The freedom to express oneself.

The internet used to provide this for me, it was my first outlet where I felt I could express myself where people might listen to me, actually not even might, did, and they interacted with the raw fleshy pulp of my feelings in ways that allowed me much more validation, and a better interaction with the world.

These ideas, were, mostly, without much depth. I mean, I was a teenager, but I was happy to express them, and I aggregated my own section of content, and reblogged things, and I left my own tiny mark on the world. (First through a variety of chat rooms, and eventually lashing out at LJ with the gunk that accretes around my brain.)

And then, I stopped. It was a slow process, was it just growing up, or was it part of the medium shift? I moved from Livejournal to Facebook, because Facebook made it easier to keep up with a few people, and it was easier to organise events. And because Livejournal had, even then, been withering for awhile. And to start with, my Facebook just mirrored my LJ, but as Facebook picked up more steam, I swapped more and more to it.
But Facebook uses magic to provide content to people, not any kind of direct output system, and so I have no idea if people see things I see on Facebook.
But then, in a betrayal of the younger me, I picked up a filter on the output. I decided that people like me more if I curtail the edges of what I produce, if I don’t talk about deep ideas that occur to me, or I cage the parts of my feelings that bubble and spill.
And then I filtered more, to make the feelings the kind of happy feelings that I feel like society wants. Because I don’t want to be a burden, or because well intentioned comments from friends make me feel like talking about my moods is me being overly pessimistic.
And no one likes a pessimist.

Which is a pretty massive problem for society as a whole, since if we never listen to negative opinions, we wind up in echo chambers. But the internet has been stratifying back out into more and more echo chambers as more people get it, just because it’s too big a place, and hell, it’s what society in general does.
But it’s a little bit weird, right? Like, suddenly I’m no longer talking about any of the political issues that matter to me, or posting snippets of fiction, or trying to craft poetry, because I self censored that sometime over the last 6 years, and it doesn’t come back without effort.

And because writing is a creative exercise, and if you don’t make time for it, it doesn’t happen, and my day job is now of the variety where I get home and I want to let my brain vegetate for awhile. But then I look up, and it’s 10 o clock, and I just want to sleep.

There’s another insidious filter, which is the filter where I don’t feel like I can be as open with the public as I used to be. It used to be that I would merrily discuss all of the inner workings of my relationships, and the stuff around my job. But now I feel like there’s too much judgement inherent in the posting of that layer of thoughts.
The thing is,I miss that layer of thoughts, and I exceptionally miss having people to share that layer with.

I’m back to thinking I should post things daily, I miss the me from 5 seconds ago, yet alone the me from 5 years ago. I want to reconnect to the dreams of the 20 year old who thought his words could shape reality.

When I reread the above post, it’s really hard to hit post, because it feels so self pitying and self absorbed. This self doubt imp is really hard to get past.

Mid June links dump

So, here we go, clearing out my tabs again:


Being a go getter is no fun – Why working hard sucks

Cost of Adjuncts – Why you should pay academics a living wage (American issue)

Mad Max B-Roll shows stunts real time

Visual Effects in Mad Max – Fury Road

Mad Max – Fury Road-  Makes Rape Arguments Invalid

Sadie’s Lists (From Beyond Belief, a part of Thrilling Adventure Hour, one of my favourite podcasts)

Important things

Vader + Kids = Cute

ASL Videos
I Ship it – pop parody
Scope Creep

Medicine Hat, Canada, is an inspiring place – No Homeless in Canada

Destiny – Crota’s End map 

Superpower pills, short fiction attached to life choices

Baby Boomers don’t get housing crisis.

Social Bonds for Mental Health are moronic – WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Third Century China’s opinions on the Roman Empire

Moral Bucket List

Justice League 8 – 8 year olds

What Makes a Woman? musings about transgender and determinism in NYTimes.


Rejected Princesses: Sell belongings, buy tank, kill nazis

Skyrim Gothic

Nice Legs, Daisy Dukes….

Tumblr – Roman Numerals

Tumblr – Responses to pickup lines

Gastrophysics – How to eat with more flavour.


May Link dump

So, I get a lot of links build up, things I think are interesting, then these tabs float around, taking up space.

I guess this is me blogging, in the traditional sense.  Have some links I thought were interesting:

The plight of Kayan “long neck” women

Masters of Love – an article about relationship skills

Mad Max – Fury Road – Q&A with the director of Photography – 2 hours long, I’ve only watched the first 20 minutes, but fascinating

Mad Max – Fury Road – review evaluating it as a Fantasy movie

Author of Ruth, Roger and Me talking about why the ‘Student Loan Generation’ feels disconnected from NZ.

Awesome lego craft, made a bunch fo Mad Max vehicles

Current copy of the scifi ship comparison image

We can convince hipsters to be arch capitalists using the power of LARP

A bunch of tumblr links:


Books read so far this year:

I like comics this year.

Books read in first quater of the year

So, my first quarter is up, above is a picture of the things I’ve read so far. The following ramble is how I feel about these books:

The Quarter in books:
Things I’ve read since Year Start:
Hugh Howey’s Silo series 2 – Shift
Hugh Howey’s Silo series 3 – Dust
These books both were disappointments to me. Wool, the first book in the series, was amazing. It had some really great world building, and the journeys in it were fantastic.
In light of that, I expected to enjoy Books 2 and 3 in the series, collecting the last 6 short novellas.
I did not, at its core, it felt like Hugh Howey wasn’t that good at interpersonal relationships. The first book was full of characters on personal journeys mostly interacting with the world, and this was great. Once he started writing books full of people interacting with people, it felt a lot less good.
So yeah, Read Wool, don’t read the sequels.

James S.A. Corey – Expanse series 2 – Caliban’s War
I quite enjoyed this book. It builds on the prior one, keeps the central characters around, and has an interesting world building everywhere. Plus, I love scifi. It casts an interesting lens.
Infact, I rate this series, I recommend people get their hands on it and consume:
Haven’t read the prequels, but I suspect Leviathan Wakes is the best starting point (Start at 1). I’ll be tracking down the rest of this series soon.

Scott Westerfeld – Peeps
This book was fantastic. Young Adult vampire fiction, and I really enjoyed it. I recommend reading it. It’s got fascinating interleaving of facts about parasites, which are presented in awesome ways.

Bill Willingham’s Fables:
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 1
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 2
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 3
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 4
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 5
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 6
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 7
I love this series, I’m a bit of a sucker for reimaginings of classic stories, so it’s no real surprise that I love me some Fables.

“World’s Finest Three” Book 1 & 2014 – A Superboy/Robin collection following their adventures against Metallo and Poison Ivy.

Picked up because of a generic love of Warren Ellis:
Ultimate Iron Man – Armor Wars
I quite enjoyed this book, I’m a sucker for Iron Man, and for Warren Ellis’s work. I won’t claim there’s a huge amount of substance to it.

Picked up because they should exist in the world:
Fred Van Lente – Howtoons: [RE]Ignition, Vol. 1
This book is magical, a comic book devoted to science explanation, and safeish for at home science experiments that has fun teaching things like energy cycles. Haven’t finished reading it yet, but so good.
Boom Box 2014 Mix Tape #1 –
Ok, I bought this because Boom! comics are one of y favourites right now. But I loved it because it had a Lumberjanes story, a Midas Flesh story, and a bunch of other shorts. Definitely worked it’s purpose, I want to buy a bunch more of their series now.

As they come out I’ve been reading the following:
William Harms – Eternal – A strange story about immortality and the price people might be prepared to pay.
Warren Ellis – Trees – A strange story about what happens when aliens invade, then do nothing for a decade, then start to act.
Shannon Watters/Noelle Stevenson – Lumberjanes – I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH, OMG. The Lumberjanes are effectively girl scouts at a magical summercamp. Everyone should read.
Kelly Sue DeConnick – Bitch Planet – A feminist comic which has such amazing back matter essays that I’d almost recommend buying it for that alone.
Brian Wood’s – Moon Knight (Volume 2 of reboot) – I bought these because I’d already been buying Moon Knight monthly when Warren Ellis was writing. I was not impressed, though the Warren Ellis arc was fantastic, and I recommend THAT arc to pretty much everyone unreservedly.
Currently Reading:
Andy Weir – The Martian – It took me awhile to get going, but I’m ABSOLUTELY LOVING this book now.
Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice – Someone I met had this sitting on their shelf, and said I could borrow it. I’ve been excited about this book since I heard about it, and I’m definitely enjoying it so far.

Abandoned and will never finish:
Alfred Bester – Tiger! Tiger! – Abandoned because the main character commits a non reflective, and purposeless to the story, rape early in the book. (About 40 pages in). Also the way language was being used annoyed me, I don’t care if it’s a famous retelling of the Count of Monte Cristo. Plot seemed trite, and the way it discusses Jaunting may have been revolutionary for the day, but I preferred Stross’s take in the Merchant Princes series.

News news news

I’m starting a new stage on my life journey, or something. I mean, I’m trying not to be too MOMENTOUS WORLD CHANGING about it, because everywhere I go, I’m still me. I know this, because it’s the one lesson that I learnt from Total Recall growing up.
With that said, I can certainly change some things about the world around me. As of yesterday I have taken the biggest plunge of my recent life. Bigger, even, than moving to Auckland.

I’m leaving the tech sector for awhile, I’m working out my 4 week notice period, then I’m headed to Unitec, where I’ll be a communication and research skills lecturer.
I’m going to be an academic.
In many ways, this is a dream I’ve had since I was an undergrad, and it’s one I never really thought would happen.

I’m off to help people understand the world, and I’m damn excited about it.

Athiest Dreaming: Gigs and the Divine.

There’s a line in Fight Club “After fighting, everything else in your life got the volume turned down.”

That’s the way I feel right now, having pulled my meat sack into work after going to a great gig last night. I saw Mastodon play the Powerstation, opened for by The Ocean and Beast Wars. This is currently the most overwhelming experience I’ve had in my life. I know this will fade with time, it always does, but right now I cling to it, I revel in the way the volume of the world is muted, and not because of the hearing damage.
My body sings to me a devotional hymn, unfamiliar neck muscles remind me that it’s been years since I celebrated every weekend by head banging, and demand atonement, or at least, they wish I’d gone back to bed this morning. My arms are cross hatched with phantom sensation, aches that signify that I was hit just so. My torso swells slowly, the joy of exertion, of having been part of the compress of the mosh, striving to break through into my workaday world.
I’m not really here to give you a gig review, I’ll say this though, the guys in Mastodon really know their stuff, watching them rock out on their guitars was exhilarating, for the level of skill displayed as much for the crowd I shared it with. I took a certain gleeful satisfaction in thinking what the artists would look like if their guitars were instead giant slugs (Context:
What I’m here to talk about is my atheism leads me to seek my moments of the divine, my connection to some greater spiritual whole, through alternative avenues. I want the sense of connection to the all-father, the loving embrace of the all-mother, but I can’t actually believe that they are there. This is my own baggage but regardless, I seek for those moments of connection wherever I can.
The Crowd as Believers: There’s a thing about seeing a band with a crowd of fans, you don’t even need to be a big fan yourself, you’ll have a good time if there are enough true fans in the room. The thing is, enthusiasm is basically infectious, and you can achieve a certain nirvana by being in a big enough crowd of people who are keen about pretty much anything. I just find music a safe space to throw myself into the crowd feelings.
The Bass as Hymn: You’ve all been to a gig at some point in life right? There’s the deep bass pounding from the speakers, and it just permeates your entire being. If you haven’t been to a gig, I guess you could go stand near a major construction zone. There’s a deep thrill to the way music penetrates, the ability to feel every separate part of your diaphragm forced into movement by the sheer overwhelming intensity of the beat. Even the next day, I have the psychic echoes of this, I feel the bass has gotten into my bones, and it seeps back out letting me know that I am part of the overarching divinity of all life, that I am connected.
The Mosh as Prayer: This is really the most spiritual thing for me from last night’s gig. Sometimes it is simply enough for me to stand and sway, maybe raise my lighter, or my phone, in supplication to the artist’s glory. I enjoy watching the sea of phones all recording their own tiny snippet of the show as a precious memory, locking this moment, THIS one, forever into someone’s soul, into the cloud, into youtube, into the world.
But the mosh takes it a step further, when Beast Wars ended their set, I was just behind the mosh. By the time Mastodon began theirs 30 minutes later, I was inside the mosh, the sea of bodies extending for most of the power station had enveloped us, pushed us slowly closer during the intermission.
There’s a joy to physical exertion by itself, ever met someone who does CrossFit? Someone who does a martial art? The fight against your own body, the proof that you can do it, is in some ways it’s own reward. Take that, multiply it by a couple of hundred people, then all jam together to reach the artist. Climb over each other, sometimes literally, to get a better view, to hear their words.
Stand back with the swayers and you can dance, push forward into the mosh and it’s a challenge to free an arm so you can throw metal horns at the artist, you surrender to the pack, to the triumphant wall of flesh around you. To stand still, to carve your own path, is all but impossible, you have to surrender to the ocean of being, to the elbows and shoves of the crowd behind you. Ride the surging backs of the people in front of you, be torn apart by the next crazy metalhead to catapult into the back of the mosh, and the surging disarray that comes from the near collapse, stumble to the side and right yourself, punch drunk on the love of the music.

Moments like this, I feel my connection to the all soul, and that connection lasts into the next day. I return to work, my bone marrow sings to the rest of my body of the beat. My ribs ache in a joyous symphony, reminding me that we are all of one flesh. My ears feel freer, with the earplugs removed the sound of the world is dampened, but it feels that my senses are transcendent to another plane. The song of the divine dances along the edge of my perception, to be reclaimed if I close my eyes and relive the rush of the crowd around me.

Gore High Incident – Artifact – Diary of a Monster Lover – Day 2.

Catalogued Artifacts

  • 1 Diary page.
  • 1 Letter.
  • 1 Collection Tumblr photos.

<Actual diary entry.  The writing is in two colours of ink, and slightly different handwriting.  More stressed in the second section?>

Dear Diary,
Nathan was so good today, I made another mark.
It helped a little, but I just couldn’t get him out of my head.
Oh. What am I going to do? Nathan is being a bit insistent, but I don’t want him to see the marks.

Why did Odette and Victory have to be so mean today?  Odette’s such a bitch.

<The following writing is wavery, more shakey>

Flynch is so.. so intense. I.. I want him.
I want to run with him,
Feel his teeth,
The ripping seemed thrilling.
Christ, what’s wrong with me? That’s crazy.
But so intense.

<A separate letter, bagged but slid with this day. An archivist’s note, typewritten, attached:
Letter recovered from memorial to Cameron Jones, correlated to date through events described, dating not 100% certain.>

Dear Cameron,
Today was so horrible, I mean, no one believed me about the bear.. Or whatever the hell it was. I just, why is everyone being so mean?
And I had this vision, Flynch didn’t come to school, but I went to the bahtorom, and after I…
I saw him when I slid the scalpel in, him and Sel. I saw them. They looked so together. They looked so connected. It was magical, spiritual even. I don’t know if I can compete with that. I don’t know if I want to compete with that.

I feel so betrayed.



Tumblr Picture pack
A separate clear file accompanies this day, labelled “Subject O TUMBLR – DAY 2 – Related photos?”

  • Pictures of Hiro and Sel kissing in the music room.  Timestamped to during Homeroom.
  • Pictures of Victory and Odette posing in the forest.
  • Pictures of confused tracks, shoes, human feet, what might be over sized wolf claws.
  • Pictures of Victory and Odette at the train yard.
  • Pictures of Odette’s damaged arm.

Ridiculous furtive anxiety.

I almost always want to send endless messages to my paramours, and to a number of my close friends.

The reason people are not being constantly bombarded by these messages from me is because I’m convinced, at some basic level, that if I were to unleash the full burbling depths of my personality people would write me off as too weird, or too strange, or too boring.

This can be a really hard feeling to overcome, since I have to throw myself on the line and talk to people to get past it.


It’s easier on the days where the words just flow forth, where I bubble over with ideas that seem like they’re the greatest things ever.  Then I struggle to express myself fast enough to capture the ideas, and I thread multiple conversations at once, desperately trying to coordinate the flow of ideas to different places.

I’m not sure how to counter this, it’s a fairly central issue in life for me.