Personal Development, Until Dawn, and An Ode To Joyce

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I want to begin with a minor frustration to why I am not posting as frequent as I would like.



Having finally finished the funerals for my grandmother and great aunt, working on the process of getting their wills probated for my father (he has no idea what he's doing), battling with diagnosed clinical depression I have suffered from since childhood, and lastly, my piece of shit Lenovo netbook with Win 10 (I could write a whole post describing my absolute DISGUST with Microsoft) that I was forced to upgrade from 8 and this thing barely ran 8 out of the box (same with my HP that now has Linux but needs a bit of repair - it used to have Win until Microsoft tech gave me advice that wiped my whole drive and OS then expected me to purchase a new OS for their faulty phone tech advice person who instructed me to do what messed it up, which as I said is a whole different story that I could go on WHY I abhor Microsoft and Win), and a few personal art and writing (which one will be addressed in this post) projects I have been doing (I do photography) here is a couple examples of my past work:

3260221d9dc6d54f3129e30799a9277a_view.jp

48c97b0fbc96aa93c4ba1cb94570c891_view.jp

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Anyway,



PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT



I want to begin tonight noting something about this epiphany I have had - I guess you could call a "coming of age." *This will also relate mildly to my Until Dawn review later in the post - which yes, forewarning WILL contain spoilers and I will make appropriate notation again later. * Let me give a slight backstory here, I have a very keen (ill) sense of self-awareness. I AM diagnosed as Bipolar II, chronic depression, PTSD, and have been in the past pumped full of jolly western psych meds -which exacerbated my conditions- (one doctor I briefly saw also suggested MPD and mild schizophrenia) and I now am fighting these things and have been for nearly 2 years naturally with "herbs" -if you catch my drift-, meditation, and learned coping exercises.



Earlier this year I returned home from living a hard year as pizza delivery boy in Fucknowhere, OK. where I had been so broke I was eating out of the trash from work, bled dry by a couple who abused animals and robbed me of my paycheques, and was in an unhealthy relationship with a girl who I now looking back realized used me and treated my poorly because I am white (she was a Latina SJW and frankly, now looking back, kind of shitty to me - I feel dumb now for my abandonment issues blinding me to try and keep her in my life) and would also bash my sugar skull tatt because I am not of "the correct heritage." Which was bullshit because I have had a large amount of influence in my life from Mexican/Native American culture and not just from being in Texas but because of a very close family who treated me as one of their own and called me a part of their family. They are how I developed some of my spiritual beliefs which the lack of respect in the funeral industry behind the scenes and in the death field caused me to leave mortuary school.



The last few months I have looked at myself and am seeing emotional change that I attribute to taste and age. My music preference has become mild (I used to listen to heavy metal which now sounds like shit to me and prefer acid, folk, indie, classical & composition, and lastly a wide array of jazz/blues/ragtime dating from c. 1890s - 1945'ish. My interests have greatly changed. My demeanor has absolutely changed. I know for certain as of tonight, (today) I am not the same person I was 18-19 - when I did awful things to good people and former people in my life due to my mania and mindset at the time (I had stopped all meds by that point and had absolutely NO coping mechanisms). I still have nightmares about some people I hurt (emotionally, not physically - through schemes to make them jealous or just finding things I could do to sink their heart to compensate my own crushed feelings). I can never pretend I was exactly a good guy. Honestly? I was a dick. I didn't mean to be a dick. I just was. I don't know if it's the hardships of life that changed me or just age.



I had to grow up before my time. I didn't exactly ever get to be a normal kid. I had to solve problems. Adult problems I should have known nothing about at the age I was. Having to council grown adults. I also was raised mainly around people not my own age. A great friend who has known me since birth is now 40-41 and it shocks me. Many of the people I have as friends and was raised around are at or over a decade my senior. I also spent my time a lot with older generations my grandparents age (couples and people who are now in their 60's/70's/80's). I feel fortunate for this but also cursed. I have a huge array of literary, pop cultural, and history knowledge but at the same time - I feel as if I am now middle aged at the prime of my youth (22). I really don't mean that in a prodigious or pretentious manner as some youth in this "hipster" bullshit culture of the 2000's. I sincerely feel myself age. My hair is greying as is my beard (first noticed by my family - so I find myself occasionally having to dye it not because I am ashamed or anything more so because I prefer my hair to still be chestnut-auburn with a bushy red/brown beard). I have joint aches. I have arthritis in my right hand. I am also hard of hearing in my left ear (lost that at about 14 in an accident).



The more time goes by - I find my humor change. Things I used to once like are for the most part only seem to be a nostalgic kind of feeling in passing. I don't find it upsetting as I actually find myself enjoying these changes. It is as if life -not just mine- is truly like the seasons and tides - we change and discover new interests to vest in and provide new challenge for ourselves as we leave the mistakes behind. I guess this is where I have to say the album The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett by the Eels is beyond POWERFUL to me. Where I'm At, Parallels, and Gentleman's Choice are tracks that aren't just beautiful and poetic but down right philosophical. Which reminds me - I am beyond glad I have not lost my love for philosophy. My library is consisted heavily on classic lit., textbooks, and a few slasher novels by Richard Laymon. I still also desire to be a writer and hope, really fucking hope that my short story I wrote for my creative fiction class, The Cycle of Power, will place in the college district's writing contest and possibly advance to a state level. 11 pages and 2 months of self-abuse writing it. I damn near drove myself crazy trying to finish it.



So, this section of my post has really all been a little bit about me and just - incomplete jabber of what's on my mind. I prefer to write my feelings than ever speak them. I was kind of brought up not allowed to express them so I don't ever speak my mind. In a way - I was always punished for it. So, the jumbled shit organisation of this section is my inability to actually really express as I have been trying to write a thousand things at once - which a few aforementioned thoughts will be brought up again in the latter half of the next part of this post.



UNTIL DAWN



So, I'm reviewing a game a year after its release. I just got it and just finished it. I have never been more impressed with an interactive movie/adventure/horror game. Just to break it down Quantic Dream has nothing on Supermassive. Quantic is now on their 4th title in the interactive drama genre? Supermassive produced in one game anything more powerful than David Cage has managed.



The game is that B horror film we all have a love for (regardless which flick you choose). You will either come to like the characters or just play to try and slaughter them. However, if you choose to play it with the mentality of not trying to kill them because you basically get to play God by choosing for them to open the hidden trap door leading to their death or not (which is interestingly enough even addressed in game by a character who often introduces a new chapter in an almost 4th wall break) you will find the majority of characters actually have arcs and depending on how you play have multiple 3-dimentional personalities. They can become likeable, dislikable, or maybe even uninspiring. The game is that well written.



Until Dawn begins with the focus on a reunion of 8teenagers at a lodge (Josh, Sam, Mike, Emily, Ashley, Chris, Jessica, Matt) on the anniversary of the deaths/disappearances of Josh's twin sisters Beth and Hannah whose family owned the resort. But things quickly turn sour when - well, typical slasher plot - things go awry and they begin to get picked off. The story if filled with INCREDIBLE plot twists and turns - definitely not a passer for a horror fan. It also pays some subtle and not so subtle nods to 80's/90'shorror classics like My Bloody Valentine, Friday the 13th, and Scream. Also, some modern ones like Saw (which wasn't so much a nod in the case of this one as it is a little obvious when they came up with a few parts of the game the writers CLEARLY probably had watched Saw the night before because it might have well been lit up with neon signs - in that case nod is probably the wrong word but I wouldn't necessarily say blatantly took either as it is pretty creative). The game also acknowledges that cheesiness. It acknowledges on purpose at points really stupid dialogue because the game is almost self-aware. Overall, it's probably a love or hate title. But nonetheless it is very intriguing.



The controls to the game are decent but clunky- I played with the six-axis function which at times especially when prompted to "stay still" would promptly be an instant fail or when trying to rotate the controller to make a choice was very laggish or sometimes a bit unresponsive which did result in me losing one of my survivors. The movement if not used to some old-school or Heavy Rain movement often results in turning around or walking repeatedly into some objects until you can figure out which way to turn the stick to stop turning back into the wall right as you try to walk away. Since the game is pretty linear and negative consequences don't happen outside of QTE's the clunkiness is really overlookable.



The game most interested me because of how it ties to myself as mentioned much earlier in this entry...



*SPOILERS DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED GAMEAND PLAN TO - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*



Why this game impacted me so hard and intrigued me greatly:



As I shared earlier I suffer from mental health ailments. The game spoke to me in a fantastic manner because as it is revealed Josh is the "psycho" chasing them but never actually intended or does hurt any of them physically. He is making them pay for the events that led to the disappearances/deaths of his twin sisters through an insanely elaborate revenge plot to humiliate and scare them, it is also revealed through a found clue, his psychiatric history. Which date back as far prior to the events of the games prologue that his diagnosis is virtually the same as mine. His emotional state is in a way reflective of my own too. In the in-game clue it mentions his medication history in which they mentioned the real drug Fluoxetine - which I also had in the past taken and had adverse reactions like described in his file in the game. Which also the sanitarium in the game is interesting to me because it brings up a question. I am not upset by the fact the horror films/games/literature paint mental illness as they key for nearly every psycho/sociopath but it does make me wonder if it promotes negative stigma towards people with my conditions which HAS caused judgment by many towards me when I share with them that I'm not exactly a stable individual - not in a bad way but I'm not normal and I know it.



As I mentioned earlier I have done bad things to good people. Things to this day I am very sorry for and that in game actually is the same things in the Dr. Hill segments Josh is facing. Harming people emotionally for selfish reasons due to insecurities and a fragile emotional mind. At first when I read ahead of time (as spoilers don't bother me) I didn't think I would like Josh. Not because he is ungodly relatable to me as someone with the same conditions as myself but because I didn't realise they would so broadly and accurately create a character that struggles with the same issues I do. I mean I wouldn't do anything that fanatically fantastic to people - but I did do things like following breakups get with another partner fairly quickly to try and incite jealousy or emotionally make others feel as bad as me. For that I do harbour guilt but as I find myself getting older - over the last few years, I finally have come to realise how wrong I was. I can never take back what I did to a few people and I know they will never forgive me. I still have dreams that make me feel bad but I take it one day at a time these days, I am slowly coming to accept and move on from the past and building a better future for myself.



Josh's character has been the most relatable character to me in any medium of another world or story that has spoken to me in such a way.



My biggest thought though is - even though not being bothered by the stigma created towards of mental illness in media - I do often wonder if it does impact my life because the association makes people assume I'm a killer, a liar, or whatever bad things people think when it comes to mental health struggles. I am a pacifist. I love animals. I shudder at the thought to even kill a spider. Although I appreciate it because even though the concept of mental instability in the villain or killer is hackneyed - it is motivational factor. It is in the real world too. That can't be denied - however, at the same time I believe the content hype of the negatives without showing people like me who struggle with good hearts and the will to want a better life or even wanting to get better - it paints us in a negative light. As I said, I'm not so much upset or mad about it but I find it concerning because there is a great lack of intelligence in people when it comes to understanding. Think of it like the AIDS scares in the 1980's. We treated people terribly and ostracized them (but thank goodness Captain Planet addressed that one in the 90's   - albeit stupid because Captain Planet was stupid, it still actually painted a good social commentary in that episode about disease and stigma). I just hate being labeled as sick is all. It kind of sucks really. It's like a form of cancer in a way. I know I have it but I am treating it, it is not contagious - so why paint me a bad guy? Even the bad things I do - I don't mean too sometimes. I don't have great emotional intelligence - hence how I ended up in a police investigation for hawking a stolen phone at an ECOATM because I believed the fuckers were telling me the truth that it was theirs and that the machine had been giving them trouble, I mean why else would they have been STUPID enough to want to hire me for my amateur photography skills and give me their personal information if they HAD been lying? I guess I was socially emotionally ignorant. I made a mistake but I guess they were stupider than I for believing them because I just HANDED the investigators their information they decided to give me.



**END SPOILERS AND THOUGHTS**



Lastly and briefly,



AN ODE TO JOYCE



This isn't really going to be long or many paragraphs of my thoughts really. Just tossing a possible idea of a story or poem to eventually possibly be posted on this blog. I recently picked up and have been reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. I have never read anything more expressive and surreal. You are not just reading about Stephen Dedalus (Joyce cleverly writing himself) - YOU are placed as him. You are in his head. You are reading his story at the same time you are his conscious and by that are him. I admire greatly the avant-garde styles of writing like E.E. Cummings, Samuel Beckett, Jim Carroll, Hugo Ball - and many more.



I've been throwing the ideas around now for a few days but I'm not sure. It's a possibility for a future read I will share here!





GOODNIGHT



Well, I've been writing this entry for damn 3 hours now. I'm wicked tired and probably need to be heading to bed. YAY SLEEP!


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Woof II
"...as we re-live our lives in what we tell you..." I dig reading and writing. They're becoming my favorite sources of entertainment.
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Justin
I plan to publish up some of my stories on here if you would like to read them!

I don't intend to become famous for anything I do - most things I'm not too terribly good at. I'm a hobbyist but the only goal I have is to at least entertain. It is the one natural thing in life I feel accustomed to doi...
  • December 20, 2016
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