Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Critical Hype

Our society is connected like never before. 

News breaks somewhere China and we know about it here in South Africa almost instantly. A lion eats a tourist in SA, international headlines! That's just how fast news and viral media travels these days. People say they are disappointed with how far our tech gadgets and things are currently, but I'll tell you what, it's pretty damn advanced, just ask this guy below.
When you were little, I was the coolest device on the block!

This hyper-connectivity brings an information overload and many opinions on everything. Food, travel, entertainment, eh-vuh-ree-thang! And I've recently noticed how irritating this one aspect can be:

Hype VS Crit.

So many things have been ruined for me, just because my first experience was tainted by either hype of criticism. Now of course it's up to you what information you consume and how you treat it, but if you read a bad review, no matter how you felt before reading it, it will taint your pre-conceived idea of the thing being reviewed, even if you don't feel it happening. The same thing goes for critting something.

Guess it has to do with expectation management. Unnecessary hype can leave you ultimately disappointed where as unfair criticism can create a surprisingly positive emotion.

I've had so many times when I watch something or do something or eat something that has been slated and panned in the media and the social media, but I have a positive experience with it, and like it, and enjoy it. Like Crocs. I couldn't give a rats ass about how negative they're spoken about online, they are comfy AF for me and I'm gonna get me one of those takkie croc shoes because fuck the world.

I'm sexy and I know it

Alternatively, there were many times where I was left with a feeling of; 'oh, ok, that's it,' at the end of something that is super-hyped up. A fancy, pretentious food, or a film or series that is supposed to be the event of the century. Over-hype just leaves you so underwhelmed sometimes, as I'm sure the MayPac fans experienced. I did it to myself recently with the sequel of the Avengers. Not that it was a bad film, it was a really, really good watch, but I was just left with the desire for more. I felt they did well squeezing in a little bit of all the ensemble cast, but I was left feeling that Ultron should've been harder to beat. He was such a douchey bad-ass! I know in the comics he is a scourge that is super hard to beat and I think Dragon Ball made us used to villain sagas going on foreeeeeever! I'm glad The third one will be split up into two films so we'll get more time to hate that films' villain, Thanos.

I have no strings on this blog post.

It's the influence of social media. And the anticipation it builds. Whether you build up to get let down, or to get blown away and impressed, all this adds to the weird feelings. It's similar to meeting people online. They present an online persona and you expect that IRL, but URL does not always compute to the IRL persona, this I know and that's why I try to portray myself as realistically as possible online so that my IRL is congruent with my URL!

In closing, it's easy to save yourself from Critical Hype.

Develop your own opinion.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Never Say Never

If life were a game, I would be playing it on HARD for the last while. I'm not complaining, complaining doesn't really help does it, but I'm a realist, and nothing is as real as how tricky my life has been to navigate for the last year or so.

Without getting into unnecessary detail, like how my cars battery died today because of self-incompetence by leaving my lights on, and other fun things, just know that it's wise to never say never. Never say you'll never do something. Life might show you that you will. Never say that you'll never chill or talk to or associate with another person, because life will knock you right off your high horse and make contacting people you used to look down on for whatever reason, a necessity. Never say you'll never go somewhere, because life will damn well take you there when you least expect it. You've seen the trailers, but I'm here to confirm that life, indeed, is a bitch.

But life is also what you make of it.


It's ok to not know the answer. It's ok to be wrong sometimes. It's ok to be humble. If humility is not in your locker, life will introduce it to you. Hou op vi jou ko kwaai hou hiesa. Don't take life so seriously. Ask yourself this. In a few years from now. Will it matter? Try to think back to a past melee you had with someone or something, that you really struggled with for a while. Think back to it now - Now that you've been through the pain and struggle of getting through it, it doesn't seem so bad hey, and if you had to do it again, you could do it twice as fast, twice as easy. This is how we grow. It's like when you are standing in front of big statue. It's hulking presence makes you feel small. You try to measure it but your arms can't even begin to be a ruler to gauge its length. Once you've moved on from the statue, what happens then? You look back at the statue and it's still there, it's not out of memory just yet, you remember how big it was to you when you were there, but now, when you try to measure it, it barely measures up to your thumb and index finger imaginably holding it. Yup, your past problems are now THAT small. You still remember what it was like in that moment, the rage, hurt or frustration you experienced, but now you've moved on and distanced yourself from it and become a better person.


I could be sitting and moping around and calling the wee-wee-wambulance every time I feel aggrieved at my situation or circumstances, but, again, what does that help? Sure, once or twice things will get too much and you'll have a bad/sad/mad day, it happens. That's ok. But don't let it turn into depression or alcoholism or DRUCKS or crap like that. If you get into the habit of negativity, it will consume your life. Try to find the positives in your situation. The silver lining. You still healthy and not sick? Yippee, that's great. A lot of people don't have that. You still have a roof over your head and a shelter away from the harsh winter conditions coming? Hmpf, your life is not so bad after all! Have at least one or two people who truly care about you and will be there for you when you need them? You're a lucky tweep! Some people don't have that. Cherish those people and try to reciprocate their assistance and love.

My best tip for hard times? Try to counter the negative happenings with positive things. Try to find something you can improve or be happy and chuffed about. I did that with my weight-loss. I'm still on my health and fitness journey but it sure as hell makes me feel better that I'm no longer a fat slob that sits on his ass whole day and contemplates his next burger to cover up his inadequacies and fears. Fuck that guy. Really. Fitness and health as a lifestyle, not a fad, is a hard thing to aspire to, but even if you don't 100% succeed you'll come out a better person on the other side.

If you can't improve your situation, improve yourself.

And heck, try to smile. Try to be jovial about it all. I like making people laugh. No matter what the situation. Or the time. If you are down, even when I am down, I will try to make you and myself feel better by making us laugh. This has helped many a friend and an acquaintance to at least forget they had issues for about 5 minutes of their day. Think of it as a super power. It's not only me that has this ability. You can do it too. I'm not saying go out and be Kevin Hart at every opportunity, but if you try to make someone else laugh or even if you just share a smile with someone, it will help. It sounds sad, but when I'm having a real crap day or a busy day, I try to crack a smile if I'm maybe driving. It makes me feel better for a while. A smile feels better than a frown. Even a smile that's not real.

I'm totally hurting my ass sitting on this sleeper couch that messes up my back every night, so I'll wrap it up because my typing on this laptop is disturbing Luna and she's falling asleep. Live healthy. Eat an apple. Drink some water. Move your body. Take the stairs. Walk in the park. Rejuvenate your mind. Stop what you're doing to consciously breathe for about 30 seconds with your eyes closed. Read. Laugh more. Enjoy your life. Don't invest in things. Invest in moments. Because when those things turn to dust, you carry those moments with you in your mind and heart and if they suck, your life will suck. Unless of course you invest in property, if you can do that, do that!

And remember, never say never.

Ouchea tryna beat my High Score.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Growing Changes

We don't stay the same.

We change.

Many a time people don't like this change. They say you're not the same. Inferring that it is something incorrect that has led to this, but in all honesty, that's just the way we grow. We can't all stay the same. I've seen the most docile people turn to bad-ass, full of crap folks when they're older after taking people's crap for their whole lives, but similarly I've seen grumpy and crabby people, who have built reputations for being the boring grouchy person, morph into pleasent and chilled out people when they hit old age. It's weird, but wonderful.

Old age is not always the catalyst. Rich become poor, boastful become humble and any situation in life can trigger it. We have to keep in mind that everyone is on their own journey.

Parents want to blame themselves if their kids grow up to be something they don't want or do things they don't like or believe in things they don't believe are correct. Again. Respect someone's journey. People start forming their minds and values solidly in high school already and by the time kids matriculate, they're basically their own person. Their parents still influence their lives to an extent, but the die has been cast on their own persona. From that time onwards they will grow and change to their own tune, as much as parents still think they still have control.

What brought these thoughts about?

Mattafix did. Haha.

I was wondering what on earth happened to Mattafix, you know, the band that did the huge track 'Big City Life' and 'To and Fro'. I thought they just disappeared into the musical abyss of artists that just have a few good years.

Turned out that all that happened was is that the vocalist of the band, and the more behind the scenes producer guy split up creatively as they didn't see eye to eye on where they wanted to go musically. As a muso it's very easy to understand how that can happen, and the vocalist guy is actually still very active. Didn't really check up on the other guy, coz I really dig the vocalist's style of singing. So ja.

Change happens.

Of all things in life, it's the most constant.

Again, I don't really have a point to this post. That's what a blog like this is for right. Cathartic. Even Random Arbjects, has changed. I guess I want to say respect people's journeys. If they're going through change either support them or get the fuck out their way. And when you feel yourself changing, embrace change you can do nothing about (like my receding hairline for instance) and work on changing things you can change.

Don't let change be your enemy. Accept it (Like I have been doing over the years, see pic below :D)

The Many Faces of Spenelo by MinorphicPhoto on DeviantArt

Monday, 11 May 2015

Erratic Dreams

I'm feeling erratic today.

My thoughts are in a mess. That in itself is not surprising, but they are more all over the show than usual today. I think it's because I'm over-thinking just a little bit more than usual.

There is a disconnect somewhere. And I can't figure out where. But I've got enough to keep me busy that I can just ignore it and let it blow over. It could be lack of sleep, could be anything really, but it's like a little cut on your finger that isn't majorly painful, but it irritates you the whole day.

Perhaps after my next exam on Thursday I'll calm my brain a little, as my next exam is literally a month away after that exam so I can breathe a little. You know, relax, defrag, watch some series and movies, etc. I've actually been contemplating having a complete digital shut down. Switching all devices and connectivity off for a certain period of time in an attempt to restart my system. But as my employment situation dictates, I can't really afford even one day offline. Perhaps later in the year. I just feel we've become too busy, TOO connected, and that shutting down and logging off sometimes will do a world of good.

In the writing of this I've already frantically thought of other things I want to do online and opened at least 5 other tabs and hopped from them erratically. And I've got up and done a few other things too. My thoughts are fragmented and it is when they unite that one can accomplish such great things, even momentarily. Focus.

I feel many times that many things I do is a chasing after the wind. When I look at things from a wider, broader, eternal perspective. Like it's pointless. Like I'm pointless. But in the same breath I innately feel that inside of me is something more than pointless, and that the pointless is some kind of virus infecting my system. It's why I strive to do things still, even when things seem hopeless at times. I keep believing. I keep working. I keep attempting. I keep fighting. Even when people laugh at my endeavours, or scoff at attempts to improve. Even when people insult me, or call me names. Even when people try to hurt me or get at me by pressing my buttons. Even if people ignore me or wish bad on me. I keep in mind that I'm on my journey, and they are on theirs. Just like I don't know what it is that is prompting them to act negatively towards me they don't know what or who I am and what I'm going through or what I'm doing or what I'm thinking. No-one will EVER know me that well, as I, myself, am still learning who I am, and what I'm capable of. So wish them well and hope they do swell. What I'm getting at here is that you have to be strong. As cliché as it sounds, you have to be strong because although you will have people that support you in your life, they can't be strong for you, you have to be strong for yourself. Selfish? Of course it is. But if you don't look out for yourself, no-one else will. Carve your own path. Even if you are going to attempt to emulate someone else's path, a role model, at least learn from their mistakes and do better.

I've heard before that I'm a dreamer and that I'm over-ambitious, and those folks who said that are having a field day as I'm now as far away from success and my dreams than I ever was, owing to things in and out of my control. But you know what, I cling onto my dreams, still. No matter how lofty they are. Because you can take everything from me, but not my dreams and my thoughts of personal grandeur.

Gotta keep goin'!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Scattered Focus

My brain is on purpose.

When I manage to focus it properly for even just a little while I do such amazing things.

Thing is, to get it there is like throwing a bulls-eye with a dart whilst mounted on a rodeo horse with the dart board on a jumping castle occupied by dart deflecting ninja bears.

I'm not saying I'm scatter-brained. I'm just saying that sometimes I take a bit longer to finish something I could do a lot quicker. Sometimes bags of ability can be a hindrance. When you know you can do something decently, and you slack a little or get distracted knowing in the back of your mind that you've got whatever it is covered.

This blog post in itself is such a distraction.

But in the last few days I've been wondering about so many things. Being unemployed for almost a year does this. In June I will be unemployed for a year, although I am trying many things to change that. But yes, it is super frustrating and lets your mind run to a thousand places all at once then it just returns to a nice round 0 again. Add to this that I'm mid way through writing my Unisa exams too. Exams and studying are the best ways to remind yourself of all the thousands of other things you had to do. It is so bad that I keep a loose paper handy next to my books on the table so I can jot down things I have to get to after my session. Otherwise I would never get any studying done. My brain is like a toddler on a trampoline while I study. The bounce is the studying, the hang time is the other nonsense I'll do while studying. Granted most of the activities done are constructive, they should not even be thought about while studying. Book and story ideas, full new songs written, design ideas, photoshoot plans, video ideas, revamping your old video blog into something of a journal, flippen everything but the actual studying!

Which takes me to the next focus jump point. This blog. Random Arbjects. It had mild success back in the day, helped me get a job at Media24 and then just fizzled out. I attempted a few other online endeavours, but there's only so much you can accomplish on your own. They've all either failed or were popped onto the back burner. This is not necessarily bad, one needs to know what works and what doesn't and the only way to do that is to actually try out the myriad of ideas in your head instead of storing them to collect dust in your already complexly-packed brain. The thing that was keeping me away from RA was that it was becoming limited in what I can post, it was cluttered. It basically became like a myspace. Sometimes instead of adding more and more facets to your project, perhaps you just need to simplify it right to the core. And that's what I've done with RA again. As you can see. Simplicity is so trendy these days.

RA used to be very image and video based. But truth is I like to write more than just share videos. I do lots of other things as well. Lots. And I used to share them on RA too, but I really like to write. Like this. Like I'm talking to you. Like you're right here. This style of writing is not everyone's cup of tea but it's the realest way I can express myself and it is quite cathartic. And I figure if I can help myself by getting things out AND help people by maybe sharing something that uplifted them or gave them some tips or made them giggle; that's a win-win. And in our lives, right now, in this country, we need giggles and upliftment.

As usual I'm digressing fantastically.

Blogging is easy to do once in a while, but to really champion in, you have to find your niche and RUN WITH IT. That's why many blogs and online ideas tank. People have great ideas, but these ideas are not congruent with who they are or where they are mentally in their lives at that exact juncture or cease to be later on. Blogging, as with many creative jobs, seems easy on the surface, but upon further inspection many people flake out of it because it is a lot more work and admin than meets the eye. Many people want the perks that are rewarded to hard-working, ardent and nifty individuals who are successful, but don't even want to dip their toe into a puddle of the ocean of their sacrifice. Great people sacrificed a great amount of time and energy to get where they are. So don't hate on them. Hate on your time management and lack follow-through and patience and perseverance. Don't be jelly, mkay.

Some people try to post onto their blogs every day. That's good and bad. Blogging everyday keeps your blog in the minds of your people in your online circle. Even if they don't read today's post, tomorrow's might have something that catches their eye and then they'll consume your media. But trying to set lofty goals can go awry quite quickly. If it's not in you to produce top quality content every day, don't feel bad. Most blogs that do have teams of people who do it, and the really best blogs are making money from it. They're equipped to work that way. If that's not you, posting everyday will feel incongruent to you and your readers will feel it too. I used to post videos on RA with lazy-ass one liner posts just to keep the post number ticking. That's just not cricket. BUT. It's a double-edged sword. If you post once a year your blog is going nowhere. Unless the content you post is the most useful, most amazing apparatus known to mankind, you're gonna get like 5 hits in the year. You have to find the balance. This is where many of my blogs, and as a matter of fact, ideas, have failed. You have to find the pattern, you have to find the habit. Maybe aim to post three times a week. Then everything after that will be a bonus. Have a youtube channel? Pre-record some videos to go with your more spontaneous clips so that your channel will always have something fresh. It's all about time-management, habit management and idea management.

Ideas are wonderful. But some of us have to many. A brain full of ideas with no follow-through is a very full and cluttered space. Have you been painfully constipated before? That's kind of what it feels like to have too many ideas and not having an outlet for them. In my defence, I've really been getting these ideas out in the last two or three years. (Like CHKN, lol) And trying quite a few of them too, and enjoying the results. More than ever. Even if you just jot them down. This doesn't mean all your ideas will miraculously succeed, but it does mean that one or two more that would've been forgotten, now at least have a chance to see the light of day. Ideas are great, but you have to decide which ones are realistic enough to work. If you really like the idea and you want to try it, just try it! You will find out VERY quickly if it will work out for you. And don't be shy to share your idea with someone else. I know, I know, its my secret idea, no-one may know, they'll steal it. Bad news buddy, almost EVERY IDEA EVER has been taken in some or other way, so you might as well share it with someone just to gauge a few aspects of your idea, like originality, feasibility, etc. Like I will do now with you. DO you think Random Arbjects could work as a thought-dump blog?

*Thought dump sounds non-ideal, but that is essentially what I'm doing. If you ever have a conversation with me IRL, you will hear this is exactly how I speak too. I need a muzzle. I talk a lot. I talk sense, mostly, but once I get on a roll I can spit words out like a bowling machine. Alas. This was a great way to take a study break. Even though I just started a study session about 10 minutes ago!

So yes. Just like my life. I'm figuring this out. Random Arbjects has potential. Just like me. But just like me, Random Arbjects can't exactly pin it's finger on what it wants to be and how it wants to show what THAT is. RA, we'll figure it out together!

Very Educational!