Monday, 22 June 2015

Why we shouldn't call people "soft"

I know Bigfooty isn't the font of intelligence (emotional or otherwise) so I shouldn't be shocked when people call players who might be mentally affected by their surroundings "soft", or when people get riled up because the AFL wants to make the game safer for players. but seriously, it still pisses me off no end.

The fact is, sexism and gender stereotypes don't just hurt women. They hurt men too. The one that I'm worried about in this blog though is the stereotypes surrounding mens emotions. They're supposed to be tough, unfeeling, never crying or complaining. Nothing affects them, especially not to the extent that it does those silly, weak, pathetic women. Men are impenetrable, emotionally robust and they don't bow to anything.

Yeah, right. The mens suicide rates disagree completely with that. Before you old folks start deriding the younger generations as "soft" (gahhhh!) check this out - mens suicide rates have always been high. In other words, men have always had emotions. They've always felt pain, felt helpless, uncertain, sad, miserable, weak, lonely. Exactly the same as their female counterparts. The issue is though is that stereotypically men can't talk about their emotions, for fear of being seen as "soft" (grrrr!) and being mocked, making things worse. I mean, look at the suicide rates around 1930, between World War One and Two. Imagine how many men were distraught with what they'd seen at war, seeing their mates killed in front of them, and how they couldn't just talk to anyone about it because it just wasn't done. The problems that we are plainly aware of - things like domestic disputes, mental illness, depression, drug/alcohol addiction, they were all there, but they were hidden away because that's what society stated was the standard.

Thankfully, we live in a more enlightened time where people who ridicule males have no where to hide - or so we should. Why is the male suicide rate still so high? Why isn't a bigger deal being made out of this? Because the same people who are laughing at women with veiled sexism are doing the EXACT same thing to men, thinking that they're pumping men up when in fact they are hurting men badly. Men shouldn't feel bad for reaching out. They shouldn't be scorned for crying. The worst people for this though are the ones who SHOULD know better, the older males who lived through those high suicide rates and who more than likely have a friend who has killed themselves, unable to see a way out.

It's time to make things perfectly clear. Men are not emotionless powerhouses and women are not emotional weaklings. We are all human, who can be happy, sad, strong, weak, as we go through our lives. Let's give men a chance to get the help they need, just as we're trying to give women the strength to pull alongside them. Sexism hurts both genders - and is potentially killing off one.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Building a fan base

So I'm finally doing the whole "post when I have inspiration" thing. Hard to do on a Galaxy Tab 3 without a proper keyboard but eh.

In the past 24 hours I've gotten about four more Twitter followers, bringing me up to 409 followers. Given it was only 6 months ago I had only 100 or so I think I'm doing well. Then I see followers of mine with hundreds of thousands of followers and I start to think I'll never get anywhere.
That wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that I desperately want people to read my two Blogspot serials "Chuckles and Giggles" and its spin-off "Experiment 24-42",  in the hopes of one day being popular enough for someone to make a television series out of at least one of them. I'm not ashamed to admit being famous for my own work appeals to me. There's something about knowing that people read and respect your work (other than family who have to believe you're awesome by default) that brings a grin to  my face.

Unfortunately unless your work is the next Shakespeare you've got a tough battle to get anyone to notice you in a world where anyone can publish online regardless of quality, especially when you're competing against other more engaging media such as video and music. If you're going into literature, you really need to have something that stands out otherwise you will go no where fast. It's why when I first started with Chuckles and Giggles I made a small investment into an artist and met Thien Uncage (formerly known as GincDmon), who has been worth his weight in gold not only in art, but in someone to bounce ideas off, help keep me motivated and a good friend. Some might say I would have been better off throwing my money into advertising and they're probably right, but I think this way has yielded me something better than popularity, which hopefully will come in its own time. Thien himself is trying to get noticed and get into the comic book industry, which will be just as hard as trying to strike out as an independent author. 

I don't know how I'm going to make it. All I know is that I want to make it, and I guess I am making it, albeit at the pace of a paralysed snail. I probably haven't helped myself with hiatuses on this blog, as well as some slow-down on Chuckles and Giggles and the slow start to Experiment 24-42, although it doesn't seem to have hurt my social media standing too much. Unless everyone is just following me for my photos, in which case I really don't know what to think.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Writers block or *expletive deleted*

I think every writer has been here. You have a BRILLIANT scene played out in your head, you've heard every epic word you want your characters to say, every little detail is exquisitely crafted up in that creative noggin of yours and you KNOW that it's going to blow the socks of anyone who reads it. So you rush to your nearest pen and paper and produce a big fat "D'oh" nut.

It happens to me ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Take Giggles epic moment turned to poo, trust me, the moment when Giggles finds out that she's been deserted looked a hell of a lot better in my head than what finally got turned out in print (although I will admit I think I did okay with the hiding sequence). When Joe died was supposed to be a bit more epic too (helicopter chases and everything, although I had to scrap most of it because it was SO out-of-character and wouldn't have made any sense in the context of the C&G world). About the only things I feel I got right were the reformation of Chuckles and Giggles and the rather lacklustre first date between 24-42 and M42 (I had SO much fun writing that, as much as I hate writing love stories. I'm sure everyone has a wonderful first awkward first date story).

It doesn't matter how long you spend on some of these pieces (it took me a month to get the beginning of chapter 41 of Chuckles and Giggles done, and even after that I'm not 100% thrilled by it), you simply never feel like you've done the scene in your head justice.

Of course, then there's the fun task of explaining how characters got from point A to point B. Neither of my stories would be any chop if I just went "These two became friends, then their school got invaded so years later they became superheroes with some other kids and then they became friends with the school bully." Writing in "filler" is a complete and utter drag in my honest opinion, and the biggest cause of writers block for me. Thankfully I've managed to combat this somewhat with a more episodic approach to my chapters, but I can't wipe out the need for it altogether.

The worst of all is when I know I've been neglecting this blog (which I do regularly...I'm sorry!) and I'm racking my brains for ideas when I know I had one twenty minutes ago on the train and I was too zoned out in my own imagination to think of writing it down (I'm bad, I know). I'd appeal for suggestions, but that would draw the ever-wonderful "You should write about what you want to write about" suggestion and I don't have enough room in my yard to bury that many bodies.

Maybe I should find a random subject generator, there's bound to be one somewhere on Google...

This is my Gyarados picking on a Magikarp. He's awesome like that.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Stop butchering the Queens English!

I know I probably have a lot of Republicans reading my blog, but come on, it sounds awesome when you say "The Queens English" in a posh sort of voice!

ANYWAY, I'm here to have a whinge about the Internet. More specifically, peoples spelling and grammar. Now, I'm not talking about the odd typo, because everyone has those. No, I'm talking about repeated abuse of the English language, in fact, any language that gets bastardized because people are lazy.

How hard is it to use a spell checker (Google Chrome automatically checks your spelling for you. How nifty) or check out Not only do you get the correct spelling of the word you were looking for, you might even find a better word to use. Many misunderstandings between people on social media and the Internet more than likely comes from poor use of language, including punctuation and grammar. Everyone says you can't judge tone from text, well I call bullshit on that. Good sentence structure, including careful punctuation and word choice can easily convey tone. We even have emojis nowadays to make sure that the tone gets across. Even sarcasm can be written without having to explicitly state you're being sarcastic.

The big thing for me though is choice of words. Particularly if the word in question is a homophone (a word that is spelt differently and has a different meaning to another word, but sounds the same). My biggest pet hates are people who mix up "wrapped" and "rapt" and "check" and "cheque". Don't get me started on those who mix up "your" and "you're" as well as "there", "they're" and "their". We also won't get into those who say "Here, here!" Instead of "Hear, hear!"

For the record:

Wrapped: Is something that has been covered, for example a wrapped present.
Rapt: Comes from "enrapture", which is another way of saying "absolutely, 100% overjoyed."
Check: Means to look over or verify. Can also mean to stop or halt something.
Cheque: A piece of paper that someone gives you in lieu of actual money.

If I have to go into "there, their, they're" and "your, you're", then I give up and suggest you go back to year one and start school again.

Using proper language not only is respectful to the language, it's showing respect to yourself and to the person you're communicating with.

Friday, 12 June 2015


By now, we've all heard of the Jensens (personally, I prefer the Jetsons, but eh), a couple who have said they will get divorced if "gay marriage" (whatever that is, marriage is marriage is marriage to me, two people who love each other and want to be together forever) becomes legal. One of their now ex-friends has decided to uninvite the couple from their wedding.

First off, why did this have to be played out publicly? Who CARES if someone gets divorced, my parents got divorced and they didn't make the news. It's the same as getting married, who CARES if you get married, whatever gender your partner is, provided they are of an age and capability where they are legally able to consent?

The second point, and the main point of this blog post though, comes from the comments section. A lot of people are blasting the "pro-gay marriage" movement for "not respecting the Jensens right to an opinion". I agree, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I have a lot of opinions, hell, I have a whole blog full of opinions. Having opinions and sharing opinions is what makes the world go around, and it's interesting having, sharing, disagreeing and even changing opinions. It's how we grow and make ourselves better, individually and as a collective.

Having an opinion is fine. However, when you are actively trying to disadvantage someone else, that's when it stops being "just an opinion". No one has the right to disadvantage another person, or another group of people, and that is what the "anti-gay marriage" movement is about - disadvantaging another group of people, and I don't care why it is, but it's wrong. Have your opinions, talk about your opinions, disagree with other opinions, but realise when your opinion might be harmful to others, and don't go out of your way to disadvantage others, no matter what you think of them.