Weekly Ramble #78

The truth is, even though I’ve written recently about reverting to zero, that whole deal has summoned some wonderful people. It’s actually been very touching to hear from so many who approached me after that post, which started out as just a vent about the lamenting struggle it is to be noticed in this world as an author. We all have those moments that get us down. The whole taking a wider look around and realising this might be not as great as first perceived. 

I suppose we are all a work in progress. And even though since that reverting to zero post, my sales have been one more than zero, I’ve realised I have something worth way more than that – the support of some decent people from all over this rock which now seems a little smaller. That support is way more valuable than anything else on this journey, trust me, it means so damn much to have people swoop in and offer their words and kindness – you know who you are and for what it’s worth, you’ve improved my stance and mental health on the subject.

I’m fine, and I will be fine. This whole process of writing books is a build me up and tear me down type of deal – that may sound deep but it is. I pour absolutely everything into my writing, every essence of me are in those words, every emotion I have will go into creating something from that number, zero. Even though all of us who create have aspirations of what that work will do, it’s what you don’t expect to happen that gives out the true pleasure and satisfaction.

I will take the support of those who have supported me and do support me over anything else. They have offered me something I never thought I would find, let alone look for.

Being genuine in this world is probably the best thing you can give someone. Thank you – from a writer who isn’t afraid to go forward because of that.

 

Humanity is late…

We always seem to find humanity too damn late, 

In times of struggle we all forget how to hate. 

There isn’t a soul alive this hasn’t affected,

Never before have we been so well connected. 

Even though we’re confined to our own places, 

We still get to see our friends and family’s faces. 

While the end seems to be nowhere in sight,

You have to believe one day it’ll be alright… 

 

 

Its going to be alright…

Watching the news before bed isn’t a good idea,

The media and their tactics will fill you with fear.

This whole covid deal might take quite a while

So dig deep and find a reason or anything to smile.

Play games, read books even connect online,

Reach out to others and we will all be fine.

Some folks are going out hoarding more and more,

Too ignorant to realise this is our own world war.

It’s up to us to protect the generations of old,

Because as kids it was our hands they would hold.

To survive we’re gonna need to fight,

Then I think, it’s going to be alright.

 

 

Weekly Ramble #63

It’s getting more and more difficult not to get caught up in the storm that has seemed to encapsulate the modern civilized world.

This whole corona deal is becoming more and more absurd by the day. Is this really it or is this just hysteria? The internet age is not helping and that’s ironic for an information super highway – there just isn’t any of the right information at the moment and this thing is at all of our doorsteps.

Uncertainty is an uneasy thing and that’s what is forcing a reaction. That reaction vessel being toilet paper of all things. Events are shutting down and everything is getting cancelled but still there isn’t panic on the streets, nothing has gone to hell. Where are all the fires or bodies? Someone coming out of a coma right now will think that this is a now dystopian future but it isn’t.

Carrying on has it’s risks while isolation does too. You remove yourself from the world, eventually you’ll need to go back sometime. My line of work involves having to attend, it’s a must. A particle accelerator control room doesn’t fall under the ‘work from home’ umbrella. Our crew are shift workers, I arrive to relieve the next guy from his duties and he will do the same 8 or 12 hours later. It’s a radioactive site, it must be protected.

Writing involves staying in anyway and the show will go on. The blog will keep running and I shall do everything in my power to remain normal. I’m healthy, happy and semi muscular. I’m ready to step in and help those who can’t help themselves. My hands are cleaner than ever.

Social distancing does seem to be working. You should try it for a while. Not for others but for yourself. Even if you don’t stand beside what ever clown is in power, listen to their advice and watch the news.

Stay safe and stay healthy. We’ve got this. There has been worse… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale Review

It’s been a pretty enduring season for The Walking Dead, a roller coaster that many fans will prefer to leave behind, myself included. Opinions are divided and most viewers haven’t been happy with recent decisions for the overall direction of the show. Here’s my review of what was an interesting and important turning point for Rick and the gang…

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They had to do something with Negan…

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No doubt JDM has brought a masterclass of villainy to TWD, his arrival two seasons previous will go down in history and turned the whole story upside down. The original execution and motives of such a big character is probably the sole reason for the show’s downturn. I have covered Negan before but my concern has always been what will they do with such a momentous character, a seemingly indestructible force in a fragile world. His whole deal seemed to grow stale after the past two years, and there were scenes where I honestly thought the show’s writers didn’t know what to do him.

This seasons final episode set in motion a direction which sat somewhere between expected and unexpected. We finally got some level of resolve towards Negan and an indication of where his fate will move to next. You could tell especially in his half of S8 that they were doing something, and the pay off came, eventually.

Clearly the show running powers that be have spoken…

Looking around the internet rumor mill its no secret the show runner position for the walking dead has changed mid season, lets face it, they had to change things. You could tell almost straight away in the mid season premiere it was out with the old and in with the new, of course Carl’s death foreshadowed anything drastic and essentially became the theme of events to follow.

Although I truly believe Carl’s death should never have been, it has given the show an almost refreshing direction, now stay with me here, but the Rick we saw in the last episode of this season has been shaped by the loss of his son and the legacy he left behind.

Mercy is the greatest weapon of all, and a key to character development…

We’ve seen Rick take down the big bad before, we’ve seen the group move from settlement to settlement before, we’ve seen them deal with trust issues before. The decision for Rick not to kill Negan has interrupted the stale routine this show has got itself into, they have broken the cycle and maybe without knowing displayed a huge amount of development for the characters of this show. The take away moment from this episode was Rick showing mercy to a defeated Negan and the saviors. He has taken the high road and showed that people can be better than just killing.

That triple cross though…

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Eugene was playing chess quite simply and to see the moment his manufactured bullets backfired was a huge unexpected twist. Something had to happen and this was the moment the tables turned, for the better.

For the greater good of the group

Let’s face it there have been some wonderful character performances throughout the 8 years of TWD. Many of which were on display in this episode which to me felt like a television special. Jerry and King Ezekiel are wonderfully likable characters with a natural chemistry on full display as the episode opened.

Morgan has always been a favorite for me and the deep psychological issues he faces and tackles is superbly depicted. His character may seem erratic but under the hood he knows what is going on, and even referenced to the ‘bar’ scene him and Rick found themselves in a few episodes previous. Their decision to break the bond of their word didn’t fall on silent ears and was addressed, a pivotal moment which has broken the usual vague style TWD carries.

An unexpected emotional moment came to me through Dwight’s retribution and apology to Daryl. He is a man with nearly nothing left and somehow stands out as someone very relevant in the world where Negan is now a prisoner.

I enjoyed Father Gabriel’s journey toward the light, and again it seems his faith has pulled through. Another example of great emotional acting.

There’s still a long way to go

I know for a fact it wasn’t perfect, but this episode was the first good’un in what seems like a long run of dud episodes. Most of the season was in fact a dud without direction and too spread out. With the dissolution of Negan’s reign there seems to be a new fresh route this show could take.

There are still many open plot points which need to be answered, that will always be TWD’s style, but for the first time in a long time, this show has got itself a win, and we still get to keep Negan, something which I am sure will have some level of resurgence and value in later episodes.

A feel good factor

It feels good for the first time in a long time to watch this show, that whole putting the audience though as much shit as the characters has finally been lifted. Carl’s memory and contribution were memorialized throughout the episode playing on the audiences heart strings and perhaps sub consciously nodding to the fact he probably shouldn’t have died, even though his death may have got the Walking Dead out of this rut.

Overall I liked the episode

From the very open of this episode I could tell it was going to be good. The twists and turns which led to Negan’s defeat were simple and straight to the point. I enjoyed the fact it happened just after the halfway point leaving more time to move towards next season’s plot.

The overall character development of this show has been flexed in this episode and I think the cast have ridden a proverbial shit storm out of a shituation. Full credit to the sheer effort they put in to make this whole deal feel so emotionally real. TWD has always captured the emotion above everything else.

Should they really be divided?

That’s the question most people are asking, and I think its another interesting twist. Was it right to publicly show mercy to Negan in front of the likes of Maggie. If so a civil war could be on the horizon. I’m not sure I fully believe the motives of Jesus and Daryl as they align themselves with Maggie, that may be my only criticism of a decent episode of the Walking Dead and for the first time we have no frustrating cliff hanger!

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Good news can always be found, somewhere.

Humanity had a bad weekend. It seems like bad events such as the one in Paris are becoming more and more frequent. Most of us won’t be able to do anything that could help a situation that unfolded but instead we find ways of processing and paying tribute.

There are no words that could possibly describe what those innocent people went through and there is no justification for those who inflicted such diabolical acts. Life will find a way of being the judge.

As humans we do the best to process. Many who use facebook took the opportunity to pay tributes by covering their profile picture with a French flag. Many others vented via tweets and statuses.

The downside of humanity is sometimes the action we take. However the upside is our reaction we have as people. In extreme situations of danger people commit heroic acts to keep sometimes complete strangers safe from harm. That itself should be celebrated, but that doesn’t bring back those who undeservedly lost their lives. Sometimes in order to process and think about what is going on in the world we look a little closer to home.

Turn it back on yourself for just a moment and you can realise compared to those people who faced shear terror on Friday your life isn’t that bad. That’s how I process stuff like this because there isn’t really any other way for me. Sure we can live in paranoia that we are going be next but that isn’t living. None of us should in fact live in fear, we should all have hope that things are going to be ok and that is what humanity is to me.

You may be in a shitty situation at work or home. Money may be your biggest worry or the car you drive may not make the next view miles down the road. This road is in fact long and winding. All of those things mentioned find ways of resolve but are in fact minor problems compared to others.

‘One day you are on top of the world and one day you are the clown’ says one of my favourite vocalists Chris Daughtry in a particular song called start of something good.

To me that means one day you will be ahead and one day you will be behind. Just be glad you are in the race because those people on Friday were taken before their time. What better way to pay a tribute than to go out and make something of your life.

Without sounding too preachy my life is exactly as Chris Daughtry sings that song. ‘Things might work out how they should’.

I take a closer look at myself and things are good. Very recently I started a new job across departments at work. This decision is turning out to be the best I have ever made in my life, but work for me wasn’t always great, neither was my car and money situation. What’s money I still ask?

There once was a time where I said I’m a writer and had no content to show for it. Right now I sit here typing with a brand new book ready to be edited and then hopefully self published next year. After finding an editor and someone who can help publicise it (he says).

Good news can always be found somewhere but if it can’t make some of your own. We as people are powerful beings, just the power of words can change society. Although there isn’t anything we can do to bring back those many good people who left us in Paris, we can sure dedicate ourselves to appreciating and making the most of what we have. That is our life and our humanity.

Not many of us will ever win anything big. I personally haven’t won anything particularly big but the little victories, there’s something I specialise in and savour. I’m surrounded by good friends and people who make this life better to be in.

Its been a difficult but very rewarding year for me. The seeds have already been planted to make 2016 blossom into something good. It’s never too late to grow your own good news.

 

robin quote

 

 

 

Humanity : Overrated

This past week in fact this past summer anybody with or without an internet connection knows that there is a massive amount of migration happening. People no longer feel safe in their conflict torn homes and are on the move. Men, women, children and families of people finding any means necessary to get away from the horrors of what their homes have become. Our basic human instinct is to escape any type of conflict especially to protect the ones we love. Sometimes that means taking huge risks in getting across borders and aiming for places where there is less conflict.

A few days ago I saw a photo that really defined the world we live in and the humanity or lack of that is apparent. A child washed up on a beach. Someone’s child who was probably promised a better life and that is was going to be ok. Much of the civilised and conflict free world are currently arguing about what to do, as always. It really hit home to me that these people, who are people like me and you are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

People are currently arguing whether or not these people should be ‘let’ in. Of course there’s the overcrowding debate and where are you going to fit thousands of people? It isn’t long before the religious card is pulled and certain migrants of a certain religion apparently can’t be trusted. Then there’s the simple mindedness of ‘keeping Britain British’. Unfortunately that ship sailed here ironically, generations ago and all good economies and societies are made up of many different people from different places.  The immigration debate here in the uk comes from the subject not being handled right from the beginning. Politicians are aware of the past and wont want to repeat it so they are treading lightly.

At least one of my grandparents and probably a lot of yours were involved in some level of war or conflict in their lives. They defended their countries unconditionally with many never returning. They didn’t fight to keep Britain British or America American as an example; they fought for everyone to have a right to freedom. To stop other nations becoming war zones so they could live in peace.

If this is done right then these people need to be given a chance, hell they probably have something to offer. They are people after all, people who have trades, education and abilities to contribute to society.

Sure everyone can put a multi-coloured flag across their Facebook profile picture that’s ok and a show of the times moving on. But that picture of the young child washed up on a beach really brings it home. These people need help and like everyone they need a chance.

 

Censorship of graphic imagery and videos

What I have noticed as of recent is mainly parents complaining of the graphic and sometimes brutal images and videos put up on social media. Including the child washed up and the American news reporter being shot. Unfortunately most of the time people can’t moderate what they see online. When news does break it’s normally from a camera phone these days, on twitter.

People have complained numerous times about exposing this stuff to their kids. Social media is like a democracy, you can leave when you like and I thought Facebook was for adults mainly. Complaining to the highest of hells won’t get you anywhere. And we all want to protect the people we love but sooner or later they are going to realise what this world is like.