A vaguely open letter.
silas_micajah
Dear Moustachioued Gentleman,

I wish to to first congratulate you on your bold approach to myself and my two friends. As unthreatening as we are, it must have taken GREAT courage to approach in the guise of proctecting the streets of my hometown from such disreputable reprobates as us afterall we were waiting for taxis at a most unsocialable hour. It fills me with pride that you would try to ruin a lovely night out with friends so that you can accuse us of being your common garden youths so that you can feel better about yourself.

The reason I suspect you were in it for your own selfish gain is, if we were, say, a group of fifteen would you have still come over to inform us that our "faces have been recorded for the police"? No doubt, the fact that we were conversing quite quietly was an immense cause of alarm given that one of us was holding a bottle of Leffe...A choice mead amongst the Chav.

I was particularly inspired by your hasty retreat once I made it known that I was happy to supply my name, date of birth, address and even National Insurance No. to you in order to ensure a quick and easy conviction of all the crimes I may have committed based on your prejudice.

I rather suspect that actually faced with, I don't know...say recent riots in London, you would be out on the streets with your camera and notebook.


Oh silly me....I mixed you up with someone who gives two flying craps. Moustachioued gentleman..You are craven. You stick your nose in where you KNOW won't get you into trouble and when faced with your own fucking stupidity, you beat a hasty retreat.


I would advise, next that you are out, don't lecture the long coated one...Lecture those that hang in groups of fifteen to twenty ADOLESCENTS...I, personally, would pay to see how that turns out.

Signed,

The wanker outside Tesco Express.

(no subject)
silas_micajah
As some of you may know, I am known to write trite in the name of political activism. I have often cited sources like Hicks, Carlin and occasionally a fellow named Charlie Veitch.

The problem is that I am not a very good writer nor am I really all that original. Often phrases and sentences get copied almost for word to get my point across. Well, after an evening of catching up with Royal Wedding events (did I mention that recently I hid?), almost exclusively the locking up of innocent individuals in the name of suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance, I think I am ready to express myself.

My initial reaction to this was one of anger. People are being arrested and detained without any right to due process. Even lawyers were being refused the knowledge of where their clients were being held. The right to a phonecall utterly denied. Plain clothes officers arresting and dragging people away to vans before they even announced themselves. Of course this is something to get angry about. Juvenile thoughts start flooding my consciousness;

"What ever happened to our civil liberties?"

"This is yet more evidence of a corrupted fascist state!"

"They should all be burned as traitors to the human condition!"

With that last thought, I start to wonder whom it is we should be burning (and isn't it strange that the moral implications of said burning didn't really factor into the equation - Oops)?
The obvious answer would be the face of the evil. Police officers. Except these people aren't the enemy, some refer to them as minds yet to be awakened. These guys are just doing their job.

Before we go any further, it is not their job to protect us. They are there to read the digital screen that tells them who to arrest. Protecting us would require officers to use their discretion as to whether certain arrests are just or if someone is using the vantage of position for their own ends. They don't do that, they follow orders.

So, getting back to the question, maybe the members of government. But they only have the power that we, as a nation, give them. So maybe it is us.

When things like this happen the nation turns a blind eye. We expressly don't want to know about it. Some because we truly agree with the state's actions, some because we don't know any better and some we are afraid. There are other reasons of course. My own was that I was busy hiding from th Royal Wedding. Any vaguely related to it, I didn't want to hear about. Idiotic and decadent pageantry at the expense of the general public. I could have joined the protests but I live an age away and space on trains were practically non-existent. That is all it took, annoyance and inconvenience is enough to turn away and not see. For most people inconvenience is enough.

At this point anger left and disappointment settled. In myself, in my country and in my fellow beings. Here we are, in a society that claims to promote democracy, the right to protest and freedom of speech but we rarely support them. Passers-by watch with morbid curiosity as peaceful protesters are bundled into vans because 'it is just like on my stories'. People cite stupidly hypocritical statements like freedom of speech being ok until you offend someone at which point you must be silenced. In a democracy, we never would have signed up to the E.U and when it happened we didn't say a fucking word.

Power to the people, indeed. We wouldn't know what to fucking do with it. That is why we keep handing it off to jerks who just want to screw us while their fat fucking friends and their fat fucking families continue to reap ALL of the benefits. Who can blame them? It is like a alcoholic being given free access to the bar. We would all rather die drowning in our excess.

Well, it appears I went off on an angry tangent before I realised it as one. I'll try and get back on track.

When I was 17 I started hanging out with people that encouraged this idea that a war was going to happen. Some argued demons invading, some argued a very literal translation of World War 3 and I argued the transformation of our country (and soon after, the world) into a state under totalitarian rule. Firstly, the very arrogance of the idea that we would be first when their are millions of children working in sweatshops astounds me even to this day. More importantly however, aren't we already there? We lost that war long, long ago. This oppressive state we find ourselves in (both physically and mentally) was established back before we had sentience. The weak are displaced whilst the strong dominate. We all have a role to play as either victim or oppressor, it is who we are.

The problem: The realities described by the Bill Hicks and those he has inspired (Veitch among them) are, whilst incredibly beautiful and extremely romantic, unrealistic. That is not to say they should stop. Hope forever shines eternal and the world would lose it's fragile balance without such visionaries. Under their own rules though, the arguments fall flat. People don't want to think critically nor question the authority that others impose upon them. They are not developed enough to deal with the implications. They want a simple life and if we support rights then we support their right to do just that. If that turns out to be the desires of the masses well...tough I guess.

I don't know where I am going with this. Lord knows how many ideas were originally meant to be present but got lost in a cacophony of change as I wrote this. I guess my ultimate message is one of hopelessness....

Well, cheerio :)

Silas

All this Portal 2 controversy.
silas_micajah
So, before I set off down the path of The Witcher 2, which will effectively keep me distracted from writing for a while longer, I feel I have a duty to throw my two cents into the ring about this whole Portal 2 wank-a-thon in America.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUQYrdgIJuI&feature=player_embedded

So yeah, those bastards at Valve have deliberately gone out of their way to promote anti-adoption propaganda in their immensely popular sequel to Portal. Or have they?

Whenever something like this comes up I flash back to something Kevin Smith said in his first Q&A.

Q: "In Chasing Amy, do you not feel that Banksy saying 'all a lesbian needs is a good, deep dicking' promotes the idea of lesbianism being a silly phase"? (paraphrased by stoned mind)

A: "Good question, well the thing is Banksy is the idiot. He is always wrong. Don't you think that that sentence coming out of the idiots mouth, demeans the sentiment?" (once again, paraphrased)

So let us look at this. First you are taunted by an uncaring A.I who seemingly just wants you dead. Then you are taunted by something whoms (as explained by previous uncaring A.I) sole purpose was to be a complete and utter idiotic failure.

Not that any of that matters. Logical thinking was outlawed years ago. Instead, just believe the news broadcast that announced this. What we see is yet another attempt to demean the gaming culture in our press, it is only the biggest form of entertainment industry that makes far more money than television and movies could dream of. It doesn't matter.

So yes, we have the usual amount of media bias in the link just above me. Cutting clips to fit the story, misinformed judgements about who the game is aimed at and of course the sob story of a useless prick.

You have heard enough from me in the past about corrupted journalism so allow me to talk about Neal Stapel. I have run into his type before. Hell I lived with one for the first eighteen years of my life. It is clear that his discomfort is only his. The daughter clearly doesn't care as she continues to play the game with a smile on her face. I wonder whether her unwillingness to talk about it stems from her father's lack of spine to face the issue. He states that 'this is not a subject that should be raised by a videogame.' I must ask myself, so what should raise it?

I was adopted. I say 'was' as I have since abandoned my adopted parents found my biological link to this world (a subject raised in a previous blog). So how was this issue raised for me? Was it raised in a game where I murdered A.I's and perfomed awesome feats of ignoring the laws of physics? In a word, no. This issue was raised when I hit secondary school and I had to endure years of mocking by people who's sole intention was to inflict hurt on me. 'Fatty, fatty, no parents' is relatively tame compared to 'you come from a crack-whore who couldn't wait to throw you in a bin'. Mr. Stapel, your daughter is playing a game which has an adopted heroine that constantly outwits and befuddles developed A.I cores. If you can't have a reasonable conversation from that stimuli then I feel for your daughter when she has to face torrents of abuse later on in life. How are you going to deal with the situation then? When your daughter is crying, feeling lost and alone?

Whoever approved this weak willed, spineless cocktard for adoption should be fired. That kid should have gone to someone with the capabilities of logical, tempered thinking. Not some overzealous jerk who finds one exchange so intolerable he is forced to call the news for some free airtime.

I am going to leave now, there is a game I wish to play that revolves around a character that was forcibly taken at birth, subjected to scientific and magical experiments that made him into a ass-kicking warrior of untold power...Hope that doesn't offend the orphans.

Latest Anti-smoking Movement.
silas_micajah
Is it just me or is all of this new anti-tobacco legislation getting a bit beyond the pale?

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20110309/tuk-tobacco-display-ban-announced-dba1618.html

There is now official legislation banning the display of cigarettes in stores and the implementation of plain packaging is also under consideration. The plan stands to intergrate the new laws with large retail outlets such as Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda by April 2012 moving on to smaller shops by 2015. The British Retail Consortium later slammed our Overlord's decision to pass this saying,

"There’s no evidence that forcing shops to put cigarettes out of sight will make any difference."

And,

"Its focus should be on tackling the influence friends and family members have over young people’s decisions and their access to tobacco."

I started smoking at a very young age. Was this because I saw packets in a shop and wanted them or because my social group had started? How likely is it that a person walks into a shop see's something they see every time they are in said shop and suddenly decides to buy a pack? The mere suggestion is ridiculous and one might state that people so easily influenced should remove themselves from the collective gene pool.

Let us look at a few of the implications of said legislation. In a time of financial downturn shopkeepers are being required to refit their stores appropriately, paying for parts and labour that they can't necessarily afford, and will be suffer from extended wait times as customers are being served, potentially costing losses of thousands of pounds. Of course they could stop selling the products and lose out on 25% of their annual revenue and after all, after banks have gnawed away at our rotting corpses, who needs more money anyway?

"So," I hear you cry, "What would you do in the face of pressure groups hassling you day in day out?"

Well I am so glad you asked. I wouldn't do anything. The practice is LEGAL. Each smoker pays, in tax, enough money for themselves and three other people to be treated on the NHS. It is a service industry supplying and affecting hundreds of thousands of people's occuption.

But I would settle for the following:

Making public knowledge that secondhand smoke is currently an unproven legend. A basic principle of Toxicology is that mere exposure does not equate to toxicity; it's the DOSE that makes the poison. Proof of this is in recent death records. If second hand smoke is so lethal to nonsmokers then where are all the dead bodies of cancer ridden socialisers from the 60's and 80's?

Enforcing laws that might actually make a difference starting with bringing the regulations of selling of tobacco products in line with those of alcohol. Currently it is not illegal for an underage person to attempt to purchase cigarettes nor an adult buying for the underaged. It seems to be that legislating those would go MUCH further to reducing the likelihood of the underaged becoming smokers.

Outlawing the hypocrisy of anti-smokers attacking us 'addicts' while they chuck gallons of coffee down their lying, hateful throats.

To summarise:

I am sick of being demonised. I am sick of being pitied. I am sick of being considered sick.

The denormalising of smokers has been going on for centuries but has only risen to prominence in the last twenty or so years. What was once considered a bit naive is now commonplace to swill alcohol and caffeine whilst railing against the puffers.

We are being refused service on the NHS even for non smoking-related illnesses, we are offered no proctection against being fired or refused a job position sue to smoking and now we are made to look like junkie scum whose needs are so distressing and distasteful that the law requires that the regular folk aren't exposed to their disgusting vice.

I only take solace in alcohol being the next target. It is bittersweet but solace nonetheless.

"They came for the Smokers, I said nothing...."


S

All quiet on the home front.
silas_micajah
Heya guys,

Just a little update. As explained in an earlier blog, I am not posting here regularly due to lack of ideas. I am, however, working on an idea for a book. Probably won;t go anywhere but I am still writing and that is the main thing. S'all experience right?

Some more reviews on the way (probably) as well as guide to Maging the Silas way in World of Warcraft.

Watch this space, afterall that stain on the wall that looks like a soldier with a sheep stuck in it's eye is probably getting a touch stale.

See y'all soon,

Silas

Dead Money, a New Vegas addon.
silas_micajah
Two months after it's lacklustre release on the Xbox 360, the first Fallout: New Vegas DLC comes to the P.C bringing along with it a weekend's worth of new content to plow through.

Dead Money, avaliable on Steam for £7.49, is the story of The Courier's idle curiousity getting you into a shitstorm of trouble. Once the content is installed, you enter the game and while bumbling along in the wasteland, recieve a message through your Pip-Boy. An alluring female voice invites you to the grand opening of the Sierra Madre, a villa/casino somewhere out in the wastes. It is worth mentioning here that the game suggests being at least level 20 before running through, I was 26 and still, on occasion, had my giblets handed to me on a hotplate.

After locating where the signal has come from, you get gassed and wake up in the courtyard of the Sierra Madre sans gear. That's right, you know that Remnant Power Armour and Thermatic Lance you have been cutting a swathe through the poisoned land with? Not going to help you here (you do get your equipment back pending your survival). You are greeted with a projection of a stranger (with a potentially familiar name depending on how you have played the main game). Cue exposition.

The Sierra Madre was supposed to be a Pre-war paradise where one 'can let go and begin again'. Only it never opened. The day before the grand unveiling, bombs dropped and the good ol' U.S was banished back to the stoneage but the Sierra Madre survived with all it's secrets protected and preserved. It's only voice, the siren's call that brought you here. Your sadistic guide wants to crack the vault and raid it's Pre-war bounty. That is where you come in. He informs you that three others have been fitted with the exact same collar that resides around your neck, all of them wired to explode at his behest and, incase you or your potential allies have any smart idea's, when one of you dies, everyone else gets their head blown off.

This plays akin to survival horror as opposed to the usual Fallout gameplay we are used to. To begin with your supplies are practically non-existent, enemies don't die unless they have an appendage severed (ala Necromorphs from Dead Space) and your allegiances to your companions is tentative and situational at best. The music is, at times, excruciatingly tense yet tragic which is reflected in the disparate destitution and opulance that surrounds you.

Unfortunately it is a Fallout game and as such there are some important, disappointing caveats. Regardless of it's extra development window, the game is rather buggy. The game crashed out on me about three times, there were a few instances of speech being cut off mid sentence and, of course, falling through the scenery. All fairly standard of Fallout titles in recent years but one you would imagine could have been worked on somewhat before the release, especially given that it sat there for an extra two months. Unlike Broken Steel (DLC for Fallout 3) this DLC does not give you an option to continue past the ending of the main game, meaning you have to reload at an earlier save which is frustrating to say the least. I can't help but wonder why Beth-Sidion would choose that route especially given that most people will have completed New Vegas already and would welcome the oppotunity to have their story open ended at this point (there are still many places on my map that I have yet to discover).

On a minor point, as was my beef with the main game, BioWare gave their protagonist a voice in the Mass Effect games which vastly improved immersion into the story in a surprisingly profound way (the fact that said voice was Jennifer Hale...helped matters) and was lauded for it. Why has Obsidian and Bethedsa cauight on and run with that? I can't help but feel that player-character voicing should be included in every RPG of this nature.

Overall, the story is strong (I am a sucker for tragedies) and the new gameplay mechanics provide a nice break from the frantic run'n'gun tactics used in New Vegas. Familiars to the Fallout universe will suck up the bugs and play regardless, though a newcomer might feel cheated somewhat. All in all £7.49 for a weekend* of fun, money well spent.

S

Perspective.
silas_micajah
Taken from Dictionary.com:

5.
the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.


Perspective, like all words, is nothing more than a concept wrapped in language yet seems to be a constant passive force in life. On it hinges everything central to one's being. It affects moods, opinions and interactions. Through it's lens one can be a loving and devoted member of society to hundreds everyday but one small action is all it takes for it to display a distorted image of an insensitive pillock.

The realms of infinite perspective stands without a leader. A constant cold war is enforced because ultimately, to the protestations from various opinioned powerhouses, no one perspective is ever more valid than its brother. Sure an argument can be made for experience, facts and statistics but how much do they truly hold any sway? The bedrock of most perspectives are formed from the desperate cries of minds that demand their reality make sense to them.

Who are we to destroy a framework that relates the world, in some order of structure, to a person? People often need their comfort blanky to insulate themselves from the harsh realities of life. Does anyone truly have the right to burn the blanket and force said person to a crossroads in their life they are not ready to deal with?

On the other hand, it a certainty that a person's perspective actively causes harm to others in the form of prejudices. Should such perspectives be allowed to propagate when logic dictates that it does more harm in the wider world?

If the answer is no, where does it stop? Once a line is drawn it will be abused. Knowing the power that special interest groups hold, even in these most permissive of times, paints a disturbing picture of the future.

Can it be avoided or, like telegrams were destined to become emails, are we merely empty teddy bears enjoying the infinite possibilities of what we could become before being speared upon a nozzle with the sole purpose of filling us up with the industry-standard stuffing.

S

(no subject)
silas_micajah
Oops hehe,

Not even a month in and I missed a entry deadline. Let alone the terrible lack of quality and quantity of said journal entries. I have been attempting to find out why exactly I have been really struggling to fart out some ol' bollocks. I suspect that given these entries could easily make up half the amount of everything I have ever written (inc schoolwork) and it was done over the course of a year (not at the torpid speed I am usually associated with).

I conclude that to write a "shoot the shit" blog, one would be greatly benefitted by having an active and interesting life. Truth be told I am comfortable in my languid and lethargic lifestyle. If I am to continue with this ongoing experiment, I determine that I really ought to stop waxing lyrical about my good self and explore other modes of writing.

Postaweek2011 was kinda over for me when I went to work yesterday morning only to find out I was going to be there until stoopid o'clock at night (with a broken boiler to boot) causing me to catarse the moment I got home and watch disturbing amounts of How I Met Your Mother. I rather suspect that if I truly had wanted to blog and get on with P.A.W. then I would have. That I didn't clearly shows a lack of interest and willing to commit to another year like last year. It definately comes to something when you have written more on why you failed than you ever did when you were succeeding.

So maybe I won't do a post every week. I intend to do something different but I am not sure what yet. I like forward to a year of experimentation.

Ta-ra

S
x

Yet more nonsense to try and entertain with.
silas_micajah
Tonight it seems I have nothing!

Here are some links until normal service resumes:

www.smbc-comics.com - Very good, very funny webcomic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg9-I0ULERA - April Smith and the Great Picture Band's Terrible Things video.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/simon-munnery/page/1 - Musings from a god.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZUPCB9533Y&feature=player_embedded - They are Llamas but with the shockingly original twist of being hat-wearing Llamas.

http://bash.org/?8102 - Just plain funny.

Eurgh sorry about all of that. Hopefully next week I'll be feeling more creative.

S

Yet more introsp...lalalala
silas_micajah
When I am less than happy I tidy.

Weird response, I know. I don't quite know where it came from or when the trend started but it happens. I have often wondered about it, whether the tidying is symbolic. By clearing up the mess I have made, I sort the mess of emotions that conflict within. Whether it is something I learned from my parents. They constantly seemed to tidy after I had done something naughty at school or told them they were woefully ignorant in the ways of the youngest child. Maybe it was ingrained at school. After getting the P.V.A glue out and throwing it at Quanmiguel because he had stolen Sean as a friend, I would be made to tidy it up.

I seem to have hit my annual Jansis (which is January Crisis for the uninformed) which is why my desk is practically spartan in it's apperance despite a year long build up of life-pus. However, despite my neuropeptide fueled impetus to make everything all happy and shiny in the desk of Me, I know that come January 2012 my little space will once again be disorganised and dumped upon. After that? Well according to badly interpreted Mayan text - hyped up by an intellect-sucking, lazy and complicit media - we will all be dead. Depending on the time and nature of said death, my desk will come to rest in either a tidied, organised and contented state, or it will be littered with the clut of a life interrupted.

More than likely it will be a bit grubbier, a bit clearer and still well loved by the spilt vodka of olympic rage.

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