehydrate you, remove the much needed life liquid from your system. Logically, that also means you will be forced to visit the "bath" room many times, very often. Kind of inconvenient, isn't it? Coffee will speed up your heartbeat. If your <3 isn't in the mood of beating very fast today thank you very much, you will be doing your <3 a huge disservice :( Coffee will raise your body temperature. If it is hot already, you are fucked. Coffee is very likely to make you want to visit the "powder" room yet again, but for a different reason. If you are really busy at that moment, well, you are kind of royally fucked >:D Coffee will very likely make you sweat if you weren't prior. Name a fool who likes sweating. Chances are, you are not naming yourself. Coffee is among the substances that will stain your teeth like a perfect mixture of glue and ink.

     But that is only if you over-consume that dark drink. If you drink a small cup, and none more after that, you are fine.

     So yeah, large cups of coffee are only for emergencies, like dealing with depression, or constipation (or both, with former caused by latter). Otherwise, avoid excessive coffee consumption like YouTube cat videos (bad for you in larger than VERY SMALL doses).

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Satyrday, a Fable. Wednesday, parts 7 & 8.

     As they stood on the bank looking out, the surface of water was troubled, a further turbulence not caused by the water roiling around rocks or submerged logs. To Derin, it looked as if the river's bottom had risen to the top. Fish began to surface, the glistening backs of dolphins, swordfish, the hard white shells of surf clams like stepping-stones. Holding parallel to the current, their sleek scaled and armored bodies shimmering in the grey light, they seemed like a rainbow rising from the water. Octopi wrapped their slithery suction-cupped tentacles around bluefish and halibut to keep them steady. Sponges the color of dried blood wedged between lobster and shark. Some of the fish brought seaweed in their mouths to use as anchors, to fasten them together. Derin watched in wonder as more and more creatures joined the rainbow, scallops and mussels mooring themselves to the sponges and eelgrass, spinning a web of byssus threads, barnacles anchoring themselves to mussels until a solid passage of fish appeared where there had been nothing but water.
     The river splashed over the bridge, spume was thrown high in the air, but the fish held against the river's tug. "Are you ready?" Vera asked.
     Without waiting for an answer, she waded into the water and deftly leapt up onto the backs of the fish. She slithered from cod to bluefish  and they rolled their large round eyes upwards as if to wish her well. Under her, the bridge rocked and swayed as the current ripped at it. She was drenched by the flying spray which hit the fishes' tails and swirled above her.
     Derin watched the fox, mesmerized, until Matthew gave him a shove, almost knocking him headfirst into the river. "Hurry!" Matthew said, "They can't hold forever."
     The boy thrashed through the few feet of water to where the bridge began. He put his hands on the back of a shark, irs kin rough as sandpaper, and lifted a foot out of the water. Balancing precariously, he stood, almost fell, crouched, and steadied himself. Beneath him, the bridge gave way a little, flexible, sinking into the water. He took a step and the fish held, another step, and another.
     The river was as cold as he remembered. Ice formed in his hair and crusted his eyelashes. He twisted to look and saw Matthew clambering up on the first fish. "Just keep going," Matthew screamed. "Don't look back."
     The fish were slippery, as though covered with slime, and his feet slid across their scaled surfaces. Ahead of him, he could dimly see the fox padding carefully across, shrouded by mist, and he tried to keep her in view. Below him, the surface of the bridge kept changing. He stepped from the soft bodies of fish to the harder rocklike shells of surf clams. Once he stepped on a skate and felt himself falling as its thin body refused to hold his weight, but he jumped to the back of a dolphin and continued.
     Refusing to follow Matthew's command, he looked behind him to see where the satyr was. His hooves were giving him trouble. They hurt the fish who writhed under the sharp wedged horn. Matthew saw the boy watching him, and tried to scream something, but Derin couldn't hear him. He could barely see the satyr's arms flailing in the air. The only sound he heard was the roaring of the river. It came from upstream, sweeping down upon him, borne on the back of the wind. Water sucked and nibbled at his feet, whitecaps slapped over the backs of fish before him, obscuring them in a wash of water. He couldn't see where he was stepping.
     Suddenly he realized he had lost sight of Vera through the flying spray, and when he turned, Matthew, too, was obscured. Below him, the bridge bucked, nothing but a loose confederation of slippery fish. He saw the tentacle of an octopus writhe in the air and he thought of the vines coming loose, the raft disintegrating, being thrown into the air and falling. The fish seemed to be moving under him, and the waves, lashing his ankles, rocked him as he stumbled forward.
     A wild fear seized him. He began to run, lunging ahead, wanting only the steadiness of ground beneath his feet. Out of the mist, he saw the opposite shore loom. Vera was safely there, looking back at him, anxiously awaiting his emergence from the river's fog.
     Underneath him, the fish cringed at his heavy tread, and then began to fall away. He was scrambling, hardly able to hear his own screaming. He was about twenty feet from the shore when the bridge disappeared altogether, and he was thrown into the water. It filled his ears, entered his mouth. The river slapped him down, under, but he struggled to the surface, his legs scissoring at the hip, his arms reaching out in broad strokes, not so much like swimming as like reaching a lifeline. He saw the land in front of him begin to move; he was being swept downstream.
     Vera ran up and down the bank yelling, but he couldn't make out the words. "Up!" she seemed to be screaming, and then he heard. "Stand up! Stand up!" He stopped swimming, bent at the hips, and hid feet touched bottom. Under him was a thick ooze, but it was firmer than water, and though the ooze tried to swallow his feet, he pulled them loose and the water sunk beneath him, now at his chest, his waist, his knees.
     He looked behind him for Matthew, and then he realized that as he'd run and scattered the fishes, he'd left nothing for Matthew to cross on. "No!" he screamed. "Matthew!" He stumbled upstream to where Vera was standing, looking out over the water.
     There was the satyr, struggling against the raging river. He was holding his own against the current; it was not sweeping him away, but he was making no progress toward shore. He looked like a horse bucking a floodtide. He reared from the water, and then disappeared into a trough as a hand of wave came down upon him.
     Wildly the boy looked around. Near the base of a fir near the water's edge, a vine hung. He ran to the tree, gasped its thick leathery bark in his hands. Above him, the branches swayed but refused to give up their hold on the vine. He jumped into the air, grabbing it, putting all his weight on the vine, and it began to slip. He hung there for a minute, and it ripped loose, throwing him on the ground, the vine rattling loose and falling over him.
     He threw his sodden pack from his shoulders and staggered into the water. It churned around his knees, his waist. "Matthew!" he yelled, and this time when the satyr reared above the waves, he saw the boy.
     Derin had wandered out so far the waves lapped at his elbow. He whirled the vine around his head and threw it toward the satyr. It fell short, was taken downriver. Hurriedly he hauled it in. This time, the boy threw upstream and the vine floated past Matthew as he grabbed out for it. The third time the throw was good. Whipped by the water, the vine raged into Matthew's outstretched hands and the boy flung himself backwards, holding on with all his strength. He almost lost his footing and went down, but moving slowly, he felt the water recede.
     The satyr stopped struggling against the current as soon as he gripped the vine, so the river took him, playing with him like so much debris. Water crashed over his head. The boy finally reached the shore and began to pull him in.
     Matthew was the biggest fish he had ever tried to land. Arm over arm, he grasped at the vine. His biceps ached, his breath came in short gasps, and just when he thought he could hold no longer against this weight, this river, this task, he saw Matthew touch bottom, unsteady as a tree limb in a storm, and plunge ashore.
     The satyr collapsed on the bank and slowly rolled over onto his back. His chest heaved as he tried to fill his lungs with air. He pushed himself up on an elbow and retched, salt water spilling from him. Derin knelt beside him, pushed the satyr's muddy hair back from his forehead where the blood streaked his nose and cheek.
     It was a superficial cut, but it bled crazily. Matthew lay back and pressed the heel of his hand against it to staunch the blood. He stared above him at the grey sky, the tops of the firs shaking with the wind.
     "A lovely swim," he gasped. "But it's good to be ashore."
     "Matthew," Derin said.
     "I was hoping for a minute you'd save me," he said to Vera, who crouched on his other side. "I've always wanted to ride a nymph."
     "Maybe some other time," the fox said, smiling.
     "I'll look forward to it," Matthew said, and closed his eyes. "Derin has all the luck."

                                                   *                      *                      *

     There was no longer any doubt about it, the sun thought. Something had happened to her sister. Another day had passed, and the clouds below her were, if anything, darker, more dense. Yesterday, as she'd traveled west, she kept looking for a break in the grey blanket beneath her, but not once did she get a glimpse of earth. It was time to take this matter upon herself.
     The sun did not like to travel. She had a regular course, and the slow curve of her motion over the earth, fixed and familiar, pleased her. She disliked disruption in her routine, but she saw no way around this. If her fool sister had gone on another of her journeys and had gotten in trouble, the sun would have to be the one to rescue her.
     So it was with a good deal of disgruntlement that she left her orbit and went to look for the moon. She knew the value of her light to the earth, that her trip would have to be quick.
     Under the cloud cover, the earth turned dark. It was just past midday, but night descended like the blade of a hunting knife. Derin, Matthew, and Vera stood up in alarm. They huddled together, waiting for the world to end, sure their journey had some too late. In the Deadwood Forest, the moon hung caged in her oak and she cried out as the blackness settled over the trees. Around her for miles, she heard the ravens awaken from their daytime sleep and take to the sky. The noise of wings, of hoarse cawing tore at her. The owl, alone in a clearing to the moon's north, puffed his feathers in wonder. Had his plan come to fruition so quickly, days sooner than he had planned? The world was his! He gave a cry, a high shriek, which rang throughout the Forest.
     And Deirdre, where was she? As the false night settled, she awoke with the other ravens, but as they went screaming into the sky, she stayed on her branch, folding her wings around her more tightly. It's only a nightmare, she thought. he sun does not disappear in the middle of the day. And she closed her eyes and tried to sleep again, but the ravens wheeling in the air above her, the shriek of the owl which curdled the air, disturbed her.
     So the world waited, breathless, while the sun disappeared. From the meadowlands, there the jay flew in circles screaming, "Hobnail! Milquestoast! Pigeonfeathers!" to the southern reaches of the Deadwood Forest where Maxwell, his wings broken, sat on a branch, terrified of the starfish who lunged through the blackness below him, everything was plunged into premature and unexpected darkness.
     The sun's journey lasted only a short while. She soared above the earth until it was a darkened ball floating free in space. Ahead of her, the lights of other suns glowed and shimmered. She flew among them, looking everywhere for the moon, past great balls of molten lava, spinning frantically, trying to hold their centers. She saw other planets with moons and suns, they as barren as her planet had been years ago. Some moons were full and bright and others were odd shapes, lopsided ellipses, irregular blobs of light. And here and there, she saw the moons from which her sister had taken the vain idea of changing shape. She looked in the galaxies of fire and air, she hunted the confederations of stars and moons, but no matter where she looked, no matter who she asked, her sister was nowhere to be found, had not been seen.
     The further the sun flew from earth, the more anxious she became, and the more convinced that somehow–but how?– her sister was not out here in the vast reaches of space, but under that cover of cloud, on the surface of the earth itself. And that was the one place the sun could not go. It would be dangerous enough to the earth is her sister were there.
     She swung full circled and headed back. From around her, a brilliant nimbus shone. She illumined the bottom of black holes. She cowed the other suns and moons, still unsure of themselves and their power. And with the speed of light, she hurtled back to earth.
     As she came closer, slowed down, jolted back into her orbit, the earth below the layer of clouds brightened. The terrified moon gave a sigh of relief. The ravens settled back to an uneasy sleep. And the owl rained curses around him. He cursed the moon and her sister; he cursed the fact that his plan had not yet reached a conclusion. For a moment, he had been ruler of the world. The darkness at midday had thrilled him with a sense of his strength. He swelled in the darkness: power, lust, pleasure were his. But the light had returned. He would have to wait.
     Below her, the sun saw the clouds seethe. They were impenetrable. "Are you there, little sister?" she thought. "Is it there you have come to rest?" The moon felt a strange tugging at her heart, as though someone were speaking to her, but around her, the forest was silent as it had ever been. She was alone, she was bereft, but in the midst of her despair, she felt a slight warmth, a tinge of hope.

                                                        *                    *                    *

End for now. More = later!

P.S. In the last paragraph, the sun's thoughts were not quoted. I consider that a mistake, so correction ensued.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A humble theory on why Beyond Good & Evil is not very popular.

     We all love our cult classics, right? We all love our Twice Upon a Time, our Psychonauts, our Firefly. We love 'em.

     And almost as much as we love to promote them, we love to defend them, explain to others why they did not reach a more mainstream success. Released before their time, bad promotion, censorship, other reasons.

     And today, for your amusement (at least I hope you'll be amused), I am going to explain why Beyond Good & Evil remains a cult classic, despite enough years having passed to build a bigger audience through word of mouth.

     Let's get lack of promotion our of the way first, since that is not really the biggest issue. Over the years, good things find an audience. The INTERNET allowed hundreds of ppl to tell thousands of other ppl of under-appreciated games like Psychonauts and Ico. And the info on BG&E being a good game was widely available online for many years. And yet, BG&E did not become a game beloved by the mainstream.

     So, now I will tell you, the reader, the two biggest reasons on why Beyond Good & Evil does not appeal to a wider audience even now, one subjective and one objective.

                                                        ONE: objective and minor.

     The biggest thing about the game, the game's heart if you will, is the feeling of you changing the minds of an entire planet's population. Jade is a photographer who *ahem* with her photography exposes a supposedly good military organization for the monsters they really are. In a way, BG&E is a revolution simulator.

     In order to feel like you are changing the minds of the people, you need to feel connected to them. You connect with the population, and learn of their lives, by talking to them between missions. The problem? It is almost entirely mandatory. You can talk to a Hyllian or two in order to learn where to find more pearls, the game's currency. However, pearls can be just as easily obtained by exploring the world map, or going off the main path in dungeons. To learn about the hardships of the people, of the kidnappings, to find out how the population feels, you need to speak with EVERYONE after each mission. You are never reminded of the importance of talking to everyone between missions. Most players will miss 90% of dialogue on their first play.

     Another thing you do in the game to feel like you caused change, is reading the underground paper with the photos you took. The problem? You NEVER have to do that. 100% optional. Never told to do that either.

     Now, you might be saying "smart players know to explore everywhere and try everything to get all of the story!" True, true. Players who ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO. You, smart player, are very much in the minority. You are either a huge fan of adventure games (there aren't a lot of you), very OCD about 100%ing each level (again, minority), or already played the game.

     The majority of players will miss most or all of the optional dialogue, and never watch a single news report. Those who won't miss that on first playthrough are not large in number, as explained above. In a game focused mostly on STORY, and not innovative deep gameplay, missing on lore will make you feel like you haven't accomplished much after each mission. You won't feel like you spread the truth to the population of Hyllis; you will feel like you beat a dungeon.

     "But I did all the optional stuff, I figured out everything by myself!" you might say. Well, smart cookie, you are from the tiny village of Smart Cookie. Most gamers are from Plebville, a large metropolis populated by average Joe and Joannes, who don't care and don't know. They will miss half the story and will feel underwhelmed. Many of them will not like the game, or merely think it's "meh". That would mean less favorable reviews, less success, less popularity.

                                                      TWO: subjective, and major.

     The game looks like a cartoon. That's putting it short, and a full explanation requires long paragraphs.

     Regardless of what you say or think, the fact is: the general populace does not accept serious drama in cartoon form. Serious drama is preferred bundled with a strong dose of realism (like BG&E used to be bundled with cheese). To be taken seriously, a piece of fiction needs to be realistic. Give the audience a cartoon, and approximately 50% will walk away, thinking it would be wacky comedy (something Mature Adults™ do not enjoy on principle). And sooner than later, 25% more will leave, disappointed after not getting the wacky comedy they came to see. You will be left with a quarter of the original group, accepting of your cartoons with dramas.

     A cartoon with serious/dramatic elements is not enjoyed by many people. By "serious/dramatic" I simply mean that actions have consequences: when punched, people go "ow!", when stabbed they bleed, when killed they die. Anvil dropped on the head will smash the guy, killing the bastard instantly.

     And I won't waste my (and your) time with bullshit about historical and cultural reasons on why serious cartoons are not popular. I won't, because I know people are they way are just because. I accept that, and so should you. You will never change society to like dramatic cartoons more, even if you make a HUNDRED YouTube videos, or write a HUNDRED blog posts. And convincing people IRL won't help either. You can only change the minds of others when they are about to change themselves, with you helping them by providing a push. If someone isn't already open to the idea of serious cartoons being something they might like, you won't change their minds.

     Beyond Good & Evil is a mostly serious game with a cartoony presentation. That combination naturally does not appeal to the majority of people. And that is a major reason for the game not being super popular.

     Well, there's everything I wanted to say. Next time someone wonders "why isn't Beyond Good & Evil more popular?", tell them this. Or give them the link to this post, that would be nice also!

     Next post will be more Satyrday!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Waifus and kids' cartoons.

     So, the waifu phenomenon. About 90% of people who use that word are either having a giggle, or are being very ironic about things. So, naturally that leaves about 10% to talk about. But even that 10% is hard to write a ridiculous essay on, since it's a whole ocean of discussable material. Naturally, one must pick one small thing to concentrate on. And just like that, I will focus on one thing right now.

     So, here is my ridiculous thesis for the night – having stronger imagination increases your chances of having a waifu.

     But first thing foremost, what's a waifu?

     Well, to make matters understandable, you need to be aware that there exist two popular definitions. One is a fictional female you really like for whatever reasons (this one is rarely used). Another is a fictional female you really wish were real (to marry and/or fuck and/or hug) (most widely used). Sometimes the two can overlap, and you get both. But tonight we are going to focus on the second definition only, because I want to.

     There is one thing all sane individuals (mostly those without waifus) can agree on: fictional females are not real. And before we get all metaphysical, by "not real" I mean "not in the real world right now cannot touch" not real. So yes, waifus are not real.

     So, why do so many silly people obsess over fictional females who are not real?

     That is something that will only puzzle a person with weak imagination (like you lol).

     Commencing explanation of the "imagination = waifu" relationship:

     Imagination is required to experience fiction. Just like shrooms are required to get high. Without imagination, fiction will leave you unimpressed and uninterested. So, in order to care for a story that is not real, you must imagine, even for a minute, that it might be real. And, as you should already know, there are no stories without characters (I even wrote a post about that). Stories are largely made of characters; in order to feel for the story, you must feel for the characters. You must consider the distant possibility that they might be real.

     And that's when things get interesting.

     You pretend that non-existing characters are real so they could move you and leave a lasting impression. And some of those non-existent persons are females. Some are main characters, some supporting, some rivals, some love interests, some not. And you will feel something for them. In case of a female being a love interest in the story, you are likely to feel something resembling interest, as the protagonist does.

     So, you will consider the possibility that that female is real, and you might love her. So, who is to say that this game of imagination cannot shift to full blown delusion? It is a slippery slope in some way: "could be real in some land far far away" >> "might be real somewhere else" >> "might be real" >> "maybe she's real" >> "OH MAH GOSH SHE'S REAL!"

     WAIT A MINUTE, do I have a point? Well, I haven't made it yet. But I will now!

     1. Some of us with stronger imagination can become rather attached to the fantasy, and value it almost as much as the real. She's real in my <3, dammit!

     2. With strong imagination and poor control over it, one can lose the ability to distinguish between the real and fantasy. She's real in Fictionland, and I cannot wait until I can get my hands on a magical transporter to be with her! :'(

     But in both cases, you need to have a very strong imagination. That is not to say that you will have a waifu if you possess imagination of that level, BUT that will increase your chances by many percents.

     Another thing that will increase your percents is the medium. Visual storytelling provides an image in addition to words, making it easy to fall in wub with fictional womenz. It is even easier with cartoons, since voice is added to the mix, making it that much harder to RESIST. Can you resist?

     So, if anyone wonders again why do ze nerds have waifus, remember – strong imagination and waifus tend to walk together.

     The same applies to husbandos I guess.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Satyrday, a Fable. Wednesday, parts 5 & 6.

     Derin was taken by the water as though he were a leaf. He fought to the surface for air against the long tendrils of river wrapping themselves around his legs, pulling him under. The tendrils snaked after him, never let him go. He tumbled in the though, a shell, a tiny pebble.
     His body no longer felt the water's coldness. He felt no pain at all. As he relaxed, he felt a deep peace envelop him. He ceased fighting, let himself be taken by the current, and he drifted, weightless, just conscious enough to see the strange rock swim toward him. The water blurred his vision, but he made out the rock's elongated shape, tapering away at the end, covered with white weeds at the other. As it approached, the boy saw it wasn't a rock at all. Her hair streamed in the water, fanning out behind her, over her shoulders, and he followed the sleek curve of her body until, at the hips, she became a fish, covered with grey scales, honing down to the final finned flare as she dissolved into water.
     Vera darted under him, her long arms stroking in front of her, and he tightened his legs around her as she swam between them. He felt her scales under his thighs. He reached down, held her shoulders with both hands, and she surged toward the surface.
     The dark skin of water grew closer and broke around his head in a crown of spray. Together, they left the surface of river and rose into the air. Vera arched her back, and using her hands to scatter the surface, dove again into the river. Derin caught a glimpse of spray, of the shore toward which they headed, and he gasped, coughing deeply, before the silver-grey water closed around him. Again Vera broke the surface, allowing Derin time to breathe, and together they swam toward land.
     The rush of wind and water on his face drew him awake. Under him, the nymph rolled and twisted around snags, rocks, dangerous stretches of current. He tightened his thighs, locked his ankles as she bucked beneath him. The water flashed from his back as though it could no longer harm him.
     In the air, into the water they rocked. Tall firs loomed from the muddy banks, the sky hung low over the river. When they reached water shallow enough for Derin to stand in, Vera rolled, throwing the boy on his side. For a moment, Derin floundered, but then his foot hit bottom. Splashing, coughing, he staggered the few remaining feet to shore and fell on his knees in the mud. Behind him, he heard a rasp coarse as rock ground against sand, and when he turned he saw the fox drag herself from the water, gasping. She came and lay beside him, looked at him once with her large grey eyes before she closed them, and the boy reached out and ran his hand the length of her soiled sodden fur, in wonder, in disappointment. When Matthew found him, Derin was alone. The fox, after resting, had left him on the bank, but Derin was not thinking of the solid ground beneath him. He stared at the river's roiling surface, remembering the leaps from the water, the wild bucking of the nymph under him, the touch of her smooth scales against his skin. He was in an undiscovered country, trying to follow the course of a map which has not yet been drawn.

                                                   *                          *                           *

     Vera battled her way upriver in search of fish. The water pulled at her, surging over her body as if she were a stone or a log blocking its natural course. She was exhausted. Her arms ached with the strain of swimming and her hips were bruised from carrying Derin to land. Her hair swirled in the currents, now hazing her sight, now swept backwards off her shoulders so she felt the rush of water fresh on her face. At times her struggle seemed useless, as though she were being inexorably swept downstream against all her best efforts. But she kept swimming, flexing her sinuous tail, flicking the great caudal fin in the icy water.
     It was a crazy idea, but it just might work. They would take some convincing, for fish were stubborn and proud, inclined to silence, but they would not be frightened by the owl. Vera doubted they even knew of him. In the Deadwood Forest there was no water, and fish were the only animals who had no place in the owl's plans.
     Ahead of her, in the shallows of a spot where the river bent and left in its wake a small pool of less turbulent water, she saw the torpedolike shapes of fish. They hung in the pool as if suspended by strings, barely moving their fins. Under them, on the sand of the river's bottomm were hundreds of shellfish, lobsters in their mottled green armor, the fluted shells of scallops, a colony of mussels, shiny and blue-black, studded with limpets and barnacles, attached to one another by golden byssus threads. They were silent under the dark canopy of swordfish and blues, sea bass, halibut, the square slatelike tail-whipped forms of skate.
     Vera hurried toward them, wanting the quiet of their undisturbed water. If I can rest for a minute, she thought, I'll be fine again. But the sight of this strange half-fish swimming toward them threw the fish into confusion. They panicked. Swordfish swept to the water's surface and leapt, arching, flinging spray toward the clouds, slapping the water with their tails as they fell. Other fish swam upstream, fighting the current. The shellfish scattered across the bottom, mussels and scallops clattering like waterlogged castanets. The calm Vera had expected turned into a turbulent series of cross-currents, a slap in the face.
     She called to them, worried she'd lost them all. She gasped for breath; her words were bubbles of sound only she could hear, for the fish were too far away, frantically trying to escape her.
     She darted upstream but she couldn't catch them. This river was their home, and they were built for swimming, their sleek long forms adapted perfectly to the water. Vera let her arms drop, and felt the water take her. She twisted until she was headed downstream, then floated in the current, resting. When she was close to the shallows where the fish had been, she came alive again and swam there, letting herself sink almost to the bottom. She couldn't remember ever having been so tired.
     Vera crossed her eyes and opened them only after she felt the water push against her, crowding her. On the sand below, the shellfish had gathered, the lobsters' claws waving up at her like ominous underwater plants. She could see the scallops' twin rows of tiny blue eyes watching as they barely opened their shells. Above her, the bluefish and swordfish, halibut and skate had returned, and for a minute she was the one who was frightened, surrounded. They stared at her, their cold round eyes unnervingly lidless. What were they thinking? The lobsters peered up from under their horned ridge of chiton, antennae quivering in the slightly moving water.
     "I didn't mean to frighten you before," Vera said. "I'm sorry."
     The fish said nothing. Streams of bubbles filtered from their mouths as they waited for her to speak again.
     "I'm a sea nymph," Vera explained, and suddenly felt ridiculous, riding this water, trapped between skate and lobster. "Listen," she said. "I've come to help. I know why the river's so wild, why the current is stronger and the water colder."
     She remembered seeing great schools of fish lying on the bottom of a pond, irradiated by the full moon's glow upon the water's skin, their scales shining like silver. She had seen fish surge to the surface and break through, throwing themselves toward the moon, splashing the silver drops of water into the air in homage, desperate longing. "The moon's been wrenched from the sky," she said. "Stolen. She's held captive on land, miles to the west."
     A bluefish with cold ded eyes interrupted her. "In this ruver there are no directions but upstream and down."
     "There are creatures whose lives are not so simple," she said. "A great horned owl who lives in a place called the Deadwood Forest had kidnapped the moon. Without her, the world's gone crazy. There aren't any tides. The river's running wild."
     "You can say that again," a swordfish said. "It's worth your life to get caught in the current these days."
     "I need your help," Vera said. "Or you'll never again have the moon's gold shadow cast upon this water. I have no idea what will happen to the river if she isn't rescued."
     She was sure of it. A startled, frightened look shone from the fishes' eyes. They eddied in the water, looking at one another. Their tails twitched. Under them, all the scallops and mussels snapped open and shut. Vera saw a school of shrimp, translucent, almost impossible to find in the dimness, their pairs of legs jerking spastically.
     The water around her began to churn and Vera was afraid they would all burst loose again, flying in different directions, upstream and down, the only life they knew.
     "Please," she said. "Come with me. Help me."
     The water calmed again, and Vera felt the force of all those eyes upon her, but now they were not so indifferent or cold. They pleaded with her in return, as she had pleaded with them.
     "What would you have us do?" a swordfish asked.
     "I have two friends who do not swim," Vera began.
     "We have no friends who do not swim," the swordfish said, his eyes wild with confusion and distrust.
     "Listen to me," Vera said, losing patience. "We're going to rescue the moon. There isn't tom for quibbling."
     "Why don't you swim them across?" a skate asked.
     "Because teh water's too cold," Vera said. "They'd freeze. They're warm-blooded creatures."
     "And why don't you find someone else?"
     "There is no one else," she said firmly.

                                                         *                         *                        *

     Here are some lines to take out of context:

—"he tightened his thighs, locked his ankles as she bucked beneath him"
—"she came and laid down beside him"

     Just because I could.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Satyrday, a Fable. Wednesday, parts 3 & 4.

     The ax fell through the air and bit deeply into the fallen fir. Matthew wrenched it loose, swung it back over his head, and down again. A wedge of wood bigger than the boy's foot jumped from the v-shaped cut. Derin scraped resin into the earthenware pot, added some water, and put it over the flames. The amber resin bubbled and boiled down into a darkened syrup. Off the fire, it thickened still more.
     Together, the two carried the logs Matthew had cut until there were seven of them side by side near the riverbank in a small declivity level with the water. Vera watched as Matthew lashed the logs together with the leathery vines she had found lying on the ground while Derin was off on his own search to the south. "I didn't have to climb a tree," she said. "They were waiting for me." "Lucky for you," Derin said. The satyr wound the vines until the logs were as tight as he could make them, and then Derin caulked the spaces between them with the resiny tar.
     At last, the tar hardened and, when Matthew splashed water between the logs, it stayed in glistening ponds.
     "Looks watertight to me," Vera said. "Let's go."
     Matthew looked out over the river, and shrugged. "It's the best we can do," he said. He gathered together the belongings he'd flung from the pack, dismantled his makeshift ax and placed the head back in its sheath.
     The river was even rougher than it had been that morning. As the day moved toward its zenith, the water rose in higher and higher waves which crested and broke as the river swept from north to south. "It's a tidal river," Vera said, "salty as the sea. It cuts across the whole land connecting the ocean's halves. But there aren't any tides since the moon's been gone. Why is it so rough?"
     They maneuvered the heavy raft until a corner of it dipped into the water. The river met the obstacle and flew apart into spume, drenching the three. Matthew and the boy shouldered their packs, and the satyr told Derin and Vera to board the raft and stay together in the center. When they were ready, he heaved at it. It budged an inch and stuck fast.
     "It's digging into the bank," Matthew yelled, trying to make himself heard above the river's noise. "Get off there. Help me push."
     Even with the three of them, it was difficult. The harder they shoved, the deeper the firs sank into the mud at the river's edge. "We'll have to pick it up," Derin screamed.
     "Be careful of your backs," Vera said.
     Derin and Matthew braced themselves and pulled upwards on the raft. The mud didn't want to let go. "At least it's holding together," Matthew said.
     "What?" Derin yelled, cupping a hand behind his ear. The satyr shook his head and waved a hand.
     They pulled again, and the bank began to relinquish its grasp. From where Derin stood, he could hear the pops and sucks as the logs ripped loose from the mud. Suddenly, Derin felt the resistance lessen, and with and enormous slap, the raft came free and Matthew and the boy fell forward as the water tugged at the raft's corner, pulling it into the current. "Quick!" Matthew screamed. "We'll lose it." Derin was on his knees in the mud, the raft several feet in front of him, gaining ground. "Jump," Matthew said. "Both of you."
     In a graceful arc, Vera leapt to the raft and hunkered down in the middle. Derin scrambled to his feet, thrashed through the water and threw himself onto the closest loge. His legs scissored, he pulled, and he crawled to the middle and turned to look back at Matthew.
     With a groan which seemed to come from the timber's interior, the raft gave up its hold on the land. For a moment, Derin didn't know what was happening. He and Vera lay flat, trying to balance the logs, but they tipped landward in a precarious slant. Matthew clung to the far corner, his legs in the water, trying to climb the slippery logs to where the others were. Derin crawled away from the satyr to equalize the weight, and hung with his hands to the edge jutting over the water. "Grab my leg," he screamed and he felt his body being stretched as the satyr pulled himself toward the raft's center.
     Spray flashed above them, drenching them with brine. The raft took off like a frightened animal. It reared and plunged, rising to the crest of a wave and plummeting to the trough beneath. Derin hung on; he grabbed the ropes which bound the raft together, wedged one foot under some vines at the other end. "Don't do that!" Matthew screamed. "If this thing turns over, you won't get loose." The boy jerked his leg free and began to slide. As the raft pitched forward, covered with icy water, there was little to hold him.
     For the boy, the ride was exhilarating. The wild torrent required every ounce of his energy, and his concentration was taxed to the fullest. He felt equal to the river's demands as the raft was tossed into the air and thudded down again on the back of a cresting wave.
     The boy looked behind him. Vera lay played on the logs, her eyes glazed. Her white fur was saturated with water. The satyr had assumed the same position; all three of them clung to the raft, trying to burrow into the crevices between the logs as the land sped by in a dizzying rush. The river took the raft, spinning it so Derin alternately saw the water rushing at him and before* him. He had lost all sense of direction.
     They were enveloped in mist, the land dropped away, and the exhilaration the boy felt changed to fear. He was swirling in a vortex whose only coordinates were noise and cold. Waves towered above them and crashed, trying to wrench them free. The roaring in his ears grew so loud he could no longer hear his own screams. A cold and brutal wind howled around him, attempting to rip the shirt from his back.
     When the edge of the raft hit the rock, the log which took the blow splintered. For a moment, the whole raft stood almost on end, and then feel back with a mighty crash, sending a wall of water upstream. It met the oncoming waves, and the two waters thundered into the sky and splashed down, inundating the raft. Derin saw the splintered log tossed skyward where the wind hit and threw it like a matchstick. Something slapped his leg; he saw a vine unraveling, whipping through the air.
     "Matthew!" he screamed. Matthew looked at him oddly, but the expression in his eyes was frozen there, as if he stared into a dead face. Then the boy noticed how far away Matthew was, and what he had feared had already happened. Matthew clung to a few logs which pitched forward, upended, and disappeared. He thought he heard a scream, but he couldn't tell if it was a voice or the commotion of the river. He looked behind him, but Vera was gone as well. Was that a paw he saw sticking from the water? It could be foam, or a skinned stick. It could be anything.
     And then the small solidity beneath him disappeared. The logs tore apart, the vine washed away, and the pitch ripped from end to end. Derin was flung into the air like so much flotsam, his pack lopsided on his back, unbalancing him, and he fell ten feet from the crest of a wave into the valley of water which lay beneath him, beckoning with its furious icy arms.

                                                           *                      *                      *

     Matthew clambered to shore, bone-tired, nearly frozen, his brain dulled by the cold. Twice he had been thrown by the water towards submerged rocks, but he had lunged to safety. Blindly, he let himself be taken by the current until he had a clear sense of its direction, and then he struck out toward the shore they had set from not much earlier.
     His pack felt unnaturally heavy on his back. He threw himself on the bank, panting, and attempted to calm himself, but waves of hysteria rose in him, threatening to engulf him as the river had the raft. Shaking, he stood up, shaded his eyes with his hand, and looked out over the turbulent water. He saw the rocks, the rearing waves, but not a trace of his friends. He stopped himself from yelling their names, knowing it would only be wasted breath.
     How far downstream had he been taken? Here too, firs rose from the riverbank so it seemed to the satyr he'd never left the land. But he knew he'd been swept further south. Still wobbly, he took off downriver. Maybe Vera and Derin had been washed ashore as well. He tried to be hopeful, but there was no reason for hope. Matthew knew how cold the water was, how it robbed him of breath, paralyzed his hands and feet. The river had two levels. A deadly calm, a slow suck downward, like gravity, lay under the furious rushing surface. In that lower stratum a body had no buoyancy, little hope of escape. The boy might be held in that calm now, or else he'd been dashed on the rocks. And where was Vera? Was her magic not enough in the face of this raging river?
     He began to walk more slowly, as these thoughts sapped what little energy he had left. Across from him, the opposite shore appeared and disappeared through the mists the river flung into the air. Matthew stopped, shaded his eyes again, and looked. In the middle of the water, he thought he saw Derin's body rise and fall with the waves. Was it really the boy or only a log, a floating branch? He thought again of the temperature of the water, and realized that if it were Derin's body, it would be dead.
     He stopped walking, he stopped looking, he stood on the riverbank, barely breathing. He knelt on the bank, raked his hands through the gravely mud. Without thinking of the dirt, without thinking of anything but the boy, he put his face in his palms and howled.

                                                        *                        *                        *

* I'm pretty sure the word should be "behind", but "before" is written on the paper. Is this a mistake, or intentional? No idea.

     Well, as always, more = later! (hope later would come soon)