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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Listen to women on this one

Go read that article by Laurie Penny. Seriously do it. Now.

I haven't spoken much during this time about the shit storm of men being outed as monsters that is going down. Largely because I'm still grieving with my own considerably smaller but still terrible sins. Kind of hard to offer a perspective as a male feminist on what it means when society wakes up to the monsters walking among them when your perspective is essentially one as a monster yourself, albeit a monster whose crimes lie in the domain of fiction not horrific reality. So I've been quiet and listening because I know this isn't my place to speak.

At the same time however there maybe those who are interest what a cisgendered middle class white English male who has been outed as a transphobic misogynist has to say on the subject of cisgendered white male monsters being outed. It is with some considerable relief therefore to come across a woman who perhaps expresses my perspective far better than I ever could.

It sucks. It's scary. The world has changed. Can we forgive ourselves for the sins of our pasts? I may have never groped anyone myself but I can feel in my responses to the articles and allegations a kind of toxic barometer to my own potential darkness as I find myself feeling defensive. Almost unthinkingly categorising the horrors done to women in head going "Well this guy, he only grabbed woman's butts, he's not so bad but this guy -"

It sucks and it's scary and it's not fair but it's not supposed to be. The bastille has been stormed, the terror approaches and frankly not a moment too soon. There should have been another way. We should have been better. We should have solved it among ourselves. We should have reformed male culture and male entitlement before events forced it to be burned to the ground. Instead we let a fascist who boasted about sexually assaulting women control the largest military on the planet. We deserve to fucking burn. We deserve the pitchforks and the guillotines and the shot gun retirement plan. We deserve every piece of negativity we get and we deserve a lot more besides. We are complicit in a cultural machine that oppresses all genders. It is right and proper that we burn and suffer. Forgiveness can come when the forest has been cleared of dead wood and toxic weeds. Forgiveness can come when the world is a better place.

I will say one last thing, beyond that Laurie Penny is one hundred percent right in this article from my limited perspective. This line from her article stood out to me "Sex is not the problem, but for some people sexism itself has become eroticized, and that, yes, is a problem."

If there is one thing I am utterly and completely guilty of, one problem that I am trying to wrestle with my fiction, and one reason among many that I have withdrawn from, the world it is this. Laura Mulvey quoted Freud's observation that man fetishizes women because he is afraid of what she represents.  That is a sin I fear I am very much guilty of as a former anti-feminist. My sexual proclivities have never overtly impeded how I treat people, though my honesty has made me damn weird at times I fear but in my writing this is an issue I struggle with constantly. Torn between the need for fetishistic escapism from a world gone mad and a duty to write women well, or at least better.

Now is not the time for forgiveness. Now is the time for vengeance against a world that would not let women be and we deserve it. Even if we were the nice guys who did nothing wrong, we did not do enough right.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Dear 2016 Me

Dear 2016 Me

Alexander Gordon Jahans

Why do we fall?
So we might learn to pick ourselves up again.
The Christopher Nolan Batman Films

(I started with a pretentious quote, sorry)

Brexit, Trump and another coup against Jeremy Corbyn. The nazis are sending packages to your door and scaring your family to the point where police are regularly popping round. And you’re still dealing with Kallman’s Sydrome, Growth Hormone Deficiency, Dad being a monstrous cock and the guilt of that fanfic. And oh yeah, banging your head against the brick wall of universal credit.

I wish I could say things get easier. They don’t. Putin’s started killing gay people in Chechnya. Your sister has revealed herself as not only emmigrating to as different country but also a staunch defender of your father. Illnesses plague the family and you gain another medical diagnosis, which thanks to NHS underfunding may actually get treated by the time the conservatives are no longer in power. And oh yeah the conservatives are still in power, despite another election, propped up by bribing terrorists and the news cycle is now all Trump being a stupid git, all the time. Except when caring about sexual assault becomes news, then most of the (1% owned) media curiously has amnesia about Trump saying he grabs women by the pussy.

So yeah, things don’t get easier. The world is fucked and it is only getting more fucked because as money concentrates in the hands of fewer and fewer people there is less that can actually be done to help or change anything. After all America now runs the world and America is a place where bribing Senators is free speech but a sports person kneeling during the pledge of allegiance is a disgrace that must be silence.

So why am I writing this? Because you get better.

It really doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I am a house built on the edge of a cliff where the ground is eroding away beneath me. I’ve deleted my youtube videos, changed my name online and rebooted the continuity of my fiction. I have run and run and I am so tired and in so much pain and now when I feel the clusterfucks of drama bombs landing I am ready for death. Except the end has not come and I don’t honestly think it will.

I think my father, the government and that prick who thinks I wrote Adam Godwinson about him will keep screaming in my face. I think that when people are desperate they will rage at me that I should try harder, push harder, care more. I think I have passed the point of caring what these morons think. Ohj I know they’ll keep trying to destroy me and my family. Father threatened my mother that he would reduce the share of the money she got from the house if she didn’t do more work round the house. A gamer spotting an obvious weakness and attacking it with all the subtlety of a dalek.

I think things aren’t going to get easier, I think the anxiety this cruel sadistic world exhibits upon those I still care about will keep creating drama until the day I die but I know now that I can take it. It’ll hurt like hell and I might have to be cold as fuck and cut vulnerable people off while I heal but I will survive. At least until the filthy cockteases finally pull the damned triggers on those guns they keep threatening me with.

You see three years ago - Or is it four? - I started playing video games because leaving university gave me the time and dreams of being a letsplayer gave me the motive. I don’t play games a lot, not nearly as much as people would expect, but I favour the same games and I play them over and over and over and I keep getting better.

Why does that matter? Because it’s a microcosm of what’s happenning to me in reality. I’m getting better at dealing with trolls, getting better at living among feminists and trans people online despite my ignorance and desire to share that ignorant perspective. I’m biting my tongue, I’m listening and I am getting better as a writer. Even the descriptions and the portrayal of women.

Do I have a problem writing women? Yes. Do I have a compulsive need to write submissive women into my stories? Yeah. I do however think that I am finding ways to square the circle and at least make clear that the fetish romances are just fluff and not a statement on how I think the world should be. That I can provide representation for women that is nuanced individual and rich even if I’m writing young submissive supermodels as well because I’m a pathetic lust filled virgin.

More importantly though I am slowly starting to forgive myself for my sins in the past. For the ways I tried to give representation that fucked up immensely. It’s not been easy and I have written loads I am not proud of but I am getting better. And here’s the thing, I know now now that others I respect can see that I am better. The brash anti-feminist bragadocio has been replaced by a cautious feminist and trans ally who does not want to harm those he sides with.

I was bought to the point of tears after Nine Worlds Geek Fest because I didn’t believe the change that my friends could see. I thought I’d lied to them, manipulated them, that I had been a shark swimming among seals convinced I was not a danger and that I had been tremendously irresponsible. I used to think I was a bad man with rules but bad men do not spend years grieving in distress for the harm they unwittingly caused. I just couldn’t see what those around me could. I couldn’t see the danger and I couldn’t see how I had changed.

I have changed and I am still changing. I don’t know what I’m changing into but I don’t think I’m becoming Gordon Gecko. That’s not where I am putting my skill points. I am a kinky autistic writer with an interest in scifi and fantasy and yeah I’m going through a lot right now. I’m still riding out delayed puberty, I’m dealing with medical condition after medication and at some point my father is either actually going to die or allow the house to be sold (that’s not a threat by the way, he’s just a very old man).

At some point the house will be sold, my hormones will have settled down, I’ll have all the appropriate medications sorted and have at least one book out. Beyond that I don’t know but I am getting better.

Friday, 10 November 2017

My Sympathies

My Sympathies

So I’m writing and it’s quite an odd time for me because I feel like someone who suffered a many sided beat down over the course of three years and is only just now getting to his feet, and as I get to my feet I am stunned.

You see I am a defensive person by nature. You get bullied by almost an entire school, you’re going to be defensive. Defensive cis white men are not always the nicest of people. My defensiveness is why I was anti-feminist. I still feel a twinge of that same defensiveness when people complain about #notallmen because I know that feminists are just as defensive. But that’s bickering over semantics in the middle of a war, of a genocide, it’s not just, stupid and impolite, it’s cruel. Except nobody explained that to me at the time and I had to learn it for myself and it was not an easy or casualty free path.

Over the last three years I have been harrassed and stalked, I have seen that even when nazis are specifically targetting a white man it is the women around that white man who disproportionately take the most attacks. And yeah I had the victim blaming and now I’ve deleted every video I have under scorched earth tactics and still the fucks come for me and DEAR GOD, DON’T YOU FUCKERS HAVE PORN YOU COULD BE WATCHING INSTEAD OF BOTHERING ME

At the same time though I have been left reeling from people who felt victimised by my fiction and had other complaints that I still don’t know the full extent of because I am too fucking thick. I have spent years trying to write myself back to a place where I could move past those events and it took starting afresh in a new continuity with a new universe and a different species to feel able to write without feeling like I had this anchor dragging me down.

So I look at the world and its like giving a shit about predatory men is the new craze and I’m just kind of dumbfounded.

My opinion is worth shit. Believe women. Believe child stars. Believe that powerful men are arseholes.

At the same time however it is impossible to ignore that this feels fucking huge because I am a man with a serious competency bias. I know it is stupid and devoid of morality but when I read about Thatcher’s triumph of capitalism over the workers at the battle of Orgreave I feel like I should cheer for the competency involved and even when it comes to Trump - A man who is comically evil, though that’s an insult to comics. A man whose supporters have been directly harassing and destroying my life and those of people I care about for years. - I hate him a lot because of how incompetent he is.

For this reason I have a serious hard-on for the patriarchy. I mean yes I am a man with a tiny dick who got bullied a lot as a child and I have a fetish for submissive women but mostly it’s the competency because morality trumps all things except competency in my head seemingly.

The patriarchy is a perfectly evolved and incentivised machine of living unconsciously participating components. I am a rationalist and I look at things from an ideal perspective so I believe in innocent until proven guilty, I believe that revenge is wrong and I believe that fiction is fiction and while fiction can be reviewed, criticised, analysed and discussed, it should not be censored. Except the people who want to censor fiction are right that fiction is part of how the machine works.

We have seen study after study saying that violence in the media does not influence reality but if the media did not influence people to do things advertising would not exist. Hell I am damned certain that the reason I am fixated on this platonic ideal of the pretty skinny white young blonde woman is that the media I grew up with was trying to sell things I liked using actresses who fit that mould and I got sold on the wrong product. If you sell fast cars, nice lager, cool deodorant and nice computers with pretty girls you are going to sell people who like fast cars, nice lager, cool deodorant and nice computers on those pretty girls.

Why I am excited right now is that the craze for caring about accusations of sexual assault feels like an alcoholic wondering if maybe they have a problem. I mean you know that fucker isn’t going to stop drinking any time soon but it is a damned good sign.

I think Dan Carlin said sometime time again, in reference to Bush and Obama, that we are reaching a point where the electorate has long time memory, where the culture remembers the lies and the flip flops and contradictions. The age of coveilance and crowd sourcing is upon us and we are starting to remember and see through the bullshit.

This isn’t utopia yet. This is a culture of multiple generations waking up as one and piecing things together. And yes, we disagree and yes, that is new and we need to learn to discuss our differences with a view to exploring opposing ideas not debating with a view to victory but learning skills begins with fuckups.

So I am keeping my mouth shout and my eyes and ears open as I learn from those with perspectives that aren’t my own but I am championing them on, even if my defensiveness makes me feel like I should maybe be worried myself because I write pulp scifi stories about submissive women that have already made good people upset.

The writing does continue though and I can confirm that the first story has actually been finished so this is not just empty promises.

Although under the circumstances that feels worryingly like a threat. The Patariarchy is a perfect self replicating machine using media to brainwash people into perpetuating the machine but don't worry women I am right behind you. With my 47,000 word love story about a magical cannibalistic university lectuerer falling in love with her young student. Oh and the second story involves a feminist student of that cannibal being abducted by aliens in the 90s to serve as a sex toy to alien fascists... Okay... Maybe I am just a little bit actually evil. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Entropy nsfw


Alexander Gordon Jahans

My glasses snapped. The lens fell clattering to the ground then I had to tape them together, with tape over the lens like smears of jizz.

Today I decided to buy myself a kfc bargain bucket because I had to go into the town for Universal Credit, I was shy 18 pence so downgraded from a large meal but they kindly gave me the large diet coke since they’d already made it up. I then put the pepsi in the paper takeaway kfc bag and proceeded to fiddle with my tablet and bluetooth headphones because they had inexplicably decided to disconnect and have trouble reconnecting. The bottom fell out of the kfc bag as I walked back through town the large diet coke wasted on the floor, my chips and chicken only narrowly salvageable.

I don’t care. I want to. I think I should. I recognise rationally that I should be fucking pissed that I am stuck with permajizzed lenses because specsavers are arseholes. I recognise that I probably got minimum wage workers in trouble because I am a zombified moron and my rare kfc treat fell on the floor. I recognise that these are bad things. I just don’t fucking care.

I miss the fire. I miss the storm that powered me. I miss the flickers of. “And so we shall shoot all the keyboards of all the trolls because how dare they.”

I actually corrected a nazi troll the other day before I blocked them. I have no powder left to to spare for even the genocidally provocative. I just pointed out that I am actually a man in case some conspiracy theory or joke had got out of hand. I don’t care if people think of me as medusa’s secret cancerous left testical, I saw an opportunity to correct an obvious error that surely that could not be disagreed with on political grounds, so I took it.

I am reminded of a line from Farscape. “How can you not be angry? How can you not be insanely angry?” I should point out that nobody has actually cut off one of my arms. Though my father’s jakyll and hyde habits are now becoming positively trollish in their overt and obvious button pushing. Buy a dishwasher, buy a roomba, these are things that can be done, machines that can be understood and operated efficiently.

I’m not even scared by nazis or universal credit anymore. I feel like for three years they’ve been threatening that they’ll destroy me if I don’t do as they say and I remain undestroyed. This isn’t suicide by fascist though, it’s just that after three years “but thou must” loses a lot of its impact. Either kill me or stop wasting my time.

I have new shoes and my feet ache right now. I haven’t slept properly in days for all kinds of reasons. I don’t care.

I finished the first story of my new continuity and I am happy with it. Happy that in so many ways it is what I wanted and needed it to be. And I am working on the second story of this collection and while there is one scene at the begging I am doubtful of I am pleased with the progress and value of this story. It is hard writing these stories, my creativity is being pushed, but I am happy.

There is the slight issue that caring about misogyny is the new craze and my first story features a predatory university professor seducing and then eating her students  while my second features a young submissive woman getting abuducted by aliens and becoming their sexpet. Like yes, I am a cis white male who writes stories about pretty white girls falling in love, submitting sexually and being hurt. At this point I’ve actually given up trying to stop even. Preferring to slip in better representation on top of the blatant misogyny porn.

I just don’t care. I don’t have the energy to care. Except this is late capitalism, half my family has anxiety and half my family is actually dying. Caring is something I am expected to do. Caring is something that actually causes me anxiety from the passive awareness of. The internet is dying because we aren’t watching ads anymore. The economy is dying because we aren’t buying anymore. People are dying because we aren’t showing up to vote and aren’t putting pressure on our governers.

And at the same time there are people on tumblr legitimately angry that the male villain might have a romantic scene or two with the female hero. It encourages abuse apparently.  I miss the age when the censors were the bad guys. I mean I legit don’t fucking care if the feminists come for me now. I’d probably deserve it. I just find it fucked up that people are angry over whether fictional characters do or do not have a relationship.

Trump boasted about grabbing women “by the pussy” BEFORE he got elected and that was only a year or two ago. There are people in real life talking about how they think black people are scientifically inferior and white people are somehow superior but also need to be protected. There are real people talking about how women deserve to be raped, black people deserve to be shot and people with different religious views should be mass killed. They march openly in pride of these views. And we’re angry that a couple of fictional characters might get into a relationship.

I mean obviously I know that the vast majority of people who care about the fiction will probably also care about the reality. I want to believe that Amy Pond secrretly becomes an immortal time travelling submissive who ends up with everyone but I also want Trump’s downfall to be slow, public, messy and pathetically staining to any ideas he supported.  You can care about fiction and reality but we are still talking about a franchise with planet destroying weapons and slavery where a redemptive het couple is being seen as the ultimate evil.

That’s three paragraphs on one topic. That might indicate I care or it might indicate that the diet coke has finally kicked in. You decide. *dramatic sting music*

I will incidentally voice however that one of the reasons I like to believe in redemptive arcs is that if there is any hope for me I need to believe in redemption. I suppose that’s ultimately why I’ve stopped caring for success at capitalism, my bootstraps are busy being employed in the climb back up the slippery slope from the abyss.

I was so angry and I was so hurt and so afraid. That prick calling himself Adam Godwinson in the emails thought Adam Godwinson was the big bad. He was more like the sprinking of chocolate atop a Starbucks coffee, except the coffee in this case was this cisman’s burden being explored. More than 200,000 words on “trans people were mean it me and I don’t like it”. I think nuking the continuity was caused by the realization that if I was so insanely butt hurt they probably had a point and I was legitimately a dangerous person for trans people to be around online.

I’m not a nice guy. I’m not a good guy. I don’t think I deserve death but I also think that becoming less of a problematic arsehole will take my whole life.

I am I think a better writer and a better person for having written those 200,000 words and underwent that process but what I am learning is thast I justy need to be left to write and listen to podcasts.

There is this idea that neurotypical people have which says that everyone should be like them. Neurotypical people like going outside, neurotypical people like talking to people, neurotypical people are helped by exposure to more people. They think that if you are autistic you will be better off if you are like them. I was brainwashed by this mindset. I feared becoming the autistic shut in.

Here’s the thing though. People are insanely boring. Pot calling the kettle black I know but it’s still true. The outside is boring. People are boring and difficult. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care about navigating the sensitivities of neurotypical morons. I have a different brain. I like different things. That is okay.

Because yes I am tired and in pain and stressed by morons who want me to care so much about stuff that does not matter but when all is said and done and I am left to chill by myself - writing, watching letsplays, listening to podcasts, playing videogames, going for walks - I am happy. It’s when people demand attention that I am not.

Which is ultimately why I prefer text based communication via slow mediums like email. Nobody is going to angst that you read their email but haven’t replied yet. The phone won’t ring. The answer phone won’t bleep annoyingly about a new message, you can skim past bits that bore you. Email is just better. Gmail may be centralised to the point of self sabotage by google but email as a medium just works for me.

And now I think, if you will excuse me I am going to write a scene about a very pretty young woman meeting her new alien master. I’m evil and I like it and if the revolution comes I shall die happy that I wrote fiction I enjoyed writing.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Defending Hannibal Series 3 nsfw

Defending Hannibal Series 3


Alexander Gordon Jahans

So I am currently finishing off the first story of the new story collection in a new continuity. This is a story that has to introduce a style and a lore that is at once pre existing but also entirely new. I need an anchor point. A way to let there be an elevator pitch of stories that can grow to ridiculous sizes and encompass grand pretentiousness, graphic gore and cheesy pulp.  I need to set up the Farsh-nuke but I also need to set up the world and a worthy audience surrogate. So this is the Discworld does Hannibal.

But what is Hannibal?

Well for my purposes Hannibal is an introduction to gore, vore and protagonist monsters through the familiar prisms of police procedural, thematic serial killers and the enigmatic charming serial killer.

My story is a love story. It is love story that is utterly hideous and immoral but it sets up the fact that well, I am a writer with a habit of writing submissive women and it is literally part of the lore that 3 out of the seven gods are in different ways predatory. The love story also allows for the most close examination of character development between characters since the story is basically a series of interactions and discussions. So if you need to introduce a world of predatory monsters and getting monsters to fight other monsters that is one clean way to do it. No angsting over “My dead family!” just the prospective partner going “Dude, quit it.”

Anyway I mention this because well... I’ve not been well. Stalked by nazis, dealing with health complications, struggling with guilt over fiction that upset people I cared about. Part of the reason I write horror, part of the reason I write vore, is that my imagination is not a nice place to inhabit when I don’t have control over it. Better to desensitise yourself and tolerate the nightmares than be scared every night. Being unemployed I have a lot of time on my hands and a lot of time to think. Media is a very merciful distraction and the Eat The Rude Podcast about the Hannibal tv series (that I had already seen and loved) provided distraction after distraction like emergency lights on a smoke filled plane guiding me through a very dark patch.

I finished listening to the Eat The Rude Podcast sometime ago but it span off from the This Is Our Design Podcast and something that kept niggling at me was the sense of criticisms left unheard that were within this Hannibal podcast that I had not listened to. So when I ran out of podcasts to binge yet again I looked up This Is Our Design and it has helped provide context and setting for not just this story but the aborted story immediately before it, the writing of which helped heal me of some mental wounds.

So this matters. This series matters. These podcasts matter. These criticisms matter.

Now yeah I confess that at the time of watching the Hannibal tv series it was already dead to me so I watched that last episode the same way I watched Farscape The Peacekeeper Wars or Serenity. Sure its a little janky, rushed and not quite in character but it almost works and its far better than the nothing we would have got to begin with.

Except I watched Hannibal as an ambiguously gay series. I mean some moments are super romantically gay and I love that but I will also defend romanticized male friendship to the death, if only because my autism keeps people at a distance from me. In my opinion every moment of that last episode can be interpreted as Will Graham realising that Jack will keep putting Will and those he cares about in danger because Hannibal is just too useful a resource.

I am totally fine with them surviving because Will Graham trying to kill Hannibal is what Hannibal wants. “Oh no, what ever shall we do Will, we are all alone on this bluff that is eroding away and when we stand back to back at the raggedy edge it will totally be dangerous and we aren’t at all likely to land in my prepared safety net, ready to use my parked boat to go eat Bedelia. Truly I am at your mercy Will, strike me down with all of your fury.”

At the same time there is one criticism which has niggled and niggled away at me tonight. The idea that Will Graham healed and therefore his and Hannibal’s relationship isn’t possible.

For the purposes of this analysis I am going to treat series 3 as series 3 and 4 combined. With series 3 being Florence/the Verger estate and Series 4 being The Great Red Dragon/ Will orchestrating Hannibal’s escape. The reason for this is that series one and two are each split into two parts. Series one, Police Procedural/Will’s Madness. Series two, Will in prison/Will baiting Hannibal from his side. Each half of the series segues naturally into the other while series endings end with a scene of set up foreshadowing. Series one ends with Will in prison accused of being the Chesapeke Ripper. Series two ends with the heroes shattered and Hannibal on the run with Bedelia.

Series three, The Florence arc segues naturally into the Verger Estate arc and Will’s redyness to say goodbye to Hannibal. It ends with Hannibal giving himself up to set up series four where the Red Dragon adaptation segues naturally (well segues anyway) into Will Graham realising he loves how he is with Hannibal in his head and wants to break him out but the conflict is continuing. The series ends with the symbolic death of the Will and Hannibal they know, ready to visit Bedelia’s for lunch. Oh and then there is the fact the two halves follow different episode naming conventions, following in the format established for series episode names established with series one and two.

Remember Hannibal’s line about if there could ever be a man so evil Will takes pleasure from killing them? Remember that the entire series began with Will’s breakdown as a result of killing a monster he had been empathising with at the time. Remember that Hannibal was there to encourage that vengeful streak. Then remember that Bedelia has also killed someone. Like Garrett Jacob Hobbes, like Able Gideon, like Randall Tier, like the firefly man, like Francis Dolarhyde, like Hannibal and yes, even like Frederick Chilton, the man who made Able Gideon think he was the Chesapeak Ripper. Everything about that scene is entirely in character and thematically set up.

The problem however is that Hannibal condensed its seasons.

You see as I mentioned at the beginning I am writing a romance story with a cannibal serial killer and I have realised that I need to end the romance with a break and restart at the first date as the Hannibal tv series did with the break between The Florence/Verger stuff and the Red Dragon stuff.

The reason is that if your love story is abusive and you want to legitimise it you at least from the perspective of the characters, there needs to be time to heal. Will Graham saw at the end of series two that Hannibal was serious about starting a family with him but there was no way in fuck that he could have gone with Hannibal. Partly because Hannibal had quite literally gut him but also because whatever connections Hannibal saw could not be seized by a healthy mind when Hannibal was still terrorizing him. 

The big criticism I saw was that Red Dragon established a healed Will Graham with a loving wife and family so why the fuck would he return to Hannibal Lecter? Because we are watching from the sides. We can see that Hannibal Lecter is almost literally the devil and the sensible reaction is to run. Because you get to live and you have a nice life anyway. Well Will Graham does.

Except that’s precisely the point. If series three had ended with Will going on the run with Hannibal it would have felt disingenuous. The point of Hannibal the tv series is that he is the villain but we find him interesting enough to choose to continue spending time with. I mean yes, it is fiction to us but the metanarrative point is there. There is noone quite like Hannibal Lecter and he is terrifying but also intriguing because of it. Hannibal Lecter is unique. 

The point of the time skip is so Will can be happy and healthy, so he can have a good wife to go home to and still decide having conversations with Hannibal Lecter and killing evil people is what he wants to do instead. It’s not a happy ending for the same reason that Life on Mars did not have a happy ending, but it is happy for the main character.

Now as for whether series 4 becomes Hannibal and Will the vigilante couple and ends with Hannibal’s rehabilitation, or more likely Will ends up dead with Hannibal back in prison to face Clarice, I don’t know. I suppose my happy life for them both if they survive is that Hannibal and Will just eat their way through all the rude killers in the world, ending the threat of nazism for good.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Death Of Globalism

The Death Of Globalism

Alexander Gordon Jahans

I can’t sleep and I am tired as fuck, which makes now the perfect time to write about weighty political topics. Particularly given I just deleted all my youtube videos so I can just sense the nazi trolls congregating about my online spaces like zombies congregating around a hold out city.

I am bored by the despair in the news, bored by the anger and the outrage and the hate. Bored by the stupidity, malice and greed fucking over the people. My general mood right now is that I am all out of fucks. We’re fucked more than the guy with a thousand dicks from Hydrogen Sonata. It’s just a case of what order the catastrophies are going to devastate us.

So I’m focusing on my fiction. After all I did just nuke everything I have ever written and there is something reassuringly overtly separate from our own reality about a world on the back of a giant fish swimming through space where elves give lectures about mythology to half dragon students. Even if I have already decided that Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal tv series basically exists as a work of fiction in this universe. If Bryan Fuller, George RR Martin and Rhianna Pratchett ever want to write The World Fish fantasy version of Hannibal I personally allow them license to pillage from my wretched fiction. Even if that is a bit like telling three great monarchs that they can eat your faeces if it it pleases them.

I used to think we needed globalism. I got the Star Trek Syndrome. We’ll have an Earth gov and then a space colonies and earth Gov then outwards and outwards until, well the Logicios and the United Civilisations of the Multiverse. Because even though England can’t please Yorkshire and London at the same time the Logicios certainly won’t have trouble with a fucking multiversal empire.

Yet games make Empires look so easy, because they are balanced to be winnable. I’ve spoken before how I feel the gamer mentality of “fire at the glowing weak spot” has encouraged trolls to be more racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic for the simple reason that they here “Please be considerate that I am sensitive to this” as “say this now to defeat me”. I’m starting to feel like games encourage fascism for similar reasons.

Games are designed to be balanced and games are designed to be fun and it’s fiction so who cares right. But physical conflict is simply more visceral, more involved and it allows more control. Even in games with stealth or speech as an option you don’t have the same kind of involved game play. There is button masher for diplomacy, no tactical retreat and and use of terrain in a conversation. I realise we might have far worse problems if games did train people to to manipulate others in conversations. Though arguably the first game to have really enjoyable debating mechanics may greatly improve discourse online.

The point is that I despise war, I despise genocide. I condemn President Josiah Bartlett as a lying war mongering war criminal. And yet despite having won diplomatic victories in civ 5 before I basically always play a game of total conquest. It makes fascism seem possible. It gives an armchair tactician perspective where I’m convinced I am a total military badass despite sticking to cheiftain level of difficulty.

In a video game there is no weather or climate change, no global economic disaster caused by some bankers in a different country discovering a fun way to gamble debt and it getting out of hand, there are no newly created cartoons or videogames that hit it big and suddenly the economic landscape is over turned. There is no programming for the sense of the average citizen who doesn’t get involved in politics because it’s all too depressing but they have noticed hospital times getting longer, more people out of work or struggling to find work and at the same time more people in work from demographics they aren’t used to seeing. There is no programming for idiots who decide to do something terrible for a laugh and how that can snowball.

The Neoliberals won but their victory is coming to an end and as much as I want a new age of compassionate capitalism or feminist socialism I think globalism is dying. I also think that the way this age of outrage has to shake out is with the creation of safe spaces for everybody.

Now yeah nazis are bad. Genocide is a threat to the survival of the human race but dos patriotism have to be so toxic? Does misogyny, racism and homophobia have to be so toxic? Could we quietly ring fence a small country for all the bigots and say. “Here you go, enjoy, but we will squish you if you try to get forceful outside your borders.”? Probably not but we will never really kill bigotry so the question becomes if empire isn’t possible what happens then?

Well we’re seeing it already with Scotland, Catalonia and yes even Brexit. People are waking up and saying. “No, when the plane is crashing you apply your own gas mask before helping others.” The problem is that I believe Corbyn could make the bold strokes necessary to make a post-Brexit Britain even semi viable but the conservatives are allergic to the idea that anything other that pandering to the rich and fucking the poor will save them. If you are going to sever your ties with the European Economy you need to be willing to make Britain self sustaining. You need to nationalise and incentivise industry and farming again, not just finance and media.

It is interesting the note that increasingly Universal Basic Income is being talked of as viable. That is capitalists seeing the writing on the wall and screeching “If we just give everyone money maybe we can save scarcity as a system of geoverning society.” Universal Basic income is not communism, it is neofuedalism. It is the peasants who watch ads, buy things and vote so that politicians and corporate bosses can continue being the elite and better than everybody else.

Here’s what happens if we don’t get Universal Basic Income. The state stops justifying itself. The tools that governments have used to maintain control and order are coming to an end. 3d printers are undergoing development, as is VR. Renewable energy and GM crops are making it increasingly easy for poor farmers to sustain themselves. That’s not communist propaganda, that is capitalist reality. Yes the state has spies, the military and the police force but what have two decades of the war on terror taught us? That a bunch of mad men buying into horseshit online can scare the shit out of governments and people.

I like the state, I like regulation, I like police (I am white, English, cisgendered and male) but a small government can only really work when individual citizens can’t be self sufficient.

Now granted we live in an age where people still care enough about the state to respect it, when massive housing prices are leaving people desperate but still safe and relatively obedient. The danger of underfunding the police force and the military, the danger of defunding the welfare state is that people stop caring.

Now ideally I’d like to imagine a world where capitalists institute universal basic income and this can happen legally through purchasing, I’d also like to imagine a world where racists realise their arguments are nonsense.

 So the neoliberal governments retreat, a combination of an underfunded police force and examples of fascism on the rise stops people giving fucks about the law. They kick in the doors of unused buildings and start squats, then they start using farms of gm crops and set up renewable energy generation through solar panels or wind turbines. In age age of tablets and smart phones guerrilas power generation to keep connected becomes much more viable since your computer only needs charging for a few hours every day rather than constantly.

Those who don’t work the land or work to provide power will go out to raid the high streets superstores and rich houses. Looking for things to sell on the black market or simply additional tech. One advantage the young and poor will always have over the old and rich is that they will understand the new technology much better and be able to crack the tech and use it without being traced before it is too late.

Of course you’ll have the actual communes with their own premises and proper farms and power generation facilities.

And then you’ll have the new American dream of working your minimum wage until you can buy your own house and get your own farm and 3d printer.

And you’ll have the one percenters who are already off the grid.

This is not a future a want but this is a future I see as possible. If the state can’t come to its senses and remember what it’s great at then it shall suffer the worst fate any monster can have. It will be ignored to death.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

After The Screwups

After The Screwups

Alexander Gordon Jahans

Give me sharks and trolls, give me nazis and physics defying kamikaze guppies, give me ghosts, zombies and Hannibal Lecter in a bad mood. Nothing is quite so terrifying in my dreams as when my subconscious decides to drop the mic.

Feminists and nazis, trans people and trolls, these things have haunted me for years but they have haunted me because there is comfort in thinking about them in processing the possibilities for victory and maximum possible good. I fucked up bad, I fucked up in every possible way a man who tries to be good can fuck up.

It is easier to be stalked by nazis because my cavemen brain can cope with fight or flight, with outthinking a foe who wants to destroy me.

The times when my brain very calmly and casually declares. “No, you were wrong and you were stupid and you scared people and you have now damaged your own chances of survival and success.” Those are the moments I am destroyed, snapped like a dried twig.

It’s easy to call out the big flashy stuffy, the dances with trolls and anger at failure to please trans people. It’s the small quiet moments when you just say the wrong thing because it isn’t occurring to you to think “Is this insensitive?”

When we talk about autism, we talk about stimming, flappy hands and eye contact. That isn’t my autism. My autism is having to consciously think how what I say and do looks to other people. It’s having to understand how someone thinks so I can even try to avoid offending them. It’s that I can get distracted or tired and stressed and say the wrong thing. It’s that people still don’t understand that I need space when my stress gets bad for this reason.

We live in a world now where saying the wrong thing can get death threats sent to your door, can lose you friendships, can lose you family members, can get you fired.

It’s easy to learn to stop doing the flashy stuff, I love spinning but I stopped that because it’s weird. The problem with passing is people don’t understand that your brain literally can’t think how to avoid offending other people like they can. I just can’t even.

My mum left a message on the answer phone asking me not to swear at her because on her way to work she’d told me something I didn’t know or care about while I was distracted and I told her to fuck off because swearing just isn’t a big deal to me.

I have been bullied my whole fucking life and my imagination has forced me to desensitise myself to horror just to avoid being terrified every time I sleep. I could write fucking essays on why the trolls are going about things entirely the wrong way and offering them tips on how to get under my skin. Nothing a troll writes about me could be worse than anything I could imagine. Normal to me is a dark and incredibly sadistically insulting thing and if we consider something normal it doesn’t occur to us that others might be shocked by it.

It is very easy to talk of the need for safe spaces and intolerance to intolerance when your fragile people can think to abide by those rules.

I still get angry at how feminists get annoyed at men for feeling the need to say “not all men” when they themselves will feel the need to react as though you had insulted all feminists ever if you criticize feminists without specifying, terfs or white feminists or whatever.

I could never belong in any fucking safe space because I am the living embodiment of a false alarm in a world where ignoring alarms can get people killed or worse. I am that kind of fucking moron who could actually get in trouble innocently if there is a crackdown against creeps just because it might not occur to me in the moment to consider how what I was doing looked to other people in the room.

Now yes, feminists and activists write out grand essays saying “Do this, do that, think about this and think about that.” I literally don’t have the intellectual capacity. Especially as the human race has this bizarre fucking idea that if you treat people like shit and put them under stress they will perform better because they have to.

I am so out of fucks right now. I do not fucking care. Do it. Pull the trigger. Kill me. Shit or get off the god damned pot. I am fed up with bullies and stalkers and fucking failed capitalists insisting to me that I have to play their game if I want to survive.

And do you know what the fucked up part is then? When I say I have reached my limit, that I don’t care anymore, that I will call their bluffs until they help me or stop fucking around and finish the job? That’s when people who claim to care about me tell me I need counselling or medication. You’re done jumping through the societal hoops necessary to be allowed to live? We can’t have that. No, no, no, go become an obedient drugged up puppet.

I get that some people are helped by medication and counselling. I get that. But what I am experiencing is a natural consequence to being an outlier in society that it is trying to sand down.

I get so fucking angry when the advice I am given is to go volunteer. When the advice the rich people give is that the poor save their money. When there is a scarcity of jobs, you want more people spending and less people working. That is how fucking capitalism works you morons. Supply and demand. Too much supply not enough demand, you lower the supply and up the demand. And I am not going to go throw my life away doing something I should be paid for.

I am done with the bullshit. I am done with the defenders of the bullshit but most of all I am done with pretending like I can integrate into society. That I can pass. Society has too many contradictory rules, it is too angry and too judgemental and I am too offensive to it. I have people I care about but they must remain at a distance because no one deserves me at my worst.

And yeah I can hear a whole fuckton of people screaming bullshit right now but your brains are different and your experiences are different so you can all fucking shove it. I’m still writing, I’m still breathing and in some ways I am still improving but I can’t deal with the stress of people and their inability to consider those who think differently.