I Don’t Like Halloween

I don’t like Halloween. I think it’s gay. And I’m not talking about what I imagine is the “adult” version of it. People party and drink all year round, dressing up doesn’t really change anything. I mainly have a problem with going to your neighbors — that you ignore for the rest of the year — and demand candy from them.

As a kid, I never liked going to different households to ask for sweets. It felt wrong. It felt like begging. Of course, I didn’t do it that often. But I’m not sure why I did it at all. It could’ve been because of peer pressure. Or greed. Or both. Thankfully, those days are far behind me.

Now, as an adult, all I have to worry about is if someone comes to my door. Luckily, my doorbell has not rung yet. Or at least I haven’t heard it. However, at the end of every October, I fear — just a tiny bit — that I have to deal with the little monsters.

So, I don’t like Halloween. Although, I don’t hate it. And I do think the celebration has improved since the time of the Celts. However, I still think it’s a bit weird. But if people want to celebrate it, I don’t care. Just leave me out of it. And keep those spooky, scary skeletons away from me.

In Passing

He didn’t look quite as I had imagined him. Nevertheless, I knew him. I kept walking. It’s not like I could outrun him. And besides, just in case it wasn’t him, I didn’t want to look silly.

My craving for sugar was the reason for me being outside so close to midnight. It was my, almost daily, walk of shame. Against my better judgment, I went to the store to get chocolate, candy, and salty snacks.

He had appeared to me on a relatively long stretch of my route that was as straight as an African border. First I thought he was just another human to ignore. But as we moved closer to each other, I became more confident that this was not the case.

Wasn’t I too young? Well, I wasn’t that young. I guess it was all the junk I had devoured during the last decade. Even though I had worried about, at the very least, getting diabetes, I hadn’t changed my habits that much.

We came closer and closer to each other. As we did so, it became increasingly harder to ignore him.

Why did I do it? The feeling of blissfulness was always short-lived, and a long period of self-loathing was an inevitability.

Now, he was extremely close to me. A couple more seconds and we would pass each other. I held my breath. It’s not him. It can’t be!

Our shoulders were aligned. He stopped me. And, without looking at me, said: “Not yet.”

That’s why he looked so weird. I wasn’t his main mission tonight.

He kept moving, leaving me frozen in place while reflecting. After some time I said out loud: “I have been a fool for far too long.”

I turned around and went home. The Grim Reaper was no longer visible to me.

In an Instant

“Who are you?! Let go of my hand!”

“I can’t. You need to come with me.”

“Where?”

“To beyond the blast radius.”

He wasn’t in the mood to tell the kid that a resourceful lunatic had gotten his hands on a small nuclear bomb and had selected this town as a target. The madman had wanted money from the government, and they had called in the big guns to solve the problem.

He dragged the child outside, and towards downtown — the fastest route to their destination.

“That woman is weird; she just stands there.”

He looked around and saw a black haired woman. She was staring intently at the little red man, waiting for his more popular brother to appear. She had been doing that for quite some time; he had lost count of the days a long time ago.

“She is frozen in time like you just were.”

He had not lost count of how many times he had explained the strange state of the world. You couldn’t lose something you never had. Usually, he gave younger kids the silent treatment, most of them would just follow if he led. However, it had been a long day, and his strategy was forgotten at the moment.

“You see, my powers allow me to freeze time. And I can also share this power through touch”.

“I never met a speedster before.”

“I’m not a speedster…Wait, have you met a hero before?

“Sure, I met Topnotch Terry when I visited my aunt, he had just caught a bad guy and was signing autographs.”

Of course, he thought. Topnotch “The Famewhore” Terry, had probably shaken the hands of half the country by now. Not undeservingly so, almost every year he was in the list of top 10 heroes by people saved. You couldn’t dislike the result, even knowing the motive behind it.

“What do you mean you aren’t a speedster?”

Wonderfull. Why did he always get the talkers at the end of the day? No matter what gender, age, or sex, at the end of the day they never would shut up.

“I stop time; speedsters don’t. They just, you know, run really fast.”

“‘They just run really fast’? You’re not one of the smart adults, are you?”

He didn’t say anything. This wasn’t the first time he had been insulted by one of them, nor even the first time a child had been the offender. At this point, it had just become another human noise that he needed to respond to. And he responded by implementing the silent treatment, trying to mend his previous error.

Honestly, the kid was right. He had been a horrible student. And after the teachers had given up, the only job he qualified for was as a human guinea pig. In fact, that job had given him his current one, although he had wished for something better. His code name was Plan B. And if the heroes failed to save the day, he could be used to avoid the worst case scenario.

Not that the government liked using him. The show was more important than avoiding a few casualties here and there. But nearly 40000 people, was too much for the “it could’ve been much worse” speech to fix. Admittedly, some of the government’s unwillingness stemmed from the fact that he was a limited resource.

The lab had fumbled in the dark when they created him and had tried for 4 years to reproduce the result. The only thing they had to show for it was dead and missing guinea pigs.

“Where are we going?”

Giving up on his standard strategy, he answered:

“I already told you, beyond the blast ra– –”

“Yes, I know that, but where?”

“At a lake behind a mountain.”

“But what is it called there?”

“You said it yourself that I wasn’t one of the smart adults. My puny brain doesn’t know the name of it.”

They walked hand in hand, the child trying to maximize the talking, the man trying to minimize it. And after what felt like forever for both of them, the child gave this command:

“My legs hurt, carry me!”

This is what I get for choosing a brat from one of the big houses, the man thought. Of course, it’s better to get it over with now than to save them for later.

“Okay, but you have to squat down like this”, he demonstrated, “it will make things a lot easier.”

When he broke the connection, he considered leaving the crybaby there for a future date when he had more patience. But he thought better of it. He might not be able to remember which parent went with the kid.

Reconnecting required a short time of adjusting for both of them. But then they were trekking again; even a bit faster than previously. After doing nothing than walking for years, sometimes with extra ballast, he had gained a well-trained body. Not that he was going to win Mr. Universe anytime soon, but his small rider was child’s play. He had carried much larger passengers for the entire hike.

A period passed in silence, more or less. Piggyback rides always shut young ones up, at least for a while. But then, they all said the same thing because they were bored and no longer had the pain of walking as a distraction.

“Are we there yet?”

“No, and if you ask me that again, you will walk there yourself.”

He found it best to make them think that there were ages to the destination. No matter what the truth was. That way, they believed they had more to lose by annoying him. In actuality, they were close, but he wanted to keep it quiet as long as possible.

The remaining time passed in tense silence. Then the large group of his previous travel companions came into view. Seeing them only reminded him of the many trips he had left while it was a signal for someone else to start talking.

“Wow, are all these people from town? How many are there? Are my friends down there? Their names are….”

And on it went, it was almost like the little imp wanted to make up for lost nagging time.

However, the man said nothing. Still carrying his current companion on his back, he marched to the outskirt of the human gathering.

“Okay, when you get off, I’m going to let go of your hand, and then you just have to wait for your parents to get here.”

“How long will that take?”

“You’re not one of the smart kids, are you? You will not be conscious of any time passing.”

The fool walked right into that one, he thought gleefully. It was somewhat of an advantage to be a grown-up, even if you weren’t one of the smart ones.

“Goodbye.”

“Wait! I– –”

He was gone.

Good Night

i am twenty-six years old and i got my kicks
by wasting my time playing as these shiny chicks
from this great cartoon series made for tiny pricks
though my and its politics do not intermix
i indulge myself a taste for my daily fix
steven universe has become part of the mix
can any of you understand their hidden tricks

now the hand is nearing the moment with tired ticks
i feel almost like i could go down to the styx
but today this is what my weary brain predicts
i will finally be able to sleep with nyx

The Night Time Is the Right Time?

waking up with the sun is never fun

i’ve tried at times to open my eyes
but my terrible mind always cries
why am i cursed to endure a life
where my body and i have a strife
i want to wake up and be productive
it wants to sleep in and be destructive
i fight it all through the day despite being dead
i want to sleep when normal people are in bed
But then i hear a punctual chime
the two are now working overtime

Why I Like and Respect Steven Universe

[Note: This is a script for this video]

Last Christmas, all five members of my family, could get together and celebrate it. It was a very long time ago since we all were under the same roof, and for the most part, the few days were sunshine and lollipops.

However, at some point, the three women in my family (my mother and two sisters) were out shopping, and my dad and I were home watching TV — and doing it in, more or less, peaceful silence. We were watching Superman Unbound when the girls returned.

My dad rose to prepare dinner with the groceries they had bought. Since I didn’t need to do anything, I stayed put. I wanted to finish the movie.

However, my two sisters joined me, and I was just sitting there half-hoping that the inevitable wouldn’t happen. But of course, it did. They started to nag me.

Them: “Why is it ‘Supergirl’ and not ‘Superwoman’.” Me: “Superwoman is another character, please don’t talk I’m trying to watch this.” Them: “Why isn’t Supergirl buff like Superman?” Me: “Their powers don’t come from their muscles but the fact that a yellow sun gives Kryptonians superpowers. Shut up; I’m trying to watch this.” Them: “Why can’t a female superhero be muscular too.” Me: “Well, some are, but the real reason is that it doesn’t sell comic books (and movies) and if you’re so worried about it, make your own goddamn comic book and stop complaining about other peoples creation. Now, SHUT THE FUCK UP, I’m trying to watch this!

There’s something inherently disgusting with wanting to change people’s art. Of course, I’m not saying that you can’t criticize other peoples creation. But there’s a difference between that and complaining about a movie somebody is trying to watch. Also, the complaints of my sisters were reminiscent of a very specific cun…uh…critic.

This is why I respect Rebecca Sugar. Instead of complaining about breasts being too big or superheroes being too white, she made her own thing. Of course, she might be the type that goes in for gender studies and complains about too little women in STEM in other parts of her life. But with Steven Universe, she was the change she wanted to see in the world.

And even though, Steven Universe showcases progressive values, it’s not obnoxious about it. Miss Sugar and her associates are merely presenting a world that is, in their view, more ideal. And there’s a lot of things in the show that I wish could be the case, but to my knowledge, isn’t. For instance, I would love if only talking could always solve the problem, and a dangerous enemy could as easily become part of the good guys as Peridot did. I think the show is an excellent escape, and in that sense, it fulfills one of the essential jobs of entertainment.

So to end on, I like and respect Steven Universe despite it being the wettest dream of social justice warriors. Because it’s quite an engaging show, and they didn’t complain it into existence, they made it.

The Hellish Experience of Traveling by Plane – A Quick Thought

[Note: This is a script for this video]

If hell is other people then being at the airport on a busy day is the fifth circle of hell. When I have to fly, I usually dread my future journey for a week, as I would have dreaded an appointment for some light torturing.

First, you go through security, and usually, you can’t avoid a slow-moving line inhabited by mostly inept people — ineptness is the reason the line is slow-moving.

Then, you have to wait to board the plane. A period I always spend in the most isolated place of the airport. This is an okay experience because the source of most of my misery is gone. Of course, braving the rapids of humans to and from blissful isolation isn’t fun.

When the boarding time comes, it’s normally painful. Since you’re waiting in another slow-moving line, sometimes in a jet bridge that is boiling hot. Who thought it was a good idea to make them human greenhouses? Get rid of the fucking glass walls … pretty please.

When you have shuffled your way to your seat, you can look forward to an uncomfortable chair, roaring engines, and babies crying. You end up wishing that you would fall out of the sky. At least then the suffering would be over.

But thankfully, at some point, the plane lands and you know the misery will end soon — if, of course, you took a direct flight to your destination.

In the end, I’m glad that I can reach a distant destination in under a day. But I wish the process could be a bit more comfortable. Maybe someday.

Why Men Become Great (And Why I Might Not Join Them)

As I write this, it’s 4 am in the morning, and The Social Network is paused and put to the side for now. I paused it because it stirred an idea in me. Why do men achieve great things? Things like making Facebook.

The reason why they do it is that they want to get the girl, or that is what this particular Hollywood movie seems to suggest. And maybe it’s right; I don’t know.

Attracting a female is a tricky job for a male, but having an abundance of resources (current and future) is a sure way to get the attention of a woman — several women in fact. And maybe this is why we don’t see as many women change the world: They don’t have to.

But is this the only reason that men have become great through the ages? I’m not talking about what they believed was the reason they did what they did. I’m talking why they did it subconsciously. Was it all because Biology commanded it of them? “You see, if you become king of this land, the incredibly gorgeous woman over there will sleep with you. So do it, do it, fucking do it!”

The reason for the question is that I think I want to become one of these men but if I don’t have the secret — wishing to attract the fairer sex — then maybe my aim is doomed to falter.

But then again, even gay men seem to be kinder to those pretty girls than to those ugly guys*. So maybe our biological programming is too strong a force, and I should just close my eyes and let it lead on. “Do it, do it, fucking do it!”

*: Or at least, I think I’ve heard something like, but I’m not going to fact check my spontaneous late night ramble.

Super Meat Boy and Why It’s Okay to Give Up – A Vlog

[Note: This is a script for this video]

In 2016 I bought Super Meat Boy because I finally could get it for a price my cheap sensibilities could live with. I played it for a while but then somewhere in Rapture I gave up. I felt I had better things to do than dying a billion times on average before I could beat a level. And for two years I didn’t touch it at all.

Even though I mainly play games for the challenge of it, a game has to walk a very fine line of being fun and challenging for me to complete it. And Super Meat Boy had become more challenging than I liked.

But three weeks ago I decided to try one more time. And this time around I was more determined. And after countless deaths, I conquered Rapture and then The End and could watch–with great satisfaction–the non-true ending of the game. Then, of course, came the realization that I wasn’t quite finished. I had to beat 85 dark world levels before I could try to beat Dr. Fetus once and for all. And to access a dark world level I had to have already achieved an A+ in the light world version of it. In other words: To truly finish the game, I had to do a lot more work.

Yes, work. Because at that point I had gained the same feeling that made me stop me playing Super Meat Boy the first time around. It felt like I was going to complete the game because I had to do it. And since that’s not true I said: “Fuck it, let’s move on to something that’s fun to play.” In short: I gave up.

And I think, from time to time, it’s important to give yourself permission to give up. Not just with video games that no longer are fun, but with everything else. For instance: Last year I dropped out of college after only one month. I had realized that I didn’t want to complete my boring degree to get an equally boring career.

And at this point, I have already spent too much of my life cooped up in boring buildings that I did not want to be in. Reading dull books by old, dead, and academic people. And taking test after test to see how good I was to short-term memorize facts. I’m just so tired of dealing with that and similar bullshit.

As you would stop playing a video game, you no longer feel the challenge is worth the reward, you should stop doing anything that wastes your time. And that includes going to college.

Obviously: You shouldn’t listen to me. After all: I’m a college dropout. And I might be telling you this because misery loves company.

But I will certainly not go back to college or ever reach The Real End of Super Meat Boy. I have, believe it or not, better things to do.

Death by 10,000 Happy Moments – A Vlog

[Note: This is a script for this video]

Oh my God, I like soda. And I drink a lot of it.

People–like me–who consume soda and sugar-heavy products on a regular basis are favoring small hits of joy over avoiding massive pains in the future. Pains like: going to the dentist, living with diabetes, and being a fat-ass.

In fact, I’m quite surprised that I am as thin and disease free as I am. I should at least have gotten diabetes by now. I guess I’m just lucky and young.

But I can’t rely on luck and youth forever. In other words: I have to do something about this unholy habit of mine before it’s too late. So no more drinking pop, or any other sugar-containing liquids for that matter. Only water.

Actually, during 2015 and up to late 2016 I didn’t drink soda at all. But with going back to school, and therefore being around more people drinking the sweet nectar of the underworld, I became tempted and started drinking it once again.

At first, I only drank energy drinks, excusing that behavior with the lie that I needed the extra energy boost. And then later I started drinking soda again because: “If I drink energy drinks, that many people say are even worse than soda, I might as well consume the lesser of two evils too.”

Now, the main problem for me with being entirely soda-free is that sooner or later I will go for a long bike ride where I will have to buy some liquids to stay hydrated. And I can’t quite shake the feeling of being ripped off whenever I buy water because it’s usually free. Of course, technically, I don’t pay for the water itself, but rather the privilege of being on the road and still have access to ice cold water.

And I just have to repeat that idea over and over to myself until I have internalized it. And all in all, I think that overpaying for water now and then is better then slowly killing my body and mind with poison.

Because I do think sugar–in extreme concentrations–is poisonous. I’ve already mentioned how it can ruin your body. But how can it destroy your mind? And my answer is: I don’t know, I just have a feeling that longterm soda consumption is detrimental to the brain.

That answer is not the scientific one, but fuck it, I’m not a scientist, and I’m not going to use Google to back up my hunch. In this case, I do think ignorance is a good thing. Because if I find through my googling that there is lacking evidence that soda is harmful to the brain, I will more likely start drinking it again.

Of course, I might sooner or later fall back to my old ways anyway. But if I can stay clean for the rest of 2018, I think there is a fighting chance that I might forever end my romance with this fucking thing*.

*: “this fucking thing” is a coke can I am showing in the video version.