It has reached that point at night where I look out both my bedroom windows and I see nothing but the night; it has reached that point of time where the oppressiveness of the dark is upon me. I love being with my family, but when it is 11:00 at night, and birds aren’t singing, and the moon has gone to bed, and there is nothing but silence (not entirely true, listening to Dikembe, because of this blog), I begin to feel that age old nervousness I have known for a very long time. A nervousness that I don’t think will ever leave me, as it fuels me.
Allow me to elucidate, dear reader(s).
Recently I stepped up my game. I took my life by the reins and decided to make decisions for moi, and do you know what happened? Good things. I now work for TStoryteller, a lovely wonderful company that is both educating me as well as letting me spread my wings, and I partook in a digital arts festival called Frequency. I decided that 3 years at an amazing university should not be squandered, and though I know I have been exceptionally lucky falling into two perfect experiences, I also know that luck can only happen when you create situations for it to grow. Luck is like a mould, but a mould you want, and only grows in specific circumstances. A mould you want? Like… brie mould… no wait… brie doesn’t…
It doesn’t matter! Whatever the metaphor may be, plant, mould, pumpkin for current day reference, they require an environment that nurtures such life, and luck - like mould - is the same… Yes…?
So I am, for once, writing about being proud with myself. Not I’m scared of the future or, I’m scared of my mistakes or errors, but, goddamit, well done Nathan. Pat yourself on the back.
Whilst at Frequency Festival I met such an enormous range of creatives, and I respect every single one of them. I learnt how to turn a tricycle into an art gallery, how to turn clay into soul-moving sculpture, how to turn an inflatable orb into a family activity and how to turn a dream into a concept into an idea into a thing into a piece of art. I would list them, these artists, but I suggest reading my piece The Oneiriad: First Frequency to get a feel for them all. As I saw pieces at the Festival I put them into an entirely and completely improvised story based in the universe of another one of my blogs. All the links you need are there.
But I grow sidetracked. I just wanted to say that if you hear anything about Frequency Festival 2015, plan for it, as it is an experience you need to add into your life. And that my job is, as they say, awesome.
But, Nathan, I hear you ask. You were just saying how the Cthululian night makes you nervous.
Why yes, reader(s), I did.
And this is because of the crushing need to always do better. It is arrogant to say I haven’t done well, in a weird paradox, because that would be to disregard a lot of help many people have given me, like Threshold Studios and TStoryteller - my friends and family - but I cannot help but look at what I have achieved and go, "and now double it."
I get nervous because things have happened in my life out of my control, and its left a kind of hole, a hole that is cliché, romcommy and horrifically awkwardly timed. A hole more suitable for stereotyped teenage girls with locks on their diaries or for lads at college just discovering themselves; a hole more suitable for the life-naive, or the self-centred dude.
And maybe I am those things, bar a teenage girl, I’m definitely not that. Or at college. And I don’t think I’m self-centred… metaphor aside, once more, I was pushed down a path, I made the most of that path, got myself back onto another path I wanted to be on more and now… now I want to be in the city that path leads to, buying a flat over a park with room for an easel and my books, with room for my ego and my lack of self-confidence, and I want to be doing double what I have achieved right now.
And when I’ve done that, I’ll want to double it again.
So as the night encroaches like a passive-aggressive glow cloud with the bulbs turned off inside, I sit back in nervousness for things changed I didn’t want to change and a luck I grew like an old man with his allotment. I think of the beers I have downstairs I was trying to save, of the mornings I should get up for more readily, of the cold side of the bed unwelcome and the cold side of the pillow most welcome. I think of Clive Barker and how I didn’t like Imagica when I really wanted to as my Dad liked that book, and how I hope this next book will be good. I think of the music I’m listening to, and the plays I’ve written about people and life. I think about my mistakes and my errors, and how they are just that and nothing worse than that. I wonder about tomorrow and how mundane and spectacular it could be, how I am very lucky to be me right now and how very unlucky I am to be me right now for reasons semisecretive. And I think, I think… I dunno. I just think, quite a fair bit me, and I balance this out by never shutting the fuck up.
I chuckle and sigh to sleep now, good night Night Vale, Desert Bluffs, Gallifreyans and brothers against the storm. Good night, peeps.
To all the creative people of this world,
To the writers and the artists, to the actors and the musicians, to the architects, even the doctors and the people who clean graffiti, you may be creative too, I tell you these things. I tell you things I have learnt as one creative writer to a world of people trying to do ‘stuff’.
It is not glamorous being a writer. You may read of beatnik poets who had to sleep in bathroom stalls after losing their final line of cocaine in a bet with an Algerian Hat Salesmen, typing out asemic wanderances on typewriters unclean and precious, and think it dramatic, eccentric and like a Dickensian fairytale, something exotic and gorgeously creative. But I remind you, writers and artists and glowing souls, that the real story was a sad man in a bathroom shaking in sadness trying to write a thought. That is not glamorous to live. It may be glamorous to read, or wonder about - even daydream or inch near for a brief second - but it is not true glamour, not fairy dust.
And I tell you this, I am currently just sat in a dressing gown drinking orange-mango squash listening to City and Colour. Before that I ate biscuits and talked to my Mum because I currently have to live at home, due to unforeseen circumstances. I tell you, if I wrote a biography now - if I had any fame to my name - and I worded it that I had to sleep in my Mothers house destitute on jobseekers desperately whispering in the dark that I needed a writing job, and that I travelled on trains for many hours to try and find a job to only be turned away with polite scorn, to eat cheap pretzels for Lunch as I tweeted out my woes in the hopes of being spotted, before a kindly gent picked me up from off my feet and guided me to a golden path of transmediated narrative design… well… if I did say that. One I would be a very dramatic son of a bitch who would need a swift slap and secondly that isn’t glamorous at all. That isn’t what happened. I went on jobseekers for a bit, lived at home, before finding myself a rather cool job. That is neither glamorous or a great struggle, it just is a thing. OK, perhaps I did struggle, perhaps it was difficult and left me stressed and aching, and yes getting this job makes me more happy than anything right now, but it isn’t a life so glamorous and exciting that I’d want to do the hunt again. I’m quite happy working now, thank you, I don’t want to do the jobseekers and jobless thing again thank you. It isn’t fairydust.
So I tell you this; do not imagine that your life will be a great shining anecdote of troubles and eccentricity. Do not think that the Burroughsian former life of disease-riddled public toilets and typewriters - or pedestrian dressing-gown loungeaboutings on benefit and biscuits - are lives that are exciting to live. They are exciting to write about, with the right flair, but they are not exciting to live.
To the creatives of the world, I remind you that this is a difficult thing to accomplish, and that though I am very grateful for all I have been given so far I still have many more leagues of creative exploration to patrol.
So I tell you this. You will have your talent - bone carving, literary critiquing, angling, lion taming, cider pressing - and you will have to work hard to get it spotted amongst a sea of half-tries, would-be-goods and - if the quote is true - “have-novels-inside-of-them-but-should-have-left-them-there’s”. You will come across bastions of people screaming they are the next JK, the next Edgar Allen, the next Jedward Singstar McDrone, and you will have to keep trying to make sure your voice is heard. And this isn’t to do with doing something special. There is no trick. Some things work more effectively than others, but at the end of the day - that tiresome phrase which solves nothing and explains little - you just have to keep being rejected until the right clever goggins spots you in the whirlpool of distempered wannabe whatevers. You are not special until someone decides you are, and your entire success will boil down to the hope that someone else realises your potential and wishes to show it off, just like every other bugger out there. You also have to be good at what you do, that helps too.
So, to the artists and the musicians and the crazy ones, I give you a paradox. Do not rely on people too heavily.
In the one hand I presented you with a lovingly carved silhouette of your future, of you battling against the throngs to find people to help you, to nurture you, and to help you grow. And then in the other hand I slam a patty of unfinished thought that perhaps people are just a nuisance and you don’t need them anyway. This cognitive dissonance will not save your life, nor will it help in anyway, but it is a thought you need to hold close to protect yourself from unwariness and silliness, two things abound in a universe of confused people all inventing the answer to life, the universe and everything.
To summarise, put in a room 200 people and each will create a different reason why morality, behaviour and success are different things, and then they’ll all argue and be friends all at once.
If that happens, then you can be bloody well sure this will happen in your own mind half the time, and you need to find a way of balancing these ideas. You need to be able to trust and be trustworthy. You need to be independent but steadfast. You need to be open but cautious. You need to be risky, yet controlled.
You will have to take each event as it comes, and treat them completely separately, turning yourself into an entity one person one moment, and then a different one the next. I once read a quote that simply read, "You are not obligated to be the person you were five seconds ago" and that sums up this paradox of care and caution - of risk taking and trust - perfectly.
To the creatives of the world, I say this.
Speak forcefully, not necessarily loudly.
Never give up.
Ignore idiots, they are numerous and louder than you will ever be.
Remember to stay true to what you want to become, and remember doing such will get you a lot of strange looks, and even a sit down talk about how you’re being too risky.
And remember all I say above, and then forget it all, and do it your way.
To the creatives, do it your way, because everyone else’s way is usually wrong (including your way).
But you will make it. I promise. If you try hard enough, if you keep pushing through the crowd with your script held above your head. One day someone will go "oo, what’s that?" and they will be the most important person in your life.
This is not an easy, anecdotal exercise in glamour and fame. The journey is more interesting than the destination, but by jove it isn’t half as comfortable. You will get angry, you will decide to give up, you will think it isn’t worth it. And in a sense it isn’t. In a sense 100 rejections and a sense of dissatisfaction is pretty “not worth it”, but if you want to be a creative in the world then suck it up and deal with it, bitch.
To the creatives: deal with it, bitch.
I was recently asked by a friend to “say ten things about me and then ask ten people to do the same.” I rarely, if ever, do these things. I can never think of enough people nor have the time to chase it.
However I needed a topic for my next post, and I assume less than 10 people read it, so they can be the people to continue the trend. So below are going to be ten things about me, I think. I’m going to head them, write a fair bit about each, or something. I’m playing this entire thing by ear.
Abandon all hope, ye who reads here:
One: I envy youtubers
I do. And I know that is bad. Recently Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs - friends of a friend of mine, all of who went to the same University as me - stood on a stage in front of hundreds of people, maybe even more, and heard their names squealed, and catchphrases sung, and saw people enjoying something they had created. Even when people love me, they have never squealed my name. And I know comparing a crowd of fans to a loved one is silly and fastidious, but I can’t help but want the same upon myself.
I see the elegant auteurial dedication of youtubers such as Elliot Gough and Emily Ruth, and I envy their ability to 1) have access to media equipment that professional and 2) have the brilliant desire and dreams that they let us experience each day.
So I envy them. I envy the fact students of the same university are accomplishing more than me.
I say that… and yet I look beside me and I am writing 10 projects, and most of them, apart from the final 2, are for other people. The problem with being a writer in the early stages is you don’t get audience feedback. You are solitary in the dark, and I crave social interaction. I am apparently extroverted, in that I need to justify my own actions by those of others. I compare. And at the moment I have no bunch of screaming fans going “I love your pre-production work” or “I love how you sit alone for hours, melting in the heat of your bedroom, slaving away on things I can’t read, yay!”
One day though, one day.
Two: I think I may be Pagan?
I know, right. What will the parents think? When I write that it conjures the imagery of Gandalf at Stonehenge holding some twig in his hand speaking Celtic. I don’t mean that at all. My belief system was Church of England as a kid, and then one day, in school, I didn’t pray. I was testing a theory. I wanted to know if I didn’t pray to walk home safe whether I would get home. And I walked home terrified (noting, my Primary School was down my road), watching every car, watching the sky, waiting to be smited because I didn’t pray for safety.
And then I got home and had turkey dinosaurs for tea…
So I then became an atheist, because I didn’t understand complexity.
And now… I’m not sure.
I get annoyed when scientists go, “well, using these scientific principles we can see God is bullshit” or when religious people go, “well, when I prayed about evolution, God told me it was silly so I’m telling you now it is silly.” That seemed mute to me. If I am presented with the question 2+2, and I use linguistic theory to solve it, I’m not going to receive the right answer as I am utilising the wrong skillset. If I want to understand a spiritual soul, I use spirituality or religion. If I want to understand evolution, I use biology. I can’t use the t’other for the other. That is silly.
So I came to the conclusion, after reading Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (fuck, I’m obsessed with that man), and after remembering that my Dad believed in faeries, that maybe everything is a little bit true.
After talking to a Pagan friend of mine, he helped sort out the intracacies of the paradoxes of such a belief. To summarise, we boiled it down to the idea there is a spiritual puddle of energies, and humans imprint ideas upon it, and it comes back as gods, or demons or spells or superstitions or even just… weird feelings. Hunches.
I like that. It is vague and also a bit too concrete an idea for me. To me the cosmic nature of my belief is supposed to remain incomprehensible. I am a ball of carbon with a thought, I can’t even begin to comprehend something like a God, I will get it wrong. But yes. I think I am Pagan, in that I am not anything else. In that I believe in the great puddle in the sky.
In which case, I am me. Or a Puddlist. Yes! I am a Puddlist.
Three: I hate Low Self-Esteem Dreams
Because even if I think I am doing well, all those things I push aside or overcome in the day - even if I feel positive about them - come back as a dream of intense mockery.
I recently applied for a job, so I have a dream about giant furniture I can’t overcome, but I’m being paid millions to do a job I can’t do, and everyone is tutting and considering firing me because, “why can’t he use the giant furniture!” Everyone else could. Noting they weren’t giants, they were just somehow capable.
And so on and so forth. And even if I did well at the interview, even if they seemed happy, even if I get emails that are promising in return, I still wake up each day immediately aching with the emotions of the dream. Like when you dream you’re friend stole all the crumpets, so you hate your friend for the whole day until you realise you didn’t have a truck of crumpets, and your friend didn’t drive off with them in a sombrero singing the Hokey-Cokey. Then you apologise for punching them in the pub… … … yeah.
I hate waking up feeling emotions that only relate to a landscape in my mind, and not to the current reality I am in.
Four: I am not very good at computer games, but I love the stories…
…so I watch people play them like super long movies. And some people think that doesn’t make sense, because you’re not interacting. Mustn’t it get boring just watching people play Assassin’s Creed.
Well, you’d think that. But my problem is thus. I want to know the story. And in the story of Assassin’s Creed, Ezio leaps off a building, kills three guys and then runs into an alleyway.
Now when my friend Dom plays it, Ezio leaps off a building, kills three guys, and then runs into an alleyway.
When I play it, the story is this. Ezio leaps off a building and dies. Ezio leaps off a building and dies. Ezio leaps off a building and runs into an alleyway, missing the three guys. Ezio runs into a wall. Ezio forgets what button is attack. Ezio walks into a wall. Ezio leaps off a building and dies… MY GOD THIS IS NOT WHAT THE STORY IS LIKE!
I’d rather know what actually happens.
Five: I hate “rules of a writer” lists
You know the kind. Some plucky reporter is with their favourite author, screenwriter, poet, and so asks “what do you think are the top ten things people have to do to write.” And people say “you have to write 2,000 hours every minute” or “eat cheese before you sleep” or “read a book every day or your eyes will bleed porridge.” And I just get annoyed. Because people will now think they are rules. They aren’t. They are conventions, guidelines that will work but you don’t have to do it. The only rule of writing is to write, in the same way the only way you can sky dive is by jumping out of a plane. You know?
Writing lists annoy me because they make me paranoid I am not a writer, because I didn’t do one thing that Mark Twain said. Well, fuck you Mark Twain, I’ll do it my way. (unrelatedly, I don’t want to have sex with American Classic Authors).
Six: I have no common sense for life things
Woody Allen in this interview explains how he would hold entire Dinner Parties just to change the ribbon in his typewriter. Now, I am not that bad, but I just find some things in life just… bizarre.
Like ironing. Just… who decided creases were bad, and then why did everyone agree. Who decides that? What series of events transpires where a man goes, “you know how fabric folds, I want to make the little folds less noticeable by making people buy huge iron slabs that you heat up so hot they are a health hazard and then run on your clothes which may actually set them on fire but at least the little folds that happen when you wear shit go away for about two seconds until you wear it again”.
Why did that happen?
So yeah. Normal day to day things. I just don’t get it. People have tried to teach me, and they get annoyed when I don’t get it, and I wish one day people would just accept I don’t get it, rather than keep forcing normality down my neck like I’ll die if I don’t understand bed sheets.
Seven: I think Steven Moffat should not be head writer
To clarify, this isn’t because of a lack of skill or anything like that, but out of curiosity. I love his take on the show, and don’t want him to stop quite yet, but I want to see what happens when someone else takes the reigns, Moffat writing as he did from the first days.
I just want to see what happens when someone else guides the horse, so to speak. I want to see if Mark Gatiss could lead the team, create a baroque, gothic overarching story, rather than just an odd tale.
Anyway, just a thought.
Eight: I am currently shirtless
It is very hot up here, and I am melting in the heat.
I am also running out of ideas.
Nine: To coincide with point five, I hate it when people say you have to see a movie to be good at screenwriting
Do you know how many films there are? Do you know how many of those are good!
The idea that just because you haven’t seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Citizen Kane, or The Bicycle Thieves means you are now incapable of being able to write a good movie, is just ludicrous. You take inspiration from lots of sources and research and experiences, and the plethora of movies you have already seen will help guide you. I find it arrogant and elitist to assume that just because you haven’t done one thing predisposes you to a life of inadequate skill.
Chase any dream you have; I am not saying anyone can do anything, because you need skill in an area, but there is a lot of ways of teaching yourself an artform or a skill.
I detest elitism. I adore rewarding ability.
Ten: I run four blogs.
Shocking, huh. I dunno how. And to be fair I don’t run them well. The blogs I run are:
When I said I envy youtubers, it is because I am a writer. People absorb a film or a video, but reading this will take time. I wouldn’t read it, it’s too long. Too rambling. But this is what I do. And I will keep going until someone enjoys it. I just haven’t found you all yet.
Two things spur me on today to write this post, so close to my last one.
— Nicholas Pegg (@NicholasPegg)
And I have also been discussing asexual characterisation with Chrissie Ellinas.
The problem that I face when people are angry at the casting of Peter Capaldi is the following. People want to see a black, female, Doctor, or combinations of the above in terms of role, class, identity, etc. I understand, and even want to see, a female Doctor. I think it would add a new dynamism to the part, but Neil Gaiman (as always) sums up my opinions on such casting here.
But here is my concern. People believe that by casting another white British male in the role of The Doctor, that Doctor Who as a show, institution, concept and source of faith for children and adults everywhere has failed in its task to support equality. I refer you to the following:
And if this list of things doesn’t help you - and this is just a tip of an ever expanding iceberg - then:
This is my concern.
The fact one character isn’t a black woman (and I know I hypersimplify the debate to just colour of skin and gender but, I’m not going into details) is enough for you to think the entire show has failed. One main character.
Surely if everyone is equal it doesn’t matter who is protecting the earth (get it, who.. who… doesn’t matter). The Doctor can be man, woman, and - as seen - amorphous time stream entity corpse - and in all instances has saved us time and time again, to make sure children believe that things are worth something. And your problem is that message doesn’t come from one type of actor or actress? Pathetic.
I am concerned that people will stop watching because someone is a white man, and that seems just as bad as watching it only because its a black woman. Please, learn that colour of skin, love of a man or woman or both, cultural identity, place of birth, goals, loves, hates, desires and class have no bearing on morality. You can be good or evil, neutral or loving, hateful or bored, no matter who you are.
Who we are helps define us, and thus our classes and genders and cultures do help define the character and bring something to a piece, but in a positive sense. A woman can bring things to a show that a man cannot, and vice versa, for an example vague. The link on the words “define us” earlier sum it up better than I ever can.
I leave with this thought. If you can’t see what a show tells you, because you think only The Doctor can put forward the main themes, you are not watching the show correctly. If you think that the show fails to show equality because of one character, go away, try again. One white male stands on the cliff face of the universe and screams he will protect everyone. I find it powerful that the very stereotype of the problem is trying to fix the universe, and we see time and time again how everyone else - no matter creed or type - are sometimes even better than that man in his blue box. I find it powerful that Doctor Who can show a universe where everyone is beautiful or frightening.
One day, I need to see a woman play that role, one day, but that will not make me think the show has failed to this day. Give equality time to sort itself out, we are in the dark ages comparably of treating each other with kindness.
P.s. I was talking to Chrissie as well about being scared as a white middle class male writer, of how I find it difficult accurately showing other perspectives, these words from Chrissie herself kinda sums up some feelings and the like:
“and as for that, this is why expansion of knowledge and empathy for all others is really important not just as a writer but as a human being i think. no one has anyone elses view point or identity, which always makes it difficult to tell a truthful story when it’s not your own.
what makes some afraid to attempt it though i think is how it’s very easy for marginalised groups to lash out, which they have every reason to, but it makes it harder for others to come round to what they are fighting for.
it also feels like there is a certain pride in being a part of said groups, and a shame for anything societally speaking “normal”, and it’s okay and natural to feel that pride so long as it doesn’t hinge on wanting to feel like a special snowflake, just as it’s okay and natural to feel sympathy for others less fortunate so long as you recognise your own privilege and rather than ignoring or shunning it, embracing it and using it as a way to show these other opinions who may not have a voice by giving them your platform, not talking over or for them, but recognising both your power and your unique position and stepping down and allowing someone to have that place wither by having them speak directly or telling their story in their words (though in no way forsaking your own view as it is every bit as important, if more commonly heard)”
That is a mighty long title, Mr. Dean.
I am in a bit of confused state right now. It feels, in a sense, kind of floaty, and I suppose if I was a more openly spiritual person I’d say I had been enlightened to some degree recently.
When I am on tumblr, it seems to be psychic. Across the globe people from all the corners of the sphere - a phrase still magical to me - are posting things up entirely at random, and always - always - those things match with how I feel. Heartbreak, creativity, existential crises, job hunting, purpose, loving myself more than the idea of myself. Trailers like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty come out, and, though I have to infer the entire story, the idea of showing a man working at Life magazine who only wishes to earn the same thing for himself, a life, just looks bloody gorgeous. And it will chill me to my bones and warm the cockles of my heart in equal measure; the song alone, from this album, already accomplishes that.
But at the same time that I read quotes about love, lust, spirit animals in fictional character form and general points about life, I am hearing the following:
Putin is murdering people who love.
Cameron is banning freedom of speech and possibly human rights acts.
Greece is apparently haunting bloodstreams with tests improper.
And then atop the global pain is just simple heartache, personal confusion and the fact people are getting jobs and I don’t have one yet.
Sometimes I worry I am the most powerful psychic, and that my feelings affect the world. I feel emotionally turbulent and the entire world decides it can’t cope either. “I wish I had a job” I’d say, and then the world responds with “I DON’T UNDERSTAND GAY PEOPLE AND RAINBOWS”.
I’ve reached a juncture in my life where I don’t feel alone, but detached. And initially this worried me. In an old post I said that someone had let me go, let me drift from her being my rock. I fear now that she did not let me flow freely, but I let her flow freely and that is a very different emotional battlefield. But the point remains that I can now flow down currents I pick without the worry of hurting everyone in sight.
And yet I worry I hurt everyone in sight. I am permanently afraid that any of my actions of any selfish level are solely destroying friendships and upsetting those around me, even though I have a plethora of gorgeous friends, lovers, fighters and dreamers who think otherwise. I think. Always the I think at the end, like something stuck to the roof of the mouth (which, thinking of it, is more like a ceiling…)
Regardless. I say this. I will protect those who need protecting, love those who need loving, love those I want to love regardless of law and frailty - of appropriateness or strength - and I will do what makes me happy, whilst judging whether that makes others unhappy. I spend so much time worrying I will upset another that I don’t do anything for me. And if what I enjoy does upset someone then by jove I can just stop doing it! or discuss or wallow into the night.
I want to be bon vivant and eccentric writer, and so far I’ve been only a pissant penny of that. That didn’t make sense.
Anyway! I tell you now, all of you, everyone who reads these words, to go out and do something for you. Anything. Read a book, start a fire, kiss a loved one, kiss not a loved one, watch episode 23 of Adventure Time, dress up as a Vampire, sit on the beach, ride a horse, touch yourself meaningfully and in moonlight, play badminton. I don’t care. Do it. For you. Right now. And whilst you do it, if you see someone upset, consider why, educate, teach, evolve.
We are all pokémon, we can all evolve.
Being morose by listening to The XX and reading Nietzsche. I’m doing emotions properly. Next, the Smiths and watch Woody Allen movies!— Nathan Thomas Dean (@NathanTDean) August 8, 2013
That is how I’m going to spend my time, how about you?
Do you know what I hate about applying for jobs? It isn’t jobseekers, which was actually quite a fine experience so far, and it isn’t the laboriousness of finding the jobs. It isn’t the fact everyone uses different tags, systems, websites and detail in the adverts. It isn’t the fact some people give you no information in the advert, asking for you to be a salesmen but then not telling you what to sell. No. None of this.
The bit I really hate, is the fact I panic whenever I hit apply, in that I don’t know if I can do it.
Am I applying the right things? I see a job that I half guess I can get to by train or bus, that I half guess the contents of, with the constant worry that I’m just going to waste someones time. Yes. I am more bothered by the fact I could waste someones time than the actual lack of job I currently have to live with. I am more bothered by the fact I could get an interview for a job I cannot get to, more bothered by the idea of turning up and being completely useless, than actually being jobless in the first place.
This is, I believe, a psychosis!
That is dumb.
And yes, there is the other fear that I am applying for jobs I will get stuck in, be unable to leave, that will crush my soul. That I am applying for jobs that won’t be able to sustain me, or educate me or do anything a job is supposed to do. They are also present. But I do hate reading everything and applying because, “well, I need a job” and not having that huge stupendous ache of yearning need that other jobs offer me.
Some jobs I read and I have to apply, because it is a beautiful job that makes me happy and gleeful, and in my head that means I am more suitable for the job. I wouldn’t hire someone who was there only to get the money and run when the next opportunity arose. Surely, I’d want to hire someone who actually wants the goddamn job.
But I made a deal with the government that I would apply for jobs and they would give me money, and I feel I have to uphold that end of the deal. They are, in fact, giving me free money, for me to just idly traipse around shops and the internet like a Dickensian Orphan who has lost his Fagin.
I want to walk into a building and really want that job, because I know I have the skills for it, and I know I have the ability to reach the building the job is contained it, and that I know that the job and me would get on like I would with Christina Hendricks after a night of watching and debating Doctor Who Fandom. But I keep panicking, when I see the emails leave to jobs that, yes I can do, and yes I can reach, but not as easily or as enthusiastically as I would like. The jobs that say I need a specific kind of training, but its not essential, and I know that five people with that training are also applying and I am essentially just another droplet on a big pile of oceanic unemployment. It is important to me to do a job to the best of my ability and to do it without huge qualms or the kind; a job is still a human thing, even the repetitive packing chickens in a factory job when your essentially a robot, its still a human thing, because if you didn’t do that other people wouldn’t be able to do what they want to do. Jobs are important to me not just fiscally, but humanitarian-ly, as I should do that job as best as I can for the benefit of those around me. I’ve been hired because someone thinks I can do something important, and do it well, and if I can’t then I broke a promise I can’t mend.
And the problem is that shouldn’t be the thing panicking me so much at the moment. The lack of my own income and the need to rent a house should bother me more, but my point still lies that I don’t like applying for jobs I think I can do, but jobs I can do exceedingly better than well…
So, yes, I will do any job you give me to the best I can. And I will even do it with enthusiasm and to a degree joy if I don’t have to work with children or teenagers or friends or relatives or people or carbon based life or atoms or anything in general.
I kid, no, I want to work for whoever wants to give me a chance, and I’ll do my best. My worry is, is my best enough?
(this was a part of the #augwrite going on, which you can check out by clicking on #augwrite, the first #augwrite, not the other ones)
Recently a woman had a baby. A very important baby. Right now, somewhere, a baby is looking up at the world and seeing colours for the first time - it is experiencing light and shades and sound of a true nature for the first time - and its very name will change the world around it. The impact on the world this baby has is like something smacking against space, and you can see the dip, the gravity presence, of where it lays.
Whether you agree or not with whether the baby SHOULD have this affect is irrelevant, because it is having this affect. I personally think it is all a bit ridiculous, the hype surrounding the new royal (I’m not beating about the bush any more), and I could easily write 1000 words on why I think the royal family shouldn’t get the media coverage it does. But, to be honest, right now, I have a different perspective.
Earlier on today I was having a needle shoved into my arm so a woman could take my blood to a laboratory for testing. When worded like that it sounds hideous. When I say this was in a pathology lab it… well it sounds worse. But I was having a blood test for my crohns disease, and whilst I waited for my number to come up like my blood was something to collect from an Argos catalogue, the television on the wall blared out the news about the royal birth.
They were in some small village indistinguishable from other small villages, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Somewhere - sorry, I don’t know or care - and a huge crowd had formed for what seemed to be three reasons. 1) The duchess came from that village, 2) to be British and 3) to congratulate them, finally, on the birth.
Now the entire festivities - bunting and all - was being filmed by the BBC live, and the subtitles were trying to keep up. Before I get to my point, I want to briefly say that television needs to get its act together. The subtitles were horrific and at one point said that “Charles owned the girls hair”, and as odd as that man may be he doesn’t get off on that sort of thing. And secondly, the camera man/reporter kept saying “lets see if we can have a word” and pushed through the crowd and failed half the time to actually film the Prince. You are the BBC. You are Britain. Why the fuck couldn’t you film your own countries heritage right there? Why were you at the back of the crowd? Do not turn up to these things late!
Right, done. Anyway. Now I’ve got over the pain of watching a professional reporter to a job worse than some university students, I will get to my point. For a while the pair wandered, shook hands, were interviewed and then got into their car. They waved again, the crowd applauded, and then the reporter said they were going onto their next destination.
And then I realised.
When my Mum had me, my grandparents were in the room later to give me a toy, and tell me about the world, and to support my Mum. For the royals, they had to uphold their role; they couldn’t be at the bedside, they had to wave and shake hands with people to be congratulated. The baby was born and the grandparents were travelling Britain to spread the news. We thought it was nice for us to have a chance to congratulate them, but really they gave us that honour. They allowed us to do that, by giving up their right to be next to their new grandson. They didn’t even know if he had been named.
At one point the reporter finally got to speak to Charles and he said something to the effect of, “Oh I remember you.” Charles was civil but even the reporter sympathised by saying that the Prince must be fed up with him following him everywhere for three days solid.
They are now grandparents. That was what we were celebrating. Not that there were Royalty, but something we regarded as more important. Something that transcended their royal stature, their wealth and power. We were celebrating the fact that they had a grandson, and that somewhere someone was a Mother. Being a Mother, for Britain, is more important than being a Princess. That has to be something good, right?
But in doing that, we took away their right to just be that. We celebrated their new found right so much, that we took away that right, and they returned to being titles once more, waving and shaking hands and accepting a 1000 identical congratulations. Because that is there job. There job is to make sure we are happy for them, in this instance anyway, and not just us being happy for them! And I don’t mean that in an overbearing sense, that they have to check up on us, but more that we have to check up on them. We requested parties and their faces to be shown and information and handshakes and kind words and drivers and bunting, and didn’t request they could be in the hospital one day.
And then the reporter got in his car, and followed them down the road, until he could shove a camera in the face of someone once more.
I just want to say my own congratulations to a Mother, Father and Family, and I wish them all the best in terms of a family, and not in terms of a British commodity. I wish you well. I wish you well.
And I apologise that our media has grown like a fungus on the idea of constant attention, social networking and new media, and has forgotten what we were actually celebrating today. I am sorry that you were unable to be a family on the day that you had to be one.
That is my two cents, pennies, shirt button-bottle caps anyway. It is nice to celebrate something nice than read about something awful; it is nice to now we can see something good in the world and enjoy it.
So, to all Mothers today, to all Fathers today, to all those who have seen a new face open the eyes to the light, I say this. Well done. Good luck!
Firstly, Camerons new porn law, it won’t work. It won’t work. I say nothing more than one more word: Anonymous.
Secondly, when two towers in America - which representing a culture and a nation - fell from terrorism, we spent hours and days mourning and changing our thoughts. The news became a weeping ground, because terror had thwarted a nation. When mosques have explosives put in them… when mosques have the same done to them… well they get something like this tumblr post, an addendum to the news. They are a bullet point at the end of the day.
Imagine this is uploaded at the correct time, or that this has come from an alternate universe a few days ahead of the one you reside in, or that I am not very good at blogging (you may not have to imagine the final one).
Somewhere, right now, Mark Gatiss is dining alone on a Parisian Boulevard, his smartphone clutched in his hand as he scrolls through hundreds of tweets sent in his general direction due to his insurmountable prowess as a writer and the joy he has brought to those hundreds of tweeters through doing so.
It is a terrible thing to dine alone. One stinks of desperation. Having said that, it’s nice out on this Parisian boulevard!— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss)
This fame that he possesses means that little moments like this are captured and blogged about by obscure bearded fellows unrelated, simply to add some spice to the opening of a post. Moments like these garner an interest, that must be both surprising for the occupant of the moment and deeply intriguing for those outside the frosted windowpane of ‘normal life’ and ‘fame life’ (though the latter is identical to the first, it just has a lot of nosey bastards like me peering through said frosted glass into. Normal life also has a frosted window, but it is used more surreptitiously and is called gossiping).
Now, I find that things happen in my life that I would like an outside opinion on. In this regard, Mr. Gatiss (gate-iss, not gat-iss, just so you know folks… I act like I know him, I’ll stop that right now) was not asking for opinion, he just got support in his loneliness:
Lots of nice people telling me I’m NEVER alone with Twitter. Which makes it sound pleasingly sinister.— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss)
But I find that, though I have all the friends I could wish for, and more, that the air of mystery from a stranger is also equally as nice to find. They are more unbiased, so to speak. I can’t actually ask the strangers of the world for help in my current circumstances however, it would be improper, but I did however get all the support from my friends than I could possibly wish for, and in the round about way that I write this I cannot help but be thankful for how my life is turning out, the ups and downs. I do not mean that right now I feel like I haven’t talked to enough strangers about my private life - that would be foolish, creepy and bizarre - but I just wanted to illustrate my point that a biased view point when emotionally precarious can be a dangerous thing. And that my friends, regardless of this point just made, were exceptional and lovely and gorgeous and oh so huggable.
I promised to myself, half way through uni I believe, that I would - on some ‘spiritual’ (gah, that word!) level - enjoy everything. I live once. Just once. And I am to experience as much as I can during it, and terrible things are going to befall me in that time. And yes I will be sad, and yes angry, or mournful, or whatever, but I also have to understand this will help me grow emotionally and in many other ways that have long words attached to them. That is what I am to enjoy, the idea that when I do come to terms with issues at present that when I come out of the other side I will be a bigger better man. (Somewhere a man laughed at me for saying I would be a bigger man, as we all know I am but a hobbit masquerading as a human being.)
Recently, and by recently I mean last night (keep pretending it is up in time!, though actually it might be if I keep at this pace of writing), I went out in Chesterfield to celebrate my friends birthday (here be his inane musings). This was the first time I had been out properly since my break up - yes, I am that twat mentioning that event on his blog, but bear with me - and it was a bizarre experience, for many reasons. But what was important was that I could talk about my current emotional battleground that is a breaking heart (oh shut up!) and get advice back that was neither cruel, too kind or biased to hell. I was merely given opinions that were to help me, and that is the best form of kindness. I thank all those people who, though they have only known be briefly, were happy to let this drunk fool mope, moan, dance and buy too many drinks for everyone involved in the dancing.
What I learnt though is that I am very young. I was the youngest there at 22 - haha, guess their ages, suckas! - and realised I was the youngest as the night moved on. To illustrate, when you are 16 you think you are king of the universe and that you have reached a level of maturity that has surpassed all of mankind and if anyone even tries to out wit, out smart or out mature you well they can just poo fart breath you smelly silly face. And then you get older and realise you called people poo fart smelly silly face and reach a new level of maturity where you cast aside the need to grow up, be smart, act your age and just act like you. But when I was at this shindig I realised that I had a plethora of other emotions, events, experiences and the like to go through and that these would change me further. This is not to say that others at said partay weren’t immature either - for example I was bought an alcoholic slushy called a shag along with three other people and was told “that was the first time I ever asked a barmaid for four shags” - but I could feel that I have breathing room for experiences. This is my first break up, of this calibre, and I was talking with people who had done/seen this before and knew what to say and what not to say and what drinks to buy me. What it taught me is that I will become another version of myself as this experience settles within me, and I am very much intrigued, rather than scared, as to who that may be. I mean, I am also anxious, but I imagine that is natural for someone who over thinks everything and then blogs about it. I am anxious I will evolve into a less pretty being, like pikachu evolving into a rabid dog with sixteen eyes and penchant for yelling “poo” in peoples face, but I imagine that is highly unlikely as I have good friends and family to stop me barking silly words at people. It is the anxiousness of a lack of control that I cannot abide, and that is where I stand, on a precarious edge of old and new life that I cannot control, and soon I will have to plummet into new life and just accept my fate. Pah, fate.
What I suppose this blog is about is that even Mark Gatiss will sit alone for a meal and learn something new about his life, that he is never alone without twitter, and that I too will learn more about my existance and will evolve as well (however learning twitter is stalking you gives you very different life lessons to a break up, that I can tell you fo’ sure).
Adios, sexy fiends of the websites, I do hope you all evolve into the loveliest of beasts.
I can presently hear two things. The sound of the television on full volume downstairs and the hum of my laptop fan. Oh, and the sound of me typing. If I stop typing I am left with two noises. I’ll stop for a moment now…
I lie there is also a clock.
My point is there is a very small selection of auditory additions to my life at present, because I have had to leave the cluttered freedom of the city for the open freedom of the countryside. I do not like this absence of noise.
I can now also hear this spotify playlist.
I am not used to this shift. University life, for me, was a huge flash of supernovae, a rainbow corona of light and sound and dazzlement. For some of you, university may just be a fun experience, but Lincoln was the first major city I have ever lived in, and moving from quite a secluded area - which, for me, had a small pool of ideas and beliefs - to move to Lincoln, full of culture and concept, was quite an enlightening experience. But, due to funds and life, I have had to return home. This limbo stage is not something that the movie world has taught me. People write about jobs and about uni, but not about the middle gap. And one thing I have learnt is that I will miss so many things, knowing full well I can easily still access them - albeit in different ways - and one day will - and I will - succeed in getting them back, or something similar, or something.
The things I will miss the most are obvious, but there are the sounds. The sounds of a city.
The wail of a car past my window of a morning as I awake into warm daylight; the music blaring from its windows I don’t really care for, but passes in a hazy doppler blur; birds tweeting, yelling over the cityscape; wind; leaves; the sound of housemates yelling at computer games in the next room; people downstairs drinking and cooking and laughing; the Polish Language; Hindi; Punjabi; Spanish; languages from the corners of the sphere; sirens screaming; footsteps; prams; motorised scooters and wheelchairs; nightclub music pushing through the walls like a fungus; drunks pointing at my clothing in an exasperatedly excited manner; red heels clicking on concrete; the giggle of girls; buses hissing; dancefloors ablaze with movement; pubs snapping a pint; shot glasses clattering; wine glugging; cookers steaming (and smoking); a guitar on a highstreet; a bagpipe on a highstreet!; buskers of all kinds; African drums!; roadworks; building sites; queues in fastfood joints; machinery indeterminable; gruff voices; light voices; flirtatious voices; anger; Cathedral Bell Chimes; huffing and puffing up Steep Hill; the night…
I will miss all of these sounds and more.
And I will miss all of my friends the most. And this is foolish because in a week I see at least two of them, another lives in the very village I do… all is foolish. But I still miss them, because I now know them within a different era of my life.
That is the hardest bit.
It isn’t so much the old era is over. That was inevitable. It is more the new era is so much different. It is a foreign land. Time is a country, and tomorrow is a place I have never been. Next week is a temple covered in vines and Mayan death iconography. Next Month a ghost. Next Year a gravestone without a name…
And I don’t mean those metaphors grimly or bleakly, I merely wish to illustrate how alien and lifeless they are, and lifeless because no one occupies them yet. But next year it will be full, and I have to make sure I fill it with the right things.
That is scary.
I feel like I am back at square one. And I am, but a different square to the one before university. The square before university was grey, growing cold, stale, from the bright blue it was before that (blue is my favourite colour, especially for hair). University was a tile on a dancefloor. And now its back to a weird puce, or yellow, and I don’t know what that means. All I know is I have to make it a dancefloor again, or a verdant, lifeful, green!
All is metaphor, because all is up for grabs and out in the open and running away like a startled fox. I need to get my hunting gear on. JOB HUNTING GEAR! geddit?
I want to thank everyone I know, from the first teacher who dealt with my curiosity, to all of my friends at university - from My Dad who taught me how to be a fool and a genius, to my Mum who taught me how to be me, and to Phil who teaches me how to be so, so kind - I want to thank you all. It is a big thank you, one without description, one that covers every hug, every episode watched late at night, every beer drank, every car drive, every day at the beach, every ice cream, every tear, every long night philosophising and setting the world to rights… it is a thank you made of every second I have known you, each passing time flit where we did all the most amazing things. It is a thank you to a very special woman in my life who became my rock and then let me drift carefully out to sea, for the right reasons. It can be quite painful, pseudo-alone on these waves, but I am drifting from my rock. My rock. I thank you, special lady unnamed, for ever so much.
And I thank you all again, because I cannot thank you enough.
Let the next era begin, whatever colour (and sound) it may be!