Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Goddamn It! It's Not About THAT!

I'm going to insult some of you.  Yeah, I've probably been insulting your intelligence in this blog for a while, but today, I'm just going to come out and say it, I'm going to insult you.  To be honest I think the ones I'm going to insult need it.  Probably won't achieve much, but...well, I haven't thought much past that.  Rest assured there's a good reason, I'm sure you'll come up with one, you brainless fuck.

Got this booklet through the door this morning.  Actually, this afternoon, since the poor, overworked postman would be shoving the bloody things through every single fucking door.  The booklet was called What Staying in the United Kingdom means for Scotland.  It claims to be information.  It reads like a fucking book full of patronising orders and flimsy proclamations to me.  It's a publication created by the vested interest of Westminster*.

And it was the final straw on whether I should go off on a fucking rant about the question of Scottish independence.  I'll tell you right now, I'm for it.  Just get that right out there before any ambiguity can set in.  I'll be voting yes.

Do you want to know why?

Probably not, but I'm going to tell you.  I'm sick of London being the centre of every decision made in this country.  It feels like every political and fiscal decision made by the UK government is for the benefit of the parasitic resource sink in the south east.  I have nothing against London, it's a wonderful place to visit, but that doesn't mean I want every decision made in the rest of the country used to prop it up.  It's not right and it's not fair.  Money and people who would benefit areas like Yorkshire, Cumbria and Central Scotland are drawn to the city to the detriment of these places.  How the fuck is that right?

It's like the clich├ęd school bully who demands your lunch money and gives you nothing but pain in return.  The rest of the country only gets inflated house prices in return for sending tributes of people and money to the insatiable London.  A whole country can't be used to finance a single city.

Yet we, the Scottish people are urged to stay with this abusive relationship, because, we're condescendingly informed, it's better for us.  Yeah, I like being scudded in the head with a cane while some cunt who has enough money already dips my fucking pocket.  And none of the current national parties will do anything different, because we have a bunch of creepy career politicians who are beholden to equally creepy business interests.  Rich folk helping out rich folk, aye they have our best interests at heart.  Bunch of fucking cunts.

And you do realise why some of the Better Together people are shouting so loud, right?  No?  How about if I say they're MPs?  That help you out?

They are another vested interest.  What happens to all those Scottish MPs in the event of a 'Yes' vote?  That's right, they don't get their subsidised trips to London any more.  Oh no!  Their relevance will twirl away down the toilet.  You know and the nice, generous expenses and chance at a juicy peerage.  But of course the money and title has nothing to do with it, it's all about doing the best for their constituents.  I do wish there was a sarcasm tag.

Let's be clear, too, this isn't some wrong-headed Braveheart** pish about fucking the English.  That has nothing to do with it.  I think the rest of England could benefit from getting shot of slimy shits that inhabit Whitehall.  The UK government doesn't really represent Scotland or the rest of the country as it stands.  If the current UK government wasn't hacking up the NHS or punishing poor people for not having enough money or being led around by the nose by tabloid journalism, I might waver a bit more, but what we see is Tories and LibDems slashing at the infrastructure of welfare and finger-fucking the wounds.

And that's another thing, all the fuckwits who think "I don't like Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon," is a valid reason for voting no, please take a swim in the North Sea with bowling balls tied to your legs, because your diminutive IQ is dragging the rest of us down.  Yeah Salmond is an egotistical goon, but we don't need to have him forever.  An independent Scotland will still be democratic, we won't suddenly become a dictatorship.  Vote the fucker out once we have our own country.  Simple as that.

I'm sure there's a chance he'll turn on us when he gets into office, but I'd rather take that chance over dealing with the Westminster fuckers who've shown they'll happily slit a newborn's throat if it got them a few extra coppers in their pockets.  The breed at the top in the Houses of Parliament at the moment are the most heartless, corporate and ideology-driven fungal-infections you can imagine.  In it together; or in it for themselves?  You shouldn't need to think about that if you follow the pattern of their behaviour.

Essentially, if you vote 'No' to independence you've forfeited your right to complain about any Westminster government, because you told them you were happy to let them continue to do whatever the fuck they like.  I mean they've already fast tracked privatising the Royal Mail, what kind of shit is that?  Who's to say the next government won't start to renege on devolution, because, "Clearly you want to have more to do with Westminster.  Why else would you stay in the union.  Come, this will only hurt forever."

Tell me you can't imagine that walking modelling balloon David Cameron doing something like that to appease the great Maggie.  Seriously, can't you just imagine him having a shrine to Margaret Thatcher in his bedroom, with the mask he makes his wife wear when he's fucking her hung up next to unnervingly intimate photos of Thatcher?  David Cameron and that smirking goblin Nigel Farage show the same contempt for Scotland as Thatcher did.  It's the same contempt they hold for anyone not as rich as them.  You want a shit-monger like Cameron to still be making decisions from Downing Street?  Fuck, do you want barely there political drone Ed Milliband in Number Ten?  What sort of hell do you think he'll rain on Scotland?  Those adenoids are just waiting for their revenge, people!

Then you have the leaders of the Scottish Labour party and the Scottish Conservative party, Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson, who hold the people of Scotland in such little worth they don't believe we can think for ourselves.  Johann Lamont just out and said it.  Ruth Davidson hasn't in so many words, but, because she's a Tory, it's an easy bet she believes it. too.

They all subscribe to the same corrosive notion that rigid capitalism is the most sensible economic option.  Yeah, and trickle-down economics works.  Fucking hell, the idea of infinite growth for anything is the most preposterous notion ever conceived.  Not to sound hysterical here, but it's a big old lie.  It's a lie to keep already frighteningly wealthy and powerful people in the power and wealth they think is their right.  It's the same lie that's led to sell offs of public services or the barmy notion that public services should be profitable.  That's not the benchmark of a public service's worth; efficiency isn't decided by how much money electricity, public transport, the postal service or healthcare makes, it's how well it's they're doing to stop society from crumbling around our ears.  Taxes from the businesses these services help to support should be invested, not wrenched in bloated bills from the pockets of normal people.  The fact that Westminster politicians are so cowardly and lacking in imagination to dare deviate from this dogmatic bollocks scares the living shit out of me and it should you, too.

Do you really want to be still part of that shit?  If you do then you're a fucking moron.  You don't deserve my respect.  Or air, for that matter.

I'll concede, though, both sides in this campaign have been guilty of being cagey on several subjects.  It's not been a nice campaign.  The Yes side have stooped as low as the No side and that's fucking shameful.  We shouldn't let this political bickering put us off getting our own country.  The transition won't be easy, my friend, but there's a chance it will be worth it.  Can it really be as bad as what we've had shoved down our throats already?

* There's a brilliant ripping apart of it here.  Or there was.  The fucking links died hasn't it?

** I fucking hate that piece of shit button-pressing film.  It's not about freedom, it's about a fucking sociopath annoyed because he can't get his dick wet.

Dude, already happened, wipe the spittle away.


Will

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tut tut tut. I'm So Disappointed in You.

It's been a little while, hasn't it?  Not quite as long as before, but I've been quiet for the better part of a month.  Not that you'd notice.

Why?  Well because none of your fucking business, nosy bastard.

I've been waiting for something to strike me just the right way to say something about it.  I've also been holding back on something that will come in time.  Oh, my yes, I got me a big bag of bile right here on that score.

So, this little bit of fuckwaddery was brought to my attention.  Read it and let it sink in, right under your skin, that burning itch is normal.  One Direction fan fiction given a huge advance and now being adapted into a film.  This isn't a precedent, because a previous fan fiction bod got a book deal out of her work.  Loving the Band was rushed to e-book, without much said about the advance.  Actually I noticed the Independent was curiously reticent about giving any kind of details on the deal, kinda weird, doncha think?

The new one seems even worse, because there's this suggestion that there hasn't even been an editing process.  Ahem, what?  Are you fucking kididing me?  This blog led me to this blog.  Our erstwhile writer in the second blog is, understandably, bemused.  I'm fucking furious.

As she points out, we writers* are told when we start out on the long, frustrating, painful road that we have to be at our fucking best.  Hone our shit to a razor-sharp edge and then, maybe, a publisher might arch an eyebrow in interest.  Once we've been allowed in by the erstwhile gatekeepers we are sent to editing boot camp.  I know a few professional writers who go through the wringer with edits to get their work in what is considered publishable shape.

Yet, we see this girl get her work fast-tracked by the publisher.  Not her fault.  I'm not angry at her, there's no point, she's probably delighted to have her work in print and getting a fat cheque for it and let her enjoy it.  As Jenny Trout points out, there's always a chance Anna Todd might mature into a good writer.  Although looking at Emily Baker, that might not hold.   The people my ire is aimed at are the publishers.

This will probably mean I'll never see my work in print, but, fuck it, the more people who point this shit out, the better.

This kind of thing is part of the same horrible decline that's happening with the film and music industries: risk-averse bullshit where the blandest shit is shoved at us in pretty packaging.  New things are to be shunned if they don't instantly have millions of people clamouring for it.  Anything that makes even a wee bit of money is jumped on and aped, without understanding why it's popular.  So publishing has followed suit, getting quick-fix crap on the shelves and paying the often vacuous cardboard cut-outs we call celebrities wads of money for ghost-written drivel.

It feels like the industry is kicking sand in the face of people like myself, hungry for a break, but told we're not quite good enough or what we're writing isn't quite right.  When poorly-written shit** is packaged and thrown out for public consumption like it's the pinnacle of writing achievement, we the mass of writers, who feel like we are kept out by this shit, we have to look askance at the big publishers and ask if they know what the fuck they're doing.

I don't know where to go with this now.  My anger's played itself out.  Impotent, impotent anger.  I'm going to lie down.  Really we should expect better from the big publishers, shouldn't we?

I'm a fucking writer.  I might not have success, wealth, fame or even earn a living, but I do the work.  That's how it works.

** Let's not mention that fucking shit-monger E.L. James who hit on the genius idea of shittily re-writing shit fiction.  That's so fucking expired it might cause me a stroke.

Don't get me started on self-publishing, though.  The advice for that makes you like a needy arsehole.  Nope, not for me.


Will

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Nothing This Week.

Seriously, nothing to see here, people.  But what you should be doing is going back and having a look at the last few months' worth of posts, in case you've missed any.  Go on.  There's a list down the side.

Let's see what happens next week, eh?


Will

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Clonk! OW!

I was angry.  I get angry a lot.  Things annoy me and get under my skin on a regular basis.  It's a particular annoyance when something happens in one of the creative fields I have my eye on.  No, I'm not going to go off on one about the misogyny in comics again, although it's something that could currently be talked about endlessly.

No, this rant was centred on something a lot closer to me.  I saw something in a magazine that incensed me and almost had me writing a bitter-sounding screed about the nature of networking, money and talent* in the comics industry.  I know they don't sound like very interesting topics, but the combination is, and in the most horrible way.  It would have been accusatory and finger-pointy and very probably foamy-mouthed as a tirade.

And that was what stopped me.  Whether I'm right or wrong in my assessment of what I see as people not worth the time getting success doesn't entirely matter.  Every mediocre drop of shit they drop into the creative community is going to make me wince like an abused kid when his father reaches for his belt, but there's a problem when you point it out: you look bitter and jealous.  Jealousy can be healthy in small amounts, it can be another of those initially negative things that turns positive, but no one really wants anything to do with bitterness.  Ya just don't make friends when your mouth is curled into a sneer because shit hasn't gone your way.

I would, and still do, see my anger as justified and clean, shining an incandescent light on the corruption and hypocrisy I see in my midst.

"Can't you be happy for someone's success?" you would be justified in asking.  I can, but not when it's at my expense and at the expense of people more talented than me.

You see?  It sounds like a shrivelled old complainer, pointing his worn walking stick at something he doesn't like and peeling back his cracked lips to spit out some bilious comment.  I'm not that guy.  I want to show the injustices of 'I'll-buy-you-a-drink' job-getting, and I know it goes on, I've heard too many stories from first hand sources to assure me of that, but doing so taints me, too.  Pointing it out marks me out as some kind of malcontent, but I suppose I'm not content with the way these transactions go.  Unfortunately it's a reality of the world I've thrown my lot in with and I don't have the clout to change it.

My lack of prowess when it comes to networking is legendary.  I say, "Hello," and then watch as someone else smooths their way in.  Confidence is, and always has been, my biggest downfall.  I lack it and I also have a deficiency of the bullshitting gland that might help me acquire work.  Bullshitting seems to be a large part of the whole process.  As is money, which I also have a huge lack of.  With money I could at least travel around and practice my ineptitude.  Wow, there's a line that's going to get me a tidal wave of job offers.

If only sarcasm was a marketable skill.

Snarling and bellowing about the situation isn't going to change anything and it only marks me out as some kind of whiner not content with his lot.  Maybe I am a whiner.  I'm certainly not happy with where I am in my writing career*.  Do you think shouting and (metaphorically) kicking furniture over is my way of disguising the snivelling whinger I really am?

I didn't want to rant here and I don't think I did.  I did, I think, turn a bit passive-aggressive, which I apologise for.  Most of you want to see that about as much as you want to see my wang.  I do think it's something I need to air once in while, even if it does depress the living shit out of you.

This blog post is dedicated to Ben Eads and Ted Brandt who are getting along merrily on their actual talent and I say congratulations in their recent successes.  It's nice to see people – friends – doing well who aren't anything like the type of dickhead I describe above.  Trying to inject positivity in here, I feel it needs it, don't you?

So next week I'll either have something hilariously angry or you'll get complete silence.  We'll see how my mood is.

* Or lack thereof, in some cases.

** That is to say pretty much nowhere.  I'm just full of cheer today.


Will

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

And Your Pens, Too!

Smell that, son.  It's the scent of fuckwit on the air.  Yes, I know, we're supposed to be an advanced civilised society, but fuckwits and arseholes still manage to wriggle their way to the top of food chains and under our skin.  It's kind of our fault for having a civilised and advanced society that we allow these...um...interesting individuals to burble away and annoy us.  Would be nice to just round a few particularly dicky dicks up, through them on an enclosed plain and hunt them down.  Population control.  Alas the whole 'illegality' and 'immorality' of such a venture bugs some people.  For some reason.

I've been vocal about my annoyance at the sexism and misogyny in two of my favourite art forms before.  Gaming has seen a high-profile debacle with the Game Jam that went down the toilet because of sexist remarks.  You have to applaud the people who put a middle finger up to that shit.  It's not the first incident of its kind in gaming and I don't think it will be the last – not for a good long while, sadly.  I can't help feeling that all the nasty shit some gamers say while playing online might be the desired end result for some games creators, "I'm miserable, so you're all going to be miserable.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"  Or something.

I want to talk comics, though.

Recently this bullshit pushed its sweaty way into my consciousness.  Do I need to tell people what's wrong with this situation?  If I do, then please feel free to go for a walk down the middle of a motorway, you know for your own and everyone else's sake.  It will be for the best.

Going by the discussion and the toxic sludge that passes for forums and comments sections, talk I must.  It's because it talks of a wider problem in our culture, where treating women like punching bags, both emotionally and physically, still doesn't have the stigma it deserves.

Let's go back to that misty time of April 11th of this year, an idyllic time when everyone got along and no one was throwing around rape threats like it was big and clever.

What?

It's never been like that?

Okay, but this part of the story still starts on that date.  A day when a woman decided to critique a recent comic book cover.  She pointed out that while the figure work was mostly pretty good, the composition was dodgy as fuck.  I mean, to me, most of the things around the figures look like they've been scribbled in without any thought about whether they should be there.  That lunch bag in Beast Boy's hand looks especially tacked-on.  She points out something that could be potentially racist.  That last one's hard to call, it could just have been down to the overall iffiness of the composition.

The less ambiguous issue is with Wonder Girl's anatomy.  Namely her gigantic, unreal knockers.  Miss Asselin rightly takes issue with the blatant sexualisation of a teenage girl, fictional she may be, but it's still a creepy thought.  She points out the ridiculous proportions of the character's hips before turning her attention to everything that's wrong with Wonder Girl's breasts.  You can read it in the link.

And that's what people took issue with.  How dare she, a mere woman and non-artist, criticise a comic artist for DOING WHAT A VAST SWATH OF COMIC ARTISTS DO!  Then came the rape threats.  Rape threats.

I'll say that a third time so that those of you who don't quite get it can feel the full horror: rape threats.  We know the people involved know what they do is wrong because they concealed their activities in private correspondence.

This kind of thing isn't acceptable.  This is shit.  It's nasty and unpleasant and, if the all-time number one downloaded song ever is an indicator, disgustingly prevalent.  We have a culture in which threatening rape is a way of dealing with women.  How is this still a thing?  Why are we still letting it happen?  Are we afraid of losing our bros when we call them on having grotesque attitudes towards women.  Let me tell you, you don't need friends like that, yer mate who's always calling women sluts and whores and thinks they're good for nothing but bed post notches is the human equivalent of radioactive waste.  His attitudes are going to reflect on you and give your soul cancer.  You wouldn't sit on an atomic pile would you?  See?

Even in the public domain, people who are supposed to be professionals in the field resorted to, "you have a vagina, so you are wrong," arguments when it was clear their defence of one of their colleagues wasn't going their way.  That's harder to deal with, because they don't seem to see what they are doing is wrong.  That's a problem too big for my puny brain to think up even a bullshit solution for.

And the argument it's the way comics are done is such a huge pile of bullshit there are satellites orbiting it.  We have the capacity to change that particular status quo.  Ridiculously-boobed women (teenagers and adult women) are the juvenile fantasies of a small part of the comics community, yet it's those shit heads who call all the shots.  Yes, they're the loudest monkeys in the enclosure, but they are also the most stupid, selfish and least representative.  Big companies can take away their power with one simple tactic: ignore them.  It's not our fault some essential part of their life is missing.  Get on with doing shit that isn't offensive in every wrong way and start to grow.  You won't be seen as unsympathetic, you'll be seen as smart.  Ignore the fuckers who want comics to stay the same stunted medium forever*.

What I say to everyone: is shout as loud as you can about these internet degenerates.  Shine a big torch on every reprehensible proclamation.  There should be a website dedicated to this, where women who've been on the receiving end of this crap can post the sickening crap they have to put up with so that the rest of us can laugh and the pathetic specimens who feel it's right and proper to verbally beat women down with grimy threats just so they can feel empowered.  Would such a place work?  Dunno.  It would be nice to experiment and see.  Someone.  Anybody?**

* Actually moderating forums and comments sections might be a good start too.  Too many of these places just let slobbering misogyny and any other foul prejudice run rampant without saying much.  Don't feed the trolls is not an adequate way to moderate a forum either.

** And fucking hell more shit!


Will