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We lost our cat Charlie today. He was an amazing, irreplacable, cat.
I wrote a thing.


Tails high brothers, a warrior joins you in Cat-Halla.

Life-Saver

Litter-Runt

Named in dream and loved in flesh.

Mole Hunter.

Mouse Catcher.

He who made a house a home.

Vole-Killer.

Partridge-Bane.

Who slew a pigeon when but a kit.

Strong-Claw.

Snaggle-Tooth.

Who hid in a drawer and fit in my hand.

Wither-Paw.

Frame-Gouger

Who ran like the wind and climbed like ivy.

Coffee-Chin

Crooked-Nose

Who warmed our bed and watched us work.

White-Belly

Pink-Beaned.

Who saved my life and kept me sane.

Round-Belly

Wall-Walker

A hearth waits for you, warm and bright.

Where a Valkyrie will scratch your chin.

Where the bowls are full of fish.

Where milk doesn’t make you sick.

Where No-Tail and your Huntress wait for you.

Where you will wait for me.

Tail high to greet me.

When my time comes.

And our spirits join again.

My familiar, my Charlie cat.

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I’m tired.

More than anything else, that is the feeling I take with me from 2018. It has been an exhausting year.

Most of that year I’ve been fighting for and fretting over getting assistance with my depression and anxiety; this has meant wrangling with the Department of Work and Pensions and ATOS (Independent Assessment Services). A pair of organisations for whom the terms ‘Orwellian’ and ‘Kafkaesque’ were seemingly invented. I’d call them ‘Gilliamesque’ in a nod to Brazil, but there’s no humour in this system successive governments have created. Not even black humour.

In my professional life it has been a struggle to produce anything, and as a result, I’ve offloaded some work to others to get it done. Perversely, I feel bad not necessarily because I haven’t been producing much, but because -as a result – I haven’t been able to give other people as much work. People who need it, and who I get a kick out of boosting and helping out.

Personally as well as professionally, I am also exhausted. In this ongoing culture war, it takes so much effort to tread water and stay in place, let alone to make any progress. So many people mistake change for growth, not understanding that the direction of travel can be backward as well as forward. Year on year it seems things continue to get worse. People I love, people I used to respect, excusing the worst, most censorious social and even legal acts of suppression the modern west has seen in generations. It’s shocking in anyone, but it’s especially surprising – at least to me – when it comes from the political left and the creative community.

I am tired of that constant fight, just to stay still.

I am tired of being called things I am not, simply because I don’t sing the unholy hymnal in the same key as the approved choir.

I am tired of holding my tongue, swallowing back my anger and ignoring people’s political and historical illiteracy in a vain attempt to reach them.

I am tired of waiting for being principled and consistent, for working hard, to pay off.
I am so very tired of being mentally ill, but that’s my life now, and I have to adjust to it.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to abandon those principles and that consistency, just for a more comfortable life. I’ve realised, however, this year that I am just intrinsically incapable of being that kind of person.

I am tired of the repeated realisation that I’m a rare bird indeed, because of that.

I don’t know how to be happy.

I only know how to be authentic.

A ‘new year’ is an illusory and arbitrary break in time. Nothing is new; nothing changes immediately when that clock ticks past midnight. Still, I want this next year to ‘pay off’. I want to do more than survive. I want to do more than exist. I want being a ‘good man’ to finally reap some of that positive karma I’ve heard so much about.

Whoever you are out there reading this, I want the best for you. Friend or foe, stranger or intimate. I hope everyone does better, and if I can’t get what I want, I hope you get your heart’s desire.

Raise a glass and watch that clock tick down.

file

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kT85rArgc

I am in the business of communication. I write, I make videos, I record audio. I communicate with the people I work with for art, design and writing and it is essential that I adequately express my ideas to do so.

One of the most painful things for me, then, is when I fail to make myself understood, and my tendency when that happens is to blame myself. Since I am a professional communicator, it seems to me that the blame must be mine.

I was given cause to revisit these thoughts recently. I don’t have the time or mental energy to engage in much self-promotion, nor do I especially have the temperament for it. To solve this problem I’ve hired someone – part-time – to do some promotion for me.

They had posted but a single promotion, in an appropriate subsection on a notorious forum on my behalf, when they were summarily banned. This gave me cause to investigate and to try and find out why this should be so. Guilt by association for my presumed ‘crimes’ perhaps? Hard to tell.

Still, in investigating it was made depressingly apparent to me that in my absence from most of these people’s discussion about me, in this and other places, that the echo chamber has had its effect. People’s ideas have gotten wildly out of hand, the accusations and assumptions over my politics and numerous other issues are wildly out of step with reality and yet there’s no way to answer back.

This, I think, is a goodly demonstration as to the hows and whys of the necessity of a right of reply, of being willing to engage with people and to listen to their explanations and words straight from the horse’s mouth. Without that, without bursting these bubbles, nonsense gets profoundly out of hand – even to the extent that questioning the fictions themselves becomes an act of unforgivable transgression.

It bothers me in the personal sense because it’s untrue and I feel that I must have somehow miscommunicated my beliefs and stances. It bothers me in the more significant, overall sense because I think this is an endemic problem in the modern west — self-imposed echo chambers of extremism and ideological purity, feeding incestuously on their internal mythology.

Some of this is top-down censorship, but a lot of it is self-imposed, and that’s even harder to change. We can’t even get social media companies to abide by their own professed ideals. Let alone get users to be willing to face discomfort or to question their assumptions.

I don’t see a way out.

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Postmortem Studios

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Genties, Ladymen and children of all genders!

Cast your functioning sensory organs in something approximating this direction and gaze in awe and wonder at the cavalcade of entertainment and dysfunction on show!

Step this way, and for the low, low fee of your attention you will find diversions most deviant, entertainments most exciting and writings most wicked. We practically (but not actually) guarantee your satisfaction and amusement!

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Behold, the hall of Social Media! What distractions and horrors may lie inside these darkened halls?

Perhaps you seek the cheap thrill of voyeurism to be found in the unblinking gaze of Madam Narcissist!

Will you test your mettle and your patience in the Blue Bird Arena?

Perhaps one of our fabulous freaks, Bookface will entertain you with his mind reading tricks, targeted advertising andmostdivertinggroups?

There are new attractions too, wild and untamed creatures from the furthest…

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61ne1wukiwlI had forgotten I contributed to this and that it was out. So, yeah!

Go look.

“Lovecraft After Dark,” a is new collection of erotic horror from JWK Fiction, edited by James Ward Kirk and Roger Cowin. We offer short fiction and poetry blending erotica with the Mythos. Erotic encounters, forbidden romances between humans and the gods and demons of Lovecraft’s world. Ever wonder what obscene romance produced the human / elder god hybrid, Wilbur Whateley? How did the Black Goat of the Wood come to have a thousand young? These are just a few of the ideas explored in “Lovecraft After Dark.” Explore what Lovecraft only hinted at. Let your imagination go wild. We did.

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Postmortem Studios

doc2QWawHere’s most (all?) of the places you can find me and my stuff online.

Paypal Donations – If you want to one-off support my work.
Patreon – If you want to support me more long term in making stories, videos and games.

Cafepress – Merchandising, mostly from my games.
Hardcopy board and card games.
Hardcopy books and RPGs
Download RPGs
Things I’ve done that are on Amazon
Fiction downloads.

Twitter
Facebook
Googleplus
Youtube

Postmortem Studios blog
Writing and personal blog
Lyssa’s Year (daily textual ‘webcomic’, currently a bit behind)
The Dude’s Abode – Men’s issue blogs
Athefist – Atheism/skepticism blog

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grim-9Back from holiday in the US. A much needed break after another scrape with self harm and a deep attack of depression that could have claimed my life. Sadly, this has become ‘normal’ after a fashion, so much so that when people were coming up to me at IndieCon and expressing gratitude I was confused momentarily what they were talking about.

I’m mostly OK now and my therapist thinks I’m in the clear, but has also recommended I take four day weeks from now on, for the foreseeable future. This sounds great, I’m sure to a lot of you, but I find it very hard not to be doing something. It’s bad enough that I’m only really capable of working half days on a single project, losing a day will help my energy, but not the amount of work I’m doing.

Things are tough. I’ve – somewhat – taken a step backward from Gamergate involvement to be a bit more ‘aloof’ but the cause is still engaging and extremely important, so it’s hard to leave it alone. It is just… frustrating to be constantly and consistently – wilfully – misunderstood and misrepresented. It’s also incredibly disappointing that people I otherwise respect are falling for propaganda and misreprentation and seem to have so little respect for free expression and the preservation thereof.

Its hard to judge when things quite got this bad, and its depressing to contemplate, but the usual problem plagues us with people talking past each other or arguing entirely different subjects. This is made especially difficult by semantics. The opposition has redefined a huge number of words in bizarre ways that bear little or no relation to their actual meaning. In some contexts this makes sense (scientific meaning of theory) but in many of these arenas the specialist language doesn’t exist to clarify, but to confuse.

Speaking of which, I intend to make a post or video (or both) making clear the difference between actual criticism, literary criticism and critical theory at some point soon, since people are masquerading censorship and calls therefore behind ‘criticism’.

I’m very tired bloggery chums. Very tired of this chain of harassment and fighting that has been going on for so long now. Accusations hurt, not because they necessarily have any meat to them but as we have seen with Gamergate, because people listen to them and then don’t amend what they think in the face of evidence. Emotive arguments void of substance are, unfortunately, effective.

Since publishing ‘In Defence of Rape’ I’ve been force-fed an overdose of what some of the crazier end of the internet call ‘red pills’. I’ve always considered myself a progressive chap, in The Enlightenment sense (advancement in science, technology, economic development, and social organization are vital to improve the human condition) but increasingly find myself at odds with those who say they are progressive, but who in many ways seem to be quite the opposite. Disturbingly I find myself increasingly on the side of the Libertarian right, at least so far as social issues go (minority and gay rights, drug legalisation, free expression etc) despite being a left-anarchist and a pragmatic socialist.

Looking out there at the world, the arch conservatism of many college and university campuses, groups like No More Page 3 etc, extremists like Gail Dines being given the time of day and fuelling spurious moral panic against sex workers and adult performers to force censorship upon them. Seeing companies de-list and hide adult or difficult content, seeing payment services refusing to cooperate with those who sell similar materials, forcing them to use services that gouge them mercilessly. Seeing the deeply anti-sex slant that so much modern feminism etc has taken is shocking and appalling. 50+ years of sexual liberation and hard-won freedom seems to be being rolled back and curtailed based on nothing more than some people’s offence – though they characterise it as social ills.

Why I’m so into Gamergate is because it finally represents a genuinely liberal fight back against this state of affairs and while the battle and hostility is exhausting (and increasingly dangerous) gains have started to be made in terms of ethical policies and alternative sites and businesses springing up. Maybe that will turn out to be the best way forward, but it’s going to leave the main problems that led to all this unaddressed.

I was asked to relate all the horrible shitty things that have been done to me in relation to Gamergate and events before it, but given recent attempts to fuck with me that have been escalating, I don’t really want to do it again. People can find out for themselves if they care that much. The recent harassment has included apparent impersonation online and having a provocative item sent to my home address.

Even with all that and everything else that has happened to me I haven’t had it as bad as some GG people who have lost their jobs, lost their partners (from false accusations) been beaten up, thrown out of their homes, SWATed (having police sent to their homes) and being doxxed.

Its still worth it, but it takes a toll. Most especially, out of all of it, dealing with friends who can’t seem to tell which is the right side to be on.

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