Rantastic

On Garbage

So I’ve decided to finally finish and edit my novel from NaNoWriMo. Just…

It’s complete garbage.

I didn’t make it 5 words before finding something I disliked, and wanted to vehemently cross out in bright red ink, like slashing a terrible monster or the like. It’s my worst nightmare come true, it’s 87 pages long single spaced, and I would rather print it off to experience the catharsis of burning that piece of $%#^.

10 year old kids can write better than this absolute tripe. It’s like watching a car with a bent wheel try to move, only to have the one side of the car lift and fall like some shambling Igor.

The bonus here is that, at the very least, I can tell it’s garbage.

It’s also telling that writing this abomination took a month, and after having spent months teaching others how to write basic forms of stories in a variety of uninteresting and curriculum mandated ways, I can look back on this thing and tell that it would take much, much longer to edit. Multiple months, to be sure. Five, if I had to guess.

Hulking is not a descriptor I would use for most novellas, but the one I wrote has earned it. Not because of deep, heavy hitting content. It’s also a novella, so not size. No, the hulking bulk comes from the pedantic, terrible pacing and ridiculous attempts at tension by focusing on the wrong parts of the story.

Focus on character would have been much better than focus on environmental factors. I was trying to write a video game, but it’s worse than that because video games present and environment for a player to interpret, and this story rams it down the reader’s throats.

Not to mention all the ‘edgy’ gore, the attempts at horror, action best described as a play by play on a football monitor. Clunky doesn’t begin to cover it, like a blanket for someone who is several inches longer than the motel bed.

There is much work to be done; if it can be salvaged at all. My Dad always could find uses for good quality trash; just the other day, while he was visiting, Dad picked out several doors, hooks, and shelving units that others had thrown out. To him, these items were still useful, helpful.

Some things, though, are just trash.

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Response: Boss Fights

Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel asked in his latest video about Boss Fights what people thought about… well, boss fights. In games, specifically. In reality, he asked two questions:

  1. What are Boss fights (to you?) and what do they do?
  2. What about games without Boss Fights? Or adversity at all?

Before I start drunkenly answering these questions, you might want to go check out the video for yourselves. Click the link to watch it, then come back; I promise this post isn’t going anywhere.


Alright, welcome back. Let’s talk bosses! Or at least let me blow smoke up your respective asses about bosses!

boss

He’s listening…

Boss fights are, popularly, a test of the skills you have learned. Traditionally, boss fights are staged, closed off skill checks that require a certain amount of mastery over skills learned over the course of a game. Some games test recently acquired skills; a perfect example of this can be found in the more recent Legend of Zelda games, where the means to defeating a boss is found within the dungeon preceding it.

In these kinds of games, the boss fight is very much a licensing test, where the dungeon is a training course and defeating the boss is proof enough for the developers that a player has mastered the item, and can be counted on to figure out when and how to use it.

In other games (Enter the Gungeon comes to mind, simply because I’ve played/watched it a lot), Bosses are a pure test of in-game skill. The items you’ve acquired and progress you’ve made during a playthrough will make a boss fight easier, no doubt; but if you’re garbage at dodge rolling, you’re still going to hit the ground hard enough to make a 6 foot deep crater.

h_az_meteorcrater_02

More or less; depends on how you died.

In these games, the skills required to beat the game are typically given right at the start, and each progressive boss simply ramps up the difficulty, either by increasing the number of threatening situations or limiting the room for errors, which forces a player to hone their skill to the point where the boss can be defeated.

Boss fights aren’t necessarily one singular entity, though; in Devil Daggers, for instance, there is one boss in the game, somewhere so far into a run that under 2% of all players have ever seen it. Every other “boss” moment is either the introduction of new enemy types, which quickly become a regular and terrifyingly numerous occurrence, or a suddenly large wave of enemies to combat all at once. Moments like these are still tests, but without all the drama of a big baddy. The idea is that, once these moments are mastered, future parts of the game can be accessed and played better, leading to further boss moments.

All of this, however, requires “buy in” from the player, and this is where the second question kicks in. Can games without adversity still have boss fights?

My short answer is ‘yes,’ they can, if we look at boss fights from a different point of view.

Broken down to its essentials, a boss fight in most games is a payout for the gradual structured rise in tension brought on from mounting difficulty and more complex game mechanics. The rising difficulty of challenges designed to make players figure out how to use the bow and arrow in Ocarina of Time’s Forest Temple climaxes with the shadow Ganon fight at the very end of the ordeal. This moment only feels like a proper boss fight so long as the player understands that this moment, this fight, is the ultimate skill check before the reward the player knows is coming; they’re accustomed to having their reward at the end, damnit. In addition, the boss fight itself, being a spike in difficulty, earns its “boss” status in part because of the incredible difficulty spike.

dark-souls-3-boss-700x394

Now with 2 times the murder!

In short, change and conflict create the emotional buy-in from the player necessary to give it the oomph required of a boss fight. Good boss fights are tough, but not too tough, and you won’t find them in the middle of a section of gameplay (unless it is a “mini” boss, a fight only significant enough to break up the steady pacing of a dungeon and create a mid-point for the player to reference how far along they’ve come).

In non-adversity games the question becomes “how do you create tension when mechanics and mounting difficulty are non-issues?” Unlike more mechanically focused games, where story telling and narrative can help but are ultimately not necessary for building the tension to create a boss fight moment, narrative games create the tension required of “boss” moments through writing and story.

Journey, for example, creates powerful, beautiful moments where the player is invited to experience the adventures of their pilgrim; sand-surfing, for instance, or the terrifying crossing where you have to avoid the large, mechanical snakes lest they… do something.

friendlyrobo

Look, don’t ask questions here, I don’t want to know.

Point is, all of these emotions and thoughts the player brings with them start to stack one atop the other in a big, unstable, tension piled mess. When the player reaches the final moments of the pilgrim’s journey, the payoff is palpable; nerves, hope for survival, and the desperate chanting of “come on, you can make it!..” These feelings are practically the same as a boss fight, where instead of the payoff coming from beating a difficult check of abilities learned, payoff comes from narrative resolution from a character overcoming the issues facing them through story and presentation.

At the heart of both of these ideas is one of conflict, and its resolution. Boss fights are just big conflicts; and if there’s one thing that good stories do to the exclusion of all else, it’s conflict and the resolution of them. Instead of boss “fights” you have boss “moments” but in the end, both kinds of games have bosses to cross, moments of gameplay where a player invested in a game will find the same kind of feeling and weight from either one.

 

Stream of Unconsciousness I

There’s something to be said about people who can just speak or write non-stop with no real slowdown. Not only that, but doing so while remaining entertaining or otherwise listen-to-able, seems to be a talent that is difficult to get the hang of.

The term motor mouth applies here, liberally, like icing on a really dry cake. Scratch that; just literally anything liquid to wash the cake down, cause the icing will make it worse! That sugar isn’t going to help a throat being assaulted by moisture absorbing sponge cake, it’s going to exacerbate it, by a factor of ten!

Look, the point is that stream of consciousness is hard. Always has been, always will be; but it is so much fun to get with once you have it down, if you know what I mean which you might not because if we’re being honest, and I do love being honest, honestly, it’s important to be honest with the people listening to you. There’s an unspoken contract between the listener and the worder, or speaker or whatever, and one of them is don’t blow too much smoke up each other’s asses, right?

But what I meant before is that stream of consciousness is a learned thing, something you can practice and get better at over time. What is better in this case kinda depends on the person making it and the person listening, an aspect of that contract I tangeantified (that’s definitely not a word) earlier. People are going to hear whatever they hear, and the person making the content can intend all he/she/they like; at the end of the day, it’s all about the receive.

Think american football; doesn’t matter how the big guy in the back throws the sack of pigs, all that matters is did the really fast asshole catch it? If not, no progress. It’s the same thing here, where it doesn’t matter what the content creator does so much as whether people like it or not.

So why even bother bringing this up when it comes to stream of consciousness? Northernlion. That’s why. I’ve been listening to the man speak and play games at the same time for the past year and a bit, almost non-stop. I look forward to his videos because he always has something to say, a LOT of something, and he usually manages to get it out of his mouth hole sounding really entertaining. Not always mind you, but how can you expect “always” of anyone? Always is such a B.S term, when you get down to it, and no offence meant to the inestimable Alan Rickman and his incredible talent and works, but Snape was a sunavabitch for saying always. Unless he was being a self-directed man here, which means his universe started and ended with him, there’s no way he could “always” in that situation, whatever it was it’s been a while, because he was going to last all of 5 more minutes! But if he really did think the universe and world started and ended with him then Snape is just an asshat.

Not actually though, Snape was pretty brave about the whole thing, I’d probably just curl up and cry like a little pansy insteard, so kudos to that fictional character presented to us in an immaculate and exceptional performance made by a man who, in his memory I’d just like to state, was a Grade A actor and a phenomenal man.

Where was I again? Right, stream of consciousness, Northernlion, how he’s not always the most entertaining man ever. I have fallen asleep in the middle of his videos if I’m watching late at night, but he’d actually take that as a compliment; he’s okay if other people call his content background noise. I think that’s largely helped by him getting paid either way, but there’s no way to know for sure unless you know him personally, which I don’t. No lie though, I love the idea of it. He seems like a fun guy to play a game with or something.

Anyway, stream of consciousness is hard and I’m going to try practicing writing it so I can practice speaking it. Does that make sense? I hope one day I can make sense. It isn’t today, but one day maybe I’ll manage.

To Mom

Audio;

To mom;

How’s it going? It’s not often that I talk to you like this. Honestly that’s my fault, and if one were to be precise, a laudable and likable thing to be, then I would like to add it’s my mistake.

I had a brainwave the other day where I thought about all the things I wanted. Young men want a lot of things; a beautiful partner, a glorious career, an impact on the world, and excitement; but only to the point where excitement no longer breeds boredom through inundation, an overload of one’s being. This is who I am, still and currently, for at least a while. This attitude is what led me to leave home; the necessity for a life experience that could at least be said to rival the idea of a good life. Through whose terms is another question, maybe answered by someone a lot smarter than I am.

As I sat in my room one hot July day, sweltering not only under the heat of a mid-Toronto afternoon’s haze but under the scrutiny of an uncaring depressed mind, I saw a branch to help me out of my darkness, a stick that struck towards England as a place of opportunity and a way to find the glorious life I mentioned above.

Self doubt tried to cripple my confidence, laziness sabotaged my ambitions, and complacency quashed any sense of adventure that sparked in July. Despite these things, or perhaps to spite them actively, you helped me. You bolstered my courage, spurred my spirits, and moved me to move myself towards a future I myself could make.

It wasn’t until today, when I realized that I hadn’t made the chance to thank you.

Up until the day I left, denial reassured me I wasn’t going anywhere; While going through security, grief informed me I’d never be back, and while living here? Loneliness reminded me just where I was, with whom, and to what end: me, myself, and I. From there, I pushed myself not because of any sensibility but from a misled ideology of only I can help myself.

I had a brainwave the other day about how all the things I wanted would not be possible without someone very special; you. And I hadn’t the courage to see past my own failings to notice how, through my denial, my deceit and my disgust, you continued to push me, to help me, and to care, even if it meant I moved further away.

Today, on Mother’s Day of all days, I wanted to, at long last, thank you for your care, your help, and your love; your untiring belief in what I want to do, even if I don’t know what to do. Without you, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today.

Thank you

Love,
Phil

Pressure

i think I’ve figured out something that has been bothering me for some time. It’s a helpful thing to know, but it’s an ultimately shallow reassurance. 

I performed a lot during my undergrad: or at least I felt I did. I played euphonium in the wind ensemble whenever I could, culminating in about 6 years of play with that group. I’ve done a lot of performance work on the side, where I’ve done game casting and personal, self published work. Most people would think that someone who has done that kind of work for about 7 years now would be good at handling pressure. 

When performing, there’s always a sense of pressure. You feel stressed: like an egg with just enough force to put you on a breaking point, but it’s the spots where you can handle it. Where you are designed to handle it, even, trained to through years of iterations and luck and work. But you do it and you emerge kn the other side either broken or reborn, never anything in between. 

I usually ended up in the reborn category. I might have played badly or messed up somehow, but I always got to the other side with very few scratches. I would like to say I didn’t feel pride in the work, only in the process; that would be a lie though. I’ve felt plenty prideful of some of the things I have done, marking them like ticking little boxes on the checklist of my life: did you finish this? Yes. Did you get laughs? Check. Did this constitute a life moment? Why not? I spent time on it so it obviously will be a success: check. 

Every moment where pressure had a foothold I’ve looked at it as a personal test; like having the red key for the red door. If I didn’t make it, well it wasn’t of much consequence, since I could double back and get the key later. 

Now that I’m in the UK, things feel different. 

There’s pressure, per usual, but the pressure is far more than having the red key for the red door. Instead, the pressure is one of sink or swim, a primordial struggle where one survives and breathes fresh air on sandy ground or one drowns, their memory only surfaced as a cautionary tale for the young so that that they don’t repeat the same mistakes you did. 

Being in the UK is a pressure unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  The egg analogy from early is the same, except that the pressure is coming from all the wrong places and I already feel like I’m cracking. I know this moment in my lifetime, and the few moments after it, will make my life more bearable or a living hell where I have to struggle and fight for every second of time I can find for myself, let one anyone else I want to keep around in my life. 

I am staring at the  curtain in my room. It’s a deep, opaque black that lets no light through. Even at night I can see the shape of it, breathing in and out as the wind passes by my open window as if it was some shade, a ghost and a harbinger of the worst to come. My stare is consumed by it as I imagine the horrible things that could happen to me this year, but most shamefully that I come back home having not succeeded at what I tried to do. This time, there’s no doubling back for that key. I swim, and start a career which lands me I a life where I have control over what I wish to do, or I sink and come home, only to owe everybody everything and have no means of paying them back. 

The pressure is on, and I can feel it.

Mother’s Day, done badly.

I’m bad at mushy stuff, but here goes.

To my mom:

Hey mom, it’s one of your favourite sons. I just wanted to say happy mother’s day, and I hope today works out for ya in a big way.

I’m happy to have you for a mom for a lot of reasons. For one, you helped make me the geek I am today. You have more french comic books than comic book guy from the Simpsons, read a lot, and I have picked up on neither of those things to the same degree.

Okay, well at least your taste in movies is all thanks to you. Stargate, Die Hard… action movies and sci-fi were always cool because you made it.

I’m going to teacher’s college now largely because of your support, and I hope I’m as good as your are. Heck, I looked up reviews. People think you’re awesome. I think you’re awesome. There’s definitely a something there that I hope to emulate.

We both kinda hate cooking all the time, so that’s a bonus. It’s also a bonus that ordering in food is certainly easier than what the Croods have to do.

Frankly, I picked up a lot of my habits from you. You helped me grow into this big, hairy mess of a human being. I couldn’t have done anything in my life without you and your guidance.

So, from the bottom of my big, though very-bad-at-articulating-feelings afflicted heart, I just wanted to say thank you for all the help, the love, and the care. I love you. I’m very lucky to have had you for a mother.

Happy Mother’s day,
Phil

I Clicked Inspiration. All I Got was a Picture

So there’s a button when you’re about to make a post that says “INSPIRE ME!” and I thought to myself, what is this? An inspiration store? Hello! I would like to have 2 inspired thoughts please.

Instead, it gave me this:

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story. Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

And I thought to myself “Damn, this isn’t at ALL what I asked for. To boot, I’m no Sherlock Holmes: it’s not like I can detail the history of this safe that has very obviously been maltreated for several decades. Actually, I’d bet about 30 years judging by the grime and style of the safe: thin walls, only one lock, obviously meant for a civilian home to keep valuables.

In fact, I’d judge that it would be this very same residential area where said civilian home was: the safe is large and heavy, hard to move. Because it is covered in graffiti, old stickers, paint, and rust encrusted, I would bet that this was abandoned and the valuables retracted long before it was re-opened at the time of this picture. The graffiti and markings on the safe would suggest that the house was the appropriated by local gangs or other streetdwellers, and as they tried to open the empty safe they failed repeatedly for years, though they thought it was full alright. Once the kids got actual tools they busted it open… only to find it empty.

Now here’s the creepy part: why are there scratch marks inside? No, don’t answer that question. The answer is because it became a prison, where the unruly were tossed in to punish them. An iron maiden without teeth, this box stored many victims who eventually tried to scratch their way out. None did, and when it came time to remove the prisoners they were weak and helpless to their abductors.

One day the gangs abandoned the place though: hence the rust on the hinges of the door. When the area was deserted, this safe had no purpose, and sat there until the photographer took this picture and wordpress “inspired” me.

But seriously, that’s it. Nothing I wanted. Oh well.

Well that was a surprise

OHSHIT

I will not lie when I tell you the following:

I had COMPLETELY forgotten two things. First, that this blog pressed to Twitter; second, that this blog subsequently pressed to Facebook and my Tumblr. As a result, I totally typed a post that was about as emo as a sad clown convention and it was posted to the world.

Smooth moves, Ahab.

Initially this discovery was followed by fear. “OH NO MY VIEWERS CAN SEE MY EMO SIDE” I thought. “THEY SEE MY WEAKNESS.” My thought process came to the conclusion that this was about as awful as it could get, and so I tried to delete any and all traces of my emo-tastic shame, the same way that most people try to mop up a murder. Needless to say, it had about the same results, which means to say, none at all save for a lot of guilty looks coming from my general direction.

But hilariously enough, the post got more views than some of my videos. In the space of about 4 minutes. That is both sad and amazing, since I feel I put a lot of effort into entertaining in my videos, and that post was meant to be a whiny bitch, and despite that got more exposure.

I figure I might as well keep writing then, occasionally, whenever I’m feeling offbeat or sad about something in real life. If you haven’t noticed, I’m about as natural in front of a camera as most people are trying to conduct an interview, which means to say that I feel like there is an actual level of perfection that needs to be achieved. When I write, I tend to flow out onto the page, and so a very different image results from it.

If you are curious to see that image, who am I to stop you? SlowWolf? Bah, not enough e-fame to do any ordering around anyway.

Welcome to my personal blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however brief, even it’s less than a second or so. Seriously. It’s okay for you to just… wander away and surf elsewhere. Might I suggest my YouTube channel?

-Phil

Life After Death? Maybe Not.

Hey guys: I was writing a paper on the topic of resurrection and I thought HEY this isn’t half bad. I decided to share it with you guys.
—————————————————————

Introduction

In the article, Hick attempts to provide a logical account of what resurrection might be through the use of three thought experiments. In this paper, I will summarize the three thought experiments and Hick’s reasoning behind each one as a plausible step towards the possibility of resurrection. Afterwards, I will critically evaluate each in turn in an effort to define precisely what has actually gone on, or possible issues with Hick’s concept of resurrection.

Before I begin summarizing the thought experiments, i think it’s important to detail a couple of important issues Hick brings up. Right at the beginning of the article, Hick makes a couple claims. First, that all being are psycho-physical beings. This means that the mind cannot be separate from the body, or vice versa; the two come as a single package, and cannot be broken apart. Hick claims that this allows for “… an empirical meaning for life after death.”
Second, Hick describes the idea of many spaces, or dimensions, that exist outside of our perspective. These other dimensions, or spaces as he calls them, are unobservable to us, but are quite real to anyone who lives in those spaces. From our point of view then, it would seem that these spaces do not exist; similarly, from the point of view of a being in that realm, our world does not exist either. Hick claims that with God, this is logically possible and necessary to illustrate his thought experiments on resurrection.

The Thought Experiments

The first thought experiment begins with a man at a party talking to scholars that takes place in a flat in London, England. The man is happily listening to another wizened scholar while munching on a snack, when suddenly and without any prior warning he instantly ceases to exist in the London, England flat is at that same moment of the cessation of his existence, a complete “replica” (used in the specific sense that this appearing man is in every way physically and mentally the same as the one that ceased to exist, not to mean that the man is a copy) appears quite unexpectedly in a flat in New York, U.S.A. Hick’s outlines that this is, although physically impossible, an interesting situation where the “replica” would have to be recognized as the person he claims to be, despite the initial man ceasing to exist, the reasons for which are mostly utilitarian: to quote from the article, “The factors inclining us to identify them would… far outweigh the factors disinclining us to do so.”

Before he moves on to the far stranger situation ahead, Hick needed to cover a bit more ground as to the nature of identity in the human being. Hick claims that the human body can be turned into code and transferred in it’s entirety; however, he claims further that the mind can be transferred in a similar fashion, and that despite the fact that the code transferred and reassembled somewhere else isn’t the same physical matter, it is still more appropriate to assume that the assembled person is the same person who was encoded in the first place.

After he defines what he means by replica (covered earlier in the paper), he continues on briefly to describe the second thought experiment, though he doesn’t spend much time on it. In this case, there is no disappearance at all; rather, the man dies and his corpse litters the floor of the London flat. At the very moment the man joins the choir invisible, the “replica” appears in the New York flat just as before with memory and continuity up until the moment of death. Hick claims that in this situation too, it would be easier and more beneficial to regard the “replica” as the same person whose dead body currently lies in London.

Hick decides that it is more important to delve into the third experiment rather than linger too long on the curious murder mystery above. In the third experiment, Hick claims to give a possible account of resurrection. Again, the poor man suddenly and quite unexpectedly dies in the london flat at the great inconvenience of the other guests, but instead of appearing in the New York flat, is transported to a different dimension or world that occupies its own space and time. In this dimension there are many other “replicas” that appeared right as their original selves on Earth had died. Keeping in mind the idea of a psycho-physical being that Hick purported we all are, this means that the body and the world they now live in is completely real to them; it simply happens to be that we cannot determine its real-ness for ourselves until we, as a “replica”, find ourselves in this strange version of a much more physical ghost town.

Energize

Although Hick makes an interesting claim, he is making a fundamental category or classification error. I am of the same belief that the mind and body are completely integrated, inseparable things, and that only together do they count as a person. I am also fully aware and can contemplate multiple dimensions that I cannot empirically prove the existence of (though contemplation does not mean existence, but that is a different point than what I am trying to bring up).

Instead, my issue arises in the Star Trek episode outlined to us in the above murder mystery by Hick. In the first thought experiment, what Hick outlines here is similar to what happens in Star Trek when someone uses a transporter. The person vanishes, and rematerializes elsewhere. In this amazing case, it is true that it is easier to count this replica (and I do mean it this time as the traditional word, a copy) as the same person as the one who disappeared in the London flat. There is a degree of continuity present here that cannot be ignored: but it would be foolish to assume that this is exactly the same person. This error of distinction becomes quite clear, especially in the second thought experiment.

In the second one, the man in the London flat is now dead, and a replica of the man appears in New York. Hick argues that it is logical to assume that the replica is the same person, when quite clearly he is not. Two obvious issues arise: firstly, if the replica is an exact copy of the corpse, then why isn’t the replica a corpse himself? It doesn’t logically follow that they are exactly the same and that one should die so suddenly and the other, who for Hick’s intents and purposes is exactly the same, should not. Even disregarding that, the even more obvious failing of this case is that the man in London, now a corpse, is currently experiencing the shedding of his mortal coil and the replica is not. There is one body which is dead, and the other alive. This distinct difference in status points to us the obvious: that the man in the London flat is dead, and the one who appeared in New York is not. Life might resume with the replica effectively replacing the corpse, but the original body is still dead, and this new one is still a copy (which is arguably not a full copy either, since he didn’t die the instant he appeared).

The same can be applied to the third case. Even if the man’s body is re-created in a space unknowable to us, the fact remains that there is a corpse in London and that the replica is in another world we cannot know (and somehow is, again, not in the immediate position to die). What has happened here is a very simple case of the corpse being one entity, and the replica is another entirely. They might be similar in almost all respects (I will let the health situation of the replica through for the sake of argument) but to assume that they are exactly the same person is entirely foolish.

There is a book entitled “The Collapsium” by Wil McCarthy. In this futuristic setting, people have developed the power to dismantle humans into code, and essentially fax themselves across great distances, create copies of themselves, fix errors in their “code”, and should a copy die they can always use a back up. McCarthy doesn’t make the same error Hick does, however; the characters explicitly know that this device creates copies that are, in essence, different people. They can be re-combined, and over the course of the story several copies outlive the originals or become completely different people.

In this case, Hick forgets to observe the important fact that a psycho-physical being lives and dies within their body. It is impossible to have the same mind between two bodies, even if one is dead. Using the very psycho-physical makeup that Hick has relied on so far, it is clear that each separate body has its own separate mind. The replicas could be in New York, another dimension, or in heaven itself, but the cold, hard fact lies on the floor of a London flat; had Hick not attempted to nail the corpse on the replica, the man would be pushing up the daisies by now.

Work Referenced
Excerpt of Death and Eternal Life

Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion, selected readings, Fourth edition

Peterson, M. et al.

I’m negative most of the time, BUT NOT TODAY (The happy post)

VIsual representation of my blog as of now

If there’s one thing I love to write, it’s a good rant.

Rants literally write themselves: if you feel “passionate” about something, rampant stupidity for instance, then your post flows from your fingertips, and it’s some of the funniest stuff you can write.

However, it has been pointed out by some (notably Kitteh) that I write a lot of rants. Negative ones, mind you, that give my virtual self the appearance of being a whiny ^$#%&! And that’s something that I really am not, most of the time, I promise; but the truth remains that there’s a lot of negative on this blog, when there’s really a lot of good to write about as well!

So here’s a list of awesome ^$#& as it’s happening in my life right now, that will be sure to make everyone reading it immediately hate-my-guts/eh/thats-nice-let’s-make-with-a-rant

1. I found a job! To be fair, I found two: the first was a window cleaning gig, but the manager for that particular business is a great rant waiting to happen; I’ll talk about him later as a result. After that, I found a job at a coffee shop, and I’m quickly learning the ropes! Plus, free coffee and bagels is a delicious (and potentially dangerous) combo.

2. I’m starting a double major! I’m not only going to continue to major in music, I’m going to major in Philosophy as well (Phil the Philosopher, hoo hoo hoo)! Why? Because I ^%$#ing love philosophy! It’s a lot of fun to talk about things on a level that’s intangible, to really think about humans, ideas, and the principals on which every society on this planet is founded.

In short, I get to use my brain and feel smart and &$#^. That’s good enough for me!

3. I still have a girlfriend! That’s an accomplishment, seeing as I can be a pain in the ass ❤

4. I am going to start an ARG! Alternate Reality Games are something of interest to me, and I’m going to start one based off of a webcomic called Homestuck: for those who have read it, keep reading. For those who haven’t, please try it. It’s one of the best on the net, easy.

ANYWURZ, I’m really excited for this ARG. I’ve never played one before, but I’ll take this as a great opportunity to learn what they’re all about: for more info, ask this guy a question or two. He’s my best buddy ever, and he knows more about this than I do by far.

5. I’m taking driving lessons! That’s right, this manly man is going to be driving. WIll I be a deliverer of people or a destroyer of roads? We shall see!

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ELSE TO WRITE. Diablo 3 is awesome and is the dungeon crawler I’ve wanted for years. HoN is really becoming a potent game, more so than ever before, and Mid Wars is the fucking craziest stuff ever. My Dad and I are getting along really well. My one friend is getting married in 2 weeks, and my tuba buddy is getting married to a clarinetist. My brother has been tweeting crazy shit for over a year and is going back to school for Criminology so he can get into CSIS (ideally). My Dad is on the up and up, and is incredibly hopeful of the future. My other brother is halfway done law school and is going to be a lawyer soon. It’s sunny. I can almost play the baseline for Hysteria by Muse on air piano (this is much cooler). I’m officially out of ideas.

-Phil