11/15/2020 - Hello World

The noble Home Security Guard

Denver shut down for a few weeks in March. Since then I've been staying in and staying away from people, treating everyone as if they're potentially spewing corona from their mouths, imagining that the aisles in the supermarket are filled with Metal Gear Solid guards, with their tiny cones of vision. Now that the country's daily COVID rate is nearing 200,000 cases a day the fact that I haven't been getting sick should justify my gamification of not getting sick, but I feel no less like an adult chuunibyo for it. I was hikikomori for a while in my twenties, but thanks to the pandemic I am now Stone Cold Chuuni Hikikomori.

Stone Cold Chuuni Hikikomori 3:16 says "My Demon Right Eye can see your cloud of pandemic gas ya jabrona sumbitch!"

There is nothing wrong with being a home security guard, of course. What sucks is that it reminds me of the issues that led to my last stint as a shut-in, and sometimes I worry that I'm not coping with the situation in the right way. I spent the last four years cooking harder than I'd ever cooked, spurred on to the grind culture mentality of the industry by a desire to be a bit more financially secure than the average poor boy from a poor family. That shit is cruel, though, capitalism is cruel. I've seen enough cruelty from the hands of owners and shareholders of big restaurants over the years that the most recent ones, the shutting down of restaurants and the firing of countless cooks and dishwashers and people who make little to nothing, that I'm more than ready to wash my hands clean of the business, twenty seconds, with soap and the water as hot as you can stand it.

Web 1.0 Nostalgia Forever

Worrying that all this time in isolation has led me to just consume mindlessly, I decided to start a blog. I haven't done one in a while but I went with Neocities for hosting because my very earliest memories of the Internet were of all sorts of strange and interesting Geocities sites. You know the ones, with the weird gifs and the anime shrines and the embedded MIDIs that start playing at full blast as soon as you load the page. The aesthetic is a reminder of a time when the 'net was still a lawless, mysterious place for most people. Knowing that there is ten-plus years of deep net history before that blows my mind.

When I was younger I used to make a trashy little sprite comic, like always online young folk would tend to do at the turn of the millennium, and I recall just bashing each page together, as well as the whole comics archive, via a long chain of templates from the site's owner. As an adult I understand the basics of CSS and Javascript, and thanks to Zonelets I've been able to just bash this thing together and go, far better than I could have on my own. Nothing like standing on the shoulders of simple coding giants.

There's also something kind of nostalgic about writing in HTML, you know? It reminds me of my first site, on Tripod or Geocities or one of those free site sites. I used to get a thrill writing out my page, and the idea that everything that I'd saved could be accessed by anyone in the world, never once thinking that it'd have to be any sort of practical use whatsoever.

The Corporatization of Social Media, Explained by An Idiot

Over the last few years there's been talk about social media's outsized role in influencing modern society. Facebook was a curse on the world, but most other places feel unwelcoming for one reason or another. Instagram is owned by the same folks, Tumblr has that NSFW ban and Twitter is just a large and disjointed conversation, with promotions. Every single one has issues with data collection and outright nonaction regarding increasing amounts abuse by outright shits, especially towards women and people of color. On top of that there's the impetus to stay active that really doesn't mesh with my way of doing things at all. I remember losing a ton of stress when I decided to step away from Facebook a few years back.

It's nearing the end of the year and anxieties are high in the US. Tiring of constant affronts to basic humanity, our country voted out our current president, a giant walking Betamax tape, in favor of Obama's former VP Joe Biden. The protests today are like the dark racist mirror of the #blacklivesmatter protests of the summer. Despite unfounded, paranoid ramblings from people inexplicably given too much power there is an air of hope, after four years of civil rights injustice, corporate favoritism, police brutality, and other gross distractions from the creation of a better world for ourselves and everyone coming after.

Both in May and over the last two weeks I spent excessive amounts of time on Twitter, and by now I'm getting tired of dealing with that endless stream of news. It's taking up too much processing space in my brain, and with things going ostensibly better (so long as we ignore the upcoming massive death toll due to COVID-19, rapid global warming and the various inhumanities of modern life, among other things) so it seems like a good time to just write a lot in a semi-public space.

And This is The Plan

So the plan is to put whatever comes to mind onto HTML, just like the good old days. The dumb zine ideas I haven't worked on, the serial short stories, cat pictures, poor translations of Japanese doujinshi, whatever. I'll try my best to be entertaining, as there is no point in writing if you're not at least entertaining yourself, and if this turns out to be of interest to you then feel free to read along. No idea what exactly will be in store, but recently I've played through the last three Yakuza games on PC, and with the new one out I've definitely got words to spare.

Until next time, here's hoping our minds keep clear of static...