Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
The Point Of Mirrors
Alexander Gordon Jahans
In a way however all this guilt is a distraction. I mean it burns and I lay awake at night terrified of fucking up and upsetting people. (not you, trolls) At the same time though my life is treading water and just trying to keep my head up above the waves. Just keep breathing. This batch of pills, that injection, this load of shopping, that doctor’s appointment, this universal credit appointment. On and on it goes while humanity goes on about me making the same mistakes and saying the same things over and over until it gives me a migraine.
What annoys me is that I look more normal and I’m dressing more normal so stupid fucking humans think I am more normal when I have never felt more like a zombified husk. Politeness is so tiring because neurotypicals are so bitter and petter and judgemental about anyone who can’t do exactly what they can and think exactly what they think. So I avoid people. And stupid fucking humans get annoyed at why the person who looks more normal isn’t being more normal.
How the fuck do you explain to a human that it’s not about them but you’re just too tired to even be in the same room as them?
Yes. I am an arsehole. I am evil incarnate and you are the arch monarch of the multiverse. Fantastic. Fuck off. I’m tired.
I write because it’s what I am least crap at. I write because it gives me purpose. I write because I can be weird and kinky and rage fueled and unless there is reason for seven hundred people to ctrl+F controversy nobody will give a fuck. I write because it’s fun. I write because it might mean something important and positive to somebody someday. I write because 8chan and its degenerate brothers is intellectually incapable of even looking at that many words never mind trying to comment upon them. I write because it lets me pay tribute to the things and people and concepts I love.
Anyway, I’m reading Doctor Who still.
There has been a bit of a delay as I finished up reading a fetish fic that was really bad. I’m going to say this now because this is important. I don’t care if you get a girl breathalysed, psych tested then make her sign seven different contracts, if she decides she doesn’t want to have sex, it’s fucking rape. I can kind of excuse the idea in a scifi dystopia fetish story about volunteers agreeing to have their consent hypnotised away. It’s the fact that we now live in a world where the response to people facing consequences for committing rape is men over the world saying that they are going to make their dates sign contracts that has me disgusted and disturbed.
Louder for those at the back:
CONSENT DOES NOT WORK WITH CONTRACTS
Consent relies upon ongoing feedback as to what someone likes and wants to do. If they don’t want to do something or have something done to them then don’t do it or make them do it.
As I said however I am reading Doctor Who still. I just got distracted because that fetish fic was like watching a car crash, too horrific to look away. I am however increasingly disturbed by how the Doctor’s companion Sam Jones is rapidly becoming as sexualised as the ‘heroines’ in fetish fiction. This story genuinely begins with her having grown her blonde hair long, narrating her fantasies of wanting the Doctor to pilot her like the tardis and calling him Daddy. (Not to his face of course. The Doctor isn’t being a creeper, just the writers.) I swear I would not be surprised at this point if it did descend into a BDSM series. Which would be fine, if she wasn’t a seventeen year old who ran away from school to join the tardis.
Basically what I’m saying is thank fuck for Jodie Whittaker but at this point I trust men as far as I can throw them and I want a woman helming Doctor Who behind the scenes quick smart.
Oh and if you are one of the people angry and upset about Doctor Who and think a woman being cast will change or kill it then you are a flibbisk. If the Alt-Right can make up insults so can I. A flibbisk is a pathetic sexually frustrated bigoted misogynistic who needs a damn good taming by a firm handed feminist.
So yeah, time to read Doctor Who. And it’s being timey wimey and misogynist. Joy. Not. I mean I can like a good timey wimey story and I am a kinky arsehole so I have no problem with time travel allowing a woman to literally fuck herself for example but when it’s just about Flibbisks abusing female characters while other characters are ravaged by time I’m just feeling so much meh...
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Alexander Gordon Jahans
My feet feel like I am walking on gravel. I am tired physically and emotionally. I have been up way too long on way too little sleep, walked to town and back, failing to get the medication I needed and the water proof bluetooth speaker for the shower room that I wanted, I’m still tearing myself to pieces over that blasted fanfic from years ago and I just finished the dullest and most ridiculously sexist and depressing Doctor Who stories I have ever read.
I am not good and yet I feel okay.
Perhaps it’s because I am realising that I can endure this.
That Doctor Who can be crap, that my body can detest me and my mind torment me, that the world can be full of evil and disappointment and there are still good things in the world.
I showed my mum The Eleventh Hour, Matt Smith’s first story as the Doctor, and she loved it. This series that informed so much of the best about me and my mum has finally watched it and she likes it.
And I’ve reached a turning point in my fiction. In this story at least. I see now the shape of the forest I am crafting again, I begin to see how this vast forest of a story needs pruning to flow better but I see also that this story can work once it has finished. I find that my need to adhere to the physics of the multiverse has not damned me but liberated me from temptation. I see both that the sins which haunt me are as nothing the monstrous history of the Farsh-nuke but that making amends for those sins only adds to the character that is set to replace him in the multiverse.
I see now that my mind which can understand the complexities of temporal dynamics (in story terms anyway) can also with stand the cognitive dissonnance too be critical of something and enjoy it at the same time.
I see the light and love despite the dark and the hate.
Yes, Doctor Who was shite, worse than A Song Of Ice And Fire, the only fiction book to make me rage quit twice, and yet I made it through that story and I know there will be better Doctor Who books to come.
My mind will keep tormenting me with what ifs about how to make amends for the fanfic and I will wake up in cold sweats from the fear and the guilt but that doesn’t mean I have offended and hurt people afresh, that I can still reason and write with clarity despite the moments of self loathing and terror.
The world is filled with monsters and the dangerously stupid and I genuinely do not know how long I can keep surviving but so long as I am able I have faith, I think, that I will. There is good in the world. There are things I enjoy and I am okay with that.
Thursday, 4 January 2018
Have I That Right?
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I don’t want to write this blog. Writing this blog is probably a stupid idea. I’m still going to write this blog.
Sometimes a little knowledge to a moron is a dangerous so while I am aware of a wider context and different perspectives I’m going to stick to my own and what I know for certain for now.
If I am going to survive in the long term I need to master capitalism.
I am going to survive in capitalism I need to write and I need confidence in my abilities to write.
Right now that prospect fucking scares me but for the first time in such a long time I’m starting to believe it might be possible.
Reading the Eighth Doctor Adventures has given me back my faith in Doctor Who and now we have a new showrunner and a female Doctor. Brilliant indeed. Hell, part of the reason story two is 150,000 words (so far) is because I’m loving the EDAs so much that I want to write the Doctor again. Or the Gardener as he’s called this time.
The problem however is the elephant in the fucking room.
2017 was the year of white guys being revealed as arseholes and at a certain point it became so prevalent that I started listening to Chameleon Circuit again because Alex Day’s voice may now give me the creeps but there are some other songs by other people that are still really good.
Fuck it, good Chameleon Circuit songs mixtape:
Gallifreyan History 101
Count The Shadows
Everything Is Ending (Good because it’s a song from the perspective of Amy Pond.)
Mr. Pond (Always here for the Doctor being called on his shit.)
Big Bang Two. (Great episode of Doctor Who and Charlieissocoollike is awesome.)
The Sound Of Drums. (Used to hate it, am now self loathing enough to enjoy it.)
The Doctor Is Dying. (Again I used to hate it for being angsty as fuck.)
Still Got Legs. (The Doctor has now been a woman before they has been ginger, this pleases me.)
Honorable mention to Silence And The End Of All Things because I used to love it and I still kind of do but I new feel physically disgusted that Alex Day was the eleventh Doctor for that song. Similarly Everything is Ending would be far better if Alex Day weren’t on it because even at the time that sounded creepy and now it makes my skin crawl to hear but the singer for Amy is great.
And now having said I will talk about the elephant in the room, I still haven’t.
My fanfiction was transphobic and it hurt people.
What right do I have to get back up off the mat? What right do I have to write again? I still don’t trust that I know enough to not fuck things up again and I still don’t know what’s right.
It’s all well and good telling writers to speak to people so they can learn to be better writers but 1. I’m autistic so socialising is not my strong suit at the best of times. And 2. Who are these members of oppressed demographics who are going to associate with and explain to morons like me where the fuck we are going wrong in a way that isn’t patronising, angry and insulting?
Anyway I don’t know what’s the best or right way forward. I think I have to go forward, too many people would be annoyed if I didn’t. I have to try.
I’m one hundred and fifty thousand words into story two and I’m wondering if I should chuck it. I mean it’s a scifi kitchen sink story with nods to Blakes 7, Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape and Doctor Who and at the same time it’s got themes connected to Withnail and I, Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV Series, Red Dragon in particular, oh and an obscure scifi fetish ebook on amazon that I read and hated but also sort of loved.
Oh and all of that is mixed in with a plot about how monsters try to find redemption for their crimes Gamers Gate reimagined as the plot of Star Wars with a particular feminist reimagined as an almighty academic whose articles inspire the heroine and the revolutionaries to overthrow the evil Galactic Empire.
And oh yeah the John Crichton guy fought in the Great Septagonoid Wars and was a Knight of Mirth (From THAT Empire of Mirth) and he effectively leads the revolution for lack of anything better to do and hates the writer’s guts for being a transphobic misogynist.
It’s sort of supposed to be the last hurrah for the scifi bollocks before the Farsh-nuke rocks up with the main plot and since there is a time traveller in a story about redemption and the triumph of feminism over patriarchal oppression it makes sense to slip the explicit writing out of continuity of the Empress of Mirth here. Whatever wrongs I may have done that character was mighty and she deserved more than being quietly forgotten about as though she were midichlorians or the Doctor being half human.
And yet the fascist shit bugs still stalk me and I don’t want to chum the water further, I don’t want to give them cause to harrass people I still care about, respect and want the best for, however badly I may have hurt them in my stupidity.
The thing is this story doesn’t matter. It was just supposed to be a little light padding between the introductory story and the main plot. A way to introduce bits of the old continuity that I like. Specifically a way to get the characters of Lisa Watkins, Omega and the science of Logicular Replication into the new continuity.
I can cut it entirely and it’s one hundred and fifty thousand words long so I can cut all or most references to the Gardener, the Feminist Academic and the Empress of Mirth. And it’s not like there’s anything there that’s really bad. They’re both basically just there as influences in the background.
The Villain get coached by the Gardener on how to be less of a shit as the time traveller meddles at the margins of time.
The Heroine reads the great Feminist Academic’s work and realises the family she’s found is full of arseholes who need to be taken down.
The Revolutionary remembers the teachings of the Empress and his PTSD at how the world he left no longer exists is what drives him to enter the dark places revolution demands without losing his mind.
If it was just this it would be shit and it would be long but it would be mostly harmless hopefully. It would be a way to establish that all that scifi stuff is still there, we just aren’t focusing on it. It would be a way to say goodbye.
Except there’s a problem. Along with a theme of redemption, there is a theme of how we should textually analyse reality. How tropes are tools but society is builty upon ideas that spread virally and infect people. How these ideas must be fought and called out. The Gardener worries he’s being infected with toxic masculinity. The Villain’s story is a fight between the ideas of feminism and toxic masculinity. The Heroine’s story arch is about coming to understand and exploit the idea of infectious ideas to bring down an empire. And of course the Feminist Academic, the Empress of Mirth and the Revolutionary all analyse reality and have their own ways of infecting ideas upon the people.
Maybe it’s an insult to make an Empress a champion of light at all, regardless of anything else, but I think there is something to be said for the idea of suggesting that there is another way even here. That you can want a strong leader without it descending into fascism. That you can have checks and balances, that you can have an Empress whose role is largely ceremonial and figurative but lends strength to a people who are lost and confused.
It’s around in the idea of the Enlightened Despot and the Legend of King Arthur. The idea that when times are shit and complicated having one charismatic person with a good head on their shoulders to coax the hearts and minds of the people into holding on hope and fighting hard can help. Or maybe my competency bias is just reacting strongly against Donald Trump and I’m like no, you arseholes if you want a strong leader you can have a trans woman feminist who knows why your games are shit and fights for social progress.
Also I may be a little bit in love with the idea of the Empress warping in to battle Godwinson. That she’s flanked by the Moderator fleets. great gigantic go anywhere do anything battlestars. Like yes, Adam, we retreated to our safe spaces, but we’re back now and we’ve been busy. Do you like our new toys? I call this the ban hammer. *A massive explosion takes out a massive ship on Godwinson’s side.*
And I’m digressing again.
The problem is that it feels thematically and arc relevant that the characters learn from the Revolutionary the main reason why the writer is known as Transphobic. It feels emotionally right that the audience is told in narrative that this is something I did and wrote so they can make their own decisions. So I’m not hiding the skeletons in the closet.
The question is, have I that right?
Have I that right to reopen that scar tissue for the audience? Is it even possible to tell the audience what I did without just recreating the fault? And if I do isn’t that basically like stopping the Passion of the Christ so Mel Gibson can be called out as an anti-semite?
And yet if I don’t, if I leave things unsaid, am I lying about the past? Presenting a false image? Am I sweeping injustice under the carpet?
I am a man who champions feminism yet I have fetishes about submissive women and have been anti-feminist. (Albeit the more benign pro-Egalitarian “I want Equality for women, I just don’t want them to be dicks about it” sort)
I am a man who loves meat but acknowledges that Veganism is the more moral option. (Talk to me about the cruelty of vegan farming when people are being kept in cages and slaughtered at the point of physical maturity. Until then you are defending industrialized murder without addressing the capitalist cause of those problems.)
I have been reliably informed that I am Transphobic yet I want trans and non-binary equality and as a cis man with Kallman’s Syndrome it is in my own selfish interests that the stigma against body shapes and hormone therapy ends. (And it still terrifies me that I don’t know all the chargest that would have been laid against me by those reliable sources. What harm am I still doing that I am too stupid to realise?)
I am a critic of late capitalism/neoliberalism but I love Regulated Capitalism. (And out communists and socialists scare me with the way they somehow think workers aren’t as capable of greed and selfishness, especially as paid employment itself becomes a privilege.)
In the age of Safe Spaces, Echo Chambers and Black and White Issues I worry that to my peers I might seem something like a time bomb or trojan horse, someone who looks like a worthy left wing feminist peer but is capable of seemingly becoming the enemy out of nowhere.
Hell, as a writer I want to deconstruct heroes with a black and white morality. Why are there no good daleks? Why are genocidal aliens utterly evil except when it’s the Doctor? Why are we not supposed to question the actions of our heroes when they fight bigger bads?
Yes, punch nazis, punch all the nazis, but our heroes are supposed to be the people who try to avoid taking casualties and find a peaceful solution. Genocide is an existential threat to the survival of the species and it needs and deserves fighting but there will always come a time when the dust settles and the good guys have to sit down and talk with the people who lost the war.
A key element of this 150,000 word story is deconstructing utilitarian morality and the idea that the numbers can justify doing evil.
And this is why I deleted my videos, this is why I deleted my facebook page, this is why I stepped back into the shadows. In the age of angels and demons do I have the right to play Devil’s advocate? In a time of war when fascists look for every possible weakness like addicts looking for a hit have I the right to open a scar that might bring the stalking masses shambling towards the innocent? Have I the right to risk so much harm? Have the right to even try to redeem myself?
I don’t know the answers to these questions and to be honest at this point I don’t think even the Empress of Mirth herself could answer them for me. Life is just fucking complicated when you’ve cocked up and you still don’t fully understand how to avoid cocking up again. And I still have nightmares about this.
And all I can think is that somewhere those former friends have either forgotten my sins as just another tuesday they endure so much shit, or they’re watching me and feeling fucking glad that I’m still tearing myself to pieces over this.
The fucked up thing is I don’t know how much of this is me genuinely hating myself for what I’ve done and how much of this is me paralysed by fear at how my social life was destroyed utterly because they decided I was transphobic. I don’t even know if there’s a difference.
And so I hide in Doctor Who. In thoughts of Amy Pond being a badass and in the fantasies of my fetishes. I run and run from reality and try to ignore everybody who tells me I’m good at writing and I should just do that because how the fuck do I explain that I am too much of a prick to be allowed to write commercially when I have almost no other skills.
Dear sword of damacles hanging over my head, just fucking drop already.