Alexander Gordon Jahans
How the fuck do you round off this year? A clusterfuck of clusterfuckery, whining and pointless bullshit.
There's a passage in one of the Virgin New Adventures Doctor Who books where the seventh Doctor describes feeling like a hamster on a wheel whereby the faster he runs and the harder he fights the quicker bullshit crosses his path. I'm paraphrasing obviously but that's how I feel.
I have given up dreams of living a peaceful existence, of living in a world free from bullshit and drama. It will find me and it will try to break me. I am the eternal butt monkey, forever caught up in bullshit and clusterfuckery but I am hardened and I am stronger. And not just in a bad way...
There are monsters to be fought. There is some measure and definition of evil in the world: Corrupt politicians and racist police officers being two two biggest standouts of the year but least we forget amoral mega corporate entities that avoid tax and fuck up the planet and its people.
There are however also heroes: Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and even Hilary Clinton. Yes, she may be a little on the edge but compared to the absolute insanity of the Republican Party, mere cold hearted pragmatism and corruption are minor character flaws.
There is hope. There is a movement for change.
The media, for all its many faults when it comes to reporting, is delivering us great fiction. Star Wars, Assassin's Creed (yes, I still like it), Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Undertale, The Beginner's Guide, Spectre, Doctor Who (mostly not shit), Avengers Age of Ultron, Xmen Days of Future Past...
I myself have discovered Many A True Nerd and Alex and Sharon Shaw of Digital Gonzo, Digital Drift and now School of Movies (so many awesome names, no many awesome podcasts). There have been more awesome Dissecting Worlds podcasts and more awesome videos by Vechz, Etho, Zisteau and Chuggaaconroy.
Also lest we forget the game that has been my life support system this past year, even though it is quite old now: The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. Dragons, Vampires, mad gods, power mad cultists and racists demanding independence. Truly a masterful and amazing game, even if I did have to mod it a fair bit to reduce the aspects of it that I hate. My greatest tribute to Skyrim lies in a story I am still writing but it must be said. Bethesda, Nexus Mod Manager developers, thank you sincerely. I owe you so much.
I have grown so much this last year and it has been one hell of a hard road, one that I've spent screaming and shouting to you lot about and for that I am in equal parts grateful and sorry. I am resolved now though.
I think I am finally beginning to see quality in my writing, quality that is perhaps worth refining with edits and proofreading.
I am more at ease with who I am as a person. I understand myself a whole lot more now. Appropriately I think the Doctor summed it up best with Death in Heaven "I'm not a hero or a monster. I am an idiot, passing through and helping out where I can."
There is something I've been feeling for a while now, something that I've been trying to understand. At first I thought it was just wanting to die, then that it was nihilism or some pathetic cowardice to the responsibilities I owe the world but I think I understand it best now as an incorruptible strength of spirit. The Firefly theme best sums it up:
Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand,
I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
Burn the land and boil the sea,
You can't take the sky from me.
Take me out into the black, tell them I ain't coming back,
I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
You see threats and insults don't hurt me anymore. I love life. I love every extra day, every extra hour. I love the boredom. I love the thinking. I love trying to see my head round the most insurmountable problems. I love that I am still here, I'm still writing, I'm still enjoying all that is still so good about the world.
There is a lot of shit out there but there is a lot of love and laughter and joy too.
The world has tried to break me too many times now, it may break my body, it may break my mind but it will never break my soul, will never break my morality, A man chooses, a slave obeys, well I am a man. I choose my destiny. I choose my fate and I choose not to care about the shit that crosses my path anymore while still choosing to care about the good in life and choosing to try and stop the shit from raining. I absolutely believe in the no win scenario and I will act with dignity and reason within such a situation but until I lose I am going to keep trying without fear of failure.
This christmass I am getting a new smart phone and I am finishing Skyrim. Do you know what that means? That means I can take off. I can be free. I've got a laptop and it's a damn good one, fairly certain it can run Oblivion or Morrowind and I know I can write on it, make videos with it. With my smartphone I can access wifi in libraries or pubs, connect to facebook use google and download podcasts. I am no longer tied to my safe space, I am no longer trapped within it.
I am going to learn to drive and going to get a job or an internship far away from this mad house. I will keep my life with me, I will keep my podcasts, my friends, my writing, my accidental media empire and my games with me.
This christmass I am free in a way I have not been for a hell of a long time. I am not the pathetic weakling I once was, I do not need to fear the outside world like I once did.
Well done everyone, we are halfway out of the dark!
Have a merry christmass and a happy new year. I know I will.