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Friday, 8 December 2017

8 10 17

8 10 17

by
Alexander Gordon Jahans


My anger is gone. The world is fucked in so many ways and so am I  but I don’t feel angry anymore. This is life now.

I exist social security payment to social security payment, my life tenuous and almost deliberately so lest the loss of anything actually valuable devastate me beyond this fragile point of relative peace.

I am changing, grappling with demons that have haunted me all my life but I now no longer have the excuse to run away from.

I know myself now, what I’ve been, or at least I’m starting too and gone is the absurd rationalist self confidence and the melodramatic passive aggressive self loathing. I know what I am and I know what I’ve done and I know the flaws I am likely always going to have.

In my writing I’m seeing flaws and I’m editing like I didn’t before, learning to sift gold or at least copper from the shit. It’s not much but it’s a start. My mind keeps drafting and redrafting the Farsh-nuke and his wrath as I exorcise the demon of that guilt.

Nobody cares that I fucked up, not when it comes to seeing it in my art. Nothing will be gained by exposing that pain in the fiction and I have the excuse to not indulge that masochism on my part. The Farsh-nukes in this story collection are a robot duplicate who missed all that bullshit and a new incarnation in a different universe outside of the old continuity’s multiverse who never experienced any of the old continuity.

Yet I get to keep Lisa and the Contravoxai, the Green Eyed Nothing series, the Omega AGI and all the other things I like about the old continuity. I made it work and I love the world I’ve made in this new continuity but I’m still wrestling with how the Farsh-nuke would deal psychologically with the baggage of the old continuity because it feels important to the legacy of that continuity.

Here’s the thing. I could just have it be a straight up mental break as the Farsh-nuke wants to destroys the nazis who are torturing him in another reality. It really could just be that simple as a scarred veteran returning to finish a war except it’s a war that was never started in this reality.

Except at the back of my skull is the idea that maybe it should be transgender people who stop the Farsh-nuke in the end. That they deserve to defeat him. There’s a lot of reasons I shouldn’t do this and I may go into some of them later but the reason it keeps nagging at me is that it feels right. That an oppressed minority taking a stand and saying no more should be what breaks the rampage of the great white monster. There’s something poetic and ‘just’ about that.

One of the biggest problems with that of course is that I am a cis gendered white guy who offended some trans people and this would be me effectively claiming their voice for the character development of a cis gendered white male who did something people were offended by in a different continuity.

Which is why that storm keeps going round and round in my head and why I am in no rush to finish the second story of the collection despite it being 70,000 words long and barely beginning act two.

This is the rough story plan of the second as yet untitled collection:

Story One - Love Hurst - Introducing the new fantasy world and the new characters Amy Hurst, Alison Benchley, Claudia Blase and Viorum Kaztif-tan as well as the rest of the pantheon.

Story Two - BDSM And The Art Of War - An excursion into scifi that brings in the old continuity (chiefly, Omega, Lisa and Logicular Replication) but mostly serves to keep the return of the Farsh-nuke simmering along.

Story Three - Black Lives Matter - A World War Z style collection of stories about racism in a world of dragons, elves and weresharks. I’m kind of nervous about writing this one because I’m whiter than writer but I hope the fantasy twists will allow me to avoid being insensitive while displaying the hardships that exist in this different world as well as giving me a reason to introduce black characters and develop them properly without angsting about plot making things awkward.

Story Four - The Bechdel Turing Test - Working title but basically this would amalgam Viorum and Claudia’s stories from the original aborted drafts to find an Earth Developed AGI and witness my scifi take on Wonder Woman into a lengthy Hobbit style travelogue that fleshes out the world.

Story Five - Blood Fugue - The Farsh-nuke is back! Sort of. A young man is turned into a vampire by his girlfriend, the process involving a soul from hell being summoned to replace his own. The act frees the Farsh-nuke from his bindings in hell but the will of the host’s soul is so strong he takes the Farsh-nuke’s abilities but remains in his own body. While the soul of the Farsh-nuke wages a war in hell against Spring-Heeled Jack his powers enable the host to get involved in a devastating conflict that has been going on for thousands of years between vampires and Weresharks.

Story Six - Cis White Male - Robert Gordon Banks is an old selfish douchebag who works in the marketing business but when he learns of a conspiracy within the Kilport Media Empire to protect people who abuse and assault the vulnerable he is stirred to bring down the powerful villains and place himself between them and the frightened witnesses who could give voice to the suffering of so many victims.

Story Seven - Genesis of the Sylphs - With the help of a man calling himself a humble gardener the Farsh-nuke is able to travel back in time to the dreadful events that created the albino sylph squirrels in the first place but all is not as it seems.

Story Eight - The Shrinkening Take Two - Robert Gordon Banks is on a date with a particularly attractive young journalist and Amy is enjoying some rare time off from being an agent of the gods when an old enemy of the Gardener’s decides to wreak havoc with a shrink ray. As the young and the beautiful start shrinking left and right Amy and Robert’s paths collide with the Gardener as they hunt down the old enemy.

Story Nine - Becoming - Amy has decided that Robert is the god killer they need to fight the Farsh-nuke and her master’s agree. While Robert wrestles with the mantle of responsibility he has been given and Amy frets about how her life will change they each find themselves undergoing transformations that will make them into weapons fit to take down the Farsh-nuke. Which is good because having reunited with his host body and his powers the Farsh-nuke is being plagued by nightmares of a man called Adam Godwinson and world lit up by nuclear hell fire.

Story Ten - And The Beast From The Sea - In the original continuity Adam Godwinson has noticed how his favourite torture toy has been having moments of amnesia and relative calm and strength which can only mean one thing - there is another Farsh-nuke in the multiverse. Adam rushes to neutralise the threat of this new Farsh-nuke by possessing that universes Adam Godwinson and going after what he perceives as the Farsh-nuke’s weakest spot. Nazis never were smart about not provoking retaliation. As the Farsh-nuke brings a hurricane of weresharks to bare upon the home of Adam Godwinson and Richard Raspberry, the heroes are called up to mount a defence of the citizens of the land of liberty, justice and capitalism.

Slowly I am getting there. Glacially slowly but I am. And as I am writing I am reading. Yes, I am reading my share of smut (which is arguably helping my fiction) but I am also beginning to work my way through the Eighth Doctor Adventures and I feel good. This feels like healing. I don’t know how long it’s going to take. I don’t know if I’ll even ever finish it but it feels good to have a project to work on that matters and that I am happy about, more or less.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Acceptance

Acceptance

A Bloggage
By
Alexander Gordon Jahans


We live in a time of monsters and great darkness but also a time of heroes and great hope. Part of me feels like I should shut myself away from the world entirely aside from retweets, reblogs and reshares. Be a node signal boosting the truth, not arrogant enough to speak myself.

The thing is that yes, I am a man who fucked up, whose fucking up hurt or offended those less privileged than myself, I can justify and reason and weasel but that will never not be so. I am on my own path to redemption and yeah it’s fucking arrogant to suggest that those less privileged, with their own problems, invest their emotional labour in me. So don’t. If you are stressed, tired, frustrated, if don’t give a fuck or would rather not waste your fucks then don’t. Go your own way, do what you have to do, I don’t need you hurting yourself on my account.

I am not coming here for therapy. I don’t need witnesses, I don’t need commenters and I don’t need approval. This is me letting people know what’s going on if they care.

I have not been in a good place for a while, indeed looking back it feels odd to say that I was ever in a good place because there was always this volcano bubbling under the surface. I haven’t been able to think clearly for a long time and I’m still not. It’s why I’m not talking to my friends, why I’m pushing my family away, why I can’t even begin to think about work or volunteering as my strength returns. I have retreated to my cocoon and I am still cooking.

I was a fucking weirdo, not dangerous, just damned strange because it just didn’t fucking occur to me that there was anything wrong with this stuff. I didn’t know back then the way this small stuff seemed like the smoke from trash fires and part of why the last three years has been so terrible is being forced to realize all the little tiny moments that could so easily have meant something else. I don’t know if it’s Autism or Kallman’s Syndrome or poor raising or just extreme stupidity in certain areas or what but looking back at my life I just fucking cringe.

Then again in primary school I carried a dead rat around in my pocket and in secondary school I opened doors with my head. Reasons talk of my time in school is verboten and I try not to think of it. Perhaps the fact that I think of actions just a couple of years ago with the same disgust and self hatred is a positive. I am progressing towards a less stupid and more self aware individual. And it only took getting stalked by nazis and hurting vulnerable people I cared about to do so... Yeah, it wasn’t worth it, not in the slightest, but it happened and I can’t change that.

I am picking up the pieces, slowly putting myself together again as someone newer. What I am realising however is that I will always be a work in progress, I will always look back at who I used to be and consider myself a tit.

I think what finally did it however was getting this kindle and reading the story whose blurb inspired me to write the story I am now. I mean the story I am writing is a very very different story since mine is a scifi kitchen sink story of feminist revolution against a fascist regime, where what I am now reading is fetish porn. I am definitely finding my literary critique senses tickling against aspects even as the majority of my attention is directed elsewhere but that’s okay. Not everything can be everything. What gets me is that the porn is good, descriptive but not overly so, pacey and lingering in just the right moments with the perfect balance of characterisation in those moments.

The one thing I have been able to console myself with was that at least I was writing a unique take on fetish scifi, and that’s arguably still true, but at this point I am forced to concede that indeed in every way what I want to see from fiction already exists and better written than I could manage. Never mind there being nothing new under the sun, at this point all that is needed is for someone to put together a team of writers, actors, directors and special effects artists for my ultimate perfect idea of fiction to be created. But then there’s 7 billion people on the planet and there have been a lot of people for a long time so that was probably always so.

I want to justify myself. I want someone to say it was worth it, that I matter, that I will make a difference, that struggling is important. It’s not. It just isn’t. And I know when I say that that the emotional reaction interprets it as a cry for help and wants to comfort but I’m a utilitarian who certainly believes that there is no such thing as an afterlife. I am not a vital cog in the machine. I matter to some people, to my mother and my friends and to others who gain some comfort just from the knowledge that I’m still around but my impact and importance is not actually that great.

I am not some terrible monster and I am not some great saint. I am an idiot who wrote some shite fiction, pissed off some people and plods along, getting by on fetishes, letsplays and going for walk. No one’s going to remember me, except maybe the dregs of the chans as an obscure inside joke about the potato faced lapsed vegetarian who wrote cannibal torture porn.

I used to think I mattered, used to think my opinion mattered, but I’m just a cog in the machine of society and currently I’m not even a machine in the economy beyond helping to keep Amazon and Sainsburys ticking along in the tiniest of ways with my purchases.

The thing is, the thing nobody who keeps screaming in my face realises, is that of course I’m going to get back up off the mat, of course I’m going to try and get a job again. I am a capitalist. I like buying things. I like earning money. I like having money. I like having cash.

Poverty has made me frugal and anti-capitalist because when you’re worried whether you’ll have money to last the rest of the month, every month, then you stop caring what the ads say. They could be offering cloned immortal submissive Amy Pond clones and I wouldn’t have the ability to care. I mean it’s going to take me years of hard saving to get a video card upgrade for my computer and that’s if I don’t get kicked off Universal Credit first and that’s me being coldly pragmatic.

So yeah, if the people threatening to kill me or torture me or whatever the fuck could just stop fucking screaming and let me get my strength back, of course I’ll try to get back in the job market, if only for something to fucking do. It’s like skyrim, sooner or later you have to get back to the main quest because you’re bored off your tits fannying about. Except in real life the main quest comes with this amazing perk called money. Or at least it used to, the latest Trump and Brexit patches have really nerfed the money perks awarded in the main quest line of life and the climate change dlc was a really stupid purchase but there we go.

I am a moron and and I have fucked up greatly but fuck it I’m still alive, I’m trying to be less of a shit and if I can, when my strength returns, I’ll try to get a job.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Feeling Better

Feeling Better

By
Alexander Gordon Jahans


So things were crazy and then they weren’t but I was too damaged to do anything. I still see the storm and I am not in a rush to venture back out into it but slowly I am learning to be human again, to be me again, whoever I happen to actually be right now.

I am giving up the diet coke. Not over night but slowly and it feels good. It feels right and true.

I am continuing with my writing and I am handling the grief more properly this time, more subtly, more distanced, more tastefully. The original continuity, the bits that aren’t complete vile crap, are being bought back in. The fear is gone and instead the writing continues. I am not and never shall be a writer with the depth and nuance that critics I admire would love. I am pulpy and schlocky and kinda fetishistic. Fucking foot fetishes are tame as far as I’m concerned.

Perhaps the most profound change though is that I got my hair cut today. I don’t have social anxiety around strangers in the same way as I used to. I know that I have survived obsessed sadistic monsters, that I have survived people wielding power drive mad by chemical imbalances, and I’m not getting misgendered anymore.

Probably more crucially though is something rather different. My mind loves to torture me, sharks were the first way but it has accrued monsters. I know, I can predict, how sadists will try to target me, because my own mind tries to target me and every now and again I wake up in a cold sweat because my mind has stumbled upon some fresh horror. Particularly recently, riddled with self doubt and a loss of identity when the old one finally gave up the ghost, my brain has sought fit conjure up terror after terror. The horror being caused by the doubt the nightmares. Is this chos of imagery me? No. I know who I am, or at least I know what I’m not.

I trust myself. That’s big.