Hello Dreamwidth, it's been a while.
And frankly, I am sad that it has been. I know exactly why I haven't been typing up stuff here lately. It is not because no one reads this because even if no one does (I know people do) that isn't the point of writing posts up here. I realize now why I haven't. In order to produce walls of text you need to actually have walls of text you want to write out. I did not. And I know why.
Lately, I have not been thinking. These past few months have not been all that productive really. And by "productive" I mean actually doing something and not being a mindless drone in front of the computer screen. I've actually felt closer to the real world over the internet yet I still spend a large amount of time here.
Playing video games and going on Tumblr or Reddit isn't productive to me. These things do not allow me to think, just do. Whenever I am on Tumblr I mention a couple of things people actually don't care about as I have no followers who give a damn about anything I post and whenever I do post things there they largely feel pointless anyway. Tumblr drains my thought away. So often an article of interest pops up and I check the notes to see if any discussion popped up about it, but then all I see are thousands of reblogs with not a single person saying a thing. Tumblr isn't about discussion, I get it. It's about reblogging or liking things that you see on your dashboard that was interesting, but nothing more.
And that is not productive.
Reddit is a bit better about it I suppose. It feels like a more community-oriented Tumblr. The front page or the subreddits you've subscribed to are again, points of interest that pop up you can look at. This time they are accompanied by discussion, and that's great.
Unfortunately, thanks to the very efficient upvoting system...you have little opportunity to actually think. By the time you look at something, there's already 300 comments and the top voted comment is already everything you wanted to say. The response is everything they left out and mentioned. No need to think here, everyone thinks for you. And that is fine but it leaves you not really developing your own opinion, just agreeing with others and never exercising your brain on how it should or should not be. The purpose of this blog is to throw my own opinions on it, so I can figure things out on my own. I enjoy that.
The lack of all that has left me feeling like mush. Like I'm just sitting here, a waste of a human brain. Having a job you hate is not using your brain. Going to school for a specific subject too, is not using your brain, at least not way I want to use my brain. With the specific subject you're ultimately limiting yourself to one thought, and not being able to process everything you see in the world. If only there was a job for that. I suppose there used to be, a long time ago...all those "great thinkers" and the like who were heralded and such, although a majority of them were probably spewing blasphemy at the time and the population ousted them as crazy or outrageous.
I've been playing World of Tanks and it strengthens your technical skill. However that game is possibly the most mindnumbing game in existence. You are thrown with not just one other or four other teammates like other games might be, but fourteen others. These strangers will change every game, every six or seven minutes as will your opponent. Playing public games constantly is never going to be consistent considering how random every match will end up being. I do not see myself improving just by playing these pub games over and over again. Not only that, but as you go up the tech tree you will likely switch tanks and ultimately switch playstyles. I played the T-34, a medium that had high RoF and low armour. I basically sped around going pew-pew-pew...its upgrade, the T-34-85, did not improve on the armour at all except the turret and it gets a massive gun instead with low RoF. You can't play it like a T-34, you have to drop everything you've learned on the T-34 and learn how to play a sniper. By the time you've learned how to play a sniper you can get the KV-13...which has a crappy gun, high frontal armour and is meant to brawl and flank. So now you have to forget about your sniper ways and try to adapt to this NEW playstyle, while playing in public games over and over again in unpredictable matches and unpredictable opponents and teammates.
The nature of this game however, is that I could improve by playing tank companies or creating a clan. Both options require real money. I can't even play with more than one other person without paying. (I could join a random tank company for free, but that would only be somewhat more consistent than pub matches) or joining a clan. There are clans that train you and such, and clanwars are filled with tactical advantages to improve you greatly. I just don't want to do either of these without Ed, but I don't think he's willing to do either so I'll either keep mind-numbingly playing pub matches hoping I improve while reading some tutorials online or something, or no longer enjoy it and have my brain become mush.
And you're probably wondering why I came here to discuss, why I am suddenly thinking now, which is great. Thinking allows me to daydream, something I've been doing so less of. Daydreaming seems useless to most people, but I think the contrary. Making up stories within your mind is highly enjoyable, like a movie you created all yourself just for you! And again, it means you use your brain rather than conforming with everyone else. Posting a random short message on Twitter or updating your status on Facebook does nothing. Upvoting a post and mentally agreeing does nothing. I rather disagree. I rather disagree and start typing up paragraph after paragraph of why I do. It allows you to use your brain in any way you wish to. That is why I'm disappointed in the outlook of the next generation. A few years back everyone had a blog where they can write what the hell they wanted even if no one gave a fuck about what they thought. Now, most people abandon these blogs and just flock to the Twitters and Facebooks and Tumblrs and Reddits. Where they no longer need to type gigantic paragraphs, but become lazy and let their brains melt into that goo. Why is it becoming socially acceptable to be too lazy to express your complete thoughts? Why do people require short little comics to express their views, or something witty and clever that though makes us chuckle, can't possibly envelop the entire thought? These shortened messages encourage misunderstandings.
But I'm not asking for an answer, I already know. People do this because they have no time. The less time they have, the less time they can be engaged, and the less time they can be engaged, the shorter their attention spans become. It feeds itself into a downward spiral where their brains will ultimately adapt to a lifestyle filled with routine after routine, never thinking for themselves. Then the media of the world can take advantage of it, we just jump to one side without ever giving thought as to why we do. We then vote for some moron to lead our country and then the world continues on its own downward spiral into hell; the exact world I am witnessing.
Okay perhaps that is a stretch, but you know what I mean. P:
And to the actual reason as to why I am thinking, I read a scanlated fan light novel of Touhou the other day. It was two hundred pages.
I know why people love to read. I know why reading is good for you because it allows you to think. Perhaps all those English classes where we analyzed the books we read were actually a useful experience. (Speaking of English, "an useful" sounds odd) Unfortunately I was never interested in those books or books at all. I was never a reading person, but somehow I still ended up enjoying writing and wanting to express my thoughts. I'm not sure how that came to be. The English subject is such an importance in schools. It's not just there to make sure you type in correct grammar and spelling (which, if the many teenagers typing on the internet count, doesn't seem to be happening anyway). (And I still dunno where to place the damn period whenever there's a sentence in parentheses at the end of one) But the purpose is to make a person think. So when they see a supposed "fact" they will question it, to make sure what they are told is really true, just like how Math ultimately teaches logic.
Also I hate this entire rant. The points are there, but I haven't typed such long paragraphs in so long my English is downright abysmal. I'm not using any advanced vocabulary and there are simple sentences and awkward ones all over the place, so I apologize. @_@ It's hard to type atm, but at least my thoughts are written down.
Anyway the light novel was actually quite confusing. I understood the gist of the plot, but because it was a translation from a work written in Japanese, not every sentence could be translated completely loyally, and that led to some awkward paragraphs. It also didn't help that Touhou characters, at least when portrayed close to canon, act incredibly cryptically and mysteriously. All those damn Yuyukos and Yukaris and Kanakos never telling you what the hell is going on, just dropping hints or being all ~MYSTERIOUS~ just makes everything even more confusing. Despite that, I quite enjoyed the story. The novel lacked every single one of my favourite characters as well. I feel like Youmu who is never told anything despite owning a sword that can supposedly cut confusion.
Okay that was a lie. It had Renko, who was pretty much the protagonist...I think. And she's one of my favourites! Like, number 18 or something! Yes.
This post will obviously spoil everything. I found the ending to one that could be subjected to great speculation. The story is basically Renko and Mary finding the crack into Gensokyo, except to Mary there seems to be way too many cracks than normal. Only Renko actually ends up in Gensokyo, and she is almost moiderized by Rumia when Marisa saves her. Marisa was just with Reimu trying to figure out why Gensokyo was going out of whack. (all the seasons were happening at once for example) Whenever an incident happens Reimu, being the shrine maiden, acts, but she is not. This means whatever is happening cannot be prevented and we learn why. Gensokyo is ending. There is a lot of philosophy in this story. What begins must end. Yukari loves Gensokyo and though knows the end of Gensokyo cannot be prevented, she tries to stop it anyway. That's how much she loves it.
We soon learn the story goes with the popular theory where Mary IS Yukari, and in fact, the whole of Gensokyo is revealed to actually be someone's dream. All dreams must end at some point. The residents of Gensokyo after some large amount of drama eventually decide they will do whatever they want, whether it be to attempt to stop the dream from ending or just having a huge party to end it all out, they go do whatever they want. The twist is that the world outside of Gensokyo is also a dream, and Renko's entire life was but a dream. She has been asleep for a long time, and her bestest best friend, Mary, entered the dream she had to try to prevent Renko from dying, but by doing so and trying to maintain the dream as Yukari, ended up destroying herself. So Mary ends up killing herself to save Renko, and as the dream ends and Gensokyo crumbles, Renko wakes up.
Which is all terribly depressing until Renko is like "FUCK THAT!" runs up the mountain where they entered Gensokyo in the dream, finds the abandoned Hakurei Shrine, finds a box with the shrine maiden outfit in it and apparently becomes the shrine maiden and starts Gensokyo!?!?
Like I said, the ending is very speculative. For one thing, Mary herself might only exist in the dream. In that case, Renko may have forgotten (or not cared) about her real life and just went insane trying to stay attached to the dream. (Of course a lot of people prefer the interpretation that Renko refuses to take what the world gives her and does what she wants, which is the ultimate message of the story) But this ending leads to another question we ask about not just the story, but Touhou itself.
There are a lot of discussions in storytelling itself, especially for example, to Disney.
WHERE ARE THE PARENTS!?
And we are told. They are dead, missing, abandoned or whatever.
However in Touhou with very few exceptions there are ZERO parents. The only existence of family is a few siblings here and there. We are also never told where the hell they are.
And I am actually okay with that.
Okay, I'll explain here. A majority of the characters in Touhou are youkai. Youkai are crazy long-living and have various origins. So obviously it would be an abnormality if they DID have existing family members still alive. The few humans though, are the ones we must question. Youmu for example is half-ghost, which leads to many Touhou fans asking "HOW DOES THAT EVEN!?" And she has a grandfather who disappeared, who served Yuyuko before Youmu. That of course leads to many other questions, like who the hell her parents were if she has a grandfather and why they are they never even mentioned. Of course since we don't even know how half-ghosts can possibly exist, we'll just move onto some other humans.
What we do know about Reimu is she is a shrine maiden and is the latest in the line of shrine maidens for the Hakurei Shrine. That means her predecessor, likely a parent did exist and function for Gensokyo at some point, and since Reimu's job is to be the shrine maiden now, her parent isn't necessary anymore. We can safely assume they either died or retired and left, not wanting to hang around the shrine anymore for whatever reason. In certain fanworks a "Hakurei Miko", Reimu's fan-mom sometimes shows up to make sure Reimu isn't being stupid. She tends to show up in the more outrageous works.
Marisa's father is mentioned in the story...somewhere. Granted I don't look into the official manga as much as I should. (For some reason I can read a 200 page fan light novel but only stare at some of the manga, I dunno why) Apparently her father left, abandoned her or whatever. He does not have a name, only known by "Mr. Kirisame". But we DO at least know where one of Marisa's parents went.
However the most mysterious of them all is probably Sanae. Well Sakuya's probably even more mysterious but because she's possibly not even human kind of rules her out. Sanae used to live in the real world. In the real world, you kind of require some parents to care for you as children. There aren't obvious signs of supernatural beings who could do whatever the hell they want, even as young'uns. But somehow Sanae was able to come into Gensokyo as either a teenager or late teenager (perhaps even adult) with no intention of returning to her more mundane life. She came with her goddesses, acting as their wind priestess. If she lived in the real world, she'd have gone to school and therefore required a parent or someone to guard over her. Some people could say maybe the goddesses were her guardians, but because they were losing so much faith no one could even see them besides Sanae, thus why they moved, so that cannot possibly be. Perhaps, just like Reimu, Sanae's predecessor as the wind priestess was her parent? And they were done or died or whatever? And they agreed for the sake of their god's survival that she and her goddesses should move to Gensokyo? I suppose that might make the most sense, but there is absolutely nothing there to suggest such or not, so we can only speculate.
But because Touhou is such where family is not an element in its universe and story, where a majority of characters are youkai so we do not expect family, we don't really even expect the humans to have any either. Besides, the real families are all the characters that do live with one another. Scarlet Devil Mansion, Hakugyokurou, Mayohiga, Eientei, Moriya Shrine, Chireiden, Myouren Temple... I don't think the TD characters live with each other. >: And they, throughout their story and through various fanworks, demonstrate their love of each other and their willingness to work together, that the family does not need to be blood-related to be family. Good enough for me!
But...it is not good enough in the context of this light novel. Renko and Maribel live in the "real" world, which in this story was also part of the dream. However, when Renko wakes up, she is in a hospital room. No one else is there, no family, no nurses or doctors. She decides to run off to a mountain and make her dream a reality (making dreams reality is another message, basically "Do what you want" and "Dreams" were the message) And we can only presume since we have no other information provided, that she wakes up in...our world, I guess. The REAL real world. Because the dream real world is a place where children do not smile and all discoveries of physics already happened, according to the mangas and music CD stories by ZUN. So we can assume that Renko probably had a family of some sort, and that doctors and nurses probably existed in a hospital. They probably went "WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR COMA PATIENT!?" and can never find Renko because she went to some obscure deserted location. (My suspension of disbelief still works because this entire story and Touhou itself lacks all common sense anyway)
So the doctors will be confused and any family she might have will wonder and worry like hell. Not only that, if Mary DID exist in the real real world, then her OWN family will wonder why THEIR DAUGHTER FELL ASLEEP AND NEVER WOKE UP. And because Renko ran away to make her dream a reality, BOTH FAMILIES LOST THEIR DAUGHTERS.
So I think, in that context, the ending (after the whole Renko crying, because this ending happened after the credits and such, like a stinger...perhaps it is not canon in terms of the story?) isn't very good, but we don't know for sure. Even what ending happened is difficult to determine, we can only speculate. And maybe the both of them, or just Renko's if Mary never actually existed, families are all dead. And the only ones confused will be the doctors, as their little coma patient was spirited away...twice. Mayhaps Renko is actually ZUN! And the Touhou games are his efforts to make his dream a REALITY!? OO: !?!? O:!? I:!? ?
...speaking of dead or disappeared families or loved ones, I watched the Dark Knight Rises the other day. Most people are raving about it and sending death threats to people who criticize it, which is all old news but I thought to mention. I will also be one of those contraries...I only thought the movie was okay and I'm not entirely sure why. I found Batman Begins and The Dark Knight quite amazing, so how come this last one didn't do it for me? Again, I can only speculate.
The movie itself was quite long, there were lines from Bane I couldn't make out. Granted, there are lines from ME I can't make out when I hear myself because I have a thick accent and a stupid voice. The thing is, in Batman Begins...we watched it for Batman. It was the first movie of a brand new Batman remake, we of course watch it for Batman and see what this new director does with his character. We liked Batman in this movie.
In the Dark Knight, it is not Batman we care about as much so more (and people already hate his fake gruffy voice, so) but the Joker. The Joker was what made this movie, he was the focal point this time and he was so brilliant the movie is considered by many the best of all time. No wonder there are aggressive fanboys. They want this image they saw of the movie to be untouched that perhaps, some people when they watched the final movie made it seem better than it is? I don't want to make myself sound like my opinion is more valid than theirs or anything like that, especially since I'm not a fan of the comic books or anything. (Comic Book fan or not, the movie has nothing to do with them, it's just the director's story using the characters of Batman so whether or not we've read any of the Batman comic books or watched other movies or animations we'd still understand)
It's just that, after all those movies of the week I've been viewing. I've seen a good share of movies now and I actually don't like a lot of them. And a few days before I saw the Dark Knight Rises, I watched "Leafie, a Hen into the Wild" which I thought was a grand masterpiece. So perhaps those factors changed my views, perceptions and expectations of movies, especially one like Dark Knight Rises.
But for actual flaws of TDKR, I'll have to paraphrase what some other critics have said. The movie ultimately feels like it doesn't have a focal point. It isn't all BATMAN like Batman Begins or all JOKER like The Dark Knight. You introduce several important characters like Catwoman and Bane, but because the movie is the finale, it's GOT to focus on Batman himself. We need to resolve his story after all! But maybe there wasn't enough time for the story Nolan wanted to tell. I did not care when Bruce Wayne found a way out of the pit. It didn't feel like it was that much of a feat. The movie did not focus on him enough for me to care. And since TDKR felt more like a sequel to Batman Begins than The Dark Knight, I had to look deep into my memory on what the hell happened in Batman Begins because that was a long fucking time ago.
Yeah, I didn't see the twist coming like so many of the comic book fans did. But the ending was...people all called this movie super dark, but that ending isn't dark. If Batman died, that would be dark. It felt like a Disney ending. Of course he probably DESERVED that ending, but if people are going to call the movie dark the entire movie should be dark. @_@ That's not really a criticism of the movie itself, just to people saying IT WAS REALLY DARK OMG. That pit is totally dark what with everyone encouraging you to rise, Batman! I found The Dark Knight to be far darker.
And if a movie has Morgan Freeman it should have more Morgan Freeman than that!
But I don't hate the movie. It wasn't bad, but for a finale of a trilogy with such insane hype, it's impossible to fulfill those high expectations. Even so apparently a majority enjoyed it, so good enough for them.
I'm also curious of what Robin fans think of Robin (like Akira) because rather than being a canon Robin he's like...all the Robins combined, with the real name of Robin. But then he becomes Batman. I think that's acceptable because people switch superhero identities all the time in those silly comics, but I'm just wondering.
There is also apparently a huge controversy over the call that led to the penalty kick in the Canada - USA semifinals. The penalty kick led to USA tying the game and ultimately winning in the last few seconds of extra time's extra time. I don't know enough about soccer to form an opinion about this incident itself, but I do hate the fact that you can get suspended for criticizing the referees, which a few Canadian players (including our best, Sinclair) did. So many times in hockey I've seen people complain about the referees and when you watch, sometimes it is blatant enough that complaints should be justified. And frankly, shouldn't criticism be accepted so referees can be improved? Granted oftentimes the complaints aren't exactly CONSTRUCTIVE criticism but silencing all those who complain without giving a single explanation as to why what happened happened feels like corruption. It really does! It's like if a corrupted government starts seeing someone rebel because what they were told was wrong, so in response they shoot them. I hate that people can be suspended by such comments, or fined heavily. The Burrows incident with the Auger referee for example. Isn't it mighty suspicious a referee pulled player to the side pre-game? Why not investigate? Why would a referee ever do that, and why don't they ever take the word of the player? Sure, Burrows does not have the greatest of reputations, but why the hell would he lie? What would he gain from making his up? Nothing!
In the wise wise words of Malcolm in the Middle, "Life is unfair."
So yeah...I wonder if this wall-of-text made up for the inactivity here lately? I sure did have many thoughts this morning. TO LUNCH! And to recharge. This is Spotto, signing off.