Saturday, May 11, 2019

Hate Pays

If it wasn’t so damn easy to stop, I would keep writing every day. So here I go again.

I have had visions of the next project I want to do floating around my head. They come to me at odd times, during a walk, late at night, when I’m sitting there eating my dinner alone, or just anytime I let my mind wander and float upon the ether of my imagination. There are flashes of this story that come and go, and I don’t even know where I want to take it only that the characters are there, and the setting is starting to take shape. I suppose this shall float around in my subconscious until a flash of inspiration strikes and I am ready to tell the story.

I’ve also had other dreams and other flashes of stories that I want to write echo through my thoughts. Some of these I will save for this medium, others I shall tell in other elsewhere. They are all just a misty haze at this point as things come together and the synthesis begins.

I do not want to do multipart series anymore. There too much of a commitment, and if life happens you lose track in a big way. I am much more apt to release a novel between 60,000 and 120,000 words in one big release then I am parsing it out like everyone used to do in the old days. I just want to write single books these days. I know I have things left undone, and those will be gotten to in time. I have reread my unfinished series and I’m letting those thoughts float around my head to with these others. But in order to do those series justice I need to get back on my feet again. I can’t go into them cold.

I find that exercise and watching my health has improved my mood greatly. I don’t think I could go back to the old way of life at all, and I am very happy with my new body and my health. In times like these, your health is your wealth. Think about that. The more junk you eat, the more the invisible force of poverty and misery will drag you down. It is very hard for me to change my life, but I have. I have seen the alternative and I do not want that to be me.

See? My thoughts are still all over the place and random.

I suppose I should get over this and eventually be able to stick to a coherent thought and single frame of mind but it is going to take time. It is why I am finding it difficult to review these days. I did not realize it until I started really to dive back into this and write. If I can’t keep a single thought consistent and enduring in my mind how my supposed to read a book and keep multiple concepts and tracks in my mind straight when I am considering a work? The randomness of my thoughts now is difficult to work through, and it is a strange invisible form of stress that is purely distraction and an inability to focus.

I am improving by taking time out of my life and learning how to play music. I find that doing something totally unlike me, a hobby I’ve always been scared of, is actually helping me get my focus back. It is a long-term process, but one I will faithfully keep up and have set aside time to do regardless of what life throws at me. I go through my silly little piano lessons and struggle through it as a neophyte would, but I am happy with every little improvement. It is something I know I need to do, and something I have always wanted to do. Before I cannot I might as well.

That is really the secret to life. There are always those clichés that tell you, live in the now, just do it. You always dismiss those in your mind is marketing hype and commercial tropes. Once you realize the time you spend doing things, either for other people, or just for yourself, is an investment in you. It may not pay off tomorrow, but if you keep it up eventually some day you will be in a happier place than you are now. If there is one truth in this life it is that happiness can never be instantly granted. Happiness is something that takes place after a long road of sacrifice.

This is why I shy away from most video games these days. The people that know how to make slot machines and gambling addictive have got their dirty hands all over gaming. This is all engineered to be addictive, to affect those parts of the brain that shoot dopamine into your nervous system, get you hooked on an adrenaline rush, plate exciting sounds and flash colors in your eyes, and get you addicted to a fake life that will never last and was never there in the first place.

Don’t get me started either on games for children that let them use assault weapons on each other for play. I am not anti-gun, but I do believe that if children learn that conflict resolution is settled by the side with the bigger guns I feel there is a problem. There are certain things in this world, like sex, like self-defense, like alcohol, like voting, like civic responsibility, that are clearly for minds that have developed past a certain age. The problem with this is entertainment corporations like to keep their audiences thinking like children until they are 40 years old. I talked a long time ago about the joys of being an adult and having responsibilities. The world we live in today wants to keep us in a juvenile mindset forever without care or consequence what that does to our psyches.

People have to grow up. I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy something silly and simple every now and then. It is just I feel way too much of our culture worships toys. We live in a world where we can only see everything as toys. From political figures to our movies to our entertainment to what we see on television, everything seems like a toy these days. Everything is made to be as appealing as possible, Photoshopped to hell, the eyes oversized in expression, a snarky smile, with this attitude smirk pasted on their face, and the studio audience and laugh track ready to go.

And we wonder why online culture today is so focused on fighting each other. It is like one side says their toys are cooler than the others, somebody broke my toy, somebody stole the toy from me, I lost my toy, your toy sucks, and I hate that kid because he has the coolest toys. We live in a playground mentality. It infects our online interactions and politics. The news is entirely toy based coverage, like some strange 1980s war toy advertisement, but the images on our screen are of real life war and consequence. Political figures are painted like cartoon villains, on either side don’t get me started, and the righteous “good guys” are the only ones you should be rooting for. The ones on your side, of course.

And what really makes me feel ill is the fact that this syndrome is well known and manipulated by everyone that plays this game with us. I click on a news story by accident and I can clearly see the manipulation going on. Certain words are used to make you angry. They paint things in a certain light, almost like those 1980s cartoons that are just meant to sell you a toy line, when what we are talking about here are real adult issues and real adult matters. I see these click bait articles, and they disgust me because they treat me as if I were an idiot. Or maybe they’re just treating me as a child, because that is the extent of how they wish to interact with me.

This is why I don’t interact all that much on social media these days. Too many people fall for this shit. The mainstream news, either side, is as bad as the conspiracy sites; if not worse because they pretend they aren't doing it. I am not stupid. I see what you are doing. You are making your viewers angry and exploiting them. Come back tomorrow so we can get more fractional pennies off your rage and insecurity! Click, click, click. Millions of you, please share! Get angry and share even more!!! Nobody is on the high ground here. And way too many people get into these playground pick-a-side games of, “no it is mine!”

And the advertising agencies that pay people “money for clicks” encourage this behavior. Because why? Because we fall for it every time. Back when we had real advertisements, where Mad Men sat smoke-filled rooms and came up with Burma-Shave billboards we never had this. We never had this rage based marketing feeding money into hate. It is not the average person’s fault, as people are stupid, and I feel this is the fault of the people passing the money around and encouraging immature behavior and causing animosity because, “hate pays."

With every click of the right mouse button or tap on the phone we fall farther down this hole.

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