Monday, 21 August 2017
The Trouble With Talking
Alexander Gordon Jahans
Content warning: Rape mentions. References to fictional trans cures and people trying to cure trans people in reality. References to characters changing gender in fiction. Incest mention. War mention. Poem insulting nazis.
A wise man once said that all it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. He neglected to add that it really doesn’t help when well meaning morons wade into the fray. I am such a moron and it burns.
I have been trying to stay off social media. I blame nazis. I blame family. I blame Trump. I blame Algorithms. I blame feminists. I blame everyone but me.
Do you know what the big problem with honesty is? Lies are what we’re made of. Our whole memory is a system of oft repeated lies, stories that are easy to remember. In being honest I took myself out of the equation. Oh I have always been a good little capitalist who knew how to wield the truth like a weapon when I needed to but a pacifist does not build a personality on weaponry.
That’s why Doctor Who is important to me. Not because it’s the greatest show in the galaxy because it isn’t. Every single show and book I have experienced since then has been better. Farscape. Babylon 5. Blakes 7. The Culture. Firefly. Hannibal. The Thick Of It. House Of Cards. The West Wing.
The list goes on and on and on but Doctor Who remains important because it taught me the importance of lies. The Doctor is a monster. He is a white imperialist interfering cruel, sadistic, genocidal monster. Yet he tries to be better. He believes he can be better and he tries to use the terrible nature he has for the better. He is Bruce Banner getting himself dropped into the path of a monster so that his own darkness can fight the good fight.
I don’t think that logically I am a monster. I don’t think that logically I have done much I would genuinely consider immoral. However there is a scene in the West Wing that I think sums up my feelings. Vice President Hoynes has been running this discreet Alcoholics Anonymous forum for so long during the series when it becomes relevant to point out that hey maybe the Vice President shouldn’t be an alcoholic. He explains that he never had so much as one night binge drinking but all it took was one little drop for him to know he had a problem.
I grew up with my dad displaying the dangers of the anger management issues I inherited and I went to a school where those issues were tested with fire. Literally once I think. My whole life I have felt like I have been living under this shadow of what I could do. It doesn’t help that I was a weird kid. Maybe it’s just my own personal anxiety. Like a variant of the imposter syndrome. I am David’s monstrous doppleganger waiting for the signal from the shadows.
Doctor Who matters because it told me that no matter how broken, how strange, how monstrous, evil and pathetic I felt, that I could be powerful. Useful. An asset to the good.
Except I did have a dark secret. It just wasn’t what I thought. There’s this moment in This Book Is Full Of Spiders where a character finds out he is an imposter. That he is a clone created by the shadows and killed himself. What I love - What I have always loved - Is that you expect the aftermath to be like Torchwood Children of Earth. Quiet devastating victory for the bad guys. Instead the imposter finds a way to carry on where the original left off, to fight the good fight.
I was worse than a shadow bound terminator who killed his original self. When I found out my dark secret I should have grieved in private. Retreated from the world and figured myself out. I didn’t. I have explanations and justifications. I blame many people. I did this to myself. I set myself up on a stage, set up a loaded gun, drew a large crowd then pulled on a thread that unravelled my sanity. What happened next was my own doing. I can blame so many people, I can explain and justify so many things but if I had been smarter, if I had even just stuck to what I said only a few months before I made the changes that screwed me over...
For Want Of A Nail the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the war was lost.
For want of a war the government was overthrown.
For want of a government the peace was lost.
For want of peace a thousand generations died in horrendous bloodshed.
For want of a nail.
There are so many fucking nails the coffin of my sins.
And in digging my own grave and hammering those nails deep I stopped myself dealing with the incident that caused all those problems. Easier to think about them mean feminists than stare headlong into the abyss and accept that it serves as a mirror by which to see and learn about myself. Who gives a rat’s arse what I did why I did it? That’s the wrong thread to pull on.
Learning I had Kallman’s Syndrome fucked me up. It fucked me up bad. It fucked me up because I needed someone who could tell me it was going to be okay. Instead I had anger management issues, anxiety issues, depression, self loathing and two sides in my head that gave no shits about the issue.
I tried to do what I have always done. I tried to be good. Except I knew nothing. I reached out to a community I hoped and prayed would be able to understand me and I offered them the solace I wish I had. I could not have insulted them more deeply.
I fucked up so bad and it caused so much shit to rain that I am only now at the point where I can begin properly shovelling it out. I needed to write and I needed to be confident in my writing but I should not have been on a fucking stage. Everything about how I handled that was a trash fire.
Except I see now that I did and do need to write. This kind of revelation is not something you can look directly at. I mean I’m still pulling at the thread of that revelation. Kallman’s Syndrome led to Growth Hormone Deficiency, led to Sleep Apnoea, led to so overweight I am in agony and my ankles grind and crunch when I walk.
I have stared long and hard into the abyss. I have studied politics and technological unemployment. I have read the terrible history of Autism and learned how attempts to cure Autism led to attempts to electrocute the gay and trans out of children. I have listened to history podcasts. I have been stalked by nazis and witnessed the terror of Trump. I am older and wiser, more cynical and heart broken by how fucking awful the human race is.
I don’t fear and hate my lust any more because my lust has become my lust for life. Because who cares about war, disease, tragedy and heartbreak when you are looking into thee smiling face of someone beautiful and adorable? Because I can cope with the world when I think of the cute ones being happy and loved. My deep dark beast became my reason to survive.
I am in so much pain and I am always so tired. I keep writing dystopias and finding hope, family and happiness within them. I suppose it’s the competency bias. It’s the lust coming out because there has to be a submissive woman somewhere. I suppose it’s just that if nobody cares about your characters there are no stakes.
I always have explanations and justifications but ultimately its me.
I keep coming back to that fucking fanfic and why it burns. Why this particular bullshit must be redeemed? I’ve hurt people before. I’ve hurt people since. God help you if you have ever had the misfortune to make me genuinely hate and try to hurt you. I hurt as lot of people with that fanfic but it wasn’t special, important, or significant as flame outs go. It’s not even the first time I got kicked out of a fan community. So why does it hurt still? Why is everything I write a response or reflection or a conscious distancing and avoidance of that moment?
Well as I said lies are what we are made of and Doctor Who told me how to lie by inspiring me to write fiction. I have been writing a lot and the last three big stories are kind of impossible not to read as direct reflections of that fuck up.
The Phantom Raspberry Killer deals with a tortured Farsh-nuke being convinced by the nazis to aid them in creating a way to switch the genders of a person so that their glorious leader can fuck their son/daughter. Yeah, I’m about as subtle as a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick when it comes to my trumpists are nazis and this shit is terrible metaphors.
Come Again features the non-binary Elder God Viorum Kaztif-tan and their trans woman journalist companion Claudia Green as they investigate why the Great Farsh-nuke has sent a message from his hell dimension and why people are fighting each other as part of a strange competition. It is about dealing with the legacy and fallout of the Farsh-nuke. It also features two canon versions of myself as I face my demons, or the judgement of my better angels and at least 5 different submissive women.
Those two were planned. Those two had a lot of thought put into them. They were bold steps forward while dealing with the past. The third is not like that. It was inspired by stumbling across art for a kink that is, or maybe was, not my kink on twitter after feminists criticised the artist. Ideas are dangerous things to plant in my head.
The Golden Girl is a distraction fic that might be so terrible it very swiftly gets moved to the Old Shame section of my website. It is the story of a man who becomes a girl. It’s nothing to do with trans and I have done my best to make clear that in-universe this is radically different. This is a powerful organisation and privileged individuals taking advantage of a desperate man’s choice in a world where the best qualification he can get features changing gender as a passing grade. I literally wrote an essay before I even started on this distraction fic just fleshing out the organisation because I knew I wanted to focus on the human story without leaving this stuff unanswered.
What I have slowly begun to realise is that the fan fic still burns with me because it is so emblematic of what I was trying and failing to do. The fanfic concerned the founding of the United Civilisations of the Multiverse by the manipulations of the Great Farsh-nuke to create the perfect leader and champion to replace him in the form of Lucy Danse the Paragon of Virtue. It was a story of how taking a stand and trying to achieve revolution when you are out gunned and out manned is still worth it because thought the forces of oppression seem impossible to topple against a forever war all you need is to kick enough space to begin to grow your power.
Lucy Danse walking the hundred million universes was supposed to be the great cure. It was supposed to end the bloodshed and allow for glorious post-scarcity. To ensure that being progressive could win against Neoliberalism and the war on terror. That monsters and saints can unite to fight for a better tomorrow.
Then the UK voted to leave the European Union, Trump got elected President and I got driven off youtube by nazi stalkers. So the Farsh-nuke and Lucy Danse sacrificed themselves to end the great Septagonoid war, The United Civilisations took out the tyrannical fascism of the Logicio empire and the Sylph Liberation Front was left as the biggest swinging dicks in the multiverse. Only for a newer worse kind of Fascism to step up, aided by an even more ancient god called Adam Godwinson, the dreadful scheming of a Bam-Kursh and an imprisoned Farsh-nuke who tried to stand against them. There is hope and there is victory very much in sight but things are far from over.
I am tired and I am in pain. I want the cure. I am not even sure if I care about my gender or anything any more. I have sunken so low that I genuinely think hell might be psychologically easier to deal with because at least then when I felt pain and tiredness I wouldn’t also feel fear and anxiety. All I can do is keep going. And that’s fucking hard.
A person is built on a bed of lies. I am honest and that sucks because I look at the facts and I try to calculate the odds. When the most optimistic you can be is to point out that you are bad at math so maybe you’ve calculated the odds wrong then things are bad.
There is this idea in scifi, in reality, of the cold equation. That there is a right answer to a problem that isn’t nice and nobody likes it but the facts are what the facts are. Humans in general do not react well to the idea of the Cold Equation.
Kurt Vonnegurt apparently thought that the great sin of man was that we kept telling ourselves these damaging narratives that aren’t how reality works. I very much agree with this idea. It’s like people who get mad at spoilers baffle me. When I know a main character is going to die that’s not a spoiler, that’s a moment of tension in a scene that otherwise would not exist. How do they not know that the main character is going to be okay and the status quo will be restored by the end of the episode?
Here’s the thing I’m getting help for Kallman’s Syndrome and all the other things. I could add psychological help to that already long list and I probably will someday once things are a little calmer but it wouldn’t help me now. I am under no immediate danger, I have coping mechanisms, I get by, make it through the day, but on the long term I know that I am falling. I hope I can slow my decent enough to make it to the next boost and the next boost. I hope the things weighing me down can be dealt with. I hope someday I might have the strength to actually pull myself up by my bootstraps.
People who are okay generally think of people who aren’t okay like a character in a story. You’ll find a solution to the problem and get over it. Even if you know it’s not that simple the desperation makes you see cure alls where there are none. I’ve done this to myself. Desperately sought things I hoped would solve everything so much only to find that it was just a different kind of frying pan over a different kind of fire.
I want the happy ending. I want the solution. I want the answer. I want the cure. I want to believe that there is something better than this. That life can be better, more possible. The fact one of my solutions now is something I long since gave up as impossible has me severely doubting that. Any plan that relies upon a person who is all out of fucks finding fucks to give is a plan doomed to failure.
I am still writing and I’m still breathing and I’m still hoping and learning. I might survive this. I might be a better somebody. I might get a happy ending. I might find workable solutions. Answers that work for me. I might get the medication I need.
My story is not over. Not yet. I just don’t have any answers for you. Except sorry because this is going to suck. It is going to suck for everybody. And if you are a sadistic nazi moron laughing at the outrage and agony of the filthy SJWs, remember this:
This too shall pass.
Nobody wins forever.
Your time to suffer will come.
When suffer people will smile.
When you are dead people will forget you or spit upon your name.
You are alive today.
Be grateful for the mercies, liberties and victories you get.
It can always be worse
Anyway I’m going to go writing my story about a man becoming a beautiful giggly enthusiastic submissive girl. I will burn in hell and I will deserve it but for now I live and I am writing what I want because I feel like it and I am no use to man nor beast if I stop myself doing the things that give me the strength to continue.
Sunday, 20 August 2017
It is so weird to be writing a (very radically different - they like sports) character having a conversation with their family member when your family member is next door. Like I am writing this intense interpersonal drama and make up between these two very fictional characters but I'm still like what if the X thinks this X is them and they think Y must be me because I am Y to them in real life. Maybe this is why so many writers kill off the families?
Oh tragic back story. So sad. Never feel awkward writing about it though.
I mean its one thing when the plot is zombies, aliens, robots or nazis. There is something very simple and understandable about the weird trying to kill you. I mean can quite easily imagine writing a scene where a protagonist talks about the need to go on the run from nazis. Not least because in an incredibly painfully slow fashion that is what I am trying to do. Migrate out from under the nazis before they notice.
I am not writing that kind of story now. This is much more small scale. Much more personal to the characters and thus so much more awkward to explain. Even if it weren't taken as a base concept from from delving too deep onto the internet and finding weird stuff involving only consenting adults. This is the kind of personal story that people can't help but assume is based in reality.
The Farsh-nuke eats people, removes their brains and can reprogram reality and they think he's based on me. What the fuck are they going to think when they see a 20,000 word story about a guy who finishes college and has to decide what he's going to do with his life? I mentioned in a story that in universe I was somewhere else and people were still like. "That psychopath with the alien abilities is you"
I hope to fuck these are just people who think the Legend Of Zelda is Shigeru Miyamoto's desire to play Robin Hood or I honestly have no idea how this won't generate just the most awkward outrage and confusion.
Call out the male gaze, call out shitty representation, call out when I am rightly a moron but with this story please do not confuse fiction and reality. I am Sir 'Not appearing in this story' except for one story where I obliquely do as two different characters but that is the exception not the rule
Wednesday, 16 August 2017
It is so easy to lose hope right now. So easy to throw your hands up in disgust and surrender to what seems like inevitable. The world is in a bad way and problems that have existed for decades are causing catastrophic fractures within our cultures. Depression, desperation and confused anger at a world that would not let us be have turned people to hatred.
We live now in a point where even the good may feel the need to get blood on their hands as we are forced to do battle over great and terrible issues that are themselves distractions from the real problems created by men who just don't care about the truth so long as there is profit and power in it.
I'll be honest I feel myself to be a mess. In so many ways I feel myself to be a traitor, to have wronged good people and still wrong headed in a few key ways. I am tired and I am in pain and it would be so easy to convince myself that I don't deserve redemption, that I don't deserve to try. Because who looks at this shit tip of a world and relishes the challenges presented? But I will persevere as must we all.
It's not about goodies or baddies or anything else like that. There is no justice in the clusterfucks raining down upon us. There is just desperate confused people trying to survive and feeling angry when the way they think is best doesn't seem to get anywhere.
I have a side in these conflicts and it is a side I will support with blood if the problems we face get that bad but we are all humans and we all have the capacity to be misled, stupid and passionately defensive of our own stupid ideas. There are toxic centers, sources of toxic ideology that must be eliminated, but the vast majority of even those we consider the worst foes are just people following what they believe to be right.
Ultimately even wars are in the end about convincing the other side of the strength of your arguments. I am no warrior, no diplomat and no politician and have never claimed to be. All I can give is the hope that the majority of us survive, learn and come out of these dark times better people.
Self loathing is not fun. Self loathing when the mistakes of your past and the political morality of your present are fighting it out with very real casualties is hell. I have been seriously tempted to just delete my youtube channel and facebook page more than once recently because facing past feels so difficult but I persevere and dream of a better tomorrow.
Monday, 14 August 2017
Monday, 7 August 2017
Nine Worlds Geek Fest 2017
The Social OS Update
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I am wired and tired and, frankly, a little manic after nearly 5 days without writing or letsplays.
I have been on what can perhaps be best described as a psychological orbit during the last two years. Fatigue, pain and fresh crises causing me to fall further while letsplays, podcasts, writing, tv shows, walking and some very lovely people have kept boosting my altitude so that I never quite head into a death spiral. Though there have been one or two close calls.
The reasons for this are far too many to mention and frankly the answers bore me right now. The point is that I have not been well. Then as Nine Worlds Geek Fest approached, a number of things combined, some good, some bad, to make my mental state particularly ragged.
* I missed Universal Credit then had the rescheduled appointment a couple of days before I headed off to Nine Worlds Geek Fest.
* After waiting two years, my family picks the time period just before to get estate agents round to look at the house. So lots of stress as sleeping arrangements are shifted round to accommodate house viewings and certain members of my family seriously misunderstand how an autistic person will react to them cleaning without consent or oversight.
* I finished watching Blakes 7.
* I came close to the end of a short story I had been working on for weeks.
* I got the galloping shits.
So when I at last made the trip to Nine Worlds Geek Fest I was having serious doubts about whether I should go. I lived in absolute dread that I would get there and effectively have a nervous breakdown from the destruction of the fragile routine that had kept me in that stable orbit. Or worse that my isolation and mental instability had made me into a kind of offence generating time bomb waiting to go off. Between the last Nine Worlds Geek Fest I attended and this one I had after all managed to get myself publicly shamed and hated as a transphobic misogynist. Now here I was walking into perhaps the safest of safe spaces.
Incidentally the journey in (and trap back) was not fun. Taking luggage on the London underground, and having to go up escalators and stairs, not good. I got on the wrong train once and even when I arrived I started off walking in the wrong direction. My abusive father’s painfully insistent advice that there was a direct bus to Heathrow resounding loudly in my ears and I realised quite viscerally just how utterly unhelpful that advice would have been had I taken it.
The hotel I stayed in was shit. I had to go out to buy proper bogroll and the sink was too small to fit my bottles under the tap so I had to make squash by using a glass like a ladle to spoon the water inside the bottles held over the tiny sink. The walk from my hotel to the convention venue was bracing but not too tiring. Indeed the most tiresome aspect was negotiating the many crossings.
There is not actually much I can say about Nine Worlds Geek Fest 2017 itself. It was what Nine Worlds has always been, albeit perhaps smaller. I didn’t go for the guests and I considered the panels almost incidental. There were some good ones. A decent panel on Sansa Stark’s development in Game of Thrones. A nice one on Post Colonialism in Doctor Who. An interesting one on the city in SciFi and Fantasy. A good round table discussion on redemption in SF&F. A lot were alright but not memorable. Though the wrestling panel strikes me as something entirely outside my comfort zone but entertaining and interesting regardless.
There was the odd car crash of a panel. A couple I was in note worthy for providing me with a first hand view of how both old white women and old white gays can be dismissively bigoted in some ways. As a cis white male with interests in women I’m so used to being the demographic of the oppressor that it was eye opening to see that no women and gay men are indeed equally capable of being ignorant and problematic. Even these car crashes were enjoyable in their own way. A spectacle of stupidity. That said polyamorous and bisexual discrimination are not things to laugh about and are issues that need addressing in society. The fact I can take a punch down doesn’t mean others can and nor should they have to.
Which brings me to the the best part about conventions for me. The friends and friendly interactions. Nine Worlds Geek Fest is full of amazing and interesting people. I have to write and write from my perspective for my own reasons but this year I was very conscious that the world does not need more opinions from white cis males. Biting my tongue was at times hard, sometimes very hard, because I have spent so long on my own without a need to restrain myself but fundamentally I know what I think so I want to hear what they have to say instead. They have the new and interesting perspectives and they deserve to have their voices heard.
There is a misnomer within the right wing that what they want is freedom of speech. Now I will genuinely fiercely argue against censorship, if only because the old white cis rich men are still in charge in the vast major of cases. Yet like with the freedom of markets, something else I will ferociously champion the right wing doesn’t really want freedom.
Freedom is protected. You have a military (or vary good diplomats) to protect the freedom of your citizens from outside forces and you have a police force to protect the freedom of your citizens from internal sources. (Leaving aside the issue of police brutality and industrial racism just this once.) In the same way you have a regulation to protect the freedom of the markets from corporate bullies who would reduce competition. Freedom of Speech is protected in a similar way.
The right wing wants a world without rules because they have the money, they have the power and they like to think they have the physical might to enforce their will. (Even if the right wing and far right are by far the shittiest players of the martyr olympics.)
Never mind that freedom of speech refers specifically to protection from the government and nothing else, the spirit of their argument is self defeating. To protect free speech we do have to control and punish those with the largest power to exploit if they try to silence others. Even I have been cowed by the harassing voices of those who claim so viscously to defend the freedom of speech. These pricks silenced me and they react with outrage and indignation when their further harassment is silenced.
Nine Worlds Geek Fest is a safe space because it protects freedom of speech and representation from those who would seek to silence others with their might and violence. It is filled with lovely people from all walks of life and it feels like home.
I am immensely sad and kind of irrationally angry right now that it is over. I felt alive. I was talking to people and I liked it. More over I didn’t have to hide the scars I bore. I mean I didn’t flash them at anyone because I’m not a dick but this island of social progressivism, the safest of safe spaces, it didn’t make me feel unwelcome. Now maybe that’s because I’m a fucking unknown and a lot of my sins happened a long time ago now. Maybe the details would change it. That’s fair and that’s fine. What matters is that I was able to belong, however temporarily, however falsely, among this collection of different identities that I fundamentally champion and want to be victorious.
This convention finally put into words what I have been seeking for so long. Redemption. I fucked up and I fucked up bad. I hurt people, I made it about me and then my enemies hurt those people again. And the worst part is I know that it’s not just the writing, that I fucked up so bad but I will never really understand exactly, how, why and what I did wrong. There are so many steps along that chain where a different decision might have altered things so that I could maybe at least know how not to be such a fuckhead in the future.
That said there are some things I don’t think I will ever see eye to eye with some people about. I don’t believe in justice. I believe in the moral calculus of utilitarianism. I recognise social and political context as factors in that moral equation. That privilege and discrimination modify the result of whether a given action is moral or not. But I do not believe in justice.
I am a petty man with a long memory and I can be genuinely quite sadistic. I am not the hero of my own story. By my own morality I am a shithead who, at best, barely scrapes by without causing too much harm.
I will never trust in any system that trusts in the virtue, morality and goodness of anyone. I don’t care what demographic you are, you’re a person and that makes you capable of being moronic, petty, sadistic and corrupt. I would rather not have a society where ‘justice’ was carried out by well meaning citizens. The level of utter glee exhibited by some among the socially progressive at silencing, harassing and trying to end the livelihoods of people they have judged unworthy shocks and sickens me.
I don’t care what they’ve done, I don’t care what your demographic is. We have rules and systems to facilitate the protection of fundamental rights. Or we should anyway.
I cannot ever condone such actions. I can never condone revenge in real life. I have been hurt too deeply by far too many people to allow myself such an excuse. The things I could do to my hate stalkers in recent years alone. I appreciate that from another perspective that might seem like a demon criticising an angel smiting demons because as a demon, he’s not a nice guy. Unfortunately I think there is evidence enough to suggest that selective application of the rules leads in general to the wrong people exploiting that ruleset.
I do not think I can be redeemed, I don’t feel like it is possible. Barely passing for neurotypical in public is hard enough. Abiding by new sets of rules and identities is already hard at 25 and has to be consciously worked upon. I’ve already given up trying to reform the way I write fiction to a certain extent. I just don’t have the energy. Maybe the answer is I just don’t publish anything and quietly withdraw from public life. Heck I’m already sort of doing that.
I love Nine Worlds Geek Fest, I love the people, I love how they make me feel welcome and like I belong but if and when I get this short story collection published I feel like it’s going to be a nuclear bomb going off. The worst part is I’ll probably think I’ve gotten away with it. I mean what’s finished is already more than 80,000 words. So it’ll go unread and uncared about until the next time someone searches within the text for buzz words removed from context. In this story collection I break all of my rules. It is intended as a part 1 but also a capstone in case I never write again. It is also about my dealing with the wrongs I did through fiction.
If you think Steven Moffat and Joss Whedon are horrifically sexist, transphobic and otherwise problematic then block me now and save yourselves the bother. I wish I could say that I am seeking redemption through being a better man. I wish I could say this was a socially progressive short story collection. I wish I could be even half as good as they should like me to be. The reality is that a lot happened over the last two years. A metric fuckton happened. So this is about unpacking and displaying the horrors I feel like I was attacked for. This is about beginning the grieving process by finally drawing closure on the subject by earning the outrage.
I can’t seek redemption for something I don’t fully understand and know I did in good faith, meaning well. I can’t grieve for being a shit until I feel like I unambiguously am one and know why. It’s not as bad as it could be. It’s not as crude as it could be. There are story and plot reasons. No trans characters are actually harmed. None the less there is evil in these stories a level to which I have forbidden myself from writing before.
I kind of forgot about Richard Raspberry and how very evil he is while I was at Nine Worlds Geek Fest. I’m so close to the end of what is so far my most socially progressive short story that it clouded the memory of him and his actions. That I forgot that technically the story I’m writing is deliberately offensive and disgusting both in and out of universe.
I feel like a fraud and a monster. Oh and my diet is shot.
Anyway, I’m going to recover and then I’m going to review Blakes 7 and continue writing this short story.
Actually I don’t think even George RR Martin has anything quite as grotesque as what Richard Raspberry does.
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Alexander Gordon Jahans
So there’s people looking round the house as Universal Credit happens and Nine Worlds Geek Fest happens not long after. I am knackered. Held together by mints, diet coke and fantasies of submissive girls.
Kallman’s Syndrome, Growth Hormone Deficiency, Sleep Apoenia, Autism, Piles, Cataracts, Millenial Angst and now I’m on a diet while dealing with the stress of a house move, my abusive father and those loyal to him and Universal Credit. Oh and because I am currently writing a story featuring a Non-Binary Elder God and their Trans Woman companion my brain is just torturing me.
Nazis are fine. They are dangerous and scary and I feel such disgusting hatred but they don’t get you in the head. If a monster who is clearly drenched in darkness says horrible things about you it’s like so what? The evil shit thinks I’m evil. Who cares.
Feminists and trans people thought. They are right and strong and they deserve protection, support and victory but what they say burns. It motherfucking burns and corrodes away at your psyche. Though maybe that’s just me raging at myself and using that as an excuse. Like I can’t tear into myself over what the nazis say because if the nazis said water is wet I’d have to double check that. They’re fucking nazis but with a feminist, with a trans person the opposite is also true.
“God is real and he hates you. Also Lucifer knows you’re coming and he’s preparing a buttplug razor blades, lemon juice and disease iunfested fish guts. You are the secret aborted insane sun of Donald Trump and actually an evil being made of hate and shit. Your pathetic excuse for a cock is actually a cancerous growth and your consciousness is actually a virulent parasite developed by the men in black to take care the truly evil. You are a too with no agency built to suffer and die.”
“Well okay then I guess I bewetter consider that as valid criticism.
Don’t get me wrong no feminist has ever been as shitty as my own self destructive and self loathing instincts but the point is they don’t need to.
One phrase that someone said once still burns with me though because I never got to hear them specifically clarify it “... It’s not just the writing...” Understand that nothing they actually said could ever be as bad as planting that seed and never clarifying. No truthful bitter account that burns, not eful sadistic rant I disagreed with, nothing could ever fuck me up as bad as such profound hatred over my writing but then ‘Oh, not just that...’
It’s like in my mind that they have become elevated to some great seer ‘And lo in the year 2049 you shall do the bad thing and for that you will be satan’s personal plaything for all eternity’
And here I am ranting about being criticised. Because if one thing encourages people to actually explain their criticisms it’s when a crazy guy on the internet rants about criticism that was given.
I’m just tired. Perpetually tired and now hangry as well.
Except I’ve now reached this weird almost religious revelation. The universe will never actually let me die because death would be a mercy so instead it gives me just enough hope, escapism and support to keep me clinging on in the darkest moments and then it tortures me for pleasure. As much pain and annoyance as it’s possible to get without sending me over the edge.
Bizarrely, I feel like this explains why things are actually maybe starting to look up. Nine Worlds Geek Fest, beginning to sell the house, universal credit maybe not being a complete trash fire, even the coming impeachment of Trump and the approaching Corbyn government. All these things feel like the universe compensating for the fact that I am physically so much weaker and psychologically so much more ready to chuck everything in. It’s the torturer letting you have a nice bath and a good meal because you nearly died during the last session and they need you scared and in pain, not a gibbering wreck.
I mean I don’t actually consider it to be true but I know sod’s law is a load of horseshit, doesn’t stop me believing in it and acting like it’s real on the basis of anecdotal evidence. There are reasons I don’t believe in summer or winter clothing, why I always dress the same no matter the weather.
I do have hope. I do think that with time the house might be sold and this particular purgatory might be at an end. That I might have a lock between me and dad which he won’t have a key to. That sooner or later the conservatives have to go. That Trump has to go. Apart from anything else, even as my magnum opus, as a collection of short stories I keep adding to, I am slowly finishing this beast I am calling Alpha Warriors.
I am tired, I am in pain but I will not die, the universe won’t allow that mercy. I will get my writing finished. I will proofread it. I will publish it. Absolutely noone will care but it will be done.
Before I go I leave you on this thought.
The tardis can’t go back to New York but Clara has a different Tardis. It is my personal headcanon that Amy and Clara went travelling together (and totally had an affair, maybe Rory was aware and involved)
Oh and I have nearly finished watching Blakes 7. It’s a great, if at times wildly problematic, series. And when the guy who writes vore, and tears himself to pieces wondering what feminists think of him, considers a series to be problematic that is a serious thing to consider. That said Avon is a badass and I love him. I now want to imagine him travelling with Amy, Clara and Mad Mikkelson’s Hannibal for reasons. (they are all insanely attractive and charismatic actors and characters)
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I walked through a graveyard today. A grave where one of my own relatives is buried, the only funeral I ever witnessed. I felt nothing. There were complicating factors of course. I was having to plaster on a smile as I walked with a living family member whose anger could give the hulk a run for his money. The walk itself clouded my head with all sorts of distracting stimuli, aching feet, uncomfortable heat and bitter musings on the route taken. Yet I still felt the unease at being near the church.
See hypocrisy is fundamental to my character, I am the atheist who went to a C of E primary school. The rituals and mythology of the Church of England are indelibly marked upon my soul as the foundations of my personality, even as I dismiss the notion of a god and miracles. I am fast realising that I am in many ways an anti-theist C of E Christian. C of E Christianity is arguably one of the more harmless and positive forms of religion but the hatred at having it forcibly absorbed into who I am has created a quiet simmering rage. It is a rage that is not content with the red heat of violence and lashing out. It is a rage that burns cold. A rage that seeks nothing more or less than the complete and total destruction of religion as an active force in the world.
Something you should understand about me, that even I am only just beginning to understand, through my fiction, is that if I go dark side I don’t do it loudly. See I have been writing a lot of truly abhorrent dystopian organisations lately in my fiction and I can’t help noticing that they lack the chaotic bluster and loud violence of real life monsters.
It’s like a friend asked me today if the Valeyard could come back as Toxic Masculinity because they saw it as a buzzphrase amongst the douchebros. Here’s the Irony, Toxic Masculinity is almost exactly what the douchebros criticise black men as being. Toxic Masculinity is an obsession with wealth, displaying said wealth, bragging about sexual exploits and collecting anecdotes about sexual exploits like someone filling a pokedex. Toxic Masculinity is the performative aspects of masculinity - fast cars, cool tech, nice suits, pretty girls and alcohol - taken to a dangerous extreme. That is not the Valeyard.
The Valeyard is a quiet calm calculating viscious predator. If Toxic Masculinity is a riot or James Bond bringing an entire base down because he had orders or someone wronged him, the Valeyard is the quiet man in the corner who nobody notices but just passively accepts and subtley but surely brings about your end and topples entire empires because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and you have been selected for destruction.
I have rules to counter my anger but there is another aspect of myself which I am only beginning to understand and is if anything far more ugly and dangerous. I’m not Toxic Masculinity, I am much more like the Valeyard. I am the man who just quietly decides I hate something then starts plotting to undermine or change it. Sometimes even I am not fully aware of plots I’m working.
I’ve mentioned before that as an autistic person I can get too close to something or someone. I remember everything, it’s stored as a sequence, or story, whenever I’m doing something associated with that activity. I can’t reread books or rewatch films because every passing moment refreshes the experience of the prior experience through my brain. People are the same and of course my social skills are conscious so I shape myself to better respond to the person I’m with. I can even make myself temporarily believe things contrary to my character if it suits the social ettiquette.
This causes problems when my natural personality comes unstuck and reasserts itself. It’s the social equivalent of your computer rebooting mid session and suddenly that hackintosh has reverted back to windows 7. Except I’m the computer. The whiplash for me and the person I’m with can be astonishing. You repeat a lie often enough and I will believe it until one day when the truth reasserts itself.
This is why I can have plans even I don’t know about. I said before that I was lurching in the dark from one disaster to another. Not entirely true. Indeed I recently snapped back to full awareness after months in a kind of cognitive hibernation where I left more basic logic and emotions in charge. There has been a very pronounced period of whiplash. The cognitive hibernation was necessary for a reason. It does not do for a mind that solves problems to stare too long into a shit hole where there is no quick or satisfying solution. So for months I have lived for the moment, focused on the things that make me feel good and distracted myself from the present.
There have very definitely been plans that I have been passively working on, even while the part of me that makes such plans was offline. Not evil plans you understand. I have rules. These rules incidentally are why people on the left hate me. Because I need my rules to be action based not context or reason based because I know I can come up with whatever damned context or reason to justify to myself.
Justice as a contextual understanding of power structures and dynamics sounds very good in theory. In practise man can come up with an excuse to justify horrendous barbarism. Indeed if Trump were a smarter man he could even use feminism as part of his arsenal to oppress the people and pervert American democracy. Justice may have firm logical foundations but in practise it is a story used to justify hate and horror. The white supremacists committing acts of terrorism believe they are enacting justice after all. Yet our perennial problem as a species is we so often fail to recognise our own flaws and hypocrisy.
If I thought like a radical feminist? If I allowed myself to make such stories to justify amoral actions? Then I would be the Valeyard. Consider this. I know of two instances where my rage has burned cold and I have calmly done things I would otherwise never have done. When I walked away from school for the last time and when I tried to make my abusive father leave. Both times I broke my own rules. Both times I did so calmly and calculatedly. I have already shown myself to be problematic but more than that I am a proud supporter of true regulated capitalism (not this neoliberal horseshit). These rules that make me hold back from relentlessly pursuing those I disagree with, the ones that are anti the thought police, are much the same as stop me from say making plans to save capitalism.
I mention all of this, the plans, the morality and how I can believe a lie, to explain why I have of late become more spiritual and religious, why churches still bring me great unease. You see I’ve been listening to the Kurt Vonneguys podcast and in many ways it feels like Kurt Vonnegurt writes like me but that he is ahead of the curve. You see that podcast put into words what I have been grappling with for a while. You can know something is horseshit, it can be completely and utterly false and inaccurate but what matters is that it brings you meaning and solace.
It’s like I know Doctor Who is fiction. Hell I’ve shook the hands of the people whoo made my favourite bits of it up. Yet it still matters in a very fundamental way to me. There are better shows and better characters. Farscape, Babylon 5, Blakes 7, the Culture novels, the Watch books. Doctor Who is poorly paced, campy, broody, manufactured, artificial, monster of the week, poorly serialised garbage. It is also a show that defines my identity and if you aren’t willing to give it the time of day or at least bite your tongue when I mention it then we cannot be friends or associate with each other because Doctor Who matters to me. You accept that or you get to fuck. No discussions, no debates, no fucks given.
Which is where capitalism comes into things. Capitalism fundamentally is the science of desire and incentive. I think Paul Mason best summed up why capitalism matters and works with my brain where in one passage he mused on how a post scarcity society might simulate the effects of Nike not investing so much money into the Nike swoosh of rates of young male depression. The brutal reality is brands matter. Advertising matters. It’s just that brands and advertising are not as rigidly defined as people think.
Feminism is a brand, Christianity is a brand, Communism is a brand. Advertising works both ways. You stick pretty girls in adverts to sell products to boys and men then you reinforce those standards of beauty in women by associating them with all the cool products. What was it Daniel Craig said about Apple products? Bond only takes the best? So what message do you think it sends that Bond only fucks skinny young white women?
Here’s the truth: Capitalism works. Advertising works. Brands matter. Advertising matters. Truth is secondary to a compelling narrative. The problem with the system is always those other evil people and their evil ways because evil is innately subjective. Something both the left and the right hate as an idea because rallying behind hatred is a lot easier than agreeing on actual solutions.
I walked through the graveyard and while felt the weight of all that belief I also just saw buried rotting meat. Empty flesh. I know that graveyards help the living mourn the dead. I know that rituals are important. I have small rituals in my own life that help me work and exercise. I’m not talking about pentagrams or incense or anything like that. Just reassuring patterns of behaviour to ease transition into a different head state. Music on at a precise volume, writing gown on, then to work.
It is odd. I feel like I’m looking at the world like an alien slightly removed, commenting on my observations. I am noticing how ritual matters even in matters of sex. Through ritual, through Doctor Who, I am coming to understand the usefulness of religion and so the last great fire of my life starts to simmer down.
I am still lost, in a kind of cognitive hibernation again. I can’t take the life I currently lead, not full blast, not with full thought. I can hibernate until it changes, if it changes, but I can’t live in the middle of such a shit hole and think to the best of my ability. I need a change of location, a lock that abusive monster does not have a key to, a house he has no right to enter. I can’t work while so imperilled.
Anyway, I have been me, you have been you and the writing progresses well.
Monday, 17 July 2017
The Ugly Truth
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I’ve changed a lot in just the last two years. I have hope now. We have a female Doctor (not that I’ll believe it until the episode actually airs) and a socialist is so close to power that the demons of the world look vulnerable.
Hope is a marvellous thing. A beautiful thing. A heartbreakingly tragic thing.
I have hope now. I have a dream to fight for. I have an idea of how to get there. I want to believe I can get there. I want to believe I can commit, that I can make it work. Things you don’t know, things you can’t. Ultimately though hope is not victory. Hope can keep you going, can keep you fighting but hope does not put food on the table, a roof over your head or a partner in your bed.
My generation is fucked. The economy is fucked. The planet is fucked. There is hope now but hope is not victory, not yet.
I’m tired. I’m tired, I’m in pain and I genuinely don’t know how much longer I can do this. It’s why this writing project is so important to me. The move could destroy what is left of me. The final hurdle I can vault being passed might be what ultimately kills me. I’m like the woman believing a female Doctor or Prime Minister will do anything. It hurts and it’s frustrating but it’s a realistic dream to pin your strength to. So what happens when you get your wish and nothing changes? We’ve had a black president and black kids are still being shot dead for stupid reasons while white rapists are given light sentences.
And I know, I’m comparing a fucking move to representation for the genuinely oppressed on the world’s stage. I’m a melodramatic fool okay.
I just feel so fragile and so aware that so much of the world keeps forcing themselves against me. My head is a mess and I am so done with everything. Yet still I must be strong. I don’t know how long I can do this. I keep telling myself I can pick a side. That I can solve things. I can’t. I just can’t. I live, that’s about all I can promise and even that’s a risky promise to make.
I’m going to get this story written. I’m going to try for the move. I can’t promise anything else and even those feel like promises that I might very easily break.
I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. I feel so shit about this, so guilty. I just don’t know if I can be strong forever.
Sunday, 16 July 2017
Alexander Gordon Jahans
Suffocating, muscles aching, under ice.
Left fist makes contact.
Right fist makes contact.
So tired, can’t breath, much pain.
Raise your head up. Take breath.
So tired, muscles aching...
Raise your hand up, slap it down on the ice.
Raise your other hand up, slap it down.
So tired, such pain...
Scrabble up the ice.
So tired, much pain...
Roll over, look at the sun, smile.
So tired, such pain...
Roll over, scrabble forward.
So cold, get to dry land, get to a beach.
Such pain, so tired.
Reach beach, dry land, safe.
Scramble to your feet lurch against a tree.
“Need food... Need shelter... Need heat... Need a way off this damned rock...”
You don’t give in. You don’t stop. Your body aches. Your body screams. It pleads and it pleads. Rest. Sleep. Die. End the pain. End the tired.
You don’t give in. You don’t stop. It hurts and it hurts and part of your screams for death but you don’t stop. You will survive. You will live. One day you will be happy. One day you will rest.
Today you survive.
Monday, 10 July 2017
Ignorance Is Bliss
Not Safe For Work
Content Warnings Everywhere
Alexander Gordon Jahans
So my mind is a problem solving device and one that works without conscience, morality or direction. Those are decisions to be applied once the solution is presented. This is the part where I hold up my hands stand up before the firing squad and say. “It’s okay, I forgive you, I’m a monster.”
Because a very central part of sylph lore was very clearly misunderstood as something it very clearly wasn’t and that planted a dangerous seed in my mind.
I say now with clarity and forethought. Trans people deserve, love and respect. Their gender identity must be respected and they must be given all the medical, psychological and cultural aid as they deem necessary. My opinion does not matter.
I was accused of coming up with the cure for trans gender identities so I came up with the cure for trans gender identities. Well, a technology that could be so applied by someone so evil. Spoilers. There is someone so evil in the latest novel I am working on.
The point is that I have had this technology rattling around as a concept for some time. It’s called mind bounding. In the same way that a body can be bound to remain in a shape the idea is to conceptually bind a mind into a particular position. I mean to be fair to me the story is actually far more complex than that and no trans people are actually harmed (within the fiction of the story anyway) but the technology is still used in part.
It’s like the whole Logicular Replication thing. The idea that it might be possible to save scum a moment of consent by printing off innumerable duplicates of a person just after they have consented because it’s arguable that philosophically the clones are the same person. Except you save scum within the moment, face to face as part of an ongoing process. Convince someone to accept a little lie for a moment or be more open about something they disagree with then bind their mind in position and take another step. It’s utterly and ridiculously evil and manipulative. More than just a mind rape, it’s full on on going mind abuse.
Except that’s fine. Monsters can be monstrous. Especially when you already have a reputation as a transphobic misogynist. However this is isn’t another piece angsting about how hard it is to be problematic. I wanted you to understand the horrific thought process and that I know how this hypothetical technology could be misused.
Then I wrote this distraction fic about a pretty submissive girl who eventually gets shrunk and kept as a pet. It occurred to me then that mind bounding might work then. Not to make someone think differently but just to keep an innocent from growing. Obviously there are massive ways this could be exploited and men who think it would be hot to mind bound their girlfriends or other female associates in this manner are clearly massive creeps. (Though keeping them shrunken and in a cage probably crosses that threshold already.) Yet to the woman or other individual there might not seem to be anything wrong with that. I mean they’d still gain new memories they just wouldn’t even be aware of any cognitive dissonance from growing up. Like how I have always not eaten lamb and fish for moral reasons and it wasn’t until I tried and failed to become a vegetarian that I accepted my hypocrisy was even a thing.
So then you take it further. Ironically inspired by a podcast pointing out the creepy misogynistic moments of Kurt Vonnegurt specifically the idea that it might be nice that a woman is mute. Not an entirely insane idea once you’ve taken the huge leap of shrinking a consenting adult. To be clear I am fully aware that microphilia as a fetish is totally misogynistic. It’s literally a fetish about callous, intimidating or seemingly powerful women literally becoming play or pet objects at best given the rights and respect of a hamster or a dog. But hey, it’s fun to pretend. So once you’ve crossed so far and taken the intimidating woman as your pet hamster, it makes sense (from an evil misogynistic perspective) that you’d want to reduce their intelligence until they literally just squeaked like hamsters.
I would like to reassure people that shrinking is literally impossible, mind bounding in the manner I describe is literally impossible and regardless of my fantasies/fictional ideas, in real life I have morals and always aim to avoid being a dick so far as possible. (unless it’s conservatives or nazis)
So anyway I have been playing around with this idea for a time, contemplating its usefulness hypothetically in committing acts of evil. (I half wonder how many people are now convinced I actually own a functioning shrink ray and mind bounding technology?) At the same time I’ve been listening to podcasts bringing closure/reminding me of the year before I went to college and during my second year at university.
I have been reminded of who I used to be. I really gave a shit you know. I wore suits and I enjoyed thinking about solving problems and multitasking. Now I just masturbate to submissive women and write stories about submissive women then listen to left wing podcasts and desperately try to convince myself I’m a feminist. So I pulled my shit together, I got woke bruh, and I saw the light.
The problem was the light of knowledge had me staring down the barrel of just how fucking shitty my life is and just how objectively I should be dead and I want to be dead but I am all about morality so I’m not because I think just barely people, at least a few people, might feel temporarily worse if I died. So... yeah... I basically woke up, saw the light, then realized/remembered, why I keep the curtains closed and went right the fuck back to sleep.
I can’t die. I will not allow myself to die because I am somewhast convinced of the idea that it would be immoral to do so. So right now I would early love to be mind bound. I mean that’s basically what all this stuff is about and why I can’t stop masturbating and writing fetish fic. I can’t ever allow myself to try be sane and smart. I must always be insane, stupid and in a giddy sexual daze of uselessness.
No wonder I keep writing story after story of submissive getting preyed upon. At this point this is my happy ending. A fucked up part of me sincerely wants to be martyred by my stalkers because at least then I wouldn’t have to bare the guilt of the grief my death would cause. Although knowing my luck it would be deemed that victim blaming is okay in my case because I’m a cis white male and blatantly misogynistic.
So yeah just as I would take the sylph cure to reset my body to human male basic, so I would accept mind bounding to be alive and happy. Ignorance is bliss. Now the fucking nazis have removed my ability to scream as well through their predatory attentiveness.
I can’t allow myself to die, I certainly can’t allow myself to ever admit to such considerations but I can desire for ignorance at least just this once. Let me be thick like the neurotypical. Let me go about the world as an optimistic fool in a perpetually sexually escapist daze.
I think now that if Trump just blurted out that the world has been part of the United Civilisations for ages that I would first write a strongly worded essay against the ownership of sylphs then go sign up to become one, because fuck it, give me stability, give my ignorance, give me freedom from the responsibility of thought and actions. Heck if they only take women, I’ll take the sylph cure and fucking lump it. I’m done with all the bullshit of the world.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a podcast on Kurt Vonnegurt to finish listening to and then I’m going for a walk into town. Also I’m quite seriously tempted by the works of Gor, because fuck it if I must survive through ignorance and sexual escapism and I am already a misogynistic transphobe doomed to be first against the wall; when the revolution comes why not let myself entertain the notion of a world where women are just naturally subservient, instead of convinced be so through cultural indoctrination. Even if I actually think it’s cooler and more interesting how we’ve managing to convince so many people that women are submissive when they literally control the survival of the species. It’s like the battle of Orgreave all over again, I will never not believe it was a hideously deliberate act because it’s just so much cooler and more interesting in a very evil way to consider my nominal side forcing this massive defeat upon another demographic.
Yep. I’m evil. If hell exists I totally deserve to go there and I think I’d probably accept that as a fine fate compared to this purgatory because if you’ve getting tortured horrifically every day and you know there is no escape you also know you can’t fall any further and can just let go.
I should not write drunk.
Saturday, 8 July 2017
You Can Be More
Alexander Gordon Jahans
So I’ve been in this kind of holding pattern, just finding ways to stay sane and keep surviving amid torrents of bullshit. Ways to keep my mind active and busy despite the fact that I am going nowhere. The problem is that my mind needs problems to solve, conflict to resolve. I grew up being bullied 5 days a week during term time. I need a certain amount of background bullshit to keep my mind stable. Except that creates a problem. And not the one people expect.
I am trapped in the middle of fucking nowhere with goddamned no one. I am used to a wide but shallow range of connections. Instead I have one or two people delivering deep bullshit. I have these vast stretches of time and nothing of import to do with it. I’m like a tiger kept in a tiny enclosure. I need to move. I need to be able to begin again, to make long term plans and I can’t do that in this purgatory of schrodinger’s house sale. And yeah I’ve been through a lot of shit and it hurts. So I get low and it upsets people.
The problem is that these people don’t understand me and they don’t listen. They are seemingly pathologically capable of understanding that I think differently and have a different approach and different needs and priorities. So when the very real problems affecting me reach the point of upsetting these people they do a kind of triage whereby they cut back all the things distracting me from the unrelenting shit I can’t do a damned thing about.
I used to be more. I used to wear suits, I used to care about class as more than a political subject and I used to use my fucking brain. But no. Don’t think. Can’t think. Drug myself up. Fuck about with a fucking diet and shitting exercise regime, masturbate myself into a bliss coma and tell myself this is an improvement. I need to care again. I need to put myself on the line again and I need to use my mind to do something important. Fuck money. Fuck life. Fuck fucking family and all the bullshit excuses for cowering away and shutting myself off from the things that make me feel alive. I am not just a survivor. I am not just outlasting purgatory. I have a mind. I need to use it.
Friday, 7 July 2017
Walk The Line
Alexander Gordon Jahans
So a few things happened lately that kind of combined to inspire me to write this.
The first is that I really, really, just got sick of the misogynists thinking that feminism and multiculturalism is genocide of the white male and I decided to try and write a short story setting up a force I want to have existing as a rogue chess piece on the great war board of the multiverse. This was supposed to be like “No, mother fuckers, this is what a white male genocide would look like. I’ll talk about the results of that later but I started writing it right about the time a drama bomb was dropped in the household and one of my favourite podcasts unexpectedly featured someone making a defence of gamers gate and clearly feeling quite a victim of the feminist side. So I wrote it in a rage.
The second is that as my confidence has grown and my understanding of my sexuality and fetishes have grown I found myself in a position to feel newly inspired by an old fantasy. A the same time that was very definitely affected by the powerful charisma of John Simm as kind of Classic Who Master for a the New Who age. Lots and lots and lots of feels about this.
The third is that I have been kind of binge listening to the Farscape Friday podcast which is essentially the only podcast I listen to where it is just women talking together without men dominating the show. Not intentional, not conscious on my part, it just happened to have turned out this way but they’re awesome podcasters talking about an awesome show that I love and helping me see it and this huge part of my recent life in a new light. At the same time this is really the first time I’ve been able to experience what women are like behind closed doors without men even subconsciously affecting things.
So, starting principles. I am autistic, more than that I am mildly autistic, kind of bought up as more autistic than I actually am hence my denial about it for a long time. I’m also effectively still going through puberty since I have a condition called Kallman’s Syndrome that means I can’t smell and my body doesn’t nasturally produce testosterone. I have just turned 25, I have been on testosterone injections for about two years, spent time as an anti-feminist at university, swung back to being a feminist and tried to join that side only to be rebuffed and called out as misogynistic and transphobic in the last two years. At the same time the last two years have seen me stalked by actual fucking nazis, my family, friends and people I respect attacked because of people trying to provoke me, things that caused the police to become involved. Oh and I am overweight so I have this regular persistent pain in my feet, I have been stuck in limbo for the last two years as the house could be sold, I have been forced to claim government social security payments when I really can’t be fucked with the bureacracy and I am in general 300% done with this shit and would have blown my brains out by now were I not in England where gun control is strong,
So I wrote this dystopia to be an origin story and in a way it harks back to proper scifi roots. The Feminarchy as they are called would be formed from an idea that has been within the background lore of the multiverse since the original ninth Doctor fanfic that bought the character of William Dickson Wright into being. It’s actually quite similar to an idea that Joss Whedon used in explaining the Reavers of Firefly/Serenity. You can be the greatest scientists in the ‘verse but you can’t design a chemical that will have exactly the same effects on everyone.
I mean it’s literally within the origin story of the sylphs and how they ended up associated with human women that this biological packaging to help a species survive through exploitation will have different effects on different species. The Free Sylphs who became the Sylph Liberation Front, the new major players in the multiverse, were explicitly formed from those sylphs who didn’t react as strongly towards the biological incentives towards submissiveness. With some effectively being Demi-Submissives, like Demi-Sexuals, except instead of only feeling sexual attraction once close emotional bonds have been formed, Demi-Submissives only feel the biological incentives towards submissiveness and pet like behaviour once a strong emotional bond has been formed.
Except the Feminarchy were effectively the people who reacted to the sylph pill so strongly adversely that it made them aggressively dominant. I think it’s an interesting idea and I think it no doubt logically happens.
Don’t get me wrong I know it seems ridiculous to care about realism and consequences where the laws of physics can literally be rewritten and where so much of it is for rule of cool or rule of Fetish. I suppose for me the assumption is that while I am the window on this multiverse and I have the tropes I like and the perspectives I feel comfortable writing (particularly after my attempts to portray trans characters backfired so catastrophically badly) I feel it is only logical to assume that off-screen as it were there is all this stuff. I mean the Farsh-nuke has inherited my biases and so did the Logicios. Hence why all the white female sylphs. A mix of partial attraction preference and just feeling deeply uncomfortable as a white English guy portraying black people in collars. Particularly since the whole schtick of sylphs is that they are gladly submissive. I’m problematic and stupid, I am not THAT problematic and stupid.
Okay that derailed but the point is that you can assume that trans, non-binary and black characters did manage to rise through even the ranks of the Logicios at their most fascistic. If I don’t show it it’s because I’m not interested, it hasn’t occurred to me or I don’t feel capable of writing it. So I like this idea. I like that it’s out there unseen, off screen, to be written by better writers in fanfic or whatever.
Just the idea of it. Think of the kind of characters who would make use of the sylph pill. I mean yes there are the loving dom/sub relationships that would take advantage of the sylph pill (though this kind of reaction would be interesting here in its own way) but most of the time, canonically and societally, it’s going to be men and a certain kind of man preying on a certain kind of woman. The Logicios were monsters, they were like Viking raiders, only worse. The Logicios were super nerd super fans following this militiaristic code, worshipping this god emperor exactly like them (and not so far from Trump), with immense power and this horrendous noble duty that kind of gave them a martyr complex and moral authority to do whatever. It’s like if Gamergaters were given power armour and super steroids then joined God Emperor Trump gunning down monsters that came through a breach in space. Yeah they’re arseholes but they’re doing a dirty job to save the rest of us and that just makes them worse. So these Logicios would use this pill on vulnerable women, potentially after having drugged them or kidnapped them first and then suddenly this woman is super smart, super strong, has a regenerative factor and is dominant when the Logicios don’t expect them to be.
It’s a really interesting idea I think. All these women who suddenly got woke and how they come together to form a society and then try to increase their number and grab a universe from which to expand from. It’s an interesting set up to do some really dark stuff and with the characters of Richard Raspberry and Adam Godwinson there as effectively intelligent Trump and the mad god of racist fascism to provide conflict and deliver the messages. It’s a really interesting idea and you could tell such interesting, grim stuff with it. Except I can’t. At least not yet.
The thing you need to understand is that I have been an anti-feminist and I suppose because my internal doubts and internal conflict I identify with the misogynists and the white supremacists. Morally and politically I am a feminist, I mean I am bisexual, I am part of the LGBTQA+ movement, I am for multiculturalism but I am a white English man. More than that, because of what I write, I have alienated and been alienated by the progressive left. I call out bullshit where I see it. It’s who I am. Except to call out bullshit on the progressive left is just social death.
Yeah, the Alt-Right have stalked me and harassed me and they legitimately make me scared and angry. They are one of a very select group of people so determinedly stupid and aggressive that I actually think I might physically hurt them if they stopped hiding behind their keyboards. Yet they lack this mentality that the progressive left has. The Alt-Right are the snowflakes. They are individuals forming the blizzard that traps you inside. They are the individual droplets that collectively drown your world. They do not pretend to speak for the whole, they do not represent the whole, they are individuals behaving as part of this storm surge for their own reasons and so there is this sense that they can be redeemed. That people can rage about ethics in games journalism, harass people and advocate policies and politicians and parties that will objectively fuck so many people over, and still have their souls because they’re just fucking morons about some stuff.
The progressive left is like a herd. The individuals may graze peacefully but if you attack one, you attack all, so you have a stampede on your hands. I’ve been seeing posts about Joss Whedon that are fucking scary because this man was your fucking champion and now people want to end his career. The crazy thing is that the progressive left is not actually one herd. The reason the left keeps losing elections in Britain is that while right are pragmatic enough to compromise to win, us moral lefties each all have subtly different definitions on what’s right. I mean it really is ridiculous how the grand herd of the left seems to glom together to destroy people but within the left everybody has different labels for their identities communities and movements. It’s a hell of a complicated world to move in, compared to the Alt-Right where you are allowed to be an individual who disagrees with the collective if you can weather the shitholes.
All of which is to say the reason I wrote this story was because I identify with the anti-feminists who think the progressive left can be dicks but y’all fuckers need to get a sense of perspective. And then I screwed it up because I have a competence and reasonableness bias. Like Trump exists within the multiverse canonically but I chose not to write about him because I needed a villain smart enough to pose a challenge. I like competent characters, characters who think things through. Like I have my moral reasons against conservatism and discrimination but mostly it’s pragmatic reasons. I mean thanks to my personal experience at the hands of Nazis I think I’ve managed to keep the evil there but with the Feminarchy I just couldn’t resist caving to competency.
Like of course you aren’t just going to start killing white men. Even if you’ve got a eugenics breeding programme sylph pills exist and the whole reason this story exists is because the chances of them making people dominant are rare. Remove the power and wealth from white men then keep them for breeding purposes. The genocide would actually happen to the white women who became submissive under the effects of the sylph pill, which is the vast majority. Ironically if I’d made the sylph pill have more sexist workings, this story would have been more meats since the Feminarchy would have a reason to kill the majority of white men.
So my attempt at making a story about how misogynists need to shut up because if women were actually going to oppress men it would be so horrific actually ended up skewing so competent and ‘nice’ that I don’t think I can publish it because it would be like George Orwell writing 1984 today to be like. “Don’t be silly guys this is what a real fascist dystopia looks like” and then everyone that goes “Hmmm...” Never mind Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman script, I just tried to scare the misogynists out of criticising feminism only to end up writing a story that reinforces their fear because I agree with feminism too much.
So I went from that experience to writing a distraction fic, inspired by the original comic that started this all. I’ve done shrinking women in my fiction before but I wanted to capture what specifically about this female character made me fantasize about her so many times. The same way that the character of Amy Hurst is clearly inspired by the character of Amy Pond from Doctor Who but is also so very different because it’s the character as seen through the fetish gaze. I wanted to reframe this female character within a context that made more sense to me.
This story was purely selfish. Just for me and my enjoyment. So I reused a basic idea from earlier and actually got quite into the scifi world building. I blame that on the Kurt Vonneguys podcast with Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim because damn if my lust for good scifi exposition hasn’t come back with a vengeance. Fuck mansplaining I want Nerdsposition to be a thing now in pop culture. I got into whole idea that this is like a colony in space at one of the Lagrange points, made to be like a Dyson Sphere with an artificial sun, made with the aid of logic technology. Like this world was one of these universes where they accepted the technology of the United Civilisations but not the culture. Except on Utopia, this pleasure colony in space, where there are two kinds of tickets, Prey Class and Predator Class. I mean it’s a different spacial entity so it has its own unique legal system. I’m going to resist nerding out further on the pseudo hard science of how it works but I loved writing this stuff.
So I had the setting, the excuse and I had the prey character, things which I think are best experienced in the story but I want to talk about the predator character in the story. He becomes something else later but basically he is almost explicitly modelled on John Simm’s Master from The Doctor Falls. I mean I’m bisexual but I tend to like kinda hunky nerd guys who are a little bit passive and submissive. John Crichton, from Farscape, Matt Smith’s Doctor and Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen from the Flash tv series sticking out particularly. The one difference being Mads Mikkelson in Hannibal but that’s a whole other thing and Hugh Dancy is just adorable in that.
I don’t know if it’s just that I feel more comfortable exploring that side of myself now. It certainly can’t have hurt that in the context of the fiction the character is up against one of my ultimate dream girls. (Phrases that get you hated by feminists:#456) You can’t get more ‘No Homo’ than a character existing within a story to facilitate the domination and adorableness of a female character you love. Or maybe it’s just the way John Simm plays the character as written by Steven Moffat because he is so cold, so calculating and so brutally, deliciously cruel and sadistic. I mean spending 10 years manipulating the Doctor’s friend so you can see her cyberconverted just in time for him to turn up and feel heartbroken. That is a level of sadism and cruelty that you almost have to applaud for sheer audacity and competency.
Actually competency and horrific cruelty and sadism combined with charisma and fantastic dress sense does exist in both Mads Mikkelson’s Hannibal and John Simm’s Master. Like the Farsh-nuke is my Tyler Durden and while character has softened that description could some him up as well. Maybe my attraction is to the kind of man I wish I had the confidence and smarts to be? Or maybe my ideal version of myself is going to take from the kind of characters I’m attracted because you are going to want your ideal self to be someone you consider attractive?
Whatever the point is this story was so fun to write for so many reasons it built on so many things I’ve written before and was inspired by so many things and it’s probably among the best written things I’ve written. It is also horrifically sexist. It’s not quite the most sexist fetish fic I’ve ever written, that one’s coming but is a discussion for another day. I’m unsure now if I should talk about my feelings on this now or in the wrap up but I think I’m going to wait for the wrap up.
So, the Farscape Friday Podcast...
Farscape is the best scifi TV show I have yet to see. I’ve seen Babylon 5, I’m watching through Blakes 7, I’ve watched Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, up to the Traveller episode of TNG, various episodes of Voyager and Deep Space Nine, I have seen whole swathes of Classic Who and obviously I’ve seen all of New Who. It has a diverse cast of characters who are defined by their pasts, biases, personalities and character arcs, not by their roles and abilities. Every episode explores and advances the characters who partake in it, there is no reset button. Now yeah that make it hard for new viewers to jump on board but in the age of the box set it’s fantastic.
Farscape has amazing special effects, great comedy, gut wrenching drama and tragedy and it has Ben Browder and Claudia Black. I mean Aeryn Sun was never exactly my type (Quelle surprise) but John Crichton is just so attractive like I want to be him and be with him and I am one hundred percent shipping his relationship weith Aeryn because I just want my dude to be happy. It has such great world building that weaves in mysticism, spirituality and magic to a scifi universe that works.
The other thing is that where other shows establish characters as powerful in a way that entitles them to be heroes. Even Blakes 7, the Babylon 5 to Farscape’s Deep Space Nine, has the main character be an established leader of the resistance with an advanced battleship deliberately taking on the evil federation. Farscape has a bunch of escaped prisoners on a weaponless living ship on the run from a massive federation, periodically having to find a way to take out the people pursuing it. Blakes 7 is revolution, Farscape is survival.
I suppose the difference comes from the cultural perspective of the production staff. Compare Star Trek, Babylon 5, Blakes 7 and Farscape. Star Trek is an American utopia so it’s about this massive military industrial complex boldly going to explore this brave new world. Babylon 5 is an American future that’s more cynical and realistic. So Earth are the peacekeeper traders who fucked up first contact after a period of overconfidence and face the threat of this piddly little power that once held a massive power trying to reclaim it while their own government slides towards fascism and yet another even grander war breaks out. Blakes 7 is a British, even dare I say an English, production. It is about your people’s empire subjugating people and how you can be a Robin hood stealing from the powerful rich to help the vulnerable poor. Farscape is an Australian Production. It has prisoners escaping from a massive empire that thinks it’s the good guys and trying to form a new life.
I think Farscape suits my political, moral and philosophical perspective best. Yes, things are horrible and people are stupid, greedy, lustful sadistic and proud. Horrible things will happen and you will suffer terribly but if you’re very clever, very lucky, very charismatic and just brave enough you’ll survive. Things are not black and white in the Farscape universe. The Peace Keepers are not just space nazis to be remorselessly gunned down. *glares at Doctor Who for how it treats the daleks* And in the end there is always love, sex and friendship even though those things are difficult and create pain in their own ways.
The Farscape Friday podcast is reminding me of all of this, except it’s missing all that juicy juicy meat. There is very little discussion on the world building that’s going on and how interesting the conflicts and types of stories that are going on are. Instead it’s about the characters and the feelings with an entire section on wardrobe. (it starts with an interesting bit of fridge logic so I can understand it but still...)
To be perfectly clear I do love the podcast, it just approaches it in a different way. It’s like what makes the School of Movies podcast so different from typical nerd discussion of movies and tv, except without that more typical analysis of plot. It’s not an invalid approach to reviewing, it’s just different from what I am used to but I am lapping it up so I’m not complaining.
Also there are a number of male podcasters whose voices are just music to my ears but these two hosts are each in their own way just utterly delightful to listen to. Like literally just the way they say things is cute and attractive, and when they fan girl about things I just die from happiness.
There is another component to where this is a podcast that like actively calls attention to the tumblr side of fandom and there are definitely moments when I’m cringing because it’s like your fave is problematic. Farscape is my greatest scifi and fantasy love and to hear it criticised, particularly The Flax which is such a great and funny episode of season one, it hurts. It’s not that the criticism is unjustified. It’s just like, don’t yuck my yum.
So to finally bring this all together and come to some sort of conclusion from what I’ve learned then...
I know that sex positive feminists exist. I know that it is theoretically possible to walk the line and be a dominant guy into submissive girls. Except I’m more than that, I am bisexual. I like writing heterosexual couples because I get to write the male fantasy and the female fantasy at the same time. I love writing and I’m not going to stop writing, if anything I think I’m going to explore more hard scifi because I love the exposition and I am never going to stop writing submissive women because I love it too much. I can’t write dominant and sadistic women the way I write guys, not without a base to start from anyway. And frankly dominant women scare me because dominant men are the crowd I get lumped in with and they’re losing. Despite all this I still fundamentally support the goals of feminism, tolerance and equality. I just can’t aspire to even the heights of Joss Whedon.
I am a problematic fuck but I am ally of Feminists when it comes to the crunch, even if my writing is arguably misogynistic, even if there is evidence that at least subconsciously I am not keen on the female perspective in writing and fandom.
Anyway I’m going to go get some food.
Friday, 30 June 2017
I Can Get Back Up Now
Alexander Gordon Jahans
For two years now I have been down for the count and waiting for the final blow. Everything had gone wrong at once and everything proceeded to get worse. If I wasn’t waiting for a literal death I was waiting for a spiritual death, a metaphysical rebirth as some different.
Two years on I am different. More jaded, more cynical, more aware of my own flaws and physically a very different man.
The world is a different place. There is tension yet hope. Pandora’s box has been opened and everything has changed. Neoliberalism is not dead but it is no longer an immortal behemoth. It is bleeding and we can kill it.
I am close to upgrading my machine. VR is legitimately a possibility to look forward to and not an impossible dream.
I have attained, I am in the process of attaining, closure for my past sins.
I am older wiser and in a very different place psychologically but I think what has finally let me regain my strength is that I have gone full circle and regained my lost faith. I am achieving closure with my favourite Doctor and the BBC Books await.
University was good for me. University was great for me but like a convention, the experience is so wonderful that reality is hard to adjust to. Doctor Who was there for me in my wilderness years and it helped me gain the direction and strength to make it to college and university. Going back to that well, revisiting that forsaken messiah has restored my confidence.
I have been so defensive, so angry, so scary because all I have been is reactive instinct. A dying creature lashing out in the only way it knows. My Doctor was the man who fought the monsters, the manipulator who made deals with death and stared long into the abyss. After staring into the abyss myself and hating what I have done revisiting that old mentor has been good for me.
Yeah, I fucked up, I fucked up bad, good people got hurt and good people hate me for it. I handled it poorly. I probably still am in the process of handling it poorly by some definitions. I fucked up and I’m sorry. That doesn’t make it better. That doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t excuse or explain it. I will have to live with that stain upon my character for the rest of my days but I will live with it because I have to continue because I have to go on.
But as my Doctor faces his regeneration into a more human traveller so I must put aside the arrogant assertion that I am the champion to fight the world’s monsters. I’m 25 and I have a life to start living. No more scraping buy, no more pretending like everything I’m doing is part of some higher purpose or angsting about the most optimal way to spend my time. I’ll still write, I’ll still read, I may still make videos but I’m going to take a break once this novel is out. I have people I want to talk to, books and comic books I want to read, films I want to watch. All the frivolous stuff I couldn’t allow myself otherwise.
So yeah, I can get back up now. It’s been hell and I’ve been an arse but I have learned a lot and you know what? That’s okay. It wasn’t all bad. There were some great great moments and I made some videos I’m proud of and some stories I’m still proud of. Things are okay and they’re going to be better.
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Not So Chill
Alexander Gordon Jahans
It’s a funny old thing productivity, you can spend weeks, months even, at the top of your game. You can write and walk every day. You can diet and not feel it. Then one day it just... Stops. Your whole life just stalls.
I stalled today. I had to have a nap and then my brain just refused to kick into gear and I was overtaken by hunger. Hunger and lust. Oh... I have had so many fantasies today about Amy Hurst seducing then eating gorgeous women. My body is crying out for bacon and chicken. I feel like Withnail. I must have something’s flesh. I literally just ate some ham out of the packet because it was going off today and now I’m sat here, drinking diet coke, after managing to write a description of hell for a thing.
I am not good today. I am hunger and lust and utter fucking apathy. I just do not fucking care if I die. I just want the pain to end.
You know Theresa May just paid out a billion pounds to get the DUP to cooperate so she can stay in power? The conservative government just restarted the Troubles out of a desperate attempt to keep their party in power. Meanwhile old white men are commits of terrorism because they’re scared of Muslims.
The world is mad. The world is fucked. I know I must keep going. I want to keep going. I want to finish this book apart from anything else. And maybe, someday, perhaps, we might actually sell this fucking house and end the purgatory of my existence. I just - So tired, such pain and I just - I just find it hard to give a fuck today.