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I’m starting a journal

Because 'blogs' are so noughties.

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I’m starting a journal

Why?

I want to feel important… or at least cool

Contrary to what my facial hair, ever-increasing belt-size and general attire might lead you to believe – I am quite the narcissist.

For the most part, my sense of self worth is largely informed by what I do; achievements, however modest in both number and scale as they might be. For context, I consider the successful cooking of cheese on toast without burning the house down to be an achievement.

So, I have over the years undertaken a fairly diverse range of projects and responsibilities, the results of which I’ve calculated will make a positive contribution to the world around me, or at least deepen my own character in some slight way.

Regardless of intent, I firmly believe that what you do in life is what matters because the results of your actions cannot judge you, assess your methods or offer an opinion on either – the latter of which the world has more than enough of as it is.

What you do is absolute – choice and consequence, action and reaction, cause and effect. You do stuff, you get results.

Great white shark

This is a picture of me with a great white shark, because I’m told images help make blog posts more interesting… wait, not blog posts – journal posts!!

These results can (depending on your attitude) at their very worst be the catalyst for change, the spark that ignites both an ever-burning fuel within you and the bright light of promise which it propels you towards.

At best, they aid you in surpassing the very restrictions of life itself, forever changing the environment that comprises the people and causes you care about. Your life, your values, your actions (however meagre – everything looks small when viewed from great enough a distance) continue through those you have affected, results that reach far beyond your own time spent on this earth.

I am a proponent of this mindset from both an utterly selfish and truly altruistic perspective, and would employ it in every facet of my existence were it not for one simple problem…

It takes effort.

The belching of nonsense = the cultivation of unearned self-satisfaction.

Effort makes your body and brain tired, which is frustrating because I do enjoy the feeling of having done something important.

But if there’s one thing social media has taught me, it’s that you don’t actually need to do anything of measurable value if you can just convince yourself that you are valuable.

The best approach seems to involve surrounding yourself with people who share your views, which they are likewise only interested in fortifying further (while, of course insisting that quite the opposite is true).

Then, find the right meme featuring a social/cultural icon and their most pithy quote. Note: you must be careful in your selection; too famous an icon will give the impression that you’re an exploitative faker, too obscure creates an unapproachable air of pretentiousness.

Finally, spew forth said meme with a brief, but reflective elaboration of your own devising. Get it right and those you’ve surrounded yourself with, will adorn you with praise:

“Right on mate! You are the good one at thinking!”, “You are clever and proper I wish there was more people in the world like you, heart emoticon” and “This… so literally just this” are but a few examples.

Maintain a steady output and soon enough… that sense of accomplishment will arrive.

Wilfred

I’m also told that cat pictures make people more interested in what you’re talking about. This is myself with Wilfred, who is sadly no longer with us… spoilers.

Too lazy, even for this.

On the face of it, this seems like the perfect solution to my dilemma, but I am not nearly sociable enough a creature to employ this effectively. I likewise have very little interest in anything beyond my own immediate concerns, so it’s difficult for me to feign this sort of sycophantic, pseudo-intellectual flag waving with any degree of sincerity.

Plus, I’m quite unlikable… and I really hate Metallica.

However, with a blog (or rather journal, so I look all alternative) I can indulge my opinions without restriction and simply imagine the fan-fair such writing would receive, based on how cool I think it is.

See, I’ve found the lazy alternative to the lazy alternative to the pursuit of ambition… the soft, warm palms of enlightment caress my face as I write these words.

But seriously...

True as the above might be, there is a small fraction of my being that harbours a genuine interest in offering thoughts and perspective that might benefit others, for a very simple reason:

Blogs and journals saved my arse.

I was very disillusioned and uninterested at school, a disposition which continued into higher education. By the time I was ready to pull my finger out (props to my lecturer Colin Chambers for managing the impossible there) and focus on achieving actual goals, there were very few resources to hand.

There was no YouTube, MySpace was in its infancy, my course wasn’t designed to support my project (my fault – easy is boring) and accessible online learning materials in general barely existed at all.

What did exist, were small websites and communities of people working together to deconstruct games, films and such-like, documenting their progress along the way.

These weren’t just step by step guides, they were personal journeys into the design and development of immersive digital environments. People’s passion for their work was reflected in the tone of their documentation and regardless of whether or not they appeared to be a character I’d see eye to eye with, that passion was infectious.

I love reading people’s thoughts on things and how they’ve reached their conclusions. It helped me and my fingers are crossed that I can contribute something of equal value.

Grim Fandango Birthday Cake

A ‘Grim Fandango’ birthday cake I received one year, because everyone loves cake and only liars dislike Grim Fandango.

Too little, too late?

So, it may very well be that the time for such content has passed, but I’m keen to give this a try nonetheless.

Topics are likely to revolve around games, movies, sharks, design and the odd bit of reflection on any projects I currently have underway.

Do forward abuse via my contact page, should you feel so inclined.