Happy new year

I have to say 2017 was, well, something. On a personal note, I’ve finished my third year of university, and as of October I began a fourth year as a Masters degree, and now I feel like I’m getting closer to an actual career path. Who knows, if I graduate in July I might still have to get a “dead-end” job so that I can get a steady source of income and work my way up, but I suppose that’s for some further discussion a little later.

On the world around me, my gods I’m still not sure if I want to call this year better or worse than the last year, and that’s partly because I’ve seen so many clusterfucks and so much pointless drama that it’s made my head spin. On the other hand, at least it serves to remind me to not trust political movements, because nearly all of them are shit. Isn’t that the weird thing about the West? For all our problems we’re pretty much the best region of the world to live in by almost any measure, and our politics is still almost all garbage. I guess you could say it’s not politics that makes a civilization great. Thank goodness for that.

I don’t want to go on a spiel about New Year’s resolutions, because it’s pointless. They don’t always pan out, and in fact they have a reputation for just being shirked after a month. However, I will say that I do have hopes for the next year, and ideas for how to improve going forward.

For one thing I could do with being a little less of a cynic, and be less apprehensive towards believing in things. This seems a bit ironic given that I feel like shitting on all movements politically, but of course I’m not talking about politics. Since I have a habit of underestimating myself, I need to believe in myself more, for one thing. And taking a cue from the Luciferian tradition I align myself with, I should consider, study and hopefully try to experience the power of belief; not in the gay-ass conventionally religious sense, but to not only believe that I can good but also have faith in my results, whatever they are – because hey, at least you can trust that. I need to spend less time thinking things through and more time doing things. And, I suppose, I need to “go with the flow” more. Sooner or later, I think positive change probably will come my way if I allow myself to embrace it, or just grab it by the ass at the right time, but I wouldn’t like to let myself get carried away regardless.

Anyways, Happy New Year to all my readers, and I hope you enjoy your lives this year. Just don’t expect too much activity from this blog after Sunday, because I’ll be back in university next week.

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Christmas/Yule 2017

The winter holidays aren’t over for me yet, I’ve still got a pretty long break ahead, but I have to say I’ve been feeling great this Christmas. One of the reasons for this is that, at last, I’ve started drinking. Sure, it’s just some gin mixed with other drinks so far, but I’m becoming pretty comfortable with the idea of drinking alcoholic beverages. That’s a long way from the way I used to be: not only a non-drinker, but someone who detested the very idea of drinking, because I feared the loss of control that would come with drunkenness. Now, it seems, I’ve crossed the threshold and abandoned that fear. And I’m telling you, I’ve been feeling great.

All I needed to get comfy with idea was to try some gin mixed with some other non-alcoholic drink, and it wasn’t a bad drink at all. But I didn’t start . At first I tried some red wine at Christmas Eve lunch, but it smelled and tasted horrible. After a few sips I couldn’t handle it. At my oldest brother’s where I had Christmas Day lunch, I tried some champagne that was apparently mixed with Ribena, and it didn’t smell as bad but it still tasted awful. Then, on the night of Christmas Day, I tried a can of gin and Schweppes that I bought with one of my brothers last week and meant to drink earlier, and I didn’t immediately want to spit it out after drinking it. That was definitely good, but the drink itself was also rather nice.

This particular aspect has, understandably, been treated with surprise. When I was at a family dinner yesterday and I said I wanted some gin to drink, my relatives were kind of surprised. My sister, for one, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It wasn’t a condemnation or anything like that, and being that I’m well over 18 at this point there certainly wasn’t a sense that I was doing something that was socially unacceptable, but it was just kind of a shock. I can hardly blame anyone for the surprise. Here’s me, a guy who’s avoided drinking for nearly all of his life (except one time last year when one of my cousins made me a light alcoholic drink involving lemonade and beer, but for some reason I didn’t continue drinking after that until literally this week). By the way, the drink I ordered was rather nice. It was apparently a mixture of gin and cranberry juice that my folks suggested, since apparently pure gin wasn’t recommended, at least for me. Nonetheless, it had a nice taste to it.

Anyways, one of the ubiquitous truths of human nature is that we humans are pretty much creatures of habit, and that we’re very much a pattern-seeking species. We desire familiarity in the world around us, as this not only comforts us but also grounds us to the world so that we can make sense of it. When we establish patterns or habits for ourselves we always become predictable to others, who in turn establish patterns and familiarity. Often, when we change things about ourselves, including our appearance, it surprises people, changes their perception of us, and it can generate a bit of shock in people. It’s pretty mundane to be honest, to the point that it’s kind of obvious when you think about it, but it’s something that was really brought home to me when I told people I wanted a drink of gin.

It doesn’t matter too much in the end. I don’t drink all that much alcohol, and I’m still at a point where I’ve pretty much just decided I like it, but I feel good about myself, so I don’t care in the end.

Anyways, Merry Christmas, Merry Yule, Io Saturnalia, Happy Winter Mass, and a Happy New Year from me. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season.

Maybe I should stop caring

Some time last year I started watching Styxhexenhammer666, and one of his videos that I took a liking to was his video titled Be Not Afraid. The basic message of the video, as he sums up, is not to take life so seriously. Sometimes I feel as though I am too conscientious in my actions, and university really tends to bring this out in me. I still have yet to truly get past the fear of losing control. And, on a somewhat unrelated tangent, there are still moments where the mind is occupied by contemplations of eternity, and the existential dread that follows it.

Yet what should I find these days but reasons for either apathy, indifference, laid-backness or serenity?

In university, I find that I’m always getting the work done, even if it’s not at the pace that I’d like, and I’m getting good marks for it. And while others tend to put off the written assignments until later, I spend the duration of a given academic term slowly, but surely, getting the work done. And for me it’s not that I can work without pressure. On the contrary, I would argue that I can feel the pressure to complete even the smallest thing within each milestone, which for me is typically every week, which is no less than the next phase of progression for me. And if I get the master’s degree right, and properly establish the path to a sustainable career, I could go from my university degree to a career in the game’s industry (which in my case seems to involve a lot of creative writing). So while my conscientiousness seems to be doing me good, I could probably do with a more relaxed stance because it seems to me like things are going fine.

In life, I’m approaching a mindset regarding the nature of the world, or at least a mindset to aspire to. Put this way: you have no way of knowing what lies in wait for you once the maws of death drag you out of your mortal coil. The only thing I’m certain of it’s probably not the kinds of heavens and hells we thought of thousands of years ago. I find no sensible reason to think we live in a simulation, but even if we do what makes us think we’re going to get out of it? What makes us think we’re going to transcend The World (as people of a Gnostic mindset might think)? There’s the world/cosmos you live in, all things bright and shit, and for all you know the abyss at the end of it, maybe a pagan underworld if you’re lucky, goodness forbid reincarnation turns out to be true. You probably don’t even have as much certainty about the reality you live in as you would like to believe. But what’s the point of thinking about it other than, maybe, try to desensitize the psyche to the inevitable existential dread that arrives on your doorstep now and then? So just go with the flow. Or perhaps, go with your flow. Just focus on living your life for yourself, as I have believed things should be, pursue your worldly goals and, perhaps, find your true will or whatever, and don’t waste too much time dwelling on much else. Look at the world for what it is,  which is arguably a kind of Hell, and then get over it somehow. All in all I suppose I can only hope a little alcohol, and some spirituality, actually helps.

And that’s another thing, if I factor that in, how long will it be before I successfully conquer my longstanding fear of losing control. Either that or I find a way to get on top of most things and just make that fear redundant.

I feel it’s worth mentioning politics and political/cultural movements for a bit, because I’ve been paying attention and its another reason for some of this desire to just not care. Ever since the middle of 2016 I’ve been doing some soul-searching in the political department -rethinking the way I actually relate to the political environment in the West and so forth – and I’ve come to understand my place in things a little better. Unfortunately, I’m also bitterly disappointed with almost every movement out there. Most movements today are incompetent, vapid, stupid, pretentious, or worse. Some of them are actively morally corrupt, to the point that it’s probably better to be either apolitical or dead rather than join them. The ones I like have also fallen prey to this. I have for instance seen conservatives gain considerable opportunity with the downfall of progressivism, only to waste the wind they have been given obsessing with the culture war and acting like the same old insufferable boomer conservatives I hated before 2016. At this very moment, they’re acting like Donald Trump just saved Christmas simply by being in office this year. Libertarians, the movement that for a long time I loosely identified with, I abandoned because I’ve seen them simply give into madness by embracing anarcho-capitalism at the core of their movement; and the ones who aren’t doing this have decided to either leave libertarianism in favor of the alt-right, or embrace some kind of “libertarian fascism” or “anarcho-monarchism” or some stupid meme ideology concocted by the far-right to salvage some sense libertarian identity that can be cohabited with their reactionary and racialist tendencies. I won’t even get into the situation the Libertarian Party of America is in (except, perhaps, in a separate post). And liberals? They have almost no intention of reform outside of online circles, wherein this is limited to the laziness I have seen from the “skeptic community”, which has degenerated in a cesspit of pointless drama and a race to pwn their opponents. What’s worse, I find out that even people like Jordan Peterson (who despite his Christian leanings I did have some respect for), after spending so much time explicating the importance of freedom of speech (which I agree with him on), barred a former Rebel Media journalist named Faith Goldy from attending a free speech event because, of all reasons, she was just “too hot for us” – this, coming from the man who was already a walking controversy over the Bill C-16 issue. No one in my view who has looked at this development can judge it as anything other than pathetic.

Oh and don’t forget the actual political situation we’re dealing with; particularly here in the UK where my government seems intent on half-baking the whole leaving the European Union thing, or in America where every god damn minute is spent dreaming of some bullshit way of getting Trump out of office while the revolution proves a little more underwhelming than anticipated, or in Europe, especially Germany where they apparently can’t even form a government.

In short, politics is a clusterfuck. A clusterfuck that, to me, is destined to drive any sane person into the arms of nihilism (a fact that nearly all of the people who cry about Man’s descent into nihilism dare not concede). And that’s not getting into all the conspiracy theories I’ve had to put up with, which, frankly, it’s better that we don’t touch on.

So to cap it all off: yes, I feel like I’ve seen a lot that is convincing me to care less and less. I just hope I follow through with that mentality, shed some of my attachment to all of this, and stop taking life seriously entirely. Then, maybe then, the beauty of chaos can flow through and truly be appreciated, and life can make enough sense for it to be a rapture in spite of all things bright and shit.

The true test

Having started the first proper week back in university, two facts are made abundantly clear. The first is that there’s going to be plenty I have to do in order to get through to the end of the course. I’m not kidding around, sometimes it feels like they’ve brought back homework and given it a different name and context. Second, I pretty much have to do everything on my own. I can’t make a game on my own, because that is fucking impossible for me to do within the time I have to complete the course and my current skill set, but everything else I have to do on my own. This is largely going to consist of written proposals for the first part of the year, but going forward I expect my pathway to be much more research oriented.

To me, this is the onset of a new challenge. In the past, I did do things on my own, but there was a lot of teamwork, for all the good it did for my cynical soul anyway. But now, I see myself having to devote myself to independent study and research. This is where the true test comes in. If I can succeed in this effort, then I can prove that I’m more than capable of researching and thinking independent to a wider world in which I hope to gain employment. If I succeed, particularly if I get a 1st, it will be proof, not simply to myself, it will proof of my intellect. And if I can find the path to using that intellect to get me a sustainable income, and hopefully allow me to spend my days in America, it will be a great source of pride and happiness.

I have an awful habit of underestimating myself that I haven’t really shaken off, and I feel like even with my academic successes (by which I mean my written work being highly marked) that thought tends to be reinforced by my actual design work, which I don’t rate very highly myself. I keep being reassured by others that this is actually the sign that you’re better than you think, as in Dunning-Kruger effect, but I compare my own work to the others and I’m convinced that it’s objectively worse, even if it’s not that bad. If I can get a job anywhere in the games industry off the back of exceptional independent research, which my lecturers think is possible for me to produce (and they wouldn’t have reason to doubt me based on results), then I hope it will help to put this shit to rest.

Done with my third year at university

This next post is just a quick update on my part in what’s going on for me personally, as I have some relatively important news. As of June 9th, I am officially done with my third year at university. And by officially, I mean that we’re done with the game showcase we were doing and my program director flat out told me that there’s nothing more to do and there’s no real point in sticking around after that point until the next academic year. For me this means there is nothing to do other than prepare for my fourth year, wherein I undertake the Masters course. Because I’ve signed on to an integrated Masters degree continuing directly from third year, I don’t actually have a graduation ceremony until next year.

So what does this mean for me? Well, I’m probably going to be looking for a part-time job for the next few months and find some activities for myself so I don’t get bored. A summer break can be very long for me, and the last two breaks I didn’t get up to much. I will definitely need to spend some time planning my next project for university, particularly as one of the tutors wants me to submit a few ideas to him.

The program director has offered me an interesting avenue of exploration for the coming year: he identifies one of my greatest strengths on the course as my written work – that is reports, dissertation, any kind of written academic analysis – to the point that he considers me more of an academic than a designer. It’s an interesting if slightly disappointing assessment, considering that being a good designer is what I’ve wanted to be the whole time. But, I do believe him all the same. He told me that I should consider working towards being a game design academic within the fourth year, because that would meaning working towards my strengths, which he says will be more practical and successful for me in the long run than spending the fourth year trying to build up skills that I have struggled with before. I am still considering what I want to do, but I may well take that offer.

All in all, I’m not sure if it’s been a good third year or not: I like to think I’ve done well and I have improved in some regard, but I also think some of my efforts have been wasted, and I feel like I have fallen into some counter-productive habits. I took the project I was working on very seriously, and the fact that we were all supposed to be working as an organized team effort. When the other team members weren’t living up to expectations or they were acting like idiots, I always resented it, and over time that resentment built more and more especially when those kinds of fools were telling I was in the wrong, even if they were right. And eventually this, coupled with the project becoming more and more like, made me feel bitter and detached from the project, whilst at the same time there were still the attachments that developed towards the conduct of others because it had affected my morale. I don’t think I was all in. That’s why I decided to something new, separate from my old team. I’ve wanted to do it for months now, and I think I will be free of the attachments and the bitterness. I’ll hopefully be refreshed, all in, and pushing what I do further than before. For now though, let’s just make the best of a good summer.

A hard lesson

One of the longest abiding struggles I have had in university was the struggle with my colleagues. Not only have I frequently disagreed with them, but I have also actively resented some of my colleagues a lot for various reasons. Particularly in the team for the game I am working on. My colleagues either attend university infrequently or are frequently late, when they are supposed to show up regularly and in fact they are supposed be there between 9am and 5pm each week day, while I’m the only one who shows up at 9am (in fact I usually show up slightly earlier than 9am). And they have a habit of leaving other responsibilities related to the course until late into the project cycle, like necessary recording for development trailers. Coupled with the impression that most of them are into all sorts of bullshit from social media. Because of that I have come to detest half the people I work with.

And I think this may have actually influenced some bad things on the course. What frequently occurred was that I would set about the work we talked about and I was expected to do, but when I did it I felt perturbed by one of the colleagues. And I’m the kind of person that hates being perturbed. Basically he would look at my work as I was still working on it and tell me how it should be done and I wasn’t prepared to show him anything because it was still being worked on. But the biggest source of my contempt was by far the fact that he convinced us to essentially turn what was , and he used my poor marketing strategy (namely my choice of demographic) to justify it. It went from a supernatural-based beat ’em up involving a half-demon protagonist, to a fantasy-based version of that with some of my intended themes intact, to pretty much the same thing without the narrative that drove it and the design direction changed to suit a shortened experience that we would have to make. And because of that, while I was willing enough to work with them and typically kept to what I had to do, sure of what I was doing, and hated the idea of taking cues from someone who I see as having molded my project in his own image. But I would learn that this was actually the cause of a potential problem.

Yesterday I briefly attempted to design a logo for the game, or rather for the game show. I was convinced that I was finished with the task I did beforehand but was unsure of what to next so decided to wait for my colleagues to show up and make the logo while time flew by. One of them showed up and noticed what I was doing, and proceeded to complain that I was doing the logo without having the discussion for it. We then had a long talk about the problem of just going off and doing work on your own, which thinking about it now seems weird given they sometimes tell me that they stayed at home rather than go to university just to work on their own, but it was a pretty deep conservation all the same. We talked about the problems of the other group, who have a much worse problem with communication than we do, and how one of their group members doesn’t actually like the project that he’s doing but just gets on with it and does work on his own and the others aren’t happy because it’s out of sync with the art style (they’re doing a cartoon-style platformer, and he doesn’t like platformers and doesn’t usually draw in a cartoon style). It very much made me think I was having the same problem. At one point, the program director for the animation course interjected in our conversation in order to give us some advice. He felt that the discussion we were having was a step in the right direction, and pointed out that a problem with development projects in the games industry is when the team members are always against each other and don’t care about the project in the end, and so don’t communicate with the rest of the team and just get on with the work. According to him, the result is that not only does the game fail, but that failure becomes attached to you in that other companies know you made that terrible game and don’t want anything to do with you.

After that, I took on a new perspective of the team dynamics. I didn’t realize until know that they were actually interested in helping them, because I thought too little of them to think that they were actually interested in helping me. I was jaded and resentful because their antics eroded my morale, but as much as I often hate what I see as a lack of commitment, they aren’t complete shitheads. Now I see two sides to this whole thing. I still think my colleagues’ lacking in attendance is the sign of a lack of commitment and there is good reason to resent such behavior, and the program director for my course has expressed similar and more vociferous sentiment on the matter. But I may well have created a problem that, for at least the other group on my course, was worse: a lack of communication. And I’m not sure I’ve completely cultivated the balance between individualism and the spirit of collaboration.

Time for an update

So here’s an update for the blog that I kind of feel like putting out on a number of subjects.

First, and foremost, of all, I have less than a month before the end of my second term for this year at university. That means I have quite a lot to do and increasingly less time to do it in. The deadline for my major project is March 27th, right before my birthday, and both of the reports that I have to write are due on March 31st. So I might be busy. Maybe not busy enough that it’ll stop me from slacking off during weekends, but busy enough that it might make the rest of my schedule pretty stringent, to the point that I will likely put things off in order to emphasize my coursework, because that has to come first. I may, however, plan for some posts to be written in the meantime, because there are still things I’d like write about.

Second, I plan to talk about current events and politics significantly less than I do now, so that I can detach myself from those things. There’s going to some rants that I have waiting in the wings to be released pretty soon, and obviously there are soon-to-be-current events that I think ought to be covered (for instance, given that it is now March, we’re waiting on the Netherlands and later France to cast their votes in general elections), but other than that I want to begin to distance myself from such subject matter beyond the rants I have coming up this month unless a really pressing or important development catches my attention. The reason why I want to do this is because I am sensing that there is the danger that I’m going to become entirely too focused on such subject matter. And I know that we’re living in some wild times right now, so there’s probably a lot of developments that might show up ripe for analysis, deconstruction or just plain savagery or mockery on my part. But I am beginning to think I’m getting caught up, and that’s bad.

Third, once I have enough free time after the end of my current term, or ideally before that, I’d like very much to revisit the drawing board, and return with a post or two about some reflections on Satanism and other philosophies, as well as what probably be a long post about what I consider to authentic Satanic philosophy (particularly on account of the fact that I’ve criticized The Satanic Temple for not observing). Part of me is thinking that I’ve got my eyes off the ball. I mean I’ve got my eye on the ball regarding my coursework, I believe, but sort of away from the ball in other areas. Maybe it’s laziness in some respects if I think about it, but then that’s surely the sign of another malady in itself. I hope I correct it sooner or later if that’s the case.