Otherworld – An Introduction (NOT an apology)

I have a dream. I say “have” rather than “had” not because I think I’m Martin Luther King (although, yay equality) but because the dream is recurring. I don’t have it every night but I might have it tonight. It’s never exactly the same twice but the essential element is always there.

The blackness.

I’ve never tried to analyse the dream, never done any web searches for its significance. And if you’re reading this, please don’t look it up and tell what you now “know” about me. I’m not interested in any amateur psychologists thinking they know my inner secrets. Prior to now I’ve never even told anyone about it.

Originally I planned to write about the dream for a creative writing assignment. I’ve never written anything more than a few pages long and the major assignment this semester is supposed to be 20,000 words. Which has me freaking out. I think Professor Grivas (or GBH as we call him) saw the terror in my eyes because he pretty much taunted me about it being beyond my capabilities.

Then as per usual, he lumped the whole lecture into “your generation” and challenged us to do better than some trashy social media post and write not only at length but also without using internet slang, abbreviations or “memes”. Pretty sure he doesn’t get memes but nobody pulls him up on it any more because if we ever try to explain memes to him he goes on a huge rant about Marshall McLuhan and Richard Dawkins. Last time I’m pretty sure I saw spit foaming at the corner of his mouth.

When I told me dad about how GBH carries on, he said GBH sounded like a “typical Boomer prick.” So far as I know they’re only about 10-20 years apart in age but I never point this out.

So I’m writing longer than a tweet. No gifs, no listicles. And trying to not come across as if I’m on 4chan.

Back to the dream. I can’t remember the first time I had it. But I not only avoid looking up the meaning of it, I usually avoid facing why I don’t want to analyse it. But I know the reason. It’s the same reason I avoid tarot cards or having my palm read. I’m worried what I’m told will turn out to be true. And I’d rather not know.

It’s the blackness I don’t want to know about. Let’s get real, that’s bound to mean something. The blackness that hides something.

Another thing that’s always the same in the dream is I don’t see the blackness at first. It’s so black it’s like a void that my eyes (or my subconscious given this is a dream) skips over. It’s as though I’m simultaneously unaware of the void and aware that something is missing. The critical point is always when my brain goes “Hey, there should be something there…”

At that moment that something that most definitely is there reaches out and grabs me by the throat and I wake up in a cold sweat. So I suppose we’re talking nightmare rather than dream. It really scares me not because of the undoubtedly horrible monster that grabs me (and I have no memory of ever seeing what the monster looks like) but because it’s always so normal to start with. It’s never been in a haunted house or a scary cave – it happens in such everyday places.

The monster’s been under my bed (classic), in my wardrobe (ditto) and even in the back of my Volkswagen. That was the one that really got me, I mean, as if there aren’t already enough ways to die in a ’61 beetle with a hole in the exhaust pipe and bad brakes. I got such an old car because it was a “classic” and I thought it would make me look cool. It kind of does but it costs a lot to keep on the road and is a real bastard to drive. And I won’t even go into my friend Ben’s nickname for my German car which tries to gas me.

What I’m trying to say is that’s why I’m telling this story. When a dream like that slithers out of my unconscious and into the real world I get a bit jumpy. That’s how Karen was able to affect me so much in the dungeon. Oh wow, as soon as I wrote that I felt compelled to add a qualifier. We were playing Dungeons and Dragons – a “dungeon” is what we call an adventure even if it doesn’t involve a literal dungeon. Back to my point – seeing the blackness in the real world was the reason I was so jumpy the whole night, nothing else.

I’m sure of it.

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Pauline Hanson’s One Nation tearing itself apart

There’s an old political trope that says left wing parties can’t hold power for long before they start turning on each other and right wingers are much more disciplined and balanced. This is clearly bullshit as conservatives and especially extreme right wingers continue to eat themselves around the world.

The latest to provide me with some joy on this front is Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party here in Australia. They appear to be proving yet again if you get a group of fringe extremists together they’ll find reasons to turn on each other as much as they turn on others.

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Centrelink’s “debt recovery” is a disaster and must be stopped

Here’s a story that’s an ugly combination of a conservative government waging war on the most vulnerable and the worst sort of bureaucratic fuck up. Centrelink, the government agency responsible for pensions and unemployment benefits embarked on a debt recovery plan which sounds fine in theory but their system is so deeply flawed that they have been demanding money from people who owe them nothing.

So far the government is acting as though they’re doing nothing wrong even though they’re driving people to the brink of suicide. This programme is fundamentally flawed – it can’t be fixed and it needs to be cancelled.

As an aside, here’s some advice if you happen to get one of these debt letters.

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My promise: I won’t pander to people for popularity

While I’m sure that people I disagree with would say I’m pandering to people with the same opinion, there’s a difference between pandering and sharing an opinion. I’m sure it works against me in terms of viewers and subscribers on YouTube but I’m not going to shy away from potentially offending people in a misguided attempt to increase my popularity.

If I offend you feel free to point it out but be warned, there’s about a 99% chance I offended you on purpose and don’t give a shit how you feel. If you can’t respect me having a different opinion I don’t really give a shit about you.

Plus, I’m not going to tone down my delivery – this is my therapy.

 

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Predictions for 2017

I spent some of today hanging out with some local YouTubers, socialising and talking about plans for the year. One of the things I’m really bad at is self promotion and marketing. What I have learned is that working with other people makes things easier.

It was also my first opportunity this year to make a video with my regular collaborator, AIDzee. We took the opportunity to use one of Melbourne’s colourful art alleys (in this case, Croft Alley) as a backdrop to talk about how we’re looking forward to seeing the extreme right eat each other.

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Fake News is Everywhere

This is what I am convinced is going to be one of the big issues of 2017 (and beyond). While I think the Trump administration will dominate my blog and videos this year and ongoing issue is “fake news”. It’s hard to even define what that is but I’m going to spend a lot of this year trying.

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Angry Bird Swoops Angry Aussie

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No, not that sort of Angry Bird. There’s an Indian Mynah Bird that has decided it doesn’t like me so I decided to catch it on video.

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