They don’t care about you

This one is kinda bleak, but it’s also true. I’ll admit that the title is a little over the top, but hear me out: People mostly talk to throw their own voice into the mix. Maybe they just love the sound of it, maybe they have something important to tell (according to themselves), maybe something really funny happened or maybe they just need to get something off their chest. Either way, they aren’t doing for your benefit; they’re doing it for their own.

    

We all know the old adage, and like many, I’ve grown sick and tired of having conversations where people just talk to hear their own voice. Couldn’t we rather enjoy the silence for once, huh? On certain days, this gets so bad that I just decide to keep my mouth shut. And people don’t really seem to notice it, because they’re all busy talking about their own things. But then suddenly someone sees me, and feel the need to tell me that I’ve been quiet lately. ‘Well, you know what? It sounds like you people pretty much got this covered. I’ll be over here with my thoughts . . . they ones you just interrupted to tell me that I’m being quiet.’ I’ll admit once again that I’m being bit of a negative Nelly here. People talk to one another (or past one another); it’s how we pass the time. If the conversations are boring, I can either try to contribute or I can leave. Sometimes, I kinda feel like the angsty teenager that wants to get invited to the party just so he can decline the invitation. But there is more to this. I can endure boring small-talk as well as the next person, but when people make the conversation about me when I’m not participating, I get pissy! And you wouldn’t find me nearly as complacent and non-threatening when I’m pissy! (Working on a punchline for a superhero . . . how’s that one?) I’ll try to explain:

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On being young (but getting old)

No, this is not going to be one of those ‘shake my fist in the air’ posts. Nor is it going to be one of those ‘kids today, mumble grumble’ type posts. This is about something completely different . . . well, not so very different: It’s about growing old, yet still being young.

Growing up is optional.

Growing old is mandatory. (Is there a second part to this?)

We grow all the time (duh!), that’s kind of the point of living. You grow bigger, older, more frail, and then you die. All we are is dust in the wind, and so forth. During this time, everything changes, again and again and again. The world changes around you, and you change within it. We’re all shaped by what’s going on around us, as well as personal experience, friends and family. But even with all this happening – are we still stuck? When do we ‘shift’ from young to old? Is it just our age? Can you ever truly change within an already established framework?

Yes and no.

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Defending tropes

So now that my book is finally out, and selling like empty snail-houses, I can finally focus on some other things. (Such as writing the next one.) As beautiful as my wife’s eye is, I’m getting a little tired of seeing it everywhere, so I’ll try to update this page a little more often, and with at least some content that isn’t Fall of Noman-related. With that said; here’s a short rundown of two major tropes writers often use, as well as a possible explanation for using them.

I’m currently following the new Walking Dead series – I think it’s great, it’s okay if you don’t, that’s not what this post is about – and while it’s generally quite good, there are some ‘plot required stupidity’ moments. After a short discussion with my wife, I started thinking. In Fear the Walking Dead, the characters don’t know what we know, and they don’t think like we do. You and I know very well there are zombies walkers/infected/thriller-reenacters around every corner, and – having been corrupted by years and years of various narratives and stories – we know that if a character forgets something in the previous room, it’s only because there’s danger there, to scare the audience. “Why would he ever forget something in there, when he knows there’ll be trouble if he returns?! Can’t he hear the scary music?!”

The thing is: they can’t hear the music, or feel the foreshadowing. A part of suspending your disbelief is coming to terms with this. Most of all movies or TV-series reset the world and starts at zero. These characters haven’t experienced anything creepy yet, and they aren’t suspecting a thing! (Disclaimer: Yeah, when they still allow zombies biters/munchers to sneak up on them after six years in the wastelands, that’s pretty fucking weak-sauce.)

Whatever you do . . . don't blink!

Whatever you do . . . don’t blink!

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When did the world become so black and white?

Polarization – a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions. 

I’d like to talk about this little thing called polarization. Why? Because we’re all doing it every single day. Personally I blame the media, but we are all at some fault here. This problem is halting everything that even remotely looks like progress, and it’s dividing us into separate camps when it comes to even the smallest things. What the hell am I talking about? Everything, actually, but to make it easier I’ll stick with two examples. Today’s youth and our bodies. It seems to me that in every discussion regarding one of those topics (or a myriad of others), people are neatly split into two camps.

I realize that even as I’m typing this, I am putting myself in a third camp. I’m sure many others are in here with me, but we’re the quiet ones, so in the hyper-global screaming contest that encompass today’s papers, blogs (self-burn) and social media – we’re practically non-existent. (All it takes for evil to prevail, and so forth . . .)

Let me start by calling out the media. (Easier to blame an institution than real human beings, right?) Almost every single fluff piece written by ‘journalists’ today is based on a straw man, and often void of any credible source. Clickbait articles disregard all form of censorship, ignore all fallacies and end up in bold script on the ‘front page’ as it were. And we fucking click it! Upon reading that ‘your candy has had poop-fingers on it’, ‘youths today have it worse than ever!’ or ‘fat is the new skinny and is actually quite healthy’, we immediately have a reaction to it. (Some pretend that we don’t, and that we simply clicked it ‘ironically’ and don’t care or are above such matters. I know I do, but I can assure you some deep instinct in me always react.) These reactions vary from fluff piece to fluff piece and from person to person, but since the articles are written the way they are – bold statements and downright fact-claiming – there’s not much wiggle room: We either agree, or we don’t. Often strongly, at that. The problems begin when we vehemently disagree. Because, of course we must voice our opinion on it if we feel that it’s wrong or that it misrepresents us.

The thing is, though, it doesn’t! Because it doesn’t represent us at all!

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