...& some thoughts on toxicity
I almost got happy that I made it and posted in August to keep my not-100%-failure blogging streak going, but then I noticed I failed in June so what-kitten-ever :C
Sorry if I'm not sounding too coherent today. It is not a good brain day for me.
Several days ago there was some mini skin promo in LoL for which you needed IP (points you get for playing) so I logged in to see if I had enough points left over and, since I didn't have them, I went to play a game with bots. It didn't give me nearly enough points to bother over the next few days with the first-win-of-the-day bonus, but it made me realize that I am, indeed, most likely done with LoL. And if nothing special happens - like a sudden burst of nostalgia or a massive return of all the old friends for a few games of derpfest, it will probably stay this way.
It's a small end of a small era for me, I've been playing the game for a long time, I still watch the pro games, but the finish line kind of snuck up on me. As it always is. I've played two other MMOs in my life. Long LONG time ago it was Tibia, when it was all the rage. Then, it was WoW. Twice - first time on a private server, then, few years later on the retail. I don't think I knew the end was coming either time. When those things last, to me, they always seem so permanent. Until one day I log off and just don't log back in. No dramatic proclamation, no rage quit, no decision.
I just logged onto the LoL client to see when my last ranked game was - May 3rd. Warwick Jungle.
How... unfitting :P Well, at least it looks like I carried that one. That's something.
And on the 9th of August was the game vs. bots which could turn out to be my final goodbye.
But I also want to write about why I quit the game. Even though it wasn't a precise quit and just a distance that grew to become permanent, I do know why I am not coming back. And that is the in-game toxicity.
I often go to LoL's reddit and many times opinions on the topic are divided. Some agree that it has to be combated, but many say that those, who speak against it are, simply put, whining. If that's so, then so be it, but the truth is, I am not the only one of my friends who eventually gave up on the game because of that. And not the only one who won't come back for this reason.
Because, contrary to what some people seem to think, the game should be played for fun. And once I stopped playing LoL and went back to my single player games I remembered how it felt to play a game and actually enjoy every second of it. I didn't have to listen what some basement troll thinks, read flame from a pre-pubescent twelve year old offending the entire team with most vile insults his little head could come up with, or deal with angry teenagers believing themselves to be the gods' gift to the team. It was liberating. It IS liberating, because after years of LoL the memories are of course still fresh.
I was never the one to cry after being flamed, but unfair blaming did rile me up and piss me off. My friend - she was crying. And she dropped the game much sooner. Another had had his mood brought down daily by people like that. He kept coming back, because he liked the game, but eventually it was too much for him as well. And eventually it was too much for me too.
Believe it or not, that one bot game I went for a week ago was filled with flame as well. A BOT GAME. One player kept crying at others for "kill stealing" and "leaving him alone" alternating between the two. Was he a troll? I don't know. And honestly, I don't care. What difference does it make if the end result is the same?
Riot speaks a lot about combating toxicity, but it really doesn't do much, because there's such high social acceptance for it. Those "stop whining" reddit responses to many people complaining about the constant stream of insults are just the proof in the pudding (is that how you say this? :D). If someone got slapped with increasing bans for abusing their teammates the outrage would not end. Too harsh, too rough, all he did was flame, punish the trolls. Well shit, if it was up to me, I'd punish BOTH kinds.
There are many kids playing this game, many of them younger, going through harsh times in their lives, often LoL is their only escape from bullying in real life. If this was my game, I'd never put the good of the flamers above those nice players who just want to enjoy the game. Got butthurt about the deserved ban? Thinking it's too much? Cry me a river. It's not hard to not abuse your team, it really isn't unless someone has certified anger issues, in which case they should probably be doing something else than playing LoL. For example, working on dealing with those. Or add a self-mute button you tick before the game and can't untick inside it to help them keep their tongues (fingers) in check. If they don't use it and flame, ban them and move on. Tribunal was a great thing, it's a shame it's gone now.
Why Riot is still so lenient despite all of their incessant anti-toxicity talk? Probably because actually fighting it in a tough and really effective manner (that means, in a way that would give people certainty that trolling/flaming WILL get them banned and sooner rather than later) would be a bad business decision. I can see no other real reason.
Or maybe they agree that wishing some kid a painful death to him and his entire family, because he's having a bad game and died to his opponent is okay, because it's just talk. And the flamer has a bad day. And he ought to abuse at least 20 other kids in 20 other games before it's confirmed that he deserves a slap on the wrist.
Maybe the majority of the playerbase actually prefers things to be this way, because they occassionally abuse others too and don't want to be afraid to drop a juicy bunch of insults as long as they don't do it daily. Maybe I'm just whining. So be it.
But I remember how I was when I was starting to play the game - I liked to talk to other players, help them out, joke around, defend anyone that was attacked by some idiot. I used to talk to people post-game and add them to my friend-list. In the last months I wouldn't say a word during games and would leave the post-game lobby as soon as I could to avoid any potential annoying interactions. Sometimes my friend and I would stay and just read through the post-game chat pretending we're afk and shaking our heads looking at how angry and stupid some players could be flaming each other for up to 10 minutes after the game was over.
I never once flamed another person during those 3 or 4 years that I've been playing the game. But honestly, during my last LoL year, I often really wanted to. And I'm someone who DESPISES conflict and arguments of any sort.
Someone less mellow than me? Well.
Long story short - my days are simply more pleasant LoL-free. Even though I loved the game very much, I'm better off without it.
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Today I decided to check out a new show, Dark Matter.
It has fairly good ratings/reviews. Got through half an episode and turned it off, bored. But that's not the reason for this post. The reason is a mini-rant.
Seeing how I aspire to be a writer, this might not be the smartest post to post as I might well be guilty of all the things I accuse this show of. I would hope I'm not, but it's always the hardest to see faults in your own work. So, if that's the case...
Hello Pot! I'm Kettle. How's your day going, bro? ^^
Truthfully though, some of character clichés are simply difficult to avoid and sometimes they just truly, truly WORK. I also happens that they're completely unnecessary, but they're pulled out just so delightfully well that they become a guilty viewing/reading pleasure and I wouldn't trade them for the world. Looking at you, steaming hot pirates, adorable nerds, evil-but-good vampires, sexy vixens...
In this case though... nope. Not for me.
Perhaps the plot is good, maybe the characters get developed well, I don't know. I can't judge that and I won't say a bad word about the story itself, because I didn't get to it. Could be totally great. But those who say that the opening pages/minutes can sometimes be the most important part of the story are right. The beginning can be the give-it-a-try/give-it-a-rest for the audience. I give Dark Matter a rest.
So, the premise: six people wake up on a spaceship with no memory of who they are or why they're there. Okay, here goes:
#1 One dude wakes up. He finds the ship's bridge. Wants to look around. Suddenly a woman bursts in and starts kicking his ass randomly. She succeeds in kicking his ass. He stays down. She fixes the ship. Dude gets up asking "what was that for?" she says "you were in the way."
Like, what? Seriously? I am SO SICK AND TIRED of shoehorning strong badass women everywhere. But usually the creators at least have a decency to make it logical. Not "Oh, we need a scene of a hot woman kicking a dude's ass. I know! They are both confused and have no memory so instead of asking what's up, let's have her fight him so she can throw in a badass one-liner and then we'll consider moving on with logic!"
Frankly, the next person that comes into the room asks them who they are.
Funnily enough, the chick is later portrayed as the reasonable and cool-headed one unlike some other dude who could indeed logically burst into the room and attack the first fella. But he's not a hot chick so.
#2 Characters... men, there's plenty of ways you can build characters, mix and match stuff, surprise the viewer, or just make them feel real and not cut out of cardboard. Maybe these get better later, but I honestly don't have the patience nor the time to invest in this show with what it showed me at start.
a) there's the aforementioned hot-badass chick
b) there's the soft mellow fellow who is also the first one to have woken up and obviously smells of being the protagonist (I don't mind, I prefer weaker protagonists, it makes their struggles more interesting to me)
c) there's the tough-brainless guy who just wants to shoot guns, picks up the biggest one and hopes he'll get to shoot some enemies ASAP
d) there's a token black guy who so far has literally 0 personality
e) there's an Asian fellow who found a room with katanas and other melee weapons (in the age of spaceships and laser guns) and started swinging them around making a fighting show for like a minute of screen time. Probably so that the mellow guy can answer his question of "can you use these" saying "i take that as a yes" after the Asian fellow ends his sword dance with swords by the mellow guy's throat. Because that's what you do when you both don't have your memories and know nothing about one another.
f) and there's of course the cutesy chick with colored hair who's already being shown as a 101% genius brilliant doctor who was super happy about completing some quirky puzzle box for no reason
I just... no.
#3 Oh, and then there's an android woman who is in theory an andoid and most of the time replies to things like a machine should, but then suddenly has a snarky reply out of the blue. Not to mention inconsistencies.
There's an enemy ship approaching and the android goes "Yes, but I don't think they mean to offer assistance", then the crew lady says "why not?" and android answers "because they just fired missiles". Like, I'd imagine a robot would say "the enemy ship fired missiles our way" not engage in a back-and-forth banter.
Mind you I'm saying it because she's previously shown to only answer straighforwardly to questions and use full and organized sentences even if the question is repeated and she's repeating her answer.
Or maybe I'm just too old and fussy.
"You never leave home."
I can't count how many times have I sighed after hearing this sentence. It comes in various flavors, sometimes it's completely 'whatever', but sometimes it sure carries judgement, exasperation, or even blame. Yep, blame. Sometimes, when I hear it, it truly feels as if I actually owe people to go out. And I'm not talking about my close ones, I'm talking about general acquaintances.
The most common occurence though is definitely judgement, and one thing that bothers me most - and makes me think the most - is that the times when I've heard the most judgement in this statement was when it came from my brethren, (or so I thought!), the people who used to be cave trolls as well. Sometimes, perhaps, still are, but feel less cavy after a few outings.
Now, I feel that those people who, after leaving their caves, ride up to me on their high horses never actually #wanted# to sit at home instead of traversing bars, clubs, or what have you. Not everyone is a social butterfly and sometimes it takes people a while to grow up into it or to find a group they will fit in and finally get their share of social interactions. So when they finally do, they come to the little old me and roll their eyes at my unchanging anti-social habits.
Me? I am not a cave troll because I was forced into it. I could go out, hell, if I felt like it, I could go out every Friday night and have fun like the songs proclaim. There are bars in the city, if I was into it. There are Facebook groups, I'm sure, that connect people who want to go clubbing. Or, more realistically by my standards, I could at least sit in a bar and talk to friends, acquaintances, or random strangers. But I don't want to. I #am# a cave troll and I like my cave. Very, very much. I choose to stay in, because that's where I have the most things to do, that's where I feel best, and that's where I do things that actually interest me and awake positive emotions within me. I don't find joy in random outings and, most definitely, in sitting in bars and chit chatting hours away.
I also hate beer almost as much as I hate small talk (or more, it's bitter, eww).
So yes, sometimes I will go see a friend or a few, sure. Sometimes I will even enjoy it! Especially if we do something else than sit and talk or if they're my favorite people and we just have plenty to talk about. Every now and then I can even go to a party. But the farther away from my home it is, the smaller the chance is I will appear. And if I can't hit 'eject' button and come back to sleep in my own cozy bed after a warm bath and a cup of tea at any chosen moment, well damn, things get complicated. A cave troll wants to be in touch with her cave, without it, she feels lost and her fur gets ruffled.
That being said, there are times and occassions when I'm happy to leave. This past weekend my childhood friend got married. I'd have gone even if I broke both my legs (getting something out of the top shelf, because if most accidents happen at home, with the amount of time I spend here it would be bitterly ironic if I broke my legs anywhere else!). Sometimes there's just a fun thing to do, then I'm all in. Or a holiday in a bug-free hotel. Sure thing! There are days where I >gasp< even go for a solitary walk and breathe in the stinky city air. There are days where I feel like seeing people and talking to living humans without the use of a keyboard (what a crazy idea!).
But more often than not, I don't leave home indeed. I can go for long periods of time without talking face-to-face to people and not feel the need to sit down and make up for the 'lost' time. I can sit in my place for two weeks without so much as poking my nose outside the front door if I just stockpile enough food <- not an exaggeration. Been there, done that, and enjoyed myself greatly.
My cave is where I rest and where I recharge my social-interaction batteries. It can take a lot of time, because being at home is the natural state for me, not the other way around.
My cave is also where I can sit down and write a ranty/whiny post. How can anyone not see the beauty of it? Why do people ever bother going out and wasting time on irrelevant things?!
JK. We're all different. Sometimes I just wish others realized it as well.Leave a comment (0)
For a while I was working on a bigger project and I didn't want to let myself get too distracted. I stopped playing LoL, didn't touch it for six months or so, it was all fine. But then I got cravings for other games. My good old favorite single player games. The cravings grew and grew until one day I had my gog.com shelf open and I almost clicked 'install'.
But then an idea struck! A brilliant, lovely idea. I went to YouTube and Googled Let's Plays for the games I craved. And I started watching those while working (long live double screen setup). I didn't have to focus on every little bit, I watched the parts I wanted to see the most, or when I needed a small, undemanding distraction. Then, I realized that even Let's Plays from games I don't know could be fun, I've watched a bunch of series from the Game Grumps and enjoyed them plenty.
Alas, one my favorite games, Black & White, doesn't have a complete Let's Play that's not in, I believe, German. I watched one of them but it wasn't finished due to a crash or a bug.
And you know, everyone's making Let's Plays nowadays so I thought - why not make my own so that I can watch that in the future when nostalgia hits? Could be fun. And yep, it sure was fun ^^
Relaxing, too, to get into a mini-project that I don't have to make perfect and polished, and where I can just enjoy myself, because I have no expectations or goals connected to it whatsoever. It felt great to allow myself to be a complete scrub and fail all I wanted just because.
If for some reason you feel like listening to me rambling about that 15 years old game, you can find the playlist here (more videos are coming): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkMXeytwNRE&list=PLpy_mAODOzN28DnFnry64CS4egRQswEqPLeave a comment (0)
Everyone who knows me a little bit probably knows that I've played Baldur's Gate an unreasonable amount of times. So with the drama swirling around the new Baldur's Gate game by Beamdog and their changes to the EE I've been asked by a few friends what I think about the whole thing.
First, I'll say that I haven't played the EE and I might never do so, because if (well... "when" would probably be more realistic) I do play it again, I will want to include a whole bunch of mods that probably won't be adjusted to work with EE. That being said, the wonderful BG-modding community is still at work and a bunch of mods is already playable with EE. The Big World Project also has the EE option already, so who knows, maybe in a few years they will have found a way to make everything compatible.
Anything I have to say then is based on what I've read from articles/forums linked to me, and it obviously is not a review of the Enhanced Edition.
I will sum it up like this:
- There are people who get annoyed at those, who are brash and don't think about the feelings of others in whatever they do
- There are people who get annoyed at those, who try to stuff political correctness everywhere
- Then there's me, a person who gets annoyed at both of the above.
And it sucks to be me, because that means that I'm annoyed twice as often at twice as many people.
I won't post a huge-ass rant here dissecting the entire drama, because there's already a fair amount of that available elsewhere. But a short stance from a person 'in the middle':
Adjusting BioWare NPCs by adding 'depth' and the personalities of original BG NPCs:
I've read that several characters are getting new dialogue in expansion that doesn't quite go with how they were initially to expand their roles and make them... cooler? I suppose?
The case of Jaheira
It seems that people had a beef with how she was shown as a shrew and that her relationship with Khalid was presented as one lacking respect from her side and near resentment. And that it has to be fixed.
I mean, so a woman cannot be a shrew anymore? So what if she is? So what if their relationship isn't perfect in someone's eyes or doesn't follow some 'healthy marriage' rules? Newsflash - people are different. Marriages are different. Some people tease one another. Some women are shrews. Sometimes couples will act in ways that to others seem disrespectful, but still love one another deeply. Sometimes they will stick together for other reasons.
I absolutely hate the idea of making every character comply to some arbitrary standards. I never had a single issue with Jaheira, and the BG1 NPC project (wonderful mod) managed to expand all of the characters without screwing up their original personalities and fit seamlessly into the game. That's how expansions should work. Not by changing the original characters. That's not adding depth. That's adding agenda. Create new characters to push your agenda if you must.
The case of Skie
Now in this case it seems that women also cannot be weak and vain anymore.
You know, so what if we have a shrew Jaheira with ties to occassionally ruthless organizations, so what if we have Imoen, who's a sweet thief with a sense of humor aspiring to be a mage, so what if we have Viconia, who's a drow and still on the evil side, so what if we have Flaming Fist officers, female assassins, wicked vampire Bodhi (granted, in BG2), so what if there is a strong and brash barbarian Shar-teel, or a stuck-up priestess Branwen, and a dignified sorceress Dynaheir, and a bajillion other, varied female characters all over the game?
Gods forbid one of them is a weak, vain girl who's dependent on a man and generally hopeless. What a disgrace! Hurry, fix! Add substance! Make her a real woman!
I now this might be an upopular opinion, but women like that exist. And it's not just one or two somewhere out there either.
Is diversity only good when it's showing the 'underpriviledged' in a shining light? I thought the word meant something else. Silly me.
Real-world references to GamerGate/other social battles:
I mean, no, just no. I heard they added some line to Minsc in the new expansion/game that mocks the affair. That's not what the game should be about. If you want to push for diversity in games, add plots/characters that introduce it into the game (point below). But don't put your agenda into the words of actual established characters. It's not funny, it's not cute, and frankly, it's damn arrogant.
I'm generally pro-diversity, BUT ONLY WHEN IT MAKES SENSE!! Don't confuse that with demands for diversity in games about medieval countries where there just historically wasn't any. Or with making those demands towards creators who have something else in mind for whatever reason. That's their right. Not every game/movie/book has to be diverse. Not every country is concerned with racial issues either, some societies are pretty homogenous and people there don't even think about those issues going about their lives, because they're just absent from their lives. If they want to create stories from their perspective it's not fair to tell them they're wrong, because in America things are different. Sorry.
But yes, generally, I'm pro diversity in games, I like that culture is being more and more open and accepting of different types of characters or views, and I think that's a good thing, and that it's vital in changing the general opinion by making the 'scary strange' familiar and normal.
And even I would be annoyed greatly if I heard Minsc give commentaries about a real-world affair by echoing the new creators' opinions. Just no.
Adding more diversity to the world:
I'm fine with this. The world is changing, the games are changing, Baldur's Gate is an old title where diversity wasn't even something very much considered in the development process. I like that nowadays in many RPGs there will be a romance options for homosexual characters, that's great. I don't mind raising new questions or dealing with issues that are related to what's current in our world either.
The thing is - it has to be done right, as does everything else.
There's a difference between a complex quest that deals with an issue of race, where player can choose either side and get into discussions/opt out of them, and a character who spews their agenda to tell the >player< what's right.
There's a difference between an interesting NPC, who, when asked (that's an important part - let the player decide whether they give a fuck or not) tells them about their gender identity issues and, say, I don't know, ASKS the player to find them a girdle of sex change? Because, you know, it's a thing in the BG world? There are also spells that do it. If you want to tackle issues like that in a game, great, go for it, but think it through first. Would it even be an issue in this world? Are there easy solutions? Can it be done in a non-preachy way?
And let the player take their stance. ROLEPLAY their stance. Don't force them to agree/listen to the characters, who give the one-truth.
Frankly, as far as sharing your views and 'pushing' an agenda goes, a dialogue and smart way of presenting your stance will go a long way. Shoving it down anyone's throat by changing their favorite things (game/characters) will only antagonize people.
And from what I've seen in the quoted posts/screenshots/audio files, in the case of the BG expansion this was not done well. It reads like a fanfiction, not a professional continuation. I like good fanfiction, but only when it knows what it is.
When it pretends to be canon, well, that's when the problems start.
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My answer? It would be awesome! And this post will not be about Glee ;)
I thought about making my first post-return post about the affair going on around Baldur's Gate, because it's no secret I love and worship the game, but I don't feel like ranting today. Or thinking much. So instead, I'm going to sing (hehe) praises.
Some time ago I've discovered two TV shows that to me were a breath of fresh air for a variety of reasons. And yes, those shows include musical numbers! One more than the other, but I think they're both pretty damn cool and I'd love to recommend them to any random passerby who might stumble upon this blog.
First of them is Galavant. I guess when it comes to the plot it belongs to the same genre Shrek does - it's a parody of fantasy tropes and stories. It's a bit more ribald (and I'm back to thinking about BG... ;P) than Shrek was, for sure, but compared to some other shows on TV today it's still on the safe side.
My first impression of the show was "Oh man, this cliche? AND singing? Meh... maybe another time." Then, another time came and I gave it more than 1 minute, and by minute 3 I was loving it. It only got better. The tropes are deconstructed, like in a proper parody, the characters are likeable and funny. And, importantly, the show doesn't take itself seriously. It was so clear to me that everyone involved in its creation was simply having fun. It made me laugh out loud several times, it had witty twists, it connected the medieval fantasy setting with contemporary issues/opinions in a hilarious ways and the songs were simply funny. Seeing Lassitter from Psych in the role of the king made it all the better for me and the similarities between the two characters added a comedic depth. That's a personal impression, obviously :)
I'm glad Galavant got second season, and I'm glad they finished it in a very satisfying way. But fingers crossed for another surprise renewal!
The second show is one I thought would be too stupid to watch based on the premise, but after Jane the Virgin I know to never make my judgment after a silly-lookin premise alone or I might miss out on a great deal of joy. This one is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and is actually a surprisingly warm comedy, sometimes on a goofy side, but all in all an entertaining watch. I would definitely say that songs are the forte of this show.
You know how there are jokes in sitcoms that are sometimes uncomfortable or too-close-to-truth not to make someone uncomfortable or wrinkle their nose? This show takes such jokes and situations and turns them into musical numbers! I love it. They're quirky, they're surprising, they can be rude or way too honest (in a good way if you ask me :D), and it's just SO refreshing, so different than other things on TV. I fear it might be too different to survive past the first season, but I'll be hopeful.
I also have to say some of the songs are actually pretty damn fine when it comes to the tune and performance, which is not something I'd expect of a TV show that's not focused on music (like Glee or Smash). "Settle for Me" is still somewhere at the back of my head. Cruelly catchy.
Compared to the Galavant it has fewer songs - there are just two per episode.
If you're not bothered by brash jokes and are looking for a new comedy that doesn't just rehash old tired jokes and situations using new characters, I'd definitely recommend giving it a go :)Leave a comment (0)
I've finished designing the new website layout and will soon know if I need to fix/readjust anything there. Then it's up to my friend with technical brain to piece it together and make it work, since I can only do images. The new website will have a proper Thank You page promised on the indieGoGo campaign up and ready :)
I've ordered some of the perk prizes yesterday, and I'll be ordering the rest today and tomorrow (or maybe just today, depends how things go). The thank you video will come after I've sent everything out.
I'll also put the book up on Amazon this week, and when everything's done I will have to find some way to market it a bit. I'm really green when it comes to anything advertising so that's the step I've no idea how to take. Having done a little research I found out that all of those not-too-expensive promotion services actually give nothing or close to nothing so it's better to skip them. Well, it sure won't be a simple do and forget and it might take a longer while to achieve anything, but fortunately books don't have expiration dates so it's okay to take it one step at a time. That's something :)
Meanwhile, I'll be slowly writing the 2nd volume.
I'm not updating much on this site for now since I'm building the new thing. I've got everything set, just need to draw and design a few bits and then send it to a person with a big juicy brain to put it together (and to make sure it stays together).
It will be up as soon as possible, but the e-book will come first - with a note saying that the website has things it doesn't yet :D Which is the reason for this post.
E-book coming soon
Much to do so little time
Self-pubbing is hard.
I haven't written anything here lately, because to write I need to think of something, and I don't have time to think :) Nah, kidding, but I'm focusing my efforts on a bunch of things I've left to do and it's possible - not promising, but possible - that the book will actually be available in the stores next week! Scary. I fear that I'll do something wrong and stumble over multiple technicalities somewhere along the way :D But I guess it's to be expected from a first-timer. Judging from the struggles my friend, Quentin Oakwood, went through to get his book show on Amazon the way he wanted it to (cover, price, back-cover, ISBNs and all that) I think I should prepare some old cables to bite on.
But, nevertheless, it's a light at the end of the tunnel. It feels pretty abstract for me to publish a novel after about six years of working on it, and, wow, more or less a decade and a half from the first time I started writing a book in all seriousness, filled with dreams of becoming a writer.
If nothing else, I'm gonna buy myself icecream to celebrate the stubbornness :P
What's left to do? Preparing the text to look professionally in print (so much more work than I thought it'd be...) and making a proper e-book based on that (black magic). Then re-researching everything I forgot about how to digitally publish it with PODs and other goodies. At the same time I'll send out the e-books to all those awesome people who helped me on the indieGoGo, then order the hardcovers and other perks - once those arrive, it's perk prize sending time :)
In the meanwhile I'm working on a new website design that will be more concise and hopefully interesting too. I know very little about marketing, but I'm pretty sure an enticing website is a good foundation to build anything up on.
What is this, you ask? Well, let me tell you! It's a rant. Everyone needs a good rant every now and then. This particular rant is sponsored by the ending of the TV show Revenge, but that's obviously not the only thing guilty of those things that irk me here :)
This post is full of spoilers. Obviously.
First things first though - the first season of Revenge was a huge fun, and as far as I can remember, so were the two following ones, but for me, the show got worse with time. The logic took a vacation, the loopholes were just too many, and the army of Deus Ex Machinas called in would be enough to defeat a legion of honey badgers. Probably. I'm not taking bets there.
But there was always Nolan and Victoria. Even when David joined the cast (I'm sorry, but his acting to me was comparable to Henry's in Once Upon a Time... They could've just casted Pinokio for the role if they wanted some good wood), those two carried the show for me.
All in all the show had its better and worst sides, but the one that irked me the most was Jack.
Why? Because I was really happy to see that the show DID NOT go with the "childhood love = true love" thing, but decided to go a more realistic (and frankly, far more interesting) route. I was sure they escaped that horrible cliche, and then in the last season it turned out that I was tricked... and every Deus Ex Machina left in the world was brought onto the stage to make the tru loff happen.
I skipped their romance scenes. I skipped them like I skipped the flash-forwards from HIMYM's last episode, because I didn't want to cry - not from sadness this time, but from frustration and excessive eye-rolling.
There's a significant difference between a couple that knows each other from childhood, and turns from friends into lovers, and can't imagine their lives without one another, and a couple of friends who get separated at what, 7 years old or something for the following two decades, and yet MUST END TOGETHER CAUSE TRUE LOVE!! Why? Because they played with the same dog! And they had a child-wedding with rubber bands. I had a child wedding in my kindergarten times with my best friend. I can't remember his name.
My favorite partner for Emily? Maybe Aiden. It made sense, they had chemistry. It worked. But yea, let's kill him instead for the dramas. Well, all right, it's a motive for revenge and the show's called Revenge. I get it. As long the reason is plot, not removing obstacles standing before the TRU LOFF can happen.
Daniel? They could go back to being together after everything that happened if the writers played it smart. I love love love seeing complicated relationships with past that makes them difficult and with real obstacles to overcome. I love when it requires thinking out of the box and reaching into the characters' depths to understand why they work. This had potential, SO much potential. More than Aiden, because here, there was some really tricky background, and the evolution of Emily and Daniel's characters that would lead to them being together would be fascinating to watch. By the end of Daniel's life on the show, there were scenes that made it look plausible. It could happen. And it'd be great.
But you know what? Better kill him off. Cause there's Jack waiting! And they had a dog when they were kids, and the dog is dead now ;( So, ya kno.
What about Ben? Well, Ben was nothing really interesting. At first he annoyed me, but he grew up on me somewhat. Still far better than Jack, but he was kind of meh compared to the other options (plot-wise).
But you know what? Let's make Emily behave irrationally so the relationship is gone and she can FINALLY be with Jack! Yea yea yea! They had been gathering sea-shells together, after all, NO?!
And in the end Emily and Jack got married. I don't know, to me, there was absolutely no chemistry between them, NOTHING that would make me root for them. I'd have liked it better if Emily just died with Victoria, it would've been more poetic for sure. Though wouldn't make it much better since by then the True Love was already in action.
I've read on Facebook that there was even a new dog by the end. Probably with the same name. Cause, ya kno. Feels.
I think that if from season one the show showed Emily and Jack trying to get together, and hadn't thrown much more interesting relationships into the mix, I would be less mad. Because I wouldn't be simply disappointed. It was the fact that they led me to believe that they would show me that they are not going to go by those romantic comedy rules that made the turn so bitter.
So then, what about the forced tragedy? Well, imagine this:
There's tragic life, long fight back to regain what was lost, then miraculous reunion, followed by a bunch more drama and fighting for life and revenge and love and everything and then few episodes before the show finale, it seems that something worked out. All right!
Wait, what? No, that's just silly.
Random cancer plot! Yea. Let's kill the father for whom the revenge happened in Revenge. Why? Well, because... because... that'd be just soooooooooooooooooooooooooo... DEEP.
So deep that Adele could roll in it (borrowing this joke, I just love it)! And so ironic that Alanis could write another song about it! So dramatic that Heimskr could shout about it in Whiterun!
You know what? No. No it wasn't. It wasn't touching. It wasn't deep. And with his acting, it wasn't even dramatic. I rolled my eyes.
Yes, sometimes there is a sudden tragedy in fiction that strikes and makes me cry (and I cry really easily, I cry on YouTube videos sometimes). Yes, sometimes it's something I even expected (feared) would happen. Sometimes it's the character that really shouldn't have died, and I know, I know the scumbag writers chose the most lovable one to off just so I cry. But sometimes it works. So. Very. Well. Too well. Why? Because it makes sense.
Because it's tragic, and ironic, and deep.
Not random. Not forced.
And when that happens, I will cry, I will howl, I will baaaaaw to the heavens, and I will hate the writers for it forever and ever (hello, Angel, hello Moulin Rouge). And I will cry my eyes out, not roll them.
And that's what I call good writing.