The scattered thoughts of a scattered mind

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The scattered thoughts of a scattered mind

Well....I don't really know how to start this. Although I have been writing semi-seriously for more than a year now, I've never tackled the challenge of actually having a blog. The reasons for this I cannot really explain. Sure, I've read blogs, I've seen blogs, I've laughed my ass off while browsing blogs...but the thing is, I never understood them. Why do people write blogs? Is it some urge to share ideas? To listen to their own voice, in a way? To get the illusion that someone actually cares about their views? Or simply a good way to vent, to blow some steam? Who knows, I suspect it is a mix of these, plus others I haven't mentioned. Does it even matter, I wonder? Regardless, I've decided to start one.

The topics I'll discuss (with myself mostly, I guess) will vary. For some time now, me and a bunch of mates have been toying with the idea of creating our own blog. We intend for it to be light-hearted, humorous even...but haven't gotten round to it yet. Well, I've finally found the will, or perhaps the inspiration to get one going. And, hey, here I am.

To get the formalities out of the way: as I mentioned, the topics here will vary. I'll talk about anything that has drawn my attention recently, or perhaps just rage at the world around me. Be it games, writing, books, real-world events, politics, social short - everything. I'm cynical person, with a sharp tongue and I don't shy away from swearing. I also have a...weird sense of humour, call it black humour if you like, so yeah consider yourself warned. Also, since I want to get the warm fuzzy feeling that someone actually cares and is interested in my undertaking:

I accept comments - be they positive or negative.

So, grab your popcorn or rotten tomatoes and let's start this thing.

Join date : 2009-12-13

Posts : 619
Age : 26
Location : Sofia, Bulgaria

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Post on Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:59 pm by Blackrock

The first topic in my fresh new blog will be a rather depressing one. Or maybe it will end hopefully? Read below to find out...

So let's see, we're gonna discuss school today. Firstly, to get a better idea where I come from, in terms of views and ideas, you have to know where I come from, what shaped me as a person. I'm in 12th grade, studying IT and informatics and yeah, that's it. Throughout my life so far, I've had three distinct periods. The first one, from which I have the fondest memories, are my early school years. Grades one to four, the golden years of any child, if you ask me. Then my parents were offered a job in one of our embassies and we went to live abroad for four years. It was a difficult time for me, to say the least. I was torn away from friends, didn't know the language (luckily I knew English, so I could communicate in some way)...what's more, I didn't know the people. It took some time but I finally adapted and folks' mandate ended and we had to return home.

It might seem strange, but for all my cries and pleas to return to my homeland, when the time finally came I felt saddened. All the new friends and strong relationships I had formed were taken away from me again. At least we have stuff like Facebook nowadays, so we keep in touch. "Home" is a sweet word, but I didn't really feel at home. It was much different than I remembered it. And I had to get used to the people all over again. What's more, we were now in that age when hypocrisy and lies are abound. Anyway, three years down the line and here I am.

So, was that my sad story? No. I wouldn't call it sad and it's definitely not the end of my story. If anything, these experiences taught me to adapt (plus I picked up a rare language in the process). What really got to me today was something else. I have mixed feelings when it comes to school. I remember how hard it was for me to get up early. I remember the little tricks and stunts I'd pull - you know faking fever, feeling "sick" and what not, just to skip a school day. I remember when I went there gladly, eager to do something with the other 20 or so kids in my class. And I remember (that came later) the, seemingly, endless hours of boredom when I followed my watch's hands, counting down the seconds, the minutes until the bell rang.

But only recently, maybe in the middle of last year or so, did I realise something. During all that time, school was a fact of life. 9 months out of 12 my world revolved around it. Whether the actual subjects I learned there, the gossip, the social contacts or just the "omg I want this hour to finish so I can go home and play [insert title of most recently purchased game]" always factored in the equation. And even when a particular year ended, I always thought that whatever I hadn't completed I'd do next year. Or maybe I imagined how we would be like during the following month and years. And now, I find myself in twelfth grade and I understand something. There will be no next year, no next time. End of the road.

We will all go our separate ways, some continuing with their studies, at home or abroad, others will find a job and settle in the daily grind. But our days of being students, care-free and happy, unburdened and protected from the world around us are over. No longer are we children. No longer will we talk softly, careful not to draw the teacher's ire. No longer will we have our scuffles and petty fights about this or that. To put it in cheesy gameplay terms, the tutorial's over and now we start for real.

And it's strange because, I have thought about this more than once over the recent months and weeks, but I never felt inspired to write it. Know what got me? We have morning classes (unlike other years where we start with evening ones), which means the first hour starts at 7:30 am. Well, I decided to skip it and went at eight. That's when the first graders start. And as I was walking up the stairs, I studied a few of those young, unmarred faces.

It got me thinking. At once I felt both happy and envious. I was happy for them, they still have 11 years ahead of them. Eleven years that will be full of joy and pain, sorrow and hope...eleven years full of life above all. But I felt envy as well, the reason is obvious I think. I want to relive those years again. I don't know what paths I'll take, if I'll make the same mistakes, but I want to have them all the same. On the other hand I felt saddened, even depressed.

These kids with their unspoiled, unmarred by greed or interest, faces will change soon. The fun and joy from games, in which both girls and boy participate, will be fleeting. As they grow older and start developing personalities, in fifth/sixth grade things start becoming...nasty. I've noticed this happening with girls first, they make their own tight-knit groups, often in opposition to another one. Then the boys change...some take to drinking, others do drugs...some stay on the "right" path. Regardless, before you know it, people are already splitting into groups, factions, whatever. From there all that follows is a lot of fake smiles, broken promises, false friendships and so on. I think most of you know how the story goes.

And this leaves me wondering - why do kids become like this? When does the child end and the "adult" begin? I read in a book once, that an adult is a person who can lie. Does it really have to be so? I guess it is, after all - when a personality starts forming, it has its own sets of interests. You will naturally be drawn to one thing or the other and, again naturally, it will lead you into confrontation with another's ideals. And yet, I couldn't help but feel bittersweet when looking at that bunch of neat, happy kids.

To get back on track though - twelfth grade. It feels hollow to me. The groups I mentioned are already formed and people have sorta split up a long time ago. So have I, although I maintain relations with most everyone. Thing is, I feel this emptiness, this gap between people even stronger than before. Everyone is looking at their own horizon, at their own dream, charting their own life. And when that final bell rings for will truly be over. We will doubtless meet again after a year or two, after 5 or 10. But will we ever be the same? Will we ever be that bunch of kids that was wondering how the hell to skip that boring history lesson?

The question is simple: No. What is done is done, childhood ends and a new period of life begins. And as I stand on the threshold of this new beginning, again I have a mixed feeling. The sadness for what is soon to be over is almost overwhelming and yet....a new experience awaits. Something that will further shape me into the person I will one day become. New friends and foes, new interests, new knowledge. It will be interesting and fun, in it's own unique way, as all things are.

I think I have went on long enough, so I'll try to put in some conclusion here. When one thing ends, another begins...I have come to understand and accept that. No longer will I be that carefree child that enjoys the comforts of school-life (and there are many!). On the other hand, college life is doubtless fun (from what I've heard and seen) it's not like the days of joy are over. But still, I cannot shake that feeling that I'm losing something that I'll never have again. But am I not gaining something in return? And as I stay here gazing at the screen and the petty rant I've written, again I have that bittersweet feeling. Such is life I guess, we lose something, we mourn for it and then carry on. Progress has only one direction - forward. And so does life.

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Post on Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:41 pm by Blackrock

What's wrong with society?

Now, I'm sure we've all asked ourselves this question over the years. Not to mention that most every site, blog, newspaper or what have you has covered this issue. Being no different, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and toss my two (euro) cents in the mix. Even though I can be overly dramatic at times, I'm a down to earth person and I won't look at this problem from some lofty, philosophical standpoint. No. I'll give you a perfect example of what's rotten in today's world by commenting on an increasingly productive industry - video games.

So, earlier today I was playing this new RPG called Fallout: New Vegas. It's made by Obsidian, using the engine Bethesda developed for Fallout 3. All of this is a result of the efforts from the folk at Black Isle studios (by the way, most of Obsidian is composed of former members...heh, the irony) who brought us Fallout 1 and 2. The setting is fairly standard, cliche even. The world basically fucked itself over with nuclear weapons; as I said, typical post-apocalyptic stuff. You play as one of the few survivors of the cataclysm, being tossed in a world full of raiders, scavengers, mutants and all other sorts of misfits.

I won't spoil any of the story, but you're basically thrown into yet another situation that should be familiar to any RPG fans. You start with nothing more but the clothes on your back, a starter set of weapons and healing kits and go off to roam the world. Right, so what's the point of all this, you may ask? I'm getting right to it, be patient. So you do a few tutorial types of quests, the game stops holding your hand (if you so wish) and you're free to go and do whatever you want.

And so here I was a couple of hours into the game, having left the starter town behind. I found myself walking on an abandoned, mostly ruined road. As you might have guessed from the title, the game takes place in the Mojave Desert. Thus, there's not much to be seen in the first place, much less after a nuke has been dropped. It was a pleasant noon all in all and I could see the next town on the horizon. All of a sudden, however, some guy jumps out of somewhere and tries to kill me.

Wasting no time, I drew my trusty revolver and blew his fucking brains out, popping his head like a watermelon. After the deed was done, I approached the body and began looting. I took the guy's clothes - pants, boots, gloves, shirt, vest, hat...everything. I took all his money, weapons and bullets to boot. Leaving his headless body, nearly, butt-naked (I'll get to that soon). If I had the proper skill, I could even eat him. Then I went on my way. Before I finished my session, I had repeated the same activity a couple of more times.

And, apparently, this is fine with people. Going around murdering countless of nameless NPC's makes you some sort of hero. It's acceptable, both in-game and out. The game sells and receives positive media attention (if it's good anyway). Now, hear this.

God forbid if someone actually says "fuck" in the game or, even worse, you see a naked ass or a tit somewhere. The biggest evil is, of course, if you have a "romantic" sex scene or some such (Mass Effect for reference). Then the game is deemed as pornography, evil, amoral and giving a bad example to kids. It's fine to down bottle, after bottle of vodka to get a charisma boost, but if someone decides to roll a joint it becomes a scandal. You'll most likely have ten different organisations suing the developers.

It's not only games and it's not only RPG's. Commercials are full of suggestive content. You have ads for tampons, condoms and various other crap filled with innuendo. There's a plethora of commercials for alcohol, music videos are filled with half-naked chicks. Need I go on? And yet, when someone tries to address such issues openly, the product (be it game, movie, song) is immediately shot down.

See what the problem with society is? It's full of hypocrisy.

It's alright if, in a game, I go to someone's house, loot everything, plates and forks included, spill the owner's guts on the floor and then go to sell the "loot" to the local vendor. But if a game features the option to ask the hot girl at the other end of the bar for a blowjob it becomes an abomination. What conclusion does this bring us to? Murder and stealing is fine, natural; but sex is not?

This is only one aspect of society's hypocrisy, but it is one of the more easily observed ones. People need to realise that cold-blooded murder is neither fine, nor acceptable. Sex is natural, sex is what keeps humanity alive. There is nothing shameful in the act of two loved ones sharing their bodies, but it IS shameful to go about killing random people for the lulz.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some zealous pacifist. I know this is a game, a book or a movie; it's not real. But the people who made it are, as are the people who play it, as are the people who criticise it. The problem is that double standards have existed since the dawn of time, that it what's wrong with humans as a whole. Something is always labeled as taboo, while other, far worse things, are left to slide. And I feel that, nowadays, games are a perfect illustration of that.

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