Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year, Same Shit Part II

Now the New Year has actually happened, I'm feeling a bit better about it. In fact, my spirits as a whole have lifted considerably, probably due to the fact I'm getting a shiny new phone. Though I pride myself on not investing too much value into material objects, all too often it takes a new gadget to cheer me up. I don't know the full name of it but I believe it's a Windows Phone, which I assume are quite good. Good or not, it's a definite improvement on my old phone, which is on all accounts bloody awful. This will also mark the first time I've ever been in possession of a smart phone. Though in a sense this probably serves as an initiation into some abstract condition of subservience to commercial culture, in which 'needs' and 'wants' are so sickeningly and downright annoyingly confused (I freely admit I'm being hypocritical here, as this applies to me whenever the latest Super Mario game comes out), I feel a probably bigger worry of the fact that I'll probably never get off the thing. I shall give, as I rarely put probably should do, an example to support my point; seconds after the new year, instead of popping streamers and hugging each other or whatever the hell you're supposed to do, the people in my company instead turned their heads down to their smartphones and tapped away. Not only did the image resemble a funerary procession, a visually scathing indictment of these capricious times, but I felt like a right tit struggling with my absolute brick of a phone. After texting all my friends (I probably texted about 3 people; so yes, all my friends) and not receiving any replies or acknowledgement of receipt, I started to convince myself they had all 'gone off' me before it shortly emerged that my signal was down.

The previous paragraph, I appreciate, emanates mixed messages; I righteously yet rather misinformedly condemn materialist desire, but on the other hand appear intrigued by gadgets, technology and 'the latest Super Mario game', the childish prick. I can't see why both traits can't be held simultaneously, however contradictory they appear. I think this all boils down to the fact that ultimately, I don't really like to see other people having fun. I have now opened a whole can of contradictory worms for those of you who may be aware of my comedic aspirations; why would such a misanthrope want to make people laugh for a living? Well, for me comedy is much more than 'making people laugh for a living'; chiefly, it's an art form, but no matter what efforts I make to dress it up I think ultimately it's a bizarre career choice borne out of my enduring requirement for external validation. I'm no expert in psychology, so let's just blame my parents for everything and be done with it.

Sorry, yes, gadgets and games. I quite selfishly desire these on occassion, but settle for a rule of quality over quantity to ensure I do not completely demolish the contents of my allowance-funded wallet. As all my money is technically my parents' (at some point in the blog I shall probably discuss at length how I can't get a job despite my numerous efforts, and whinge about how unfair this is), I feel a considerable duty to make sure that whatever I buy is a) good value for money, and b) I would get sufficient use out of it to justify the purchase. Mr Rolfe would be proud, not that any of you know who that is. This duty isn't imposed upon by my parents, not at all; it's completely self-imposed, and I think it ties in with the idea that while I don't assign much value in money, as so many of my contemparies do, but that I appreciate the stuff doesn't grow on trees and shouldn't be wasted. Again, this is something not necessarily taught to me, but something I have felt obliged to make my maxim after sheer experience. I come from a working class family, a statement I attribute to the fact that we didn't get a shower until last year, but I've never really felt denied of anything, a fact that in reflective hindsight is something I've hugely taken for granted. I might go and hug my mum in a bit. That said, as far as I remember my desires haven't been extraneous; instead of demanding, I don't know, ponies, my childhood gifts usually constituted of books (vast quantities), Lego, and, as I will now discuss, videogames.

Now, it would be wrong to assign videogames to my formative years, as I still take an active interest in them, but it would be fair to say that my dependence on them has waned significantly in the past year or two; not necessarily because I believe that they are no longer worthy of my attention, but I've realised that there are things that are, sadly, more worthy of my attention, such as writing big blog posts for an audience of no-one. To wheel out the well-worn excuse, I don't really have time for them any more. This said, I recently (I apologise in advance for the nerdiness) purchased a Nintendo Wii U. In spite of the seemingly apathetic wave of indifference the console seems to be experiencing from commercial and critical audiences, I can honestly say it's bloody brilliant, in that uniquely mad Nintendo way. If we're using a cinematic metaphor, think of Nintendo as the Pixar of the videogames industry; wrongly daubed by morons as some sort of toddler-feed, but actually usually create entertainment that is excellently crafted, apart from Cars 1 and 2. I really fucking hate Cars.

To get back on the subject, to use the term loosely, in spite of increasing disinterest (let's face it, the 3DS and Wii U are shaping up to be highly derivative of their predecessors, and consequently no-where near as revolutionary) Nintendo (apologies for the abundance of parenthesis, but I should point out that I'm using 'Nintendo' as a substitute word for 'videogames', as the games on other platforms have always seemed to bore me) has remained loyal in providing me with considerable entertainment. I speak as if the beloved Japanese game company has been a part of my life from the start, but this wasn't really the case at all until around 2006. This was the year the Nintendo DS really took off, and also the year my older brother received an original blue, I suspect second-hand original Nintendo DS, which now resides in a draw somewhere covered in stickers and collecting dust. It's odd to think how this ugly, tatty bit of blue plastic would shape the next five or so years for me, especially when, as I'll say again, I'm not supposed to attach so much value to physical, material objects. Perhaps it's the modesty of the thing that allows it to slip under this almost buddhist rule, but undeniably it all lies in the games; most notably Animal Crossing: Wild World, the bizarre animal life sim which consumed my life for about 2 years; see also, Mario Kart and the Pokemon games. These names stir within me an emotion that can best be described as heaving nostalgia. Though really this was not too long ago, they nonetheless constitute a shimmering conclusion to a recently bygone era in which genuine amazement was still achievable, which must have ended around the time I learned how to masturbate. In retrospect the contrast between the tiny size of the game cartridges themselves  and the tremendous game-playing experience resultant of them is quite poetic, and perhaps goes some way in explaining my tendency to veer towards the humble and unextravagant, as manifested by my reluctance to enjoy spending lots of money. In other words, and I say this with no phallic connotation, in my experience size certainly does not matter.

This is all very well and good, you may be thinking, but what the fuck does it have to do with New Year? Not much, really. All that reminiscing was quite irrelevant, though a new Animal Crossing game is coming out this year, which is good. I do, however, feel an urge to make some sort of New Year's resolution. Surely to decide what needs to be resolved depends on knowing what you need to change about yourself, and if this post is anything to go by, apart from my tendency to over-analyse I seem to have no major flaws. I don't have an alcohol, smoking or drugs problem (although I do endulge in the ocassional calpol), I'm not that fat any more (come to think of it I was happier when I was fat...), there's no problem with my academic record and, as discussed, I don't really need a job for now with all this gadgetery to muck about with. Perhaps I should take myself and other things less seriously; of course, in blog form I maintain an entertaining if cynical outlook, but in 'irl' I often awake to an apocalyptic feeling of dread and I'm not entirely sure why. I probably feel most emotionally contented when I'm writing these big-ass blogs, so perhaps to do more writing and less thinking is key. If I'm going to combat this miserablness I need to take productive steps, and whinging about it in a little-read blog appears oddly therapuetic, if incredibly futile. Hereby, I declare to write an entry at the very least once per week, and also resolve to write some reviews or stories now and then. Most vitally, perhaps I ought to try and have fun again, in the best way I know how; sitting on my own playing with a videogames console.

Well, what more do you want?


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