Fun. For a Change

I’ve been immersing myself in amusing content (and content that was just meant to be amusing) for several days now. I have missed this. I almost forgot what it was like.

First off, I’ve finally seen Valerian. I think we have a clear winner for the title of “worst film of the year.” Other than the visuals, I cannot say a single good thing about this drivel. The two main actors sure are pretty, but can’t act to save their lives. It might not matter, though, because the characters they portray are obnoxious anyway. I can’t remember a single good joke, and there are a lot of jokes. The main guy is so deadly that the film has zero tension. No one poses a remote threat. Overall a complete waste of time.

Next, I’m slowly approaching the final parts of Republic of Thieves. Still an explosion of fun and wit. I don’t hate Sabetha anymore. Now I despise her. If I feel like it, I might dissect her character after I’m done with the book. Or I might not.

To my great shame, I have temporarily ditched Overwatch and am playing League of Legends again. I blame Kayn and his hilarious edginess (Rhaast: “There is fear in your grip, and doubt in your heart!” Kayn: “I have no heart.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!). Revamping the runes and putting in all this crazy stuff seems to have been a great decision. No one knows what they’re doing anymore. Chaos everywhere! Surprise, surprise, the game is fresh and fun again.

Bedlam is still set for release on December the 1st. Yes, I appropriately release my book on AIDS day.

Stay awesome.
M. T. Miller

Advertisements

Halp

So instead of having a productive and fun week, I’m having a nightmare made real.

Some kind of cat virus has hit the neighborhood, and I’m forced to care for my pets basically around the clock. One has died, others are on the ropes, and I’m hardly getting any sleep. I’m both exhausted and on edge, which doesn’t do wonders for my ability to do stuff when I’m actually free.

I’ve barely read half of Republic of Thieves, but I nevertheless love it for now. I want to bludgeon Sabetha with a crowbar, but that was more or less expected. Aside from her, the rest of the book is great stuff.

I’ve bought Transistor during Steam’s Halloween sale. I hope to finally play it soon. That music, man.

Nothing more to say. I hope to see as little death in the following days as possible.

Peace.
M. T. Miller.

Incoming Reading Binge

Immense stupidity on my part has caused me to stockpile a metric ton of books I didn’t have the time to read. I intend to fix that starting now.

First off, I will (finally) read Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch. After that I am to tackle Malazan Book of the Fallen. Some books in that series I will re-read, others I will read for the first time. After that, it’s off to the Demon Cycle.

As I do this, I will steadily be working on the final Azure Flame thing. Fun times incoming.

Stay awesome.
M. T. Miller

The Philosophy Of “Fuck It”

In the words of a good friend of mine:

“God says ‘relax.’ The devil says ‘fuck it.'”

I don’t believe in God nor the devil. I don’t think there is a will or reason behind anything at all. Everything is chaos, I think. What happens is merely the result of an infinite number of conflicting forces. The one that overpowers the opposition gets to make its mark. The rest cease to exist.

But let’s think of Satan for a moment. In the story, he challenged the creator of the whole universe. The one who made both him and everything else. He gave up being what he was, and for what? Because fuck it.

I don’t admire the devil. If he existed he’d be an utter douchebag. But I have genuine respect for the courage it takes to give the finger to the maker. It cost Satan everything he had, and sentenced him to the pit. And if given the choice, I bet he’d do it all over again.

“Fuck that guy,” I can imagine him say.

But the devil is an imaginary character, and most real people aren’t like that. The determination needed for flipping someone off for good isn’t easy to come by, and tends to weaken if not funneled properly. We are creatures of habit and nostalgia, and drastic steps don’t come easily. When given the choice between acceptance and defiance, acceptance is often picked first.

And why wouldn’t it be? Accepting something usually means minimizing costs. Minimizing damage. Choosing compromise to save oneself discomfort. When getting backed against a wall, surrender seems like a better option than bashing the bricks out with one’s face.

Well, I say “fuck acceptance.”

I refuse to be enslaved. I refuse to compromise with things I consider absolutely and completely wrong. I refuse to nod my head and show proper respect when I am given none whatsoever. This attitude is difficult to maintain and requires constant reinforcement, but it is 100% right and proper.

Existence is so full of complete and utter shit that we’ve gotten used to the smell. We live in it, walk in it, eat it, and when the time comes to clean up we even bathe in it. Everything sucks, now and forever. And just when you start to think that a particular thing isn’t a turd, it turns out to be an even worse one. Only you were so used to the smell that you didn’t notice in time.

But this is the way of things. One can’t boycott shit in a world of shit. What one can do, however, is boycott the unnecessary shit. That is doable, if not easy.

Fuck it.
M. T. Miller

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

Jeanette Vampire Bloodlines Malkavian Crazy Game Sexy Hot Asylum

Insanely sexy. Or sexily insane.

I love Bloodlines.

There is no other way to phrase this. This game is the love of my life.

If I could somehow father children with Bloodlines, I’d make five. And I can’t stand kids.

There comes a time every year or two… someone else would call it reinstalling. I call it a honeymoon. I don’t give these events numbers. Our love is forever.

The next honeymoon is near. I can tell. The quotes, beats, and scenes from this immaculately written and directed game keep springing out of my subconscious whenever I let my attention slip. It’s been too long. Bloodlines wants me.

And who am I to disappoint her? Why would I even want to? She has given me some of the best moments of my youth. Jeanette, Jack, Velvet, Beckett… these are old friends I’m talking about. Friendships should be nurtured.

Despite my passion for her, however, Bloodlines is a game. And I like to think that games are valued for two kinds of components: the hard and the soft parts. It’s not breaking new ground to say that the hard parts of Bloodlines (i. e. the gameplay) are lackluster.

But this is okay. To love is to love the imperfections.

And I love Bloodlines to (un)death.

M. T. Miller

Endings

No one likes endings.

Whether it’s the end of a film, a book, or (tragically) a life, the point at which something changes from an “is” into a “was” is something we uniformly dread. And why wouldn’t we? We’ve likely enjoyed whatever it was that’s ended.

But endings are crucial. How many works of art have been brought down by a badly executed ending? Or the lack of one, for that matter? How many lives have fallen to ruin because of something inconclusive from the past? Far too many.

An ending is the means by which we give sense to a thing. The way a life ends inevitably sheds light on the way the deceased person had lived. The manner in which a hero’s journey concludes is probably its most important part. Even when an ending appears contradictory to the whole thing, the result is always the same: closure.

The mind needs this. The heart needs it more. It would be cruel not to provide it.

That is why I dislike most pieces of media that seem to go on forever. On and on they trod, producing one half-assed product after another. Plots that keep pulling their punches. Characters that do not die, because who’d want to piss off a paying fan base? And the trend keeps getting worse.

If the Assassin’s Creed series had ended after gaining momentum, as opposed to becoming a vehicle for one derivative game after another, people would speak fondly of it. Instead, it’s viewed as an expensive (yet profitable) joke; a juggernaut with no real weight. This is the future of everything, unless we choose to embrace endings.

Nothing is constant. Regardless of the amount of faith or certainty one has in something, there is absolutely zero guarantee that it won’t end. Perhaps it will be satisfying. Maybe it will be abrupt and as unpleasant as it can be. Everyone prefers the former, but even the latter is better than an empty, gaping nothing.

“A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts,” said the Vision. Which is all kinds of ironic. The MCU will probably last longer than the solar system.

I for one choose to embrace endings. It is the only sane thing to do.

And thus this post ends.

M. T. Miller

Keep moving

The average life expectancy of a human being is about seventy one years. Reasonable, right?

It should be, if not for the fact that we lose so much time. Work. Sleep. Acts that nurture the spirit-housing machine. These innumerable obligations gnaw at the precious time we do have, leaving us with very little chance to sit back and enjoy the journey.

Oh, there might be alternatives, but are they even worth considering? A life without money is no life at all. Unless you’re a fan of insanity, sleep cannot be avoided. And a neglected body has a tendency to not last very long. Aside from not being very pleasant to inhabit.

Indeed, the mere act of existence often seems like an endless race with something horrible and relentless. Do this. Do that. Oh, you don’t have to, but you’ll be sorry if you didn’t. And the more ambitious one is, the more these so-called options keep piling up. This is not a choice. It is nothing more or less than an illusion of it.

And here’s the thing: that is okay. This planet is not a nice place. Everyone and everything must fight. No exceptions. Living beings die by the millions. Billions. Some thrive, and have to keep struggling. The dull, watered-down routine that civilization has provided us might be soul-sucking, but at least it comes with some degree of certainty. Not counting wars, a human being getting killed is an exception; not a norm.

Yes. We have replaced good old battle for survival with a battle for prosperity. Except that everyone wants that, so few can have it. Like a bunch of hyenas, we gather around a large piece of carrion, and try to eat as much as we possibly can. Or we’ll be sorry we didn’t.

But this respite is over in an eye-blink. Our appetites are insatiable, and we have to keep moving. Someone would call that agony. I call it progress. Both individual and collective.

We have to be the best we can possibly be, or we will be no more. This goes for society as a whole, and for its individual members. It’s not pretty, but few things are.

I myself would not have it any other way. Perhaps someday there might be an actual alternative, but don’t hold your breath. It tends to slow one down.

Keep moving, my friends.

M. T. Miller