Ramblings: What Gives, 2016?

In one month alone, we’ve lost a small handful of cultural icons.  They’ve been part of our lives since childhood or some point in growing up.  Perhaps they directly shaped who we are.  Needless to say, it really sucks.  That said, death is the said fact of life and reality itself.  Everything will at one point die and that terrifies us.  Especially consider the fact we like to think of what we love as being immortal or invulnerable, but that’s sadly not true.  And because we lose someone so special to us, it tends to taint the entire timeframe around that loss.  However, I don’t think we should do this.  If anything, it doesn’t do justice to the amazing memories we’ve had thanks to the people we had recently lost.  Whether it’s Labyrinth being the first movie you remember seeing (and with Bowie’s performance as the Goblin King, how can one forget?) or jamming to Motorhead for the first time, those memories won’t leave us and we should be thanking the deceased for giving us those opportunities in the first place.  Plus, I’ve lost tons of people that were important to me last year as well: Satoru Iwata, Leonard Nemoy, Scott Weiland, Grace Whitney (from Star Trek as well), Terry Pratchett, Christopher Lee, the list goes on and on.  And yet, I remembered them for all their wonderful work instead of stewing in depression.  After all, I’m sure they’d prefer fond recollections instead of fans being sad.

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My sympathies for the victims of the Paris Attacks

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I was going to make a rambling post, but I’d rather say that my heart and thoughts go out to those affected by attacks by hateful extremists.  Every day, I am saddened by humanity being pulled down by ignorance and hate; the people who perpetuate this violence are indeed a part of it.  This is just a reminder that we must come together in solidarity and love rather than let hate take over us.  This is what hateful people want, including many propagandists who want to pin and blame a scapegoat or generalizing an entire population.  We’re better than that.  Let’s help the affected rebuild, even if it’s through moral support, and show that we are connected as a greater humanity.  If there’s one good thing about the Information Age, it is bringing us all together.

IMAGE CREDIT: Jean Jullien

R.I.P. Wes Craven

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Wes Craven was more than just a filmmaker to me.  He was a huge inspiration!  Not only did he create some of the most iconic faces in horror, but he made icons that transcend time itself!  2 – 3 decades later, we still all know and love (and fear) the likes of Ghostface and Freddy Krueger.  Along with Giger, he convinced me that my nightmares weren’t just images of a frustrated mind, but a gateway into a morbid imagination.  His work helped to get me interested in horror, as well as want to make something horrific of my own.  From the moment I saw the first Nightmare as a young child, I was hooked on his stuff!  And since then, I’ve been greatly inspired by his eerie works.  While he may be gone, I’ll always be grateful for the awesome contributions he’s made not just to the genre of horror, but its awesome fandom as well.  Thanks for the dark dreams, Wes.  I wouldn’t be nearly the same without you or your creepy creations.

Image by BladaMerry

The Doc Speaks: Depression Sucks

Usually, when I write an editorial bit (in addition to my reviews), it pertains to some anecdote on popular culture or the media.  Personal and random stuff is often pushed into the occasional “ramblings” post.  That said, there’s been something on my chest I’ve been wanting to get off for a while, in addition to some other things.  First off, I’ve been in denial for the longest time that I’m depressed. Coping with depression, let alone admitting to having it, is never easy.  It’s a long and arduous journey rife with pain and suffering.  Frustration and indifference only breeds more of the same in a relentless cycle.  Crudely put, it sucks.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that diving deep into all sorts of interesting projects (including this one) will cause it to go away.  You don’t need a degree in psychology to know it’s not that simple.  Also, admitting this wasn’t simple either.  We live in a world that’s afraid to admit when a problem is at hand, let alone finding solutions for those problems.  At the very least, I’m making an effort to acknowledge what has plagued me for so long.  And lemme tell you, boldly stepping up to an open space and comfortably admitting something is wrong with you takes a lot.  The same me in the past year or two wouldn’t do that.  Granted, I didn’t want to seek solutions or help, just stew in misery.  To an extent, I had almost found familiarity in despair.  I don’t know what did it, but my recent mental meltdown convinced me I needed to find help, change things up a little, and think of a plan that will lead to slow but sure improvements for me.  A lot of it won’t work, but it helps move things a little bit towards the right direction in one way or another.  After being so long without hope or motivation, I’ve started to push myself (with tons of assistance from the people around me) to do something about it.  And just like admitting it, that’s no easy feat either.  Trying to find ways to combat depression is more agonizing and taxing than the depression itself at times.  In the end, tracking every little bit of progress is worth it, especially when you reflect on how far you’ve come.  Now, I doubt I’ll totally be out of the thick of it, but I’m thankful to say that I’m not in the same state I was back in my public school days or even last year for that matter.  And realizing that, it’s a little comforting; helping me cope with new challenges a little better on the endless road to recovery.  While perfection is a farce and a fantasy, the motivation to improve has always spurred progress on little by little, as making small steps matters a lot when it builds up over time.  And ya know what?  Everyone goes at their own pace too.  Who cares if your progress isn’t as fast as someone else.  You know you best, you know what speed works best for you.  Rushing too fast can be more harmful than helpful, after all.

What I’m trying to say is that it affects many of us; and to any reading suffering with it, you’re never alone.  Plans and strategies work differently for different people, but there’s certain to be something out there that helps.  One must never stop looking, even if others help them look.  The battle is great and it takes its toll, but the war can always be won.  Stuff like hope and faith seem like bullshit when you’re depressed, but it’s really all you have.  Now sure, this post may seem a little less coherent and structured as some of my others, but this was a raw post written from personal reflection, emotion, and what have you.  And, I know this might read like a load of gibberish to some readers, but I’m hoping this provides some level of inspiration and hope to various readers out there.

Ramblings: Hail to the King

It still feels weird, losing an icon like B.B. King; one of the last true legends of the blues genre.  While readers know I’ve always loved hard rock and heavy metal music, both of those forms of musics wouldn’t exist without the blues; especially the more electric blues/proto-rock’n’roll pioneered by artists like King.  I was upset by his passing, but it didn’t really hit me till now.  His sudden death caught me off guard as I was trying to write a review.  Compete that with catching the “con flu” (from the convention I attended over the weekend) and I was in a hazy state of mind.  Needless to say, I feel like heading to my folks’ place and asking to borrow some vinyl records (of the blues master myself) is an appropriate way of paying tribute.

Live Long and Prosper

Spock by John DiBiase

As many of you already know, we lost famed actor Leonard Nimoy today. This doesn’t just impact me as a Trekkie, but hurts even deeper. From the letters Nimoy sent (in character) to frustrated and anxious youth, to his many awesome accomplishments outside of television alone, there is tons of things about him to celebrate. A lot of the amazing contributions he’s made to media have effected me, whether directly or indirectly. His portrayal of Spock alone helped to push the “to what degree is non-human” trope that authors love into the limelight. In fact, one of my favorite Trek quotes acknowledges this. While I was planning on writing a long post dedicated to Nimoy, I just don’t know if I can right now. But, none the less, he will be missed. Despite that, let us remember him as a both a cherished part of our ever growing fandom and as an incredible person in general.

Hurdles and Obstacles…

From a faulty computer, to the norovirus, to a blizzard, to helping a friend recover a tabletop game he lost at MAGFest; the past 7 days have been quite interesting, to say the least.  I hate putting my work on hiatus, I hate not getting work done!  It really tears at me that something hasn’t been completed for my minimum weekly post!  However, I doubt I’ll have my current post finished today (which is still, as of this post, Monday).  Expect it tomorrow (Tuesday) and for me to be back on schedule.  I’d like to apologize for any inconvenience that’s happened this past week.  It’s been crazy, really fucking crazy!  Let’s hope shit like that doesn’t happen for a long, long time.

Please bear with me, it’s been an awful weekend.

I almost always stick to schedule, but I ran into a slight emergency this weekend.  I spent most of my Saturday night trying to help a good college friend who in some serious risk of danger.  I haven’t slept well since then and I’ve either been checking up on him (at least he was recovering in the hospital, feeling a little better) or trying to keep my own stress down.  Not to mention, I somehow got in bad standings with my college loans, despite actively keeping up with them.  Please understand that things might be a little late this time around.

Losing one great artist too many

First I hear about losing Dave Brockie a month ago and now H.R. Giger!  This news really wrecked my day. To say that Giger had been an inspiration to me is an understatement. I saw the discomfort and terror from his dreams within his art, but also something more.  Giger inspired me to see my nightmares as a beautiful form of artwork, and just as beautiful as my good dreams.  RIP H.R. Giger