Something an old friend posted on Facebook. My thoughts below.Continue reading
If you’ve ever read anything of mine, which I assuming you haven’t, then you know just as much about me as the people in my IRL world. But that’s going to change soon.
Not because I am finally going “do the thing” but rather because I need to change.
And so do you.
But we’re not talking about you right now. This is about me. Don’t be so selfish. Jeez, the nerve of some people…
So there are things going on in my life, as there always are; as there are for you. And these things are finally propelling me towards the edge of touching the beginning of achieving a starting kick in the pants to pursue my goals. Eventually.
So, this is my last post of the year. And hopefully my last “I’m finally gonna do it I swear stop laughing I mean it this time” post.
Happy New Year!
P.S. – I actually have 20/20 vision. ;P
UPDATE: The deal changed. But feel free to read the original post anyway. FYI: I didn’t move. Well, I did. But I moved back.
I am a very particular person.
I like things a certain way.
I like to customize things my way.
When I want something to look a certain way, I want it to look a certain way.
I can’t stand it when I want something to look a certain way and I just can’t make it look that way.
When I can’t make it look the way I want it to look, I create it from scratch to make it my own.
That’s why we have children, right?
“My child will never behave like that.”
“I will never let my child watch so much TV just to keep them occupied.”
“I would never buy my 9 year old an iPhone.”
You say that now, but then you actually get there and you’re moving your blog to another hosting platform just so you can access the custom CSS editor and finally be able to make your site look exactly how you want it to look.
So, ya… I will be moving.
My blog, that is.
I’m going to have a custom domain name. I’ll have access to my CSS editor. I’ll even be able to edit templates and WordPress files. Hopefully, if everything goes well, I’ll be able to import my current site to my new site. That means that all likes, comments, posts, media, and links will still remain intact. I hope. I think.
I would start over, but I’ve started over sooooooo many times in the past. It’s not like I have a huge following, but I’d like everything to just stay the same. This blog won’t disappear (at least not suddenly). But, I will eventually move over to the new site.
I’ll post an update when I do. Then you all can follow me! Yay! 😀
Oh, and that child thing…
Have kids. Then you’ll see why it’s just so difficult NOT to do all that stuff. You’ll also find out why it’s so tempting TO do all that stuff.
P.S. – kids are great.
P.P.S. – no, seriously.
This post will obviously show up where ever these show up for my WordPress followers. But it will also post to my Facebook page and to Twitter. Heck, it will even post to Google+. (that’s still around?!) It will be in enough places that SOMEONE will eventually run into it. I made it soft this time so it won’t hurt. So run like the wind bullseye! However, when I watch all these cool videos on YouTube and read all these fascinating posts on WordPress or [insert blog format here] I get that feeling…
You know the feeling I’m talking about. It’s that feeling you get at Thanksgiving when all of your family is sitting around the table. You look around and contemplate the gene pool from which you’ve arisen. Cousin Billy is getting divorced so he can re-marry his first wife, Uncle Ted just turned 40 and bought a motorcycle because he swears he’s always wanted one, your sister is dating some guy who wears white makeup to make himself look as pale as snow and carries around a locket he got from Zan-bard (the alien overlord who abducted him last Tuesday… for the third time…), Aunt Carrie got a boob job, Mark just bought an underwater house, your brother is getting married to his dog, and your little cousin eats nothing but jelly beans. And you think to yourself,
“We could have our own reality show.”
I have heard no less than 5 people say something to this effect, albeit not about my family. My friend thinks her family could have a reality show. My lunch table in high school told this girl she should become a comedian. (She-comedian? Comediantress? Comedi-Anne?… Lady Laugh Box?… I’ll stick with comedian.) And nowadays, it’s normal for someone to say something like,
“Kick it, bruh! You should totes be on YouTube with that wicked crazy shuff, cray!”
“Wow. All they did was behave like I did when I was 10 years old playing my SNES games. And they have millions of subscribers, and hundreds-of-thousands to millions of views per video… For behaving like a 10 year old. In a video. Online. Wow.”
(I couldn’t think of a funny way to say that. Also, I think I should add that, no, I did not cuss like them when I was 10 years old.)
I am literally left thinking about how me and my friends acted when we were playing video games. You always assume you’re hilarious. But really, when other people get in on the action, you figure out just how lame you are. And you stop. And you grow up. To be a productive member of society. Or a jewel thief. Just be yourself, man.
Yet here are just two examples of grown men (young men, but still legal adults who can, like, drink and stuff…) who sit around and make videos that are akin to my 10 year old self playing Super Mario Kart on the SNES. And they’re not the only ones acting like fools (and doing a lot of cussing) while playing video games and recording the whole ordeal.
Ever heard of Twitch?
My point is that I believe I could do that. And, yes, I believe it would be easy. I have already tried this out many times (not counting 5th grade me) whether it was playing with cousins, or playing a video game with kids at the community center where I work. They all seem to get a kick out of watching me react to the game in crazy ways… or they like watching me suck. But, it’s probably my humorous antics and funny catch-phrases. Although, I am not good at most video games, whatsoever. Except, LEGO video games. I am the bomb at LEGO video games. And, I’m pretty good at Mario games as well. Any side scrolling platformer, really. Have you ever heard of #IDARB? That is a great game. That reminds me: I need to look and see what the free Xbox Live Games with Gold game is this month….. I totally forgot my point…
My point is: if they can do it, I can do it. Because I do it already anyway. But do I really want to do it, or do I just want the fame and recognition, the likes and follows and subscribers? Do I want to do it because I want to do it or because if I do it I could end up with lots of people who “love me?” The little communities these YouTube stars have is nice. I would love one. (I’d probably have to churn out more than one post a quarter, though.) But is the effort worth it?
Actually, to be honest, that’s not the problem. The problem is that I’m (like usual) as scared as a cat taking a nap on the hood of the car right after you honk the horn. (take a moment to picture that. . . . . . now quit ROFL-ing and continue reading) Except, I know the horn is going to honk. Actually, I’m the one who gives the command to honk the horn. So, in essence, I am the one who is responsible for scaring myself… my fears are the horn… maybe. Or maybe the cat is my blogs… NO! Wait, I got it: The fear of the cat is the horn through which I blow it if I don’t get this metaphor tied up nicely… Oh, nevermind.
I guess, like the title of the post says, everyone starts somewhere. If you don’t believe me just look at the “Draw My Life” videos on YouTube. People who have accomplished a lot make a YouTube video in the style of Minute Physics (or whoever started the “draw on a whiteboard for the video instead of using fancy graphics” style). They portray their life in the oily dry erase ink and show where they were and how they got to where they are. And they all started somewhere, that’s for sure. What’s not sure is if there is a somewhere that does not lead to subscribers, followers, likes, and Patrons. Is there a way the whole, “spout off my mouth on YouTube” thing doesn’t work? Or do they all work? Or, do only the ones who make it their “thing they do” and not try too hard to be anything other than themselves end up succeeding?
What is success?
What is life?
Why are we here?
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Hershey’s or Nestles?
Coke or Pepsi?
The world is full of important questions like these. However, as with all things, they never get solved by sitting around on the Internet at 1:00 in the morning whining because you don’t have a millions subscribers due to your own laziness.
(P.S. – I am not sponsored by anyone. Not even Xbox. Even though I did put a weird sentence in where I displayed the name of the Xbox Live Games with Gold program. You know, the one which costs less than $10 a month. You get Xbox Live Gold, Games with Gold which gives you discounts and FREE games each month, and access to other premium content. And I’m talking serious games. Not like crappy indie games no one buys. And you get games for your Xbox 360 AND your Xbox One. The value is immense! Xbox rules! But seriously, I’m not sponsored by Xbox… yet… 😉
(P.P.S. – I seriously have no sponsors. Except Jesus. Shout out to JC! Love ya man! Peace brother.)
(P.P.P.S. – there’s a storm nearby, so if you could all pray that I don’t get struck by lightning, that’d be great.)
I love the idea of blogging. If I were more social I would probably make great friends with other bloggers, extending my own reach and helping others to extend theirs as well. Of course, if I were more social there’s a good chance that I would make friends with people off-line and go out and do things in the real world.
Either way, the main reason I am writing this right now (at quarter after 1 in the morning) is mostly because I can’t sleep. But also because I am tired. Hang on, I’ll explain.
I am tired of seeing others do so much and thinking to myself, “I could to that. It looks easy. Spit out a video/post/song/picture every so often? Piece of cake…” The issue remains, however, that cake doesn’t initially come in pieces. First of all, you have to bake the stupid thing. Then you have to cut it into pieces. And of course one person only wants a center piece, another doesn’t like a lot of icing, and yet another will eat any piece as long as it’s a bigger one, not from the corner, with lots of icing, and you serve it to them on the back of a polar bear. The point I’m trying to make is that one single piece of cake takes a lot of work to produce. What you are left with after your hard work is not only the satisfaction of a job well done, or the gratification of the chocolaty goodness in your face hole. You also have a group of people around you whose mouths are full of cake. Which gives you the perfect time to tell them whatever has been on your mind.
My new years resolution for this season is to stuff cake in the mouths of all of those around me. Then, fill their minds with knowledges and humors. I will regurgitate some old material from time to time, but I will also continue to prepare new cakes for you to devour, in the hopes that I make the world a better place.
Although, I will gladly settle for “just another blogger.”
I was going to remove my notes for this post, and just write a nice little story about the stupidity of mankind. However, I decided to use my notes as bullet points, all bulleted and everything. So first, here’s what I wish to discuss:
- people whine but don’t and aren’t expected to do anything about it
- studios are greedy
- people are creatures of habit
- change is for other people – or – change is just conforming to someone else’s opinions
- the internet is an awesome collaboration tool – but it’s anonymity is riddled with deceit
Now on to the meat of my blog cow.
The Internet is a vast, virtually unlimited place. Sure, it’s limited by laws and regulations, standards, TOS and Privacy Policies, actual hard drive space, mods and administrators, and let’s not forget about the forced takedown. But besides that, and the occasional fallen utility pole, the Internet is an always-on connection to every other Internet user in the world. As such, the Internet works much like a public forum. I know there are actual forums out there, but really the entire Internet works like one big (not as orderly as, say, a Gaia website) forum. Any grief you have, opinion you’d like to share, or point you’d like to make can be done on one of many websites. You can voice your concerns in your own, personal blog. You can share your opinion in the comments of a news article. You can even belligerently attack other people on any forum, comments section, or your own blog. If you’re lucky, you’ll find someone on your side. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find a large group of people who think what you think: maybe even gather a following. If you’re really, really, really lucky you’ll even find people who despise your very existence, they hate your views so much.
No matter how popular you are, how popular your opinion is, or who shares or opposes it all this work sharing these opinions is practically pointless. Most people are only interested in voicing a distaste for current events and the people involved. But when it comes right down to it most of these people aren’t actually interested in taking any action against the perpetrators of these villainous crimes against humanity (as so these posters and commentors might have you believe). Further more, no one really expects anyone to do anything about it. Sure, every now and then a commenter will say, “do something about it if you hate it so much.” But people rarely ever do anything more than simply comment back with a usually insulting, and useless, rebuttal.
Want an example? *sigh* OK, let me get out my example box… *dig, dig, dig* AH! Here we go!
Sony Music wants way too much money for CDs, downloadable songs, or licences for streaming companies. If you are fed up with paying so much for something which doesn’t seem so valuable (something you believe you get for free from Pandora or the local radio stations) then you need to do something about it. Stop buying music. Don’t buy the CD, don’t buy the MP3, and don’t use services such as Pandora, Slacker, Last.fm, or any other streaming service, including traditional radio (all of which pay licensing fees to Sony Music in order to be able to play their songs). If you boycott Sony Music, it’s not going to make much of a difference. If you get all your friends and their friends (real and digital) to boycott Sony Music, it might get some attention, but it will still be virtually useless. Now, if you can get 100s of 1000s of people across the web to boycott Sony Music, then they will probably start losing money. It’s at that point they will finally realize pirating is not as big a concern as no one buying any of their music. If you are worried about harming the artist who has very little, if anything, to do with licensing and pricing… don’t be. If the studio is losing money, then yes, the artist will lose out on money. But we need them to join us, and maybe this is the only way to get them on board. Currently, the studio might be the only way an artist can get their music out. It’s my understanding that once you sign a contract with a recording studio they own everything you do now and will do in the future. You cannot, in many cases, release music on your own (per the contract you signed). So if everyone is feeling the financial pinch, perhaps they will finally do something to please consumers. After all, studios are greedy. They will not enjoy not having your money.
This is why we’re in the situations we are in now. This is why DVD’s come with digital copies that you need to activate or pay fees to stream to your devices. This is why you listen to incessant ads on music streaming sites. This is why gaming companies are trying to find a way to keep you from selling used games and book publishers charge the same price for a digital copy as they do a printed book. This is why cloud storage such as Amazon’s cloud and Google Music (which let you access music you have purchased from any Internet connected device on the planet) are in the sights of the RIAA and MPAA. Greed. The studios want you to buy content from them, but they don’t want you to actually use it. Well, they do want you to use it, but only once. If you purchase content on a computer, then that’s where you can use it. Want to use it on a phone, MP3 player, game console, TV, tablet, work computer, or other device? They want you to pay a fee for each device you want to use. Maybe they don’t get it. Maybe consumers don’t get it. Maybe no one truly “get’s it.” Get it?
Whatever the issues, whatever the problems, whatever the solutions nothing will change. People are creatures of habit. Some of us are creatures of the night… but that’s a completely different topic. If someone has been listening to music – no, wait… I’ve got a better example. Let’s say you bought a TV. You can enjoy any of the local TV stations without having to pay a dime to anyone. You already paid $100 to $300 dollars for a TV (we’re talking old CRTs… you probably paid much more if you bought a flat screen TV within the past few years). Now you can enjoy years of TV programming without having to pay another dime. Wait? What? You have to buy a special device which will convert the brand new broadcasting signals to a format your old TV can handle? Well, how much is that going to cost? WHAT! $50 to $100 for a decent converter box!? You have got to be kidding…?
Ok, this isn’t that great of an example. The government mandated this because they felt we were too far behind Europe. TV networks didn’t make money off this, either. But it is kind of annoying. Here’s something which is essentially free, and now you have to pay to continue enjoying it. People were not happy about this. This is why we used our tax money to fund the DTV voucher program. People did not want to pay to continue to use their televisions. Not just that, but once they began watching DTV streams, they were not happy with what they saw. Sure, the video quality was consistent among all the channels; even beautiful if you only had poor signal, or now have an HDTV. But that’s only if you got a good signal. Say goodbye to poor but still viewable signals and hello to “slow Internet connection streaming” channels (with no ability to buffer). This all goes to show that people just simply do not like it when things change. I know what you’re going to say: “but change is good. Change forces innovation and allows us to move towards the future.”
That’s a pretty simple, positive view of change. In actuality, most people think of change mush differently. Have you heard the one about the scientist and the priest? A scientist and priest meet up every Sunday afternoon to talk about philosophy, science, and religion. The scientist puts his “faith” in observable facts. The priest puts his faith in God. Both men talk to each other about how they need to change. The scientist thinks the priest needs to face the facts and realize God cannot be proven and “miracles” can be scientifically explained. The priest tells the scientist that he needs to realize the facts are not as important as the truth, and science can’t explain everything.
Sorry, that wasn’t supposed to be a joke, but I did start it off like one. My bad. The point is both men think the other needs to make some changes in their life. These “changes” are no more than the opinion of one person about how to live, what to think, how to act and who to be. When we tell the record, movie, and gaming studios they need to change their strategies for a digital world, it’s really just our opinion. They’re opinion is not to change, but simply use the same strategies they’ve been using in the digital world, with little to no change. Why should they anyway?
They should because everyone seems to think so. They should because people are pirating their content anyway. They should because it would be smart. But this just brings us back to the nature of the Internet. It is a great collaboration tool, with millions of people contributing to projects, sites, and petitions. It is very difficult, as I’ve stated before, to get all of these contributors to act. Unless you want to right wrongs. The hacking group Anonymous has recently shown just how powerful their might can be. Studios are afraid of what this kind of power can mean for their precious content. Already people can upload movies, music, and any software to the web for other to download. There’s the concept of “free is free” where people download these things because they’re free, not necessarily because they wanted it. This concept in action has made studios think there is a huge market for their content which isn’t paying for the content but getting it anyway.
Merge Anonymous and others like them with pirates, viruses and malware, phishing sites, spam, and identity thiefs the Internet looks like (and in reality, can be) a dangerous place. Despite its power for bringing people together, all that’s wrong with it is pushing studios away from its customers. Which, in turn pushes certain people *cough* anonymous *cough* together against the studios. Which in turn pushes the studios further away from its customers. Is there no end?
Digital content can, for all intents and purposes, be thought of as nothingness; and only as valuable as the consumer believes it to be. After all, what is a digital song? What is the music on a vinyl record for that matter? At least you can hold the record in your hand. I think studios put too much value on their content. Sure, it might take $2 million dollars to make a movie, but that doesn’t mean I want to pay 20 bucks for it. It also doesn’t mean I’ll pay any more for a movie that cost the studio $34 million to produce. And now it all comes back to greed. If people want to watch a movie, TV show, or sports game a studio will charge them as much as they can before people say, “no way!” They do this out of greed. The studio wants as much money as they can milk out of its customers. And they want to get as much money as often as they can. At least that’s how it looks, which is why Megaupload existed. People are as cheap as studios are greedy.
But it’s not about us, right? We’re not the problem. Consumers are where the solutions lies. Right? We don’t need to change, the studios need to change. It’s a fact! Who’s with me?!