Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Just... words fail me.


Friday, 4 February 2011

Part Deux

Well what do you know... I can stick at something. So long as it is essentially meaningless.

Things That Are Nice/Shit #2

At various times in my life I have told people one of my favourite activities is sleeping. This might seem a little odd but I shall try to explain my thinking. Sleep is the ultimate escape - it brings us dreams that allow us to explore scenarios far outside the normal human experience. You can't be depressed and asleep - it is impossible and obvious. All of our worries melt away while we are asleep. And waking up is a horrible feeling - like pushing weights off your chest after having just spent the past 4 days playing rugby with gorillas. Or it does for me anyway.

Here I have to say I am not a morning person and I have problems sleeping. Ever since I can remember I have had trouble getting to sleep. I distinctly remember asking family members "how to sleep" - which seems like asking someone the secret to breathing but I genuinely thought I was doing it wrong. Some people seem to be able to sleep as soon as their head hits the pillow - making a mockery of my tossing-and-turning, constantly-flipping-the-pillow, lying-in-the-dark-begging-my-body-to-fall-asleep style.

That is one of the problems, trying to get to sleep and waking up are a chore. Sleep itself is easy, and really quite nice.

There is a huge problem with sleep, however: the time it wastes. I have never done anything useful while sleeping (or useful to anything other than my continued existence). Think how much better our lives would be if we never got tired and we never needed to sleep. Each day we would have a full 24 hours to do everything that we require. You could work 9 to 5, and instead of going to sleep at 10:30pm so you have enough sleep and can get up early to leave for work, just do whatever you want for the rest of the day (and night) and go to work. If we could somehow negate the need for sleep - and employers promised not to extend working hours - we would have so much more spare time, we could get plenty more done in the day. So you see sleep is kind of shit - I always think about how much I could get done during the 9 (okay, usually way more than 9) hours I sleep.

Scientists of the world! Cure sleep! Let us be up around the clock with no ill effects!

Not much comedy there, but that's just because I really do think we are better off without sleep - despite how much I enjoy it.

So the script writing stuff is now not even on the back-burner - I have to give it up until I have some more time. You wouldn't think it takes that much to think about and write down some stories (that is sort of what I do here) but story formulation and trying to think of interesting ways of getting across the points you need to make can be a real challenge. I do have some story ideas but most of them aren't fully developed.

I can't remember if I linked to the videos I had to make for one of my university modules, they are on a Youtube channel here. They aren't great but that is what you get with no budget, little time and a two-or-three man crew. The direction, story, narration, acting, video editing, prop design, graphic design and sound design on both videos is my own. The camera was set up or held by other people. I am quite impressed with myself, given I had no prior experience and the videos were what got me interested in script writing in the first place.

I think I've said my piece, until next time, stay loose, jive turkeys.


You know if I have learnt anything from Hyperbole and a Half it is that any blog post is better with pictures. Not only do they make the posts seem longer but it makes the content more creative, and funnier.

But no pictures for you.

I was wondering if I could do a series of posts on a theme. Mostly to make sure I keep posting like I should be. I'll give it a go now, and see if I can stick with it.

Things That Are Nice\Shit #1
There are times when a group of people will start to discuss their likes and dislikes. Sometimes these conversations meander into "odd things I do", and discussions of that sort. It is during these times you will hear sentences that start with:

"So does anyone else..."

Usually these end in one of a few ways.

1. Everyone confirms that they do. You find out that your individual foible is actually not all that individual at all - everyone does it. You feel relieved but also a sense of disappointment, finding out that you aren't as unique as you thought you were. The more you think about it the more it erodes away at your being, you find yourself tumbling into an infinite pit of despair over your own identity. You spend hours sitting on the floor, hugging your knees with your forearms, repeating "who am I?" over and over again.

2. One other person confirms that they do. The rest of the group may not understand but you feel a great sense of affinity for that one person. You are overcome by the pleasant feeling that there is someone else out in the world who feels the way you do, interprets the world the way you do - and you've met them. You may start to feel attracted to this one person. Perhaps this person is completely compatible with you - maybe they are the one. This is a huge mistake. Once you have finished discussing your one shared habit you will invariably find that you do have differences of opinion and do not share all of the same habits. Over time you will resent that person and wished that you had never met them - because you were better off believing you were the only person in the world that did that than finding out that one other person does - and that person is an idiot.

3. Nobody confirms that they do. The group may start to laugh at the mere suggestion, or enquire why you do it in the first place. You feel the cold pang of loneliness and, even though you try to laugh it off, you can't help feeling that the universe is infinitely expansive and you are all alone in it. You start re-evaluating friendships, resenting them even. "Why aren't they more like me?" you ask yourself, but you can never find a satisfactory answer. Before long you are a hermit, shutting yourself off from the outside world - only venturing out of your dwelling to buy alcohol and shout at traffic.

So just be careful when starting sentences with "does anyone else". It can have very dangerous consequences.

Wow that really did end up being a lot darker than I expected. I can't think of any specific instances where I have been in a scenario like the one described above, but it does seem familiar. It can be enormously satisfying to discover that you are more similar to everyone else than you realise. I suppose in our "everyone is a unique snowflake" society that kind of thing doesn't sound all that nice but you'd be surprised how comforting it is to hear someone say "oh I think everyone does that".

I just tried a Google search for people who hate the sound of scraping ice. Ever since I can remember I have hated the sound of stuff scraping on ice - getting a box out of a frosty freezer and hearing it scrape across the ice, made me shudder just typing that. Nobody else in my family has the same thing and I don't think I have met anyone else who can't stand scraping else. But thanks to the magic of Google I now know there are plenty of people who can't stand that sound. I expected as much but it is nice to have it confirmed.

I'm off to bed now, stay tuned for part 2 of the most poorly titled blog series you are ever likely to see: Things That Are Nice\Shit