Misplaced Ire

Misplaced Ire

In case you didn’t already know, I have a degenerative illness that will probably mean that I will be in a wheelchair before I die.  I already need a walking stick to get around.  I have a car that is modified so I don’t have to use my feet (it has a kinda joystick thing to do the accelerating and braking, but when I asked for the lasers and rocket launchers…  they looked at me like I was a twat).  I am officially disabled.  I have a card with my name on to prove it.  I’ve also got a cripple bus pass.

Tonight, the subject was raised in the pub.  Ok, they had kinda spotted the cripple thing.  The stick was a hint, but the way I unsubtly hassle people to give up a stool at the bar for a cripple may be the clincher (invariably, the cripple in question was me… in case you thought I was altruistic).  The matter raised was the bus pass.

In the UK, cripples (or using PC speak… disabled people) get a free bus pass.  But it is not valid for all the busses.  It has a cut off time.  So if I’m having a night out, I have to leave earlier than people who are catching the bus to the same place as me.  I know.  An injustice.  It’s not like the bus fare goes up for those later buses.

Tonight was not the first time that this prejudice (in my opinion) has been brought to the attention of people I have been drinking with.  The general resulting conversation goes something similar to this…

“But, that is wrong!”
“Yeah, I know.”
“No…  Seriously…  That is wrong!”

“Um, yeah.  I know.”
“Someone should do something about it.  They can’t discriminate against the disabled like this!  I am disgusted by the way less able people are discriminated against…”
(This is where I tend to tune out the vitriol).

 

I valiantly resist the urge to interrupt their well meaning rant with, “Go on then…  Stand up and fight our corner.  What?  You think that I and others like me haven’t shouted about the injustice of an enforced curfew on those of us that can’t walk right?  You think that because we have problems standing up that we also have problems expressing our feelings and minds?  Because we are less able in some things that we are less able in all things?  Don’t sit their ranting about injustice and that someone should do something about it.  Do something, or shut the fuck up!  Otherwise you are belittling the efforts of those who have tried, and got nowhere!”

My opinion?  Empathise and sympathise (if you do).  But don’t bang on about it, wax lyrical or rant on a subject that you (probably) know nothing about.  It is the life of the person that brought the issue to your attention.  And they almost certainly just brought it up in passing.  Before you go off on one, consider how much of a cunt you will make them feel by shouting about the injustice that is their daily life. 

 

You may feel that you have shown how caring you are, for the next ten minutes before you get distracted by another topic.    But the person who probably made a passing comment about their life, which got turned into a topic of conversation and a rant, has to live with the fact that a daily hardship has just been turned into ‘Shakespearian – Once more unto the breach’ overture.

OK, this is a rather minor example of the shit that some people have to live with.  There is much bigger shit that both I and others have to deal with every day.  And we have kinda got used to dealing.  Yeah, it does occasionally come up in conversation.  But (most of the time) we really don’t want it to become a crusade. 

 

So unless you are damn sure that everyone concerned is trying to raise an issue and promote action, I would advise that you simply go with ‘Shit.  That sucks!’, looking concerned about the issue for a couple of minutes…  And maybe a hug if they look particularly unhappy (although a hug anyway is generally well received).

[Addendum – For any of you that may be jumping up and down shouting that I can’t use the word ‘cripple’.  I can call myself whatever the hell I like.  I can call myself a ‘skinny ginger doucheburger’ if I want.  But it doesn’t mean that I won’t punch someone else who calls me that.]

ProduX #1

ProduX #1

I remember last New Years Eve, we toasted to 2014 and someone (I can not remember who and it does not really matter), asked me: "What do you think 2014 will bring?"

I had a few guesses, but none have come through thus far, but there is still some time left before rejecting my theories conclusively. At any rate, my current circumstance, planning to leave the country for three years to get a Ph.D had never struck my mind, but now that I find myself in that exact circumstance.  I have to admit a few things, all but one utterly indifferent to you readers. I do not have 30+ hours currently to continue the June/Jonas story, so I am forced to put my story on hiatus for a while, at least to the point when I again have time to sit down and type out the plot. Everything is planned, but the writing takes a lot of time.

This is a golden opputunity to use this space to present and debate quite a few things that I do and present them with explanations and analysis. And while I do not, for now, want to dive into the backlog of what I have already produced, I can see this as a self-motivation as well to produce some content. And I will strive to do so.

My hobby of composing and arranging music is well documented, albeit it on amateur level and as a hobby at best.  And while delving a lot into MineCraft designs I find myself under a blue moon looking at tutorial videos on YouTube, most of the time because someone wanted me to check this and that new feature out, but occasionally for my own purposes as well. On that note, I want to talk about some things and features of YouTube tutorials that bug me to no end. I have personally witnessed all of the following mistakes time and time again. First of all:

  • Any intro sequence above 10 seconds in length is torture.

Having your audience sit through more than 10 seconds of self aggrandizing logos, pompous intro music and self masturbatory commercialization is pure torture. Your target audience is watching your video specifically because they have an issue they wish to resolve, and watching lengthy intro sequences accomplishes nothing. At best it makes me loathe the bugger who thought this was "good video content". Stop it.

  • Do not state who you are and what you are here to do, if the title explains what the video tutorial is on.

Stating who you are in a YouTube video is redundant in just about all cases as your account name 2 cm below the video states who you are and in two clicks I can see all your backlog of other tutorials. The only exception is for hub accounts with multiple people producing content under the same name. Then it is fair to present who you are, but if your title says: "How to X in Y," you better not start your tutorial with: "Hello, I am Z here and today we are playing Y, and we will be doing X," or anything equivalent. We already read the title. Supplementary information, oh yes, please, that is allowed and encouraged, but do not repeat yourself. It wastes your and my time.

  • Do not state whatever you are doing is "easy".

The second you do, you are demeaning the intelligence of your audience, and this varies from rude to vulgar depending on the subject matter, but it is in all cases insulting. Yes, the same goes for the word "simple," and any synonymous words. The best case scenario is if your viewer figures out it how to do it and feels smart. That pleasant realisation will have them coming back.

  • Never praise yourself for doing the tutorial. No matter what.

Holm1

 

 

 

 

 

This should really go without saying. Nothing good comes of it.

  • Do not get sidetracked. If you do, edit it out.

Keep it short and to the point. For example, if I am looking up how to embed YouTube videos in WordPress, do not start your tutorial opening up the WordPress Dashboard, then proceed to show which editing software you used to produce the YouTube video and then finally after three minutes of monotonous incomprehensible unwanted indifferent shallow explanations on editing software return to show how you embed the video with WordPress. Edit it out. We do not need to see it.

  • If you make mistakes in your tutorial, do it over, or edit them out.

​This I have seen time and time again with tutorials that start out by going "This is super simple," (see the above!) then misclicking a few times end up with three different windows, two of which are useless and then promptly closing two get right back on track. Your audience is already confused how to perform X in Y. You do not need to show two ways on how to not do X in Y at the same time. It is confusing and unnecessary.

  • Do not use third party programs that you do not recommend using.

This one is just weird, but I have seen this too many times. "So you download this and that file and anyone can edit it with notepad, no problem. So let us edit the file, just open it up in notepad, I will be using NotePad++" No! If you encourage your audience to do one thing, you do that exact same thing as well.

  • If you leave during a tutorial, edit out your absensce.

Especially if you have to suddenly in the middle of a video shoot go to the bathroom for seven minutes. Edit. It. Out!

  • Personal opinions on how version X.3 is better/worse then X.2 of some software is irrelevant.

Go to the software forums and vent your enthutiasm/criticism of new features in the latest software updates. From a tutorial perspective your opinions are completely and utterly useless. Especially: "You used to be able to do this and this and that and that way, but now you can not anymore," it is completely, utterly indifferent to the material at hand – a waste of time. Which leads me to the following two addendums:

  • State software versions briefly when you use the software.

This keeps the tutorials fresh and you will avoid some of the confusion: "You did so and so, but now I can not do that anymore, it all looks differently," whenever the software has been updated. 

  • Use fully updated software when you do a tutorial.

Because you audience will more likely than not recently have acquired the newest version of the software and you do not want to create a gap between what you can do and what the audience can do. Preferably these actions are identical for the sake of comprehension.

  • Do not tour the entire program looking for "new" features.

Unless all the new features and I do mean all the new features are important to the completion of X in Y, this is irrelevant, confusing and a waste of time.

  • Do your research.

​You are telling your audience how to do X in Y, not how you think or believe you can do X in Y. Do your research, edit your videos and be authorative in your delivery on how to X in Y. It is what you audience wants to see.

  • Never "check out my other tutorials"-encouragement after a video.

Your audience is here to watch how to X in Y, now how to A in B, C in D or E in F. And if you have done many different tutorials, if someone is looking to A in B, they probably do not want to watch how to X in Y, because an interest in Y does not imply an interest in B or vice versa. If you have done a tutorial on how to A in Y and how to B in Y or how to A in X, then yes, you may promote that specific individual tutorial. Completely unrelated tutorials will be indifferent to your audience 99% of the time. Do not do it. A clean, short, precise and useful experience will bring back viewers and get you more "likes" than overly done, poorly edited confusing and condescending shite videos.

Finally two personal notes. First of all, audio is key to making a video. Bad audio is the surest way to put off your audience. And by poor audio I refer to poor microphone and sound capturing equipment, although if you are rocking an accent, and most of us are – me included, if you make sure to pronounciate properly and speak clearly into the microphone, audio should not be an issue, unless you have a bad microphone.  Then in all cases, even for those who speak English fluently and natively, audio is an issue and will significantly devalue your tutorial. Audio is the most important part of a YouTube video.

Secondly, the whole "like and subscribe," argument. My stance is that providing quality will bring in more likes and subscribers than begging for those will ever do. Combining the efforts may yield the best results, but without the presence of quality, begging for likes and subscribes is much a kin to asking to be trolled and do not underestimate how many trolls populate the YouTube comment sections.

My top and bottom 3 fan service

My top and bottom 3 fan service

 

This month I wdrawing_hands_ant to give a shot at my current favorites in the world of television animation and my three evasion.

I do not intend to put them in any winning or losing order, other than the indication of what I like and dislike. So number 1 is not a symbol of the one I like most. etc.

Always start with a like-able one!

 

 

 

Alex Hirsh – Gravity Falls. For some reason Alex has got on the Disney flagship with a show that I would call nothing but genius. There is a lot of debate about whether it is a kids show or not. And since Disney itself is starting to rape the eyes and ears of the pre-teen generation with tremendously horrible shows about stardom and retarded children not going to jail for being more stupid that the law allows them to be… this is a marvelous gem hidden in a ton of crap. Gravity Falls is in itself a gem, a animation about a pair of twins that go to their great uncle in a town that holds a ton of mysteries and anything supernatural that comes to Alex's mind. In that short description it doesn't look too out of the ordinary, but the level of fan service in the show, hidden messages, strange symbols and the thick underlying plot that is only slowly revealed… has a base of brilliance that is executed to perfection by the characters of the show. If you take the five main characters; Dipper, Mabel, Stan, Soos and Wendy you already have a array of like-able broken people that lets their insanity shine through every so often. It is weird and love-able and is a show I personally look forward too seeing more of… SOON PLEASE.

Jim Davis – Garfield and Friends. This is a show from the 90's and I grew up with this orange milestone of sarcasm and gluttony. The Saturday morning show of Garfield and Friends are a well written array of remakes in many aspects of history and just general human storytelling. I know it sounds doubtful, but I learned a lot of American history from this show. Not that it is right or accurate, god no. It is changed for comical affect. But making me aware of the historical events has later made me seek out libraries and, of course, the internet to look for the truth in the comical re-enactment. The raw line of Garfield's sarcasm and getting his comeuppance has been a large part of understanding karma and injustice when I was a kid. Seeing how slapstick humor could get too far and how loveable characters reacted to this aftermath has given me so much leverage in the world. I can only thank Jim so many times for making my childhood funny and memorable in a good way.

Matt Groening – Futurama. Since the Simpsons has become more American than apple pie and hence turned into fan service itself I have only little to say of it. It was good while it lasted… I miss the old days where they didn't adhere to every little pop-culture fragment just to come up with for a new episode in that slowly suffering blue whale… but enough of that.

Matt had painted himself into a corner a few years ago and started the Futurama project with some of his close friends and co-workers. This show was set a 1000 years into the future where everything we could dream of in a future Utopian world had come true. Space travel, robots, mutants, aliens living co-aside with humanoids and of course the most important character feature for the link to our time, a time traveler due to cryogenics.

Philip J. Fry is a parody of the everyday young man, although I know that they made him dumber than average to make him more curious about the new world, misunderstand the purposes of our time and by that turning him into a love-able plot device. Could the show work without Fry? I think it could work with almost anyone, as long as they wouldn't mind being ridiculed for being hopelessly out of date. The characters are well rounded and through seven seasons getting increasingly stereotypical.  But I don't blame Matt for that.  I blame the fan base for finding the characters peculiarities fun to adapt. It is the world that is imitating art here and not the other way around for once. I can only applaud this show and the many well written episodes. It has potential to become even greater if they don't jump the Simpson wagon and copy every small modern scrap of viral pop culture. They were slowly beginning to do the same with this show giving mundane viral crap a space twist with a vague result. Matt needs to rethink his priorities if he wants to come back for a third time! Anything else… nope… only kudos for making a good show, just don't drop the juggling plates please!

Okay it is time for my flame war. I have three things are making me piss blood out of my eyes. Again, not in particular order.

Lauren Faust – MLP FIM. For unknown reasons has My Little Pony been revived to rip money from the screaming children that thinks that magic is real and in the shape of either friendship or traumatizing color scales. How bright can a show be before your pixels starts to pop? I can see the point of teaching children more about friendship, and going outside, and playing with friends, and having fun, and being buddies, and braiding long hair, and being friends forever without contemplating how long for fucking ever is.  Although sitting through a show as an adult gives a good sense of what it is or what limbo is going to be when we get there.


First up, they are suddenly not for small kids with growing colorblindness anymore, teenagers are targeted and adults are making psychotic parodies of them, making the word viral change it's meaning forever since 2011. Why does a thing like this exist… this juxtaposition of telling kids to go OUTSIDE and play with your FRIENDS and at the same time screaming at the kids to stay tuned for more colorful hypnosis in the form of color patterns that ought to be shot at sight if it was the real nature. Do what you want with this… but I guess I am not going to a bro'ny any time soon!

DC Comics and Marvel Universe – The various superhero shows. WTF OMG LOL AFAIK DERP. I think I covered every acronym that I feel when I see such a show out. I admit I have seen some of them and know about most of the current shows being thrown at the teenagers and post teenagers with a trebuchet at full velocity. To harp on a whole set of worlds, universes and psychotic fans that would slit anyone's throat just to make them agree with them (that they are not wasting their time), would be senseless and apparently rather dangerous, and lucky for them… and my throat, it is not that I am hunting today.


There are many that would disagree and say that the worlds put up and taken down, because they become either too entangled or their hero is too omnipotent so the writer can't get out of their corner, are awesome and they are in it for the ride. I personally say Bullhonkey! Letting fan-wank be published like that and make it semi-indulgent to read to the point that the fan's vision of a hero reaches it's peak is one thing. But then having nowhere to go and them regretting that they didn't rip off other ideas and therefore redoing it all is just mindbogglingly painful to watch.


The worlds has become to big and too weird. We have no clue which world we are currently watching and therefore lose any connection with what the heroes are fighting for, and against. The heroes have fought gods and therefore destroyed the concept of what a god is. They have fought aliens and therefore destroyed our general hope of receiving life from space without nuking it to see if it moves. They have fought secret orders and conspirators so elaborate that they have destroyed our hope in governments to ever be good or trustworthy. Artists are alienating everything in the hope to make another issue or episode and the horde of fans are swallowing it.


The issue I have with this is how big and confusing it has become and the animated series are not making anything easier. I know that it isn't all people that jump onto everything they read, but I bet you that many people are sitting there, of a dark evening, either dreaming that conspiracies are real or that we are lied too in new and fashionable ways… so the government can dance with the space aliens and live forever on Gornblat 7 just past the 25th milky way.

The last one is broad too and I think it touches me deeper since it was a part of my childhood too. Commercial cartoons…


We have seen them all. Transformers, TMNT, He-Man, Jawsome, MLP back then too… fuck 🙁
The concept of making cartoons/animations that would throw crap at kids, so they go berserk and want to buy the merchandise. Somehow, it was popular in the 90's to make abortively stupid shows with no sense or sensibility of content or elaborate plots, or even like-able stories. They make catch-phrases of everything and put the characters in mortal peril every two seconds, so they can either come out on top, as a smug bastard, or level up… making a new and improved character to buy the shit out off!

 

At first it was only that which we have seen in shows, but when the franchise monster exploded late 90's with spiderman car and motorcycle, turtle space invaders and more transformers than there is room for on Akalo, Andellor, Antilla, Athenia, Beest, Bhul, Centaris Seven, Ceti Alpha Seven, Chaar, Cheynne, Combatron, Cybertron, Daffodil II, Darhos, Delta Pavonis IV, Deneb IV, Dread, Earth, Edaps, Eurythma, Femax, Feminia, Floron 3, Gaea, Ganzfort, Ghennix, Gigantion, Goo, Gorlam Prime, Greengard, Hive, Hub, Hydrax Plateau, Hydrus Four, Hyperion, Jhi, Jungle Planet, Junk, Jörmungandr, Kaiba-5, Klo, Lanarq, Lithone, LV-117, Master, Menonia, Methuselah, Micro, Monacus, Moriturus, Mumu-Obscura, Nebulos, New Kaon, Paradise, Paradron, Pequod, Pirate Planet, Planet Q, Planet X, Pz-zazz, Quintessa, Regalis V, Regulon Four, Rigel 6, Rigel III, Scarvix, Talos Four, Taros Four, Tasmo, Thrull, Torkulon, Twin Star, Unicron, Varas Centralus, Vehicon, Velocitron, Vs'Qs, Wednesday, Xeptos, Xetaxxis, Yst, Zamojin, Zarak, Zel Samine put together, it became too much. Thank god that most parents said "enough is enough!"

My final word for this consumernism would be… blargh!