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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

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inane ramblings

Je suis Jeffrey

I did this strip which the lovely Florian brought to life after The Charlie Hebdo attacks, obviously because of the play on the famous slogan ‘Je suis Charlie’. I thought it was as good a time as any talk to talk about freedom of speech and the clash of the secular and religious worlds. A controversial subject but I’ll try really hard to put a dick joke in there somewhere.

I’m basically an atheist, I say basically because I distance myself from the mainstream movement of atheism+ and all this political correct feminazi new age atheism that has nothing at all to do with scepticism and is in fact a lot worse than most religious doctrines have at least had hundreds if not thousands of years to hammer out basic principles whereas atheism+ is a clusterfuck of entitled knowitall morons who want to preach their navel-gazing to the world.

So as an atheist a couple of years back I was really anti-religious and I joined all these lame little facebook groups to argue with religious folk for fun and just to sharpen my claws. I don’t really do that anymore because sjws and feminists are much more fun to troll and you don’t really get anywhere with religious people. There will always be religion, there will always be people who believe and there’s no changing that and arguing with them just sends them further down the rabbit hole I find. But feminism and sjwism is a different story, you can’t save the most diehard of the zealots but the people on the outside looking in can be saved, there are undecided people in the soup of the left and the middle and those souls can be directed away from the train wreck of social justice.

In as much as the radical right are laughed at because we on the left dominate popular culture, the radical left are handled with kid gloves. Essentially the moderates on the left by remaining silent, tacitly supporting, or even attacking the right just for being right or the Christian right just for being Christian, gives these ideologues the consent they need to wage their ideological war. Radicals as always hide behind the moderates and the principles they stand for so the extremists on the left will preach the same things as any other liberal, for gay rights and equality and between the sexes and freedom of speech then when your back is turned they’re propping an ideology that runs completely counter to those liberal principles because they’re afraid of being called racist if they don’t.

Yeah you weren’t sure when I was getting to Islam, well there you go, threw you a motherfucking curveball didn’t I? Pow right in the kissa!

That’s right, the problem with the left right now is that they’re too tolerant, to a point where they tolerate intolerance, they will happily attack a Christian bakery for not wanting to make a lesbian wedding cake but they will prop up and even try to justify the religious ideology that is leaving bodies all over Europe.

The cake thing is a great illustration of the differences between an Islamic country and a Christian country, biggest problem gay people face in a Christian country; Have to travel down the road to a different bakery. Biggest problem facing gay people in Islamic countries; trying to avoid being thrown off buildings.

I’m by no means defending Christianity, I’m just stating a fact, if I was gay I would much rather live in America or the up and than anywhere in the middle east.

I’m just so fucking sick of having these atheist apologists attacking Christianity to defend Islam. I see this everywhere, we talk about the violent terror attacks of Islam and they’ll throw stats at you showing that only 5% of terrorists attacks are from Islam or they’ll talk about the Christian crusades. And if you ask why aren’t these non-Islamic terror attacks talked about mainstream media they’ll put on their tinfoil hat and say the media refuses to report on them and instead just focuses on Islam to stoke up tensions. Which could be true but it’s a conspiracy theory, it can’t be proved either way so speculating on it is fruitless.
The fact of the matter is these attacks happen and unlike the crusades they’re happening right now, the difference between Christianity and Islam is that Christianity left the dark ages in the dark ages. Islam is bringing it back every other day.
These arguments don’t hold up, should Christianity be held to account for the crusades in the present and have that example used to justify Islamic violence in the presence. It’s like Jew beating a German to death because of the holocaust and siding with the Jew because at some point his relatives who are long dead were oppressed by the long dead relatives of that German so it’s ok. Or in the past the ancestors of that German were Vikings that burnt down a Saxon village so the English can now burn down Berlin for fun.

We live in the here and now, the use of these arguments are the manipulation of solipsistic sophists who only care about being perceived as on the right side of history but have no idea where right is because of their cultural and moral relativism and complete narcissism.

Political correctness is a shield that ideologies that cannot be defended with logic and reason hide behind political correctness is the enemy of freedom of expression. They use terms like ‘Islamophobia’ to characterise their dissenters not as rational actors reaction to a violent bigoted and hateful ideology but as mentally ill bigots themselves who should be more tolerant of other cultures and stop hating on brown people.
So again for the Ben Afflecks of the world, Islam is not a race, they’re an ideology and like all ideologies they should be put under scrutiny. Muslims are not an oppressed minority; they’re one of the fastest growing religions in the world.
Not that I’m saying in any way that that justifies the oppression of individual Muslims, they’re not all terrorists either, there are extremists in all religions. But I won’t go so far as to be a cultural relativist and ignore something which should be apparent to everyone, there are no jainist terrorists so there must be a problem inherent in Islam and a reformation is sorely needed to bring them into the 21st century kicking and screaming if necessary because as it stands their ideology is not compatible with western values and at the end of the day it’s the moderates who will suffer all round.

Ok rant over. Sort of an incoherent brain fart but it was good to get it out, my head feels lighter.

Dexter vs Dexter

As usual I have nothing more than a topic in my head to start this semi-literate ramble brainfart type endeavour and the longer I stay away from fallout 4 the harder it gets to breath. But I really enjoyed the dexter books hence the name of the blog. I also really liked the show and I wanted a somewhat side by side comparison, keeping the spoilers to a minimum.

The first book is called ‘Darkly Dreaming Dexter’ and it’s essentially the basis for the first season of the tv show. Which I shamefully admit I watched before I started reading the books because I’m a pleb, there you go, happy now?

I do this a lot in fact, I watched the walking dead before I read the comics and then I read the novels but the comics came first so that doesn’t count. I watched the silent hill film before I even knew they were games, the same with the resident evil series. So all around I’m a big media pleb, ain’t life grand?

After the first season of the show it gets a little squiffy. In the first book it wraps up nicely, ok I lied there are gonna be some spoilers. But in the show it wraps up a little skew because in the show, he kills the ice truck killer but in the book he lets him live and he recurs later on in the fourth and fifth book and becomes somewhat of a pivotal character.

The book is a lot more morally grey since he doesn’t actually have inner conversations with his dead adoptive father Harry and instead communes with a supernatural entity inside himself which he calls the ‘Dark Passenger’. He alludes somewhat to this in the show but it’s done a little cack-handedly in my opinion because it’s brushed off as if it’s an addiction whereas the book goes full fahrenheit/indigo prophecy syndrome with fucking demons and voodoo and ancient Babylonian gods.

… Which I actually rather liked but someone obviously conked that on the head because it never really goes back to that in the book and the show gives it a wide berth for probably good reason, it begs beliefs I guess. Too tinfoil hat, Alex Jonesy I guess, I thought it was fun but I guess that was a rabbit hole that might have taken the books up the garden path and since I really liked the following books and I’m still reading them into book seven tells me it wasn’t all that bad.

The first things you notice between the books and the show, in the show he’s this bad ass judo serial killer who kicks the entire ass all the time for some reason. It was cool but in the books he is less John Wayne and more John Cusack… in con air, the film where he didn’t do much.
It’s not that I don’t like him being more vulnerable but I feel like a lot of the time he doesn’t get to be the hero of his own story and after like the tenth time he’s faced death but been saved at the last minute it gets a little annoying.
I mean I don’t begrudge it for using a device like that, I try my fucking damnedest to avoid that ‘ooh he’s about to be killed but then someone saves him at the last minute’ thing, but it’s like literally an unavoidable tension building device. I can’t really think of one of the books from the series where it doesn’t happen except the first now I strain my brain.

Another massive difference is the scope of the book, in the show we follow all these other characters like Batista and his sister Deborah as they have their own arcs but in the book it’s a first person narrative from Dexter’s perspective so these characters become window decoration. And this may sound like a criticism but when you’ve got a TV show about a blood spatter expert by day serial killer by night, I don’t really give a shit about how his friend’s love life is going unless it somehow connects to the serial killy stuff you know, it’s just fluff, useless TV show filler nonsense and the book cuts through it like crate paper to get to the good shit.

That being said the structure of a TV show meant that he had to kill someone per episode and the show handled that quite nicely, a little like the freak of the week supernatural/Buffy style. But in this case the monster was human. But even supernatural couldn’t keep that up and the books don’t even really try to have a murder per however many chapters. On average he’ll killer around one or two people a book, which is perfect because it really allows for a lot of emotion and tension and it really gets into the right frame of mind, it’s deliciously descriptive without making you want to gag like American Psycho levels of gore. It’s subtly macabre, casually sick and twisted, I love it ha-ha.

I think the biggest difference is that Dexter’s kids are fully fleshed out characters… somewhat in the book, whereas in the show they’re just flaccid annoying extras, in the book they have inner workings of their own. And spoiler alert, although there evil father isn’t in the books, what he left behind inside them is enough to make them interesting as they turn out to be just like Dexter. That being said, Lindsay hasn’t really gone into that aspect of their characters yet. Dexter has promised to ‘show them the ropes’ but he never seems to get around to it. He’s always so wrapped up in himself and his work and his ‘other work’ to really take the time and I can’t help empathising with that I guess.
Dexter is an animal and he deals with things as they come I guess, his own self interest and self preservation will always trump training his foster kids how to murder people.
In terms of where the story is going I think that’s going to be a big future problem because spoilers, his brother, the ice truck killer seems to take a keen interest in the kids and there may be a clash of who’s wings they’ll be taken under, Dexter being discernibly the lesser evil.

I genuinely love and get swept up in these books, I suppose in a scary way I and Dexter (Jeff Lindsay the author) have a similar inner voice and I love his style and his wit and the more and more I read the more influenced I get by his dark wit.

That’s fangirling enough for one blog haha, thanks or reading/.

 

Hype… hype never changes.

I, like probably millions of other manchildren (and maybe actual children) are hyped as fuck for Fallout 4 which releases next Tuesday, by released I mean I get to wait half the day for it to install on my Xbox one -_-.
I just thought I’d have some fun rambling about it because I’m constantly in these facebook groups either bitching about New Vegas (I won’t shake that fucking tree here ha-ha) or laughing at people comparing it to modern shooter graphics.

I’m almost at a loss for the levels of fanboyism I’m holding in, sheer unadulterated pure uncut 100% Columbian hype.

But I can’t help feelings a little bit iffy, I don’t know if it’s just because Fallout has become so mainstream over the years. For a title so niche to gain such mainstream appeal is good but also troubling to me, I hasten to add I didn’t play the original Fallout games until I saw Fallout 4 was being released and I needed an outlet for my building hype.
So I’m by no means an OG Fallout gamer, but I’m not a dirty casual either, I’m a console peasant who played his first Fallout game on a ps2, yeah it was Fallout BOS. I liked it because it was like Baldur’s Gate with guns and powerfist and it’s actually the first and only Fallout game where you got to play a ghoul.

After that I saw Fallout 3 come out and being a massive Oblivion fan it completely had me and had me bad, for months. I truly loved that game, the music, the atmosphere, the guns. Although overall it ranked as something of a letdown but as the constant apologist I blame myself for building it up so much something I’m desperately trying to resist with Fallout 4.
It was mainly the story and the levelling system I took issue with, coming out of Oblivion I found just putting numbers into a stat sort of unsatisfying as opposed to actually practicing the skill to build it up in Oblivion. Which I found more realistic; the more you swing a sword the better you get at it, but in Fallout it didn’t matter you just levelled up for completing missions and could spend skill points however you wanted even in skills you didn’t use.
But I had issues even with that system in Oblivion to be fair because I couldn’t resist once I had trained with one skill to the max to train with another until I mastered them all, which took some of the punch out of the game. The new levelling system for Fallout 4 looks pretty interesting and I’m actually really happy that it’s been streamlined and something that always annoyed me about previous Fallout games has been addressed.

Pistols, they never get pistols right, because you find one at the start and use it until you find some super mega blaster or some huge shotgun and then you never see it again but finally Bethesda have made pistols their own skill as opposed to just reducing it to small guns and big guns. So in a way they’ve streamlined it but also made it more intricate since every type of weapon not just its class has its own skill so you have a small guns skill but then an individual pistol/shotgun/assault rifle skill that focuses on one particular type of weapon with its own special attributes. Which I think is such a great idea because now you can literally make and use any gun you feel suits you best and your play style. Whether you want to be a long range sniper or a hip shooter pistolero or a shotgun surgeon. I think it’s just a great idea that gives every weapon a use and a purpose as opposed to just being something that clutters your inventory and is never used.

All games have their problems and they all reach a state of terminal velocity where they can’t satisfy the way they could at the start.

Also I had problems with the story of Fallout 3, not necessarily with the quality, I have taken to taking videogame storylines with a pinch of salt as of late, because they will always be secondary to fun gameplay and I’ve come to accept that. Waiting for an emotional rollercoaster of a game that Spielberg would be proud of is just too much to ask and games that try are hit and miss coming somewhere between tear jerking if a little tacky Last of Us vs. Engaging if completely insane pretty much any game by David Cage (Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit Syndrome, Beyond Two Souls) but I digress, I’ll get into that in more depth in a later blog probably.
The problem I had with the story is that there wasn’t very much of it, and that’s not to say they weren’t lots of quests and characters, what I mean were there were certain main quest lines that had achievements attached to them. And the problem I have with that is it just makes the game seem less fluid, less pick up and play, I liked how in Oblivion you could literally walk into any tavern or come across a stranger and be swept up in a harrowing quest and then get a piece of special equipment.
There are elements of that in Fallout 3 but I just felt like it was more rigid and a little less forgiving. But regardless of that I still found myself just exploring for hours completely ignoring the story for the most part. I spend probably 80% of my time on Fallout 3 just exploring and making up or piecing together stories from the surroundings and things I find and I think that’s a great strength of all Bethesda games. A lot of the times they just sit back and let the surroundings tell the story, they give the gamer the pieces and they have to put it together themselves which makes them that more engaged in the story.
That was just one thing I worried about looking over the leaked achievements for Fallout 4, they’re doing the same thing with the main story quests, giving them achievements for completion. I dunno, I just think money and the xp and the fun alone should be reward enough, but it’s just a pet peeve.
Another thing that worried me is the changes to the dialogue, it’s changed from a box of text where you select lines, to a more Mass Effect style dialogue wheel, now I see a lot of ‘genius’s’ and gaming hipsters saying this is Fallout ‘Dumbing down’ and to an extent when games fall into the mainstream there is a level of streamlining they go through to maximise their appeal like with Skyrim. But to anyone with common sense, the reason dialogue wheel replaced the text box is because we have a voiced protagonist for the first time in Fallout history and he only has so many words he can say, so unfortunately dialogue will be more limited.

Whether this improves immersion into the game or makes it worse I can’t say until I play it on Tuesday (More likely Wednesday, fuck took like a week to install eso and now I never play it -_-). I can’t say listening to Captain’s Shepherd’s monotone voice for hours on end with its varying inflection from anger to *shudders* flirtation increased anything but my threshold for cringe.

But this is Fallout, this is Bethesda, Bioware is but flies compared to Vigo!.. I mean Todd Howard.

Ham on Rye

First I must apologise for my absence to my readers (all three of you), I’ve been deathly ill with some unknown pathogen and haven’t been capable of doing much more than playing payday 2 endlessly and coughing up chunks of lung.

With my return I decided to share one of my older Dahmer and Greg sketches, this was a guest piece by the guy who does the art for 3 Ring, the one and only Mike (Now Ike, there was already a Mike Golden in comics) Golden. And use it to address a current trend I’ve noticed or maybe it’s just me.

It’s become quite ‘trendy’ so as to say mainstream or socially acceptable to mock Christianity and creationism and Catholicism and all that jazz. This is not to say I have anything against them being mocked, quite the opposite as you can see from the strip, I did it myself.
I feel any and all beliefs should be rife for scrutiny and parody at all time without exception.
I personally consider myself an atheistic Satanist but that’s a long story in regards to why I don’t call myself an atheist anymore, which is tangentially linked with this but a bit too much of a digression, don’t want to hurt that flow.

I think its fine and necessary to mock all beliefs and anything that isn’t nailed down including and especially atheism, which is why Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park will always be heroes of mine for leaving no stone unturned for parody and having the balls to carry it through.

I think I may have touched on this before when I talked about the Isis cake thing, but I do think there’s a reticence in the left or at least the social justice left to criticise Islam when they’ll happily mock Christianity and get a million retweets on twitter.

But if you criticise Islam you’re instantly a bigot and a racist and you deserved to be hounded off twitter. If you criticise feminism you’re a misogynist, if you criticise blacklivesmatter you’re a racist again. All these labels are just there to squash discussions and to not have to debate their points logically.

But that’s not really what I’m trying to get at, the overall point I’m trying to make is that mocking Christianity has as a result of it becoming socially acceptable it’s become boring and meaningless, oversaturated. It would be like making a pedo priest joke, everyone’s heard them all. There’s not bite anymore, I guess with this new wave of social justice warriors I’ve garnered a new found respect for Christians. I don’t in any way believe in objective morality but after seeing the depravity and solipsism of moral relativism, I can appreciate the goal of seeking moral objectivity despite it obviously being impossible.

I think to myself if I had kids who would I prefer them to be brainwashed by a feminist or a Christian? I come up with Christian every time. I mean there’s not a lot of difference really, both will tell them they’re broken pieces of shit that need this overbearing force in their lives to get right with. Both will tell them only through them can they be saved and both will say anyone that disagrees with them is an idiot or a bigot. But the Christian will at least instil them with some sense of morality even if it’s for a completely ridiculous reason when the feminist will just ask mindless obedience to whatever scattered ideal they have at the moment.
Maybe if you gave social justice and feminism a couple thousand years more it would be a better or a more solid religion than it is but right now it’s all over the place.

I think that’s way with all culture to be honest, once it becomes mainstream and socially acceptable is the point it stops being edgy and it stops making the point it made before. Christian beliefs if you truly believe them literally are silly, let’s face it but allegorically they’re not that bad, a lot of the book is pretty inconsistent and is relative of the time for most of the bullshit about justifying slavery, I’m by no means being an apologist for Christianity but moreover the most radical of Christians are just fucking annoying, they don’t blow (usually) blow your shit up or cut your head off on camera or try and get you fired from your job and destroy your life for disagreeing with them on the internet.

So to me hating them seems like a waste of energy, I don’t agree with them, I don’t support them; I just think it’s better than tumblr. The bible is better than tumblr there I said it ha-ha (I’m full of shit, I’ve never read either). I just can’t summon the energy to hate them when there are forces amassing in power that are far more insidious than some 2000 year old Jew zombie cult. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, like someone smacking an old donkey. It’s like how it’s sort of socially acceptable to be racist and sexist towards white guys, even among white guys, these people, these sjws think they’re counter culture. They think they’re not mainstream, they’re edgy and hip, they couldn’t be more wrong, they couldn’t be more mainstream, they are the establishment and the sooner people realise that the sooner they’ll fall apart.

Forgive this dazed sickness induced rant, just been rambling incessantly from one abstract point to the other incoherently and I must put it to a stop right now and get back to trying not to die.
Peace out!

Green Sunday; Ramblings of a Zombie Apologist

I know the first instinct you have when you hear ‘zombie horror’ to the most cynical of hipsters is to utter a collective angsty yawn. But give me a break. I’m writing a zombie story, Green Sunday is a for lack of a better term, coined by Shaun of the Dead a RomZomCom. Just give me a chance, come back! Hey! It’s nothing like Walking Dead!… Hmm that may have backfired.
Well for the people that got through that and are still reading which is probably all of three people, I thank you and now I shall begin my zombie apologetics.

The reason I wrote this story is two-fold, I wanted to write a zombie story, but every motherfucker wants to write a zombie story, especially every crazy motherfucker like me that wants it to actually happen. But I wanted to write it from the perspective of someone like me, someone who wants it to happen. I thought this might help me understand why I want that and why that’s crazy. I realise it’s a state of cognitive dissonance, I want the zombie apocalypse to happen so I can use my collection of sharp pointy things and have a blast but I also don’t want it to happen because I like not having to cut my friends and family into bits because they’re trying to eat me and more importantly Fallout 4 is coming out next month. Maybe next year.

Zombie stories are tricky because essentially they’re too easy, you can’t write a story just about zombies. Zombies are just an inciting incident, they’re just a framing device for what is essentially a disaster movie and overall a character drama. It’s not about the zombies it’s about how the characters react to the zombies. The zombies aren’t characters, they don’t have back stories or motivation, they’re just flesh eating monsters that could be replaced by nearly anything; Aliens, flesh eating penguins, fish men, the world’s worse case of herpes.

They’re not important to the story except as an obstacle and to be honest people like watching people kill people, they don’t really want to see people killing animals and with aliens that’s sort of a grey area. There must be something in our brains that just prefers to watch people die, harking back to the coliseums.

So why choose zombies if they’re so overdone? For that exact reason. I wanted to write a story satirises the oversaturation of zombies into our culture and to mock from the inside people like me. Nutters that are preparing or at least fantasising about it really happening. Saying something is overdone is just a way of trying to lower the market value so you can do it when no one’s paying attention and come out the omega hipster, like me ha-ha. No.

I’m a writer nothing is overdone if it’s done well, everything can be turned on its head, when someone has an expectation that’s when they’re the most vulnerable to have their expectation completely levelled and you have them by the seat of their pants.

I wanted to write a zombie apocalypse story that wasn’t really about a zombie apocalypse and to mock zombie apocalypses and this spate of summer teen movies like Hunger Games just a bit. So I thought instead of making a straight up zombie apocalypse story or a post apocalyptic story, I’d write a post-post-apocalyptic story.

It’s always been the case that the most far-fetched thing about a zombie apocalypse is the idea of it actually happening or indeed ending the world. Even an air born virus probably wouldn’t end the world, it could kill 80% of the worlds’ population and would definitely change the world but it wouldn’t end it. So how could a virus spread by touch/bite spread so quickly, and how could it overcome every army/police force/pmc of the world? Or indeed happen in a country like America where ‘There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass’ as Isoroku Yamamoto Fleet Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II is according to wikiquote is misquoted as saying.

But obviously I don’t live in America, I live in England, but we still have armed police and despite what you may here about our gun laws, we still have guns, knives, cricket bats. I set it in America essentially to mock America and open it up a wider audience. America is always rife for parody as it has the delightful habit of taking everything to its greatest extreme. Although this ‘prepper culture’ has spread to the UK, it started and it lives in the US. And really for the story to work it needed an isolated are and although there are small villages (like the one I’m from) and lots of open spaces and countryside. I wanted a small mountain town to really capture the isolation possible even in a semi-thriving small town.

Ok I realised I’ve been waffling around the point, the story is I suppose a little more like Dead Rising the videogame. I.e. This shit is done on purpose, it’s not an accident or a virus, this is an isolated incident done for a specific reason. Not as a test but for fun.

Green Sunday is named for the main character, Sunday is sort of a modern homage to Red Sonja, and before I start pandering telling you how she’s a ‘bad ass/asskicking’ woman and the quintessential and much sort after ‘strong female character’, I posed her as more sort of a Don Quixote character or a Sherlock Holmes. She’s the main character but as a whole She is left a mystery and the story is told through the eyes of her cohort, her Dr. Watson; TJ.

That way I felt that she could remain a mystery and through TJ she could be this tough character but waves of softness could be intermittently shone on him from time to time for a potential romance (I say potential because I’m in the process of writing it and I’m not sure Sunday really likes him, sometimes I have a scene planned out and it goes down a completely different path which better fits the character themselves).

Waffle fit yet again, tangents, tangents everywhere! The story is about a zombie game show, I got it out, there it is. Beautiful isn’t it? Not really *Shakes head*.

Ok so the generic ‘Sinister Corporation with ties to the government’ moves into town and seals it off to play their own little internet zombie game show. So it’s basically Battle Royale meets Dead Rising or Resident Evil. I’m trying to capture the irony of the main characters being zombie obsessed Youtubers caught in what is essentially a zombie internet reality show. And they have to fight for their lives over three gruelling days of bloody violence.

That’s it in a nutshell.

I’m having a hell of a lot of fun writing it, the zombie stuff is always good fun, with a feckless neckbeard fanboy character propelling the story and lots of crazy people brought into the town to fight and rich assholes paying to hunt zombies, it’s a delicious clusterfuck of gore and black humour.

The first ‘beta’ chapter is up for you to read on inkitt, I’ve proofread it but it’s still away with my editor, so hopefully within the month I can re-upload it after it’s been professionally edited and then move onto the next chapter.

Follow this link Green Sunday to read the first chapter and review it and tell me it sucks ass just read it ha-ha.

See ya.

Shameless Flaggotry

I know I’m a little late to the party with this and I sort of already touched on it, well a lot late but I’m running out of comic strips while Florian is taking his extended holiday and I need to blog about some controversial shit. I’m trying to come at it from a different angle at the very least.

I don’t really believe that someone had an Isis cake made when the confederate flag was banned from that shop, I mean I could believe it, America is that dumb. I mean I could see some person making a cake and not knowing what the Isis flag is or what it means and just making a cake thinking it’s for a bar mitzvah or something. The Isis flag doesn’t say Isis on it and it doesn’t have pictures of decapitated heads on it, its just words no one can understand.

So I’d forgive someone for mistakenly turning it into a cake.

What really annoyed me about this issue and what really annoys me to this day is the way Islam is coddled by the left. I don’t really identify with any political movement but I’m definitely left leaning and I’m not religious. To me the way the left treats Islam it’s almost like an abusive spouse making excuses for their abuser. An Islamic attack occurs and they’re the first to shout, ‘he/she didn’t mean it, I was asking for it/I know he/she loves me really’. But as soon as it’s a white guy all white guys are guilty, suffering from a case ‘toxic masculinity’. It’s become socially acceptable to hate someone as long as they’re either white or male. Not just socially acceptable, almost lorded.

I have no idea what point I’m trying to make, just seem to be rambling but I just can’t logical inconsistencies and this constant barrage of ideologies trying to claim an event and use it to propel their own sense of moral authority.

This whole thing with the flag is silly, the people on the left want to take it down because it offends them and they believe it’s a symbol of racism etc and the right want to keep it up because why the fuck not, it’s history. To be perfectly honest I have to agree with them, I personally wouldn’t march down my road in an ss uniform but I’d like to live in a world where someone was free to that without some asshole chiming in saying they were offended. I don’t want to wear an ss uniform I just think it’d be nice to have the option ha-ha.

The idea of banning the flag is ridiculous to me; it’s like going into a museum and asking them to take down the ancient Egyptian exhibit because the Egyptians enslaved Jews. It’s just history and regardless of whether you think the flag is racist or not, you don’t care about what the flag means to other people, the people that like it so why should they care what you think it means?

So a guy who shot people liked the flag, so what, people who like the American/UK/Israeli flag shoot people daily. It doesn’t mean we should ban the flag. It’s no different to me than when Jack Thompson tried to blame the columbine shooting on doom. People just use shootings to propel their own pet project. They just find a shooting and then just savage it for titbits to take out of context or twist to push their particular brand of moralist fascism.

This week it’s a flag, banning a flag, will that stop racism? No, so why do it? I’ll tell you why, because this is just a tug of war, politics has become a petty point scoring, mud sling off, where each side just tries to one up the other, maybe it was always like that and I only just noticed. This flag is just a slam dunk; it’s just a way to piss off the right while the left can remain morally self-righteous and snooty about it, which pisses off the right two fold.

It’s not about racism, a racist person can own the confederate flag but the majority of people that own them I imagine are not racist. There’s a difference between a neo-Nazi and a person that collects ww2 memorabilia. You don’t need to hate Jews to read Mein Kampf, but we live in a culture of witch hunters these last couple of years and guilt by association is their favourite game. If you’ve ever brushed past an anti-semite on the train you’re Adolph Hitler’s cousin, if you’ve ever not liked a post on Lizzy the lezzy you’re a transphobic misogynist racist.

Merely owning a confederate flag makes you suspect, you’re guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion.

To quote the wise words of Ben Affleck ‘Eww that’s racist’. Islam is not a race you numpty, nor is it oppressed; it’s the most rapidly growing religion in recent history.

It’s ok for feminists and sjws to hate white men but to criticise Isis would be problematic, and this is the state of moral relativism we live in. We can’t shame terrorists because that’s not trending.
So what should be done in regards to the Isis flag, should we ban that, or would that be racist? If you even have to ask there’s no hope for you, how about we just leave all the flags alone and call it quits?

Welcome to Bat Country, breakdown of the first issue.

I wanted to do a breakdown of the first issue of Bat Country, try to make some sense out of the whole mess that is Bat Country, try to lay that whole twisted bag of snakes out, and if you’ve read any of it, you know this is going to be a long one.

If people would ask me what I wanted to achieve with this book, I don’t really know if I could sum it up in a few words. But I guess the closest thing I could say would just be a fear of open spaces. I wanted to cultivate and exacerbate my fear of the outside world. That’s basically what the title means; the world is full of carnivorous flying rodents that want to suck your blood.

Basically I’m just trying to make excuses for why this comic makes no sense ha-ha. It’s told from the perspective of someone who can’t see in straight lines, everything enters his brain differently and since he’s the narrator of his own story, the narrative is unreliable.

So the first page I get my sneaky twin peaks reference in to Big Ed’s Gas farm (I’ll look a right twat if that’s wrong now ha-ha) and get into my thing about sugar, I’m sure if I was some hypersensitive writer for the guardian I’d call it ‘sugarshaming’ ha-ha. But since I’m not I tend to think people associate lots of sugar with childishness, as if growing older means you no longer see a reason to enjoy ‘the sweet life. I wanted to introduce Ransom as a character that relished in his childishness and was almost petulant in his reaction to people trying to shame him into conforming to their own way of thinking.

TLDR: Motherfucker like his coffee sweet.

I think maybe a year or two ago, I began this strange fascination with cooking shows or just food shows in general. I watched come dine with me just to watch absolute cunts sit and try to withstand each other for a few evenings in a row, talking shit about each other in the backroom. There was something delicious about uncomfortable silences shared by complete strangers who had never the less grown to hate each other over the course of one evening ha-ha. English people like myself have such an acquired taste for awkwardness.

Then I started to watch Man VS Food, for those that haven’t watched it, it’s basically a show about a chubby American fellow going from town to town taking up eating challenges. Eating a giant burger or a colossal omelette or something, or a really hot curry. I really enjoyed it for the food (I love food) and the competitive nature, it was just a fun show.

But this was when I was little more social justicey, so I started to spin my Marxist (did away with those thankfully away, just a nice empty space now ha-ha) and it made me think this show was everything wrong with America. It was decadent, ‘people are starving’ I said to myself as I watched this pudgy American stuff his face with a hotdog the size of a skateboard.

I was both in awe and disgust with America and the American way, a fine line between love and hate indeed.

One of my many fantasies is that of walking the earth like Cain in Kung fu, I’ve often thought about just walking, getting into some adventures and just travelling. Then to hit the ground realising I have no money and my shoes are made from inedible canvas. The realities of it were just too glaring, how would I eat, how would I make enough money to travel and survive? But then I realised that in America those two things could coincide. In the wondrous USA you can be paid for eating, so something that could have been just a throwaway piece of plot filler became almost the crux of the story.

On a whole the basic joke of the story is that it’s almost as if to America thinks it can reach enlightenment through eating. Purely by how much they eat and how much of science they honed of gluttony.

This was going to by my satirical comic poking fun at the American dream, the hypocrisy of modern culture and capitalism and religion and all that good stuff. But after a while those things started to bore me and realised that trying to force people to think like me through a comic made me as bad as the assholes I was critiquing, so I cut that shit out. Now I just want to make people laugh and make them think and deliver something so fucking out there, they’ll never forget.

Diagnosis love is another reference to Twin peaks, well the first season, which is my favourite. It had this soap opera running in the background of the occasional episode, the story of which was cheesy but was a mirror of what was happening in the show. I really liked the feel of it and how it added another layer to story, making it seem self aware. I initially was introduced by this; I don’t know what you call it really in Max Payne 2. The idea that you can’t tell if you’re mimicking the art or it’s mimicking you. Obviously Max Payne must have copied it from Twin Peaks.

I suppose in a way a part of me wanted to mock most other webcomics where this type of storytelling isn’t intentionally cheesy and ridiculous ha-ha. It’s there to contrast the goings on in the ‘real world’ but mirror them just enough to seem relate-able.

It’s choked full of odd references, Night of the Hunter, Wild at heart, dune, Beetlejuice, I want to get across to the reader that outside to Ransom is literally an alien planet, these diners in the middle of nowhere are like ‘safe spaces’ from all that nature trying to get him.

Liberty or the cowboy is another matter all together; I guess he’s a reference to the Big Lebowski in a way.

The first issue that makes me cringe is the dialogue; yeah my own dialogue makes me cringe. I wanted to copy the style of Max Payne, Address Unknown and Twin Peaks, so essentially I wanted the dialogue to be as cheesy and as hackneyed as possible. I want it to feel fake and strange and just wrong, like a 90’s TV show. And gradually if people keep reading that’ll fade away and it’ll grow with the reader. It’s very much, I hate to say like Natural Born Killers (I hated that movie), the style, the critic of American culture. That niggling feeling that all that freedom and all that space gives you. I can’t help feeling that that feeling is intoxicating and addictive and the reason for all the evil in the world and all the good.
People can be so free they feel trapped, they have all this power to do whatever they want but they stay where they are, pacing back and forth in a cage of their own making. Or they toss it all away like Ransom and burn out rather than fade away. That’s conflict we have here, that’s what I think American culture is, ultimate freedom driving people mad, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact.

Now the second part of the story, some paranoid people are actually being followed. Now I can’t hope to hide this, this entire scene was inspired by my favourite scene in Mulholland Drive, the hitman scene. I thought that scene was so funny, I couldn’t resist. I really love that film and I feel robbed that it wasn’t turned into a full TV show as it was intended, I would have really loved to have seen more from that bungling hitman. I can’t help feeling if Netflix existed in the 90’s Lynch would have been even more popular than he is and not this cult god we admonish him as now.

This scene where the henchmen are going through his apartment is a back story hint, the story of Bat Country just like Twin Peaks starts in the middle. The reader will have to work back as the story moves forward to understand why Ransom is on his journey and who he’s running from.

I got a lot of influence from Silent Hill 4 the room. That game really stuck with me for the voyeuristic nature, and its dreamlike interpretation of agoraphobia. Despite it bombing I found it really intriguing. Another influence is Oldboy, but that might be too spoilery ha-ha.

I was listening to the new Nick Cave album when I wrote this scene and for some reason I decided to put lyrics from Higgs Bosom Blues directly into the scene, don’t ask me why.

Ransom is on a journey, he’s trying to find the American dream and these two bumbling killers are following him.

He wakes from his dream for a minute then he’s back in it again harder than ever. The idea for this comic sort of came from the idea of the idea of the hero. What is a hero? To me a hero is a normal person who has no regard for themselves whatsoever, they’re not afraid of pain, they’re not afraid of humiliation or getting things horribly wrong. And that’s what Ransom tries to be.
I wanted the combat to be real and disgusting and brutal and just… messy and Florian really delivered with this scene. He really captured the brutality and the inelegance of an actual fight, no kung fu bullshit, no gimmicks, just blood and cuts and tooth and nails.

…and then it ends as abruptly as it started. I wanted the first issue to be a snapshot, a glimpse into this dream world, something that would make someone want to dig deeper and discover the underlying meaning. But shit, I’ve rambled enough.

Just go read it already ha-ha.
http://tapastic.com/series/Bat-Country

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