Friday, January 28, 2011


I used to chat with people a lot on the internet. There was this one forum in particular I used to post on. Well, all of us were from California and into the underground music scene. There were some "my band's better than your band" conflicts, but I think most of the drama came from the fact that the music industry is unreasonably hard to break into, and we often vented our frustration on each other.

Politics was a popular topic. Believe it or not, but it's common for metal heads to be fiscal conservatives. Metal heads tend to support military action when needed, hate big government, and favor low taxes. Religious dogma is what keeps many artists and musicians in general from gravitating to the GOP. And I understand that. As I've said, I'm not religious, but I've grown far less critical of those that are over the years. Most Republicans are religious, but I don't see that as having anything to do with actual Republicanism, which is why I don't let that deter me from the GOP.

There were several people there I fought with. I remember one in particular that I called out, told him where my band was playing, and asked him to let me know ahead of time if he was going to show so we could put on our fliers, "Show up early to watch Brian kick some retard's ass in the parking lot before the show." He talked a lot of crap about wanting to fight me, but of course, never showed up.

There was a woman with a clear mental illness that used the forums to constantly vent about how terrible her life was. Her friends were constantly trying to cheer her up, while others openly ridiculed her, saying pretty awful things. I was sick of her behavior and said some pretty awful things too. Some of our mutual friends took her side and hated me over my comments. Several others decided I was awesome for being critical of her and wanted to be friends with me for it.

I spend a lot of time looking back on my life, and I think about the people in my life I've hurt with my words. Did hurting those people make me feel better in anyway? Could I have spent the same amount of energy helping those people instead of hurting them? Which would have made me feel better?

I spend a lot of time regretting poor choices I've made. I've always been a perfectionist. That sounds like a good thing, and in some people, it forces them to constantly strive to improve themselves. But in my case, it often means that anything short of perfect is a waste of time, nothing I do will ever be perfect, therefore, I don't even try. I think my biggest regrets is, not that I've made mistakes, but that I haven't made enough mistakes. I haven't put myself out there enough. I haven't failed enough.

Of the many resumes I've sent to game companies, I got my first response back. It was a rejection letter for a job I was well qualified, telling me I wasn't qualified. How could that be? I massively re-organized my resume. I had forgotten that hundreds of people might apply for a single position and employers are looking for any reason to throw resumes away to weed out the masses. My resume had great information... if you took the time to read it. It was 3 pages and written nearly in essay form. I feel silly now, blowing a chance for a position I was actually qualified for by sending a resume out that didn't fit the cookie cutter mold. I mean, it's one thing to stand out and be different, but it's another thing to show an employer that you've done your homework, know what a standard industry resume is supposed to look like, and can conform to easily fit into the industry culture. I didn't show that. I showed an outsider looking in. I showed an unknown quantity in a sea of sure things. I wouldn't hire me. I wouldn't gamble on the unknown when I have several sure things lined up. To get a job in the game industry, I have to prove I'm a sure thing.

In either case, I'm really happy to finally get a rejection letter. It's something. Working in isolation is depressing. But to know people are at least listening, is encouraging.

It's kind of funny that the one game project I'm working for full time is talking about how we're going to get funding soon, then all of us will start getting paid. Eh, I'm still working under the assumption I'll never see a dime from this, and all I'm doing is building something to look good on my resume. As such, I'm still sending out resumes to any game company hiring for anything I'm qualified for. I'm considering sending out my resume even to companies not looking for writers. But for now, I'm learning a lot about collaborating on a team. After years of writing solo, it's a strange adjustment. Solo, if there's something I don't know, I can just make it up. In a team, I can't just do that. I have to either ask or wait for approval with the rest of the team to make sure we're on the same page. I don't like that because it means I keep hitting brick walls. But I like it because it forces me to run with ideas I wouldn't have chosen otherwise, challenging me to make sense of new story ideas. In either case, I think I'm moving in the right direction. But I know, 10 years from now, I'll look back at this time in my life, regretting I didn't do something different from what I'm doing now. I just don't know what that will end up being.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Loughne Gunman

Every now and then, an event happens that makes us question gun control. The saying might go that guns don't kill people, people kill people. But guns sure help. Yelling "BANG!" at people you don't like doesn't accomplish much.

But something to remember, highly publicized news events are highly publicized because they're rare. Now, I don't like guns. I've never fired a handgun. I've regrettably fired a riffle when I was a little kid, only because my grandfather made me--something that still bothers me. I don't want anything to do with guns. If I served in the military, I would refuse to carry them. I don't like the idea of something that can so easily remove a person from existence. This makes me sound like a peace loving hippy. I'm not. Although I don't like guns and would never own one, I don't like the idea of taking them away from responsible people that do like them. All more gun restrictions will do is make it harder for responsible people to own guns. Criminals aren't following the rules in the first place. As sad as this event is, passing populist laws based solely on infrequent(even highly publicized ones) is not good policy.

First off, let's talk about this kid that shot the judge, congresswoman, nine year old girl, and the others. He was a lefty--smoked pot regularly, quoted from Mien Kumpf and the Communist Manifesto. He was also an Atheist--one of his only redeeming qualities. But my point here, he was definitely not inspired by Sarah Palin or the Tea Party. That didn't stop a lot of idiots on the left from instantly coming to that conclusion.

The more responsible news sources on the Left(along with everyone else) reported that he was just crazy and his political ideologies are immaterial towards finding some kind of motive. Good. Had that not been the case, I wonder if that would have changed things. By that, I mean, let's say the guy instead quoted from right wing sources, would the Huffington Post say he was just crazy and that's all there was to it, or would they have made a case of how extreme rightwing zealotry leads people to violence as Nancy Pelosi has famously said of the Tea Party?

Reading about the glory of Socialism in Mien Kumpf, reading the glory of Communism in Karl Marx's book, or glory of... well, sitting around smoking pot might be something Liberals might do, but it doesn't make you a deranged killer. Neither does wanting smaller government and people to take more responsibility over their own lives, but for me to point out that Nancy Pelosi is simply an idiot for suggesting otherwise is like trying to make the argument that water is wet. Having actually been to a Tea Party rally, I can say I haven't seen such a large collection of peaceful and friendly people in my life.

From what I've read about the Congresswoman is that she's a Conservative Democrat with a history of working with Republicans in her Conservative district. She voted against re-appointing Nancy Pelosi--something which greatly angered many Liberals. But again, as much as I don't like most Liberals, the fact that this lunatic may have been motivated to try and kill the Congresswoman based on this fact is just random and does not reflect on what Liberals are like. He's no different from all the other crazy people that have shot politicians and celebrities. Crazy people exist in all parties and all religions.

Yeah, I'm making a political argument at the same time I'm saying this shouldn't be political. Kind of hypocritical of me. The point I'm trying to make here really is what I've also heard people on the left, like John Stewart, saying: that we should tone down the rhetoric and stop finding reasons to blame "the otherside" for things that doesn't really have anything to do with their policies.

And although as a Republican, I probably wouldn't have voted for the Congresswoman, she sounds like a good person to me. It is my hope she makes a full recovery and bravely continues to serve her constituents in her district, including townhall meetings and other public settings.