ON: THE IMPORTANCE OF CHANGING NAMES

We come into this world transient things on a time limit, born in on wings of promise and hope, but with so little life to be had and so many things to accomplish. It seems weird to me, then, that the names we bear, those little icons of our inherent humanity, are chosen before the givers of those names even have an inkling of who we are, or who we will turn out to be. Think of yourself in that position, if you haven’t already been there before. You are an expecting parent, mother or father, and your child has yet to be born, but you must in your “infinite wisdom” give them a moniker they will be effectively stuck with the rest of there lives. You must define them, in most cases with little more than a grainy sonogram pointing out their genitalia. It seems to me that a person in that position has better odds of pulling a name out of a hat that will be a fitting one than picking one on the basis of the information they are given.

Names have power, the names we are given define is I subtle ways, define how people think about us in terms of gender and identity, and define how we think of ourselves in those terms and many more. Given the choice, and with zero repercussions, would you chose to alter you name from that which was chosen nearly at random? For me that answer was simple, a resounding YES.

Our society puts so much pressure on the naming of children, so much to the point of if a child isn’t given one of the current socially accepted names they become nearly a pariah among their peers. Wouldn’t it make more sense if the naming of a person fell on the person themselves? Who knows better about who you are than YOU. Who better suited to give yourself a name than YOU.

Our parentage is another matter entirely, our last names show where we came from, while inversely our first and middle names show where we are going, or are meant to. But what if you wish to cut yourself off from your past? Many people do, its not entirely uncommon. And in that same vein, what if you wish to redefine where you are going? To take the reigns of your life and redirect your course in some dramatic and well thought out manner? Is it really so capricious to want to alter the once thought to be set in stone series of concept and letters that are our names?

Think of cases of trans children, whose entire identity hast to be altered on the basis of gender in flux, or those who wish to cut themselves off from painful or abusive relatives, or even those who just wish to have a name that is more in line with who they are are less in line with the thoughts and whims and expectations of parents with no idea who they were birthing? A THOUSAND reasons to change those tiny letters that spell out who we are, and very little to give credence to the current name giving paradigm. If I could without much recourse I’d change my name to one better suited to me, for both purposes, to cut myself off from my history, and to redefine where I am going, and I doubt I’m the only one.

DSC01465

On: The Derogatory use of the term “Special Snowflake”

Commonly used in internet chat rooms, comment sections, and social media is the term “special snowflake”. It is most often passed around by both trolls looking to offend and people legitimately being asinine, and is a way of saying that while you THINK you are unique, we are all garbage. Within the context of that use by a certain mind of people, it is an insult used in banter to bring people down and a way of looking down on those who they feel are being all “highfalutin” about themselves. Not only are they being the worst kind of assholes, but they are using the term itself in a way that it was never intended, and here’s why…

The term can be traced back to the 1996 debut novel of Chuck Palahniuk “Fight Club”, and the subsequent 1999 movie of the same name by director David Fincher. In the novel, and unnamed protagonist undergoes a startling transformation from working class slave to underground boxing ring leader and activist, both through the titular fight clubs, and through an extension of those known as project mayhem. The “fight clubs” are intended to be a release of primal male aggression, and project mayhem is meant to be a way of striking back at a society that ignores and enslaves them.

NOW onto the subject at hand: the term special snowflake is from a portion of the novel/movie wherein Tyler Durden states that we are not all “beautiful and unique snowflakes”, and that rather we are “the all singing all dancing crap of the world”. Taken at face value this does seem to mean that none of us are in fact unique, but when you explore further the themes of the novel a different explanation becomes clear.

When you look at his rants as a whole you’ll notice that he talks a lot about the promises society gives people, of being something greater, or the POTENTIAL to be something greater. Movie gods and rock stars (paraphrased), when in fact we all end up in menial jobs just working to get by. According to Tyler society stifles our creative potential, and that promise of greatness is and always has been a lie, a deception to keep us in our social and economic positions. SO when you look at the quote itself again, it is less saying “we are all garbage” (paraphrased) and more saying society promises us something greater, and let’s us down KEEPING us in a position of being garbage. We begin our lives with the promise that we can all be unique, we are told to always be ourselves, but at every turn when a person tries to do just that we are ridiculed and made to be pariahs.

In Project Mayhem Tyler broke down that training, a sort of radical deprogramming from the positions we are placed in in society. At first glance, it is cultish to the extreme and authoritarian, but its true purpose was to allow people to express themselves apart from the promises of society. The “space monkies” HAD to be mentally deconstructed in order to start anew and become who they were meant to be all along.

To reiterate: the term special snowflakes isn’t really about how we are all garbage, but more that we are PROMISED by society that being unique is possible, and then made to be outcasts if we attempt just that. His purpose wasn’t to bring people down, but to uplift them in a radical, and in retrospect misguided, way.

When I see that term passed around I think to myself “I’ve been reading Chuck since you were in diapers, and you are so off base about what he meant”. It is used to ridicule everyone from those in the social justice movement to those that are LGBTQ+. Most amusing of all is his exploration of the idea if subsequent novels like Invisible Monsters which heavily featured a trans character named Brandy Alexandra.

SO not only are these trollish characters being objectively awful, but they are missing the point entirely of the source material they are unknowingly quoting as a means to bring people down.

WTF????????

OK I’m going to take a minute to talk about something really serious and at the same time mind bogglingly fucking silly.   I’m a big fan of a hybrid-media/webcomic called Homestuck.  If you know what that is, then you you can imagine my level of obsession with it, but something isn’t right with the god damned ending, and I can sum it up with one screenshot:

08114johndad

THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE! It’s screwing with the genealogy, and messing with my head, and I’ve already been up all night (for unrelated reasons) and now THIS occurs to me:

THIS GUY is NOT who he appears to be, but SOMEHOW MAGICALLY IS???

OK brief rundown: WHOLE LOTTA MUTUAL RELATIONS GOING ON IN THIS BITCH, there are folks that are each other’s parents simultaneously, and it’s all super complicated and difficult to explain and has to do with notions of time travel and destiny.  However: that isn’t the case for the stately gentleman in the fedora.  We are told that in his version of the universe (the alpha kids universe, the final instance in a long running series of reboots of the same universe) that there version of john showed up way earlier, sired the man with some woman (who is never named or shown) and the man raised another character of importance (Jane Crocker) who is the genetic progenitor of John. AGAIN HOWEVER: he appears, acts, and looks like a figure from another universe, the parental figure (but not genetic father) of john.  Dude even has the same hobbies and shit. AND if you can get your head around that fucking mind knot of genealogy, Jane acts as the genetic forbearing of John (motherways) but ALSO serves as his grandmother in  john’s version of the universe.

SO the figure in question is John’s parental figure, who in Johns universe is the child of that universe’s Jane and some guy who I can’t recall, but the SAME PERSON (as far as is shown???) appears in Jane’s universe but is the child of John????

The reason they are hugging in this screenshot is because the “Father/son” remembers HIS father (alt-john) and when he see’s beta John goes up and hugs him, but John HUGS BACK because somehow HE’S ALSO HIS FATHER, when it doesn’t make sense for him to be.  The two figures are virtually identical, if only in anonymity and style of dress and hobbies and methods of parenting and BASICALLY EVERYTHING, when they shouldn’t be, it should be two totally different people.

So… Plot hole? Outright error on the part of the author? OR another example of paradox space making the reader its bitch?

WHATEVER is going on here, I can’t wrap my head around it…

WHERE IS THE BLOOD?

SO I just finished up playing DOOM (2016) and in the middle of Shadow Warrior, and considering that Duke Nukem: Forever is already a thing (albeit not nearly as fucking awesome as the previously mentioned two games) one thought is spinning through  my head: Where is the Blood?

Those three games remain the penultimate FPS experiences for a LOT of people, the earliest and best example of a genre that had nowhere to go but up.  I remember playing Doom and Doom II on janky old charity computers when I was just a kid, and being blown away but the gameplay and ideas therein.  Blood for me will remain my favorite, a mixture of concepts all summoned forth from my favorite horror films and playing out in a glorious 3d interactive game with top of the line (for the time) graphics.  I distinctly remember the cackling voice of the main character, Caleb, spouting off one liners as you chewed through the armies of Technerbog and his nefarious cult, all doned in various colors of robes and ready to take you down.  The references were many, the action was plentiful, and the style was everything I wanted in a game.

So it seems to me that NOW is the time for a current gen HD Blood game.  Barring the existence of Blood II: The Chosen (a sub par game with only the most subtle of callbacks to the original) there hasn’t been a title in this series in decades, and I for one would love to see how it would play out.  Taking on again the role of Caleb, a bad-ass undead gunslinger with a penchant for Bruce Campbell movies, would for me be pure fucking joy.

The voice actor by the way was in an incredibly low budget homage to first person shooters called “FPS”, and it pretty much played out like Blood: The Movie.  It was a mixture of ideas from the genre of horror games and first person shooters alike, and was shot entirely in a first person perspective (the first to do this, sorry Hard Core Henry Fans).  The trailer can be found on youtube, but however, the release was limited and its a bitch to get ahold of in the states.

SO the question remains: Where is Blood?

Give us the full experience, stabbing the fuck out of zombies and cultist alike with a pitch fork, and gunning them down with his iconic range of guns and occult instruments, and the fans will come out of the woodwork and you’ll make millions.  Considering that its basically abandonware at this point, the rights to it could probably be bought up for a half a pack of chewing gum and a slightly dingy nickel.

So give us blood, and I’ll buy it and so will MANY others, and spill some anew!

tumblr_static_caleb.png

 

300 POSTS OF A MAD PIRATE

OK this is my OFFICIAL 300th POST on my shit blog about poetry, insane diatribes about mental illness and insanity, and all things all sort of vaguely nautical in a sense where I know nothing about boats or actual pirates!

It’s been a long crazy road to get this far, and I hope to be celebrating 600 POSTS at some point in the future.  The future, however, is in the future! One that is actually looking a little brighter for me at this point! I’ve had a lot of really positive things happen in my life lately: the publication of a piece I wrote on insomnia and ptsd in an ACTUAL HONEST TO GOD LITERARY MAGAZINE, my graduation from region 10’s MHSS program, progress with my therapy, and my development as a human being!

I will continue to post at completely random intervals about whatever the fuck topic I care to discuss or “poetize” at the time, I will continue to be one mad whimsical bastard, and I will continue to appreciate all the support of the fine peeps who frequent my blog and the lovely crazy strangers who find it for the first time!

Thank you everyone!

-Zachary Binks, The Mad Pirate

WIN_20160421_07_35_02_Pro

CONCERNING: THE 2016 ELECTION SEASON AND DONALD TRUMP

I’m going to take a minute to talk about politics because, what the hell, right?

Donald Trump strikes me as an unseemly amalgamate of entertainer and megalomaniacal maniac.  He’s like a carnival barker selling his own personal freakshow of fear and hatred, and the fact that anyone can look at his smarmy face while he spouts that drivel and not feel revulsion is chilling to say the least.  If he gets elected it’ll set a precedent of progressively more bizarre and sideways thinking like minded asshats who are more in it for ratings than any sort of political or societal progress.  I’m not entirely convinced he’s not in it as some sort of weird piece of performance art that’s a setup for a new terrible reality show.  If he gets elected there is pretty much no way he won’t say the words “I’m hired” at the inauguration, then everyone viewing at the event or via media with half a brain will simultaneously vomit and break some sort of world record for most people puking their guts out in unison.

His personal brand is that of enticing fear, that’s his whole ticket, his whole chance at getting elected.  If we as a society chose to fall for this stupidly obvious ruse, then I hate to say it, but we have whatever outlandish series of presidents to follow coming.  I’ve heard the more paranoid among us suggest the idea of him started global conflicts with his hostile rhetoric, but I think it’ll be more subtle than that.  He’ll be in a position of power yes, but we’d still have two thirds of the government not functioning on the level of a particularly sadistic thirteen year old boy, so I’m hoping that’ll be enough to prevent the world from sinking into a mire of war.  He will however do everything in his power to, well, stay in power.  I’ve heard him referred to as “the last president” and that is also severely troubling.  His ideals are probably not even his own, simply borrowed from the more paranoid and afraid among us, those seething with hatred and ignorance.  He is a reflection of how far gone we are as a nation, where we would give this icon of racism, sexism, and homophobia the soggiest of snowball’s chance in the hottest of hells of becoming the most powerful man in the world.

So if at all possible you need to vote this election season, the only thing that’s going to prevent the trumpocaust is all rational people throwing their hats in the ring of “enough is enough” and sending this guy packing.  I don’t care if you don’t believe your vote would be enough to sway the grinding machine of politics, I don’t care if you particularly like either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.  I say again: Donald Trump is IN NO WAY a politician, he is the black heart of humanity itself run amuck.  He is our darkest fears and most misguided loathings personified.