Friday, 24 October 2014

Magic, horror and history

I haven't blogged in forever again. That's what happens when I get stuck in something. Most recently it's my latest Skyrim playthrough, but I also have a whole bunch of short story competitions that I want to send stuff to, so I'm working on several ideas for short stories right now. Making deadlines is so stressful. I wonder how I'll do when NaNoWriMo starts next week xD I'm not really sure what to do with this post. Books, maybe? I haven't really talked about books in a while.

So the last book I had started reading when I last talked about books was Dancing Jax by Robin Jarvis. It took a really long time for me to really get into the book. It was slow to start and none of the characters managed to catch my attention. None of them were really interesting. I loved the concept of the book and I may continue reading the series just because the concept is amazing, but the execution still remains tedious. It was kind of disappointing tbh, because the cover looked so exciting. It looks like it promises a chilling, possibly horror-filled, ride through something fantastical. In reality it's the real world with something evil in it. I assume that the author has read Lovecraft and tried to make the bad guy Lovecraft-inspired, but failing miserably. I know Lovecraft is adult fiction and this author aims for youth fiction, but nah... The storytelling is too simplistic. The only thing that made me smile occasionally was the several references to Doctor Who and Star Trek, coming from the main character who's a major nerd.

I picked up Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch after that. It's sort of a crime novel involving magic. I thought the magic part would make the crime genre more interesting, and it did, but not as much as I would've liked. Crime really isn't my thing. So although this crime novel was more interesting than general crime novels, it wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. There was a Sorcerer's Apprentice vibe to it too. That was fun, but I feel like the author tried too much. He tried to be a little bit of everything and the final picture ended up being very divided. Since it's a British contemporary novel about magic and wizards there were ofc plenty of Harry Potter references that made me smile.
"So magic is real. Which makes you a... what?"
"A wizard."
"Like Harry Potter?"
"No, not like Harry Potter."
"What about Voldemort?"
"He's got my number." 
"Would it kill us to have an official branch of government that handled the supernatural?"
"A Ministry of Magic?"

Then there was The Complete History of Jack the Ripper by Philip Sugden. I've always had a thing for Jack the Ripper. Like a fascination with his story. I'm not fascinated by the murders (I'm not that guy), but by everything surrounding it, and the legend that grew from the fact that they never caught him. I had my own theory about why - they were all so focused on the fact that it was a man that they never looked for the possibility that it might be a woman and thus she walked free. A woman, maybe a prostitue herself, could've been around the victims without arousing any suspicion from the surroundings or the victims. But although I can't remember what convinced me now, there was something when I read that made me realise that no woman could do that. I think it was the fact that some of the victims had been strangled by hand. And I believe no woman of that time had enough upper-body strength to do that against somebody of her own size. Unless the woman was very big and that wouldn't have been very inconspicuous. Anyway it was a very interesting read. Recommended to everyone with the slightest fascination for the legend that is Jack the Ripper.

Most recently I read Den of Thieves by David Chandler. It was a fairly standard fantasy novel. The young thief in the rich city that gets pulled into an adventure with magic, demons, wizards, maidens and knights. It was entertaining, but not much more than that. I'll probably continue reading the series, though, because this is just the type of story that I like. Although it wasn't extremely captivating it was still entertainment of an easy kind. I enjoy that from time to time.

The book I'm currently getting into is a short story collection: Night Terrors: The Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson. Perfect at this time of year!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

When I decided to make my new Skyrim adventures into a serial #1

I started up Skyrim again. Mostly because I wanted to get those last four pesky achis  on Steam. But while I worked on my old char I fell in love with the game all over again and decided to start anew. I Skyrimised the dark elf I used in both Morrowind and Oblivion, and after an intense modding session I was off into a whole new world, although it was my fourth attempt at a playthrough (fifth if you count the one I started on the 360). But while playing with this new char an idea formed in my head to make a sort of serial, or feuilleton, of my new char's adventures. I thought it would be a fun way for me to keep my writing active while I'm looking for new ideas, and also maybe someone would find it fun to read? Anyway, here we go.


Hi, my name is Neela and I'm a Dunmer born and raised in Mournhold, the capital of Morrowind. When I was little I was told by my parents that shortly after I was born I was cursed to live a 1000 years, by some unknown wizard. Thus far I'm about 250 years old (I've lost count), but I neither look nor feel any older than 20.

I was very young when I ran away from Mournhold and made my way into Cyrodiil. I found my way to the Imperial City and there I was soon arrested for thieving. Before I knew it I was on a ship, transported to Vvardenfell, and thus back to Morrowind. While I was there I got caught up in all sorts of things and I hardly had time to stop and reflect. Soon I was frequently speaking with Azura and after no time at all I found myself in the middle of the Red Mountain on my way to fight Dagoth Ur and end the Blight. I still don't know how that happened, but for a long while afterwards people kept calling me the Nerevarine.

I got involved with the Morag Tong and found myself fighting a war against the Dark Brotherhood. I was sent to Cheydinhal to find out where they were hiding and finish them off, but I was discovered and once again found myself in a prison cell in the Imperial City. In Cyrodiil no one knew of the Nerevarine and the title that gave me access anywhere in Morrowind held no value there. I was released by one of the Emperor's whims and had to watch him die. I once again got caught up in events I couldn't control and before I knew it I was the Hero of Kvatch, the Savior of Bruma and the Champion of Cyrodiil. All because I was dim-witted enough to enter through a portal to the Oblivion realm of Mehrunes Dagon. Repeatedly. And come out alive. Repeatedly. After saving Cyrodiil I felt like I belonged there more than I did in the politically divided, hostile and complicated province of Morrowind from which I hail, so I decided to stay in Cyrodiil. My loyalties changed and I soon found myself a member of the Dark Brotherhood rather than Morag Tong. That's when I found the door to Sheogorath's realm of the Shivering Isles.

I lived in the city of Mania in the Shivering Isles for 200 years, before I decided that I had had enough of madness and I made my way back to Cyrodiil, up north, past Bruma and towards the border to Skyrim. Maybe some rowdy Nords would be a nice change of scenery? But luck was never really on my side, and just before crossing the border I found myself in an ambush and taken to my execution. It had been 200 years, no one would believe me if I told them I was the Nerevarine or the Champion of Cyrodiil, so I kept my mouth shut and obediently walked towards the execution block. I was cursed to live for another 750 years - either the curse had broken during my time in Sheogorath's realm or something would happen. Something did happen. A huge black dragon something. I managed to escape a destroyed Helgen with Hadvar who showed me the way to Riverwood and from there to Whiterun to get a message to the Jarl. There I made my first friend in Lydia, who followed me on my adventures. She was a great help on my journet up the 7,000 steps to High Hrothgar! Though, she did have a tendency of always blocking my way. Lydia, you're adorable but a little dense.

Things spiralled out of control again and after I had enforced a temporary treaty in the civil war I found myself riding on the back of a dragon named Odahviing, on my way to Skuldafn and then onwards to Sovngarde. Sovngarde was amazing and I suddenly wished I was a Nord. It was amazing battling Alduin alongside the Nord heroes of old, and when he was finally defeated and dissolved into nothing I didn't miss one second of it. I was returned to Skyrim and the Throat of the World by the gatekeeper Tsun, and there I was greeted by Paarthurnax and many other dragons as Dovahkiin. Great - another title.

I returned to the Greybeards and then the Blades and was devastated by Delphine asking me to kill Paarthurnax if I wanted to continue being one of them. I decided I'd rather be a Blade than living the Way of the Voice and travelled back to the Throat of the World to kill one of the dragons who'd become my friend. With Paarthurnax dead I returned to the Blades and asked Lydia to become one of us. I did the same with the sellswords Jenassa and Marcurio, both of whom I had run into while finding a way to defeat Alduin.

I bought a house, my first, in Whiterun and then went on to explore the Bards College in Solitude. I thought that would be a nice way to relax after fighting dragons and saving the world (again), but nope. Viarmo immediately had me running off into a Nord ruin fighting draugr to find Olaf's verse. I succeeded in becoming a bard and after helping several of the members of the College recover stolen instruments of value, I decided to take a quick trip back home. There I brawled with Uthgerd and won so she became my new friend and follower when I went on my way to explore the College of Winterhold.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Social stigma in literature

So the Nobel laureate in literature has been revealed. Yet another guy I have never heard of, and probably whose work I'll never read. Yet another French guy. Haven't we had a truck load of those already?

I was excited to learn that Haruki Murakami was among the nominees this year. I thought that maybe some things were beginning to change. But no.
It's my opinion that there's a social stigma in literature. It has to be realistic and fanciful. There's no room for any fantastical sort of book in "proper literature", not even if it's the sort of fantastical realism that Murakami has in some of his books. There's a social stigma towards sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, horror, and generally any book containing fantastical elements. As soon as the fantastical element is introduced the book is degraded as second-rate literature, not worthy of the literature snobs. I could give many examples of authors who've shaped today's literature, and none of them would have any place in any literature snob's bookcase, and most of the mainstream populace would never have heard of them. On the other hand, the mainstream populace generally doesn't seem to know about the Nobel laureate until he's revealed and then everyone rushes to read his work to appear educated. I say 'he' because it generally is a man.

I can tell you about authors who are important and who a great deal many people have heard of:
• Astrid Lindgren - her children's books shaped Swedish culture. But she wrote children's books (sometimes with a fantastical streak) and is thus not a worthy nominee for the Nobel prize. Not even posthumously.
• H.P. Lovecraft - laid the groundwork for the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres back in the 1930s. Without his influences would we have a certain successful writer called Stephen King today? But his stories are fantastical and not worthy of the Nobel prize.
• Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum, J.R.R. Tolkien - all part of our culture today. Or do you seriously want to tell me you've never heard of Alice in Wonderland, Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, and Lord of the Rings? They shaped children's books and fantasy for us. But their stories are fantastical and/or children's books and not worthy.
I know most of them wrote their stories in the late 19th century or very early 20th century, but the stigma from those days persist until today. When someone says they study literature you immediately assume they're talking about Shakespeare, Voltaire, Balzac, Proust, Steinbeck etc... Not even once do you consider that there might be other literature besides the snobbish classical literature that's worthy of study. That's wrong. Why would Balzac or Steinbeck be more "worthy" than Jules Verne and Tolkien? Alright, so I know that none of those I mentioned in my list are possible nominees today, but how about my next one. And consider this: I'm telling you from an outside perspective and not because I'm a huge fan.

If there's someone today worthy to be a Nobel laureate it's J.K. Rowling. How many of you sighed and rolled your eyes just now? Most of you, I assume. But hear me out.
• Harry Potter is the most sold children's book series ever. Not just the past 20 years, but since forever. That means it has sold more than The Wizard of Oz books and more than the Narnia books, and those series have had a 60-100 years to sell - Harry Potter has had less than 20 years.
• There aren't many places you can go (if anywhere) where people haven't heard of Harry Potter.
• And if you're looking for a reason those books have benefited humanity (as is the original demand for the prize): in an age where books have lost their importance in the eyes of young people the Harry Potter series has made an entire generation interested in reading. Fans have expressed a wish to learn Latin to better understand the spells. A book series that promotes reading and learning and succeeds - isn't that something special? Something to note?
But although I'm the one writing this, and although I really wish this would happen - I honestly think it never will. Because the social stigma that states that fantastical literature is crappy literature lives on.
I found today that outside of the world of Nobel laureates and mainstream book shops that only host half a bookcase of fantasy - that stigma has also nestled it's way inside me. I recently sent a short story to a competition via a community. Everyone who's a member of the community can read and rate the short stories - even if they don't compete. I read through some of the stories today and all of the ones I read were realistic ones. I'm not a fan of general fiction. I tend to think it's boring and I have problems getting drawn into the story and general fiction hardly ever catches my eye or interest. But the comments and ratings for those stories were generally favourable. And there I am having sent in a fantastical one. And although I feel myself that it's one of my greatest pieces I feel that no one else will really feel that way. Not because I think too highly of myself, because I generally don't, but because of the stigma that says fantastical = crappy.

So just for once I wish a fantastical writer could become a laureate. People always rush to buy and read the work of a newly announced laureate, and if my dream ever comes true that a fantastical writer is awarded the prize then that social stigma might just disappear and my work along with the work of other writers of fantastical genres will maybe finally be seen in a new and better light. The way it is now fantastical genres (especially fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and horror) tend to be obscure genres for nerds that the general populace don't read.

It's fine if you've tried and didn't like it, but you can't throw a whole world away because it's, like one of my classmates in university French once said, hittepå (meaning made-up).

Friday, 3 October 2014

Currently on TV

Autumn is here and that means that a whole lot of the TV shows I'm following have new seasons. Here's what I'm following this autumn:

America's Next Top Model, cycle 21: I'm not a fan of reality shows, honestly. But with ANTM I just can't help myself. I've been watching this show since I was 15, and although it's not as good anymore I just can't help but keep following it. I love that it wasn't a one-time thing to have guys on the show. They're back for this cycle! I love that Miss J is back! ANTM without the Js just felt wrong. I don't have any clear favourites this cycle, though. The ones I like the most are Lenox and Will. I liked Romeo as well, because he was the odd one out and I tend to like the odd ones. I just wish he hadn't gotten that drunken temper and hit Adam. He'd still be there if he hadn't. But on the upside, Lenox wouldn't be around if Romeo still was...

Doctor Who, series 8: CAPALDIIII!!! Still love him. I don't understand why everyone seems to complain that he's too grumpy. I love his personality. I love how he's different from the other New Who Doctors and how Capaldi's Doctor is more like the Classic Who Doctors. My favourite episodes this far have been Time Heist and Into the Dalek. Listen was great but fell flat when the source of everything was revealed. That just ruined everything.

The Big Bang Theory, season 8: Penny changed her hair. She looks so grown up now. Not much has really happened in the two aired episodes yet, but I laughed my ass off this week when Howard was gonna make that pitch.

Downton Abbey, season 5: I feel so sorry for Edith. I hope the plan works out for her so she can be with Marigold. I'm not sure I like where the difference of opinion is taking Tom and Robert... And I'm not sure Mary will manage to keep it a secret that she snuck off on a sex trip with Tony... And I'm so shipping Mrs Hughes with Carson!

Grey's Anatomy, season 11: Maggie Pierce. She's good. I like that they gave her a whole episode to introduce her properly. Meredith is an ass to her, but she probably just misses Cristina. Who doesn't miss Cristina? I just hope Richard will find the courage to tell Maggie what he knows. I laughed out loud during the latest episode when Maggie burst out: "Is everyone in this room somehow related?!" and I was like "Yes. Yes, you are." I really like how she's becoming friends with Derek's sister (I can't remember her name). I think I'm gonna like this season. But Meredith needs to stop being cranky.

Once Upon a Time, season 4: Frozen has come to Storybrooke. I'm actually a little disappointed that they went full-out Frozen and not H.C. Andersen. But I'm gonna have to live with that. I loved Sven, but I'm not sure about Kristoff. I'm on team OutlawQueen so I hate Marian. And as per usual the big question after the first episode was: WTH is Rumple up to?!?
Some things never change.

The Vampire Diaries, season 6: DAAAAAAAAAAAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!! T_T After the first episode of season 6 that's basically still all I feel. Still want to punch Stefan because I don't like him. I don't like the twins. Elena is moody. Tyler is back to his old aggressive self. Alaric is too mellow. Basically the only character I like is Caroline. I need Damon back.

Gracepoint, season 1: I love how they treat Gracepoint as a brand new thing, when it's just a remake of Broadchurch that screened last year. The first episode of Gracepoint wasn't as intriguing as the first episode of Broadchurch. Gracepoint seems to basically be Broadchurch without all the good parts :P Why is there even a need for an American remake? I watch it because Tennant is in it. Other than that I don't recognise any of the actors.

The Originals, season 2: Spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. I watched the first season earlier this year and was completely hooked. I really like Davina and Elijah is still my favourite Original. With Haley as a hybrid it's bound to be an interesting second season.

The Walking Dead, season 5: Next week! There was so much shit happening last season that I'm really excited about this one. Though I have a bad feeling one of the mains is gonna die... I'm almost scared to watch. As long as no one touches Glen&Maggie! Or Daryl. And call me crazy but I ship Daryl with Beth.

Otherwise there are a few other TV shows that I'm trying to watch along side these: Classic Doctor Who (currently at season 8), Star Trek TOS, Lost, Pokémon and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Currently. There's a long list of series I should watch so I have my work cut out for me :P

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My writing - the beginnings and the future

When I was 10 years old I decided I wanted to become a writer and from that day on I started writing stories. I still remember my first story being about superheroes coming from each of the planets in our solar system and they battled evil on Earth. Kind of cool, huh?

When I was 12 I sent a finished manuscript to a publisher. I did this in secret. My parents didn't know. Some time later I got a letter in the mail telling me that they couldn't accept any manuscripts from author's who weren't of age, but encouraged me to keep writing. I'm kind of sad that I didn't keep the letter - my very first from a publisher.

Between the ages of 13 and 17 I had my big surge of ideas. I have a big notebook where I tried to assemble all my ideas, but to this day I still find random scribbles in other notebooks of ideas I had. It's still those ideas that I refine into proper stories today. Most of the stories start in bullying, because that's the foundation I had while growing up, then there's a supernatural element that disrupts the every day way of things, the main character grows and is forced to face off against the evil that threatens both the everyday life and the supernatural plane. The main character is most oftenly an exaggerated aspect of myself. But in hindsight it's easier to see how the character would grow from the bullying today than when I was in the middle of it myself. That may be why I never managed to finish a manuscript properly, except that one time.

When I grew up I was told by my parents that it's very hard to make a living off of writing, and that you need to be very lucky. So I downgraded my writing from "future job" to "hobby" and started trying to find something else I wanted to do for a living. But this past year while I've been unemployed I've started seeing the potential in writing again. When things feel hopeless it's my writing that gives me hope again. Because sometimes it feels more probable that I'd be able to make a living from writing rather than find a proper job. So writing has once again become the thing I want to do and the thing I will continue to aspire to do for a living.

I have decided that 2014 will be the year. The year when I, for the first time as an adult, send a finished manuscript to publishers. I know the year is fast coming to an end, but so is my manuscript! All I have left now is getting to the final fight and tie up loose strings. It's time to wrap up the story, find my beta readers, get some constructive criticsm, edit and then send it off for reviews.

I'm excited!
The amount of paper in my manuscript thus far.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Recent gaming activities

Seems like my blog became sort of dormant 10 days ago. Reason? I got caught up in Elder Scrolls Online. On Tuesday evening I started playing again and continued all day on Wednesday. On Wednesday I got to talking to another user there and since then we've been playing together practically every day. I took a break of two days yesterday and the day before that.

My main is now veteran rank 11 (the cap is on VT14). I've been through all of Aldmeri Dominion where I started, all of Ebonheart Pact, all of Daggerfall Covenant and a big part of the PvE elements in Cyrodiil. I just started going to Craglorn. I really enjoyed the Ebonheart Pact - it was so nostalgic going through Morrowind and Skyrim. Although Mournhold didn't look anything like it did in Tribunal DLC, and neither Riften nor Windhelm looked anything like they do in Skyrim. But the general landscape was the same. I'm so glad they didn't have any cliff racers in the Morrowind zones though xD I hate those things!
It's also been nostalgic running around and questing in Cyrodiil. I feel kind of sorry for Bruma. In Oblivion that city is the site for the largest Oblivion gate of the Oblivion crisis; in ESO the city is the site for its own private Anchor. I remember that Cheydinhal was my favourite town in Oblivion, and I was so disappointed to find out in ESO that it looked nothing like in Oblivion. They really should make the towns more similar :( High Rock was easily the most boring region to run around in, but for some reason I really liked Hammerfell. Alik'r Desert was amazing. Lots of sand and sad stories. I didn't like Shadowfen as much as I thought I would, but I've adored every single region of Aldmeri Dominion. Both Summerset Isles and Valenwood are absolutely breath-taking and the little we get to see of Elsweyr is amazing. Elsweyr is also the place for the most depressing quest line in the entire game. I felt like crying when I finished it.
 1). Summerset Isles: Auridon. 2). Valenwood: Greenshade. 3). Elsweyr: Reaper's March. 4). Hammerfell: Alik'r Desert.
What I don't like about the endgame content is that it's largely group based. There's barely anything I can do alone nowadays. Everything in Craglorn is group based and you can't very well manage alone in Cyrodiil either. I wish for more solo content in a coming patch or DLC. Because the trouble of finding a complete group was the reason why I postponed all the group dungeons in the solo regions until I could basically solo all of them. (Although I did get some help form my new friend.) That is no longer an option. I can't postpone group moments, because that's all I have left. And that was the reason why I decided to take a short break.

During this short break I caught up on my studying. (I'm doing a single part-time evening course in contemporary Swedish at the university of Stockholm), and caught up a bit on my backlog of games. I started out with Banished. I played that before and when I quit that last time it was going really well for my settlement. I continued with the same town and it kept going really well. Until I passed the 300 mark. By then I had about 250 adults, 60 students, and 40 children. The food levels that had previously stayed at a comfortable 29,000, suddenly dropped to 8,000, I built two more Gatherer's, two more Hunter's, one more Fishing, and three more crop fields. Still the food levels dropped to 500 and then the people started dying like flies. In just a few minutes my town had gone from well over 300 to 98 adults, 20 students and 20 children. By then, while I had frantically tried to save the situation by re-allocating workers and making sure every resource and occupation stayed covered and still tried to build more food sources, I had run out of iron, coal, and firewood. People started complaining of being cold as well as still hungry and then I started running out of tools because I had no iron. I watched my town die and then decided I was done with Banished.

Afterwards I started up Neil Gaiman's computer game Wayward Manor. It's a point-and-click, which I tend to like, and the art of the game felt like a cartoonish Tim Burton style. It was made even better when I started it up and realised that it was Gaiman himself who narrated every cutscene. The game consisted of 6 chapters and every chapter of 5 parts. The novelty of the game quickly wore off after completing the second chapter and from then on it got mostly boring until chapter 6 came around and the whole motive of the game suddenly changed. The last chapter was a bit more exciting and fun, but overall I felt disappointed once I had completed the game. The story was fun and simple yet deep, like all Gaiman's stories. I loved the art, the style, the narrative, and yet the gameplay didn't deliver.

So instead of going through the game again, trying to win all the achievements like I usually do with point-and-click I closed it down and turned to Shadowrun Returns instead. I had almost finished this game when I played it before, but I couldn't manage the final boss. I still couldn't. So instead I started looking at fanmade stories from the Steam workshop. I found a few and had some fun with them. I really enjoy the style and gameplay of Shadowrun Returns, I just wish there was more than one in-game campaign. I might replay the whole thing at some point, because I really don't feel done with it.

That's basically all I've been up to since the last post. I have been doing boring stuff like applying for jobs as well (and hoping for the best), and some other fun stuff like new episodes of Doctor Who, America's Next Top Model, Downton Abbey, and Big Bang Theory.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Swedish electoral results 2014

Yesterday it was time for the Swedish elections. It was an unusually exciting election and a lot of feelings were involved. I stayed up and watched the night watch party on TV and followed the vote count.

Like I had come to expect the sitting government wasn't reelected. But that provided no means of security. We now have a Labour party who won the election without getting a victory. The Labour party got 31% and was thus the biggest party, but they won't be able to form a government without teaming up with other parties. They have already announced that they will cooperate with the Green Party, but they only got a baffling 6,8% and anything less than 40% togerther is going to make for a very hard-pressed government. The Labour party leader has already shot down any cooperation with the Left party and it seems like he's hoping to work with either the Liberal party or the Agricultural party, or both. I'm not sure either of them will be willing since they were both part of the past coalition government and I'm not sure their loyalty to the right wing side can be so easily persuaded to shift to the left wing side. Either way I'm happy that the socialist side won.

Even if the government refuses to be formed with these results and a re-election is announced I don't think it will work to the right wing parties' benefit. The leader of the biggest right wing party and the last prime minister announced his departure from the party last night when it was becoming evident that they had lost the election. Without him, the right wing parties won't be able to get as much trust from the people and I think that in the event of a re-election Labour might just get more votes. Either way we get a socialist government.

I learned more clearly than ever yesterday that people are never happy. For the past year people's trust in the sitting government has dwindled and a lot of the focus was on everything bad the sitting government has done and what they couldn't manage. Now when it has become clear that we get a new government they all talk about what a shame it is to lose such a good government that the sitting one was. This right wing coalition government has been sitting since the elections 2006. They were the sitting government when I started getting interested in politics. They were the sitting government when I became an adult and their influence on my everyday life became obvious. I'm not happy about them. I'm not convinced that a socialist government will be better, but I couldn't cope with the right wing one.
As soon as you're born they make you feel small, by giving you no time instead of it all. 'Til the pain is so big you feel nothing at all. A working class hero is something to be (2x). They hurt you at home and they hit you at school. They hate if you're clever and despise a fool. 'Til you're so fuckin crazy you can't follow their rules. A working class hero is something to be (2x). When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years, then they expect you to pick a career. When you can't really function you're so full of fear. A working class hero is something to be (2x). Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV. And you think you're so clever and classless and free. But you're still fuckin peasants as far as I can see. A working class hero is something to be (2x). There's room at the top they're telling you still, but first you must learn to smile as you kill. If you want to be like all the folks on the hill. A working class hero is something to be (6x). If you want to be a hero, well just follow me (2x).

But it wasn't all good news. In the final spurt before the election the Green Party and the Sweden Democrats tried to gain as many votes as possible as they were both aspiring to be Sweden's third largest party. Earlier this year the Green Party had gained over 12% in the European elections and my hopes were high. Their hopes were high. Instead the Sweden Democrats gained an appalling 13% while the Green Party only got 6,8%.

This doesn't mean that 13% of the Swedish populace are racists. While I seriously don't agree with the Sweden Democrats I also don't agree with the other parties' resolute stubbornness to shut the Sweden Democrats out, don't work with them, and continuously trying to undermine them.

I don't know about the rest of the Swedes but I live in a democracy. In a democracy freedom of speech, opinion and choice are important things. The Sweden Democrats have just as much right to express their opinion as all the other parties. They have just as much right to take up as much space as the other parties. Everyone has the right to express their opinion, no one is forcing you to agree with them or even to listen to them. So this childish business of ignoring the Sweden Democrats and hoping the problem will go away on its own is something I definitely can't stand.
All the Swedish parties seem to want to continue down the path of ignoring the Sweden Democrats, despite their position as the third largest party in the country. The 87% of the populace who didn't vote for the Sweden Democrats seem resolute to continue screaming "YOU'RE WRONG!", covering their ears and refusing to hear them out.

People vote for the Sweden Democrats because they are disappointed in the other parties way to deal with immigration, crime and health care. They vote for a sort of extremist party like the Sweden Democrats because the other parties can't seem to express their politics clearly. They've become indistinguisable and are all mashed together in the middle with variations so subtle it doesn't even matter. I did not vote for the Sweden Democrats, but I know why people do. Because they're disappointed. It's a way of showing civil disobedience, it's a way of showing the politicians who don't seem to listen that we're not happy and we want a change.

And this country needs to realise that the way to deal with the Sweden Democrats isn't to ignore them, it's to include them. Meet them and include them. If they're included people will notice that other parties are trying to deal with the issue and the problem, and when they do the influence of the Sweden Democrats will wane and they'll start losing followers to other parties. I don't agree with the Sweden Democrats' politics, but if no one meets them and no once includes them then there's also no distinguished voice that tells you they're wrong. To yell at them like children doesn't work. To ignore them like sulking teenagers doesn't work. Take up the debate. Listen to them. No one is forcing you to agree with them just because you listen. It's about knowing your enemy. Know your enemy. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. And this goes for all the European countries, who in this year's EU elections got an extremist nationalist party in their part of the parliament.

That's all I have to say:
Happy about the socialist trend.
Disappointed in people's inability to include everyone.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Nerd Pride

Recently I've been adding people from my old primary school on Facebook. Because I have this thing where I hope that maybe people have changed and matured over the past 8 years since I last saw them. So this post is dedicated to them mostly, but anyone can read it.

From growing up always feeling the negativity of being weird and never fitting in. I now revel in the feeling of being unique. And who am I in my uniqueness?
I've been a nerd for longer than I've known it. When I was 7 I fell in love with Pokémon and then Harry Potter. Then it escalated into practically anything related to Japan and fantasy, with a bit of sci-fi on the side. You see all those words in my profile on the left? Let me explain them to the uninitiated. 

Rocker. I love hard rock and heavy metal. I've cried, screamed my throat out and almost thrown my back in concerts, and if I ever got the change to meet any of my favourite groups/artists this is probably what I would do (fitting since it's Alice Cooper in the strip):
Gamer. It means I love games. Computer games. I'm very much on the PC master race side. Not because of specs, but because console just feels... wrong. It means I can cry my eyes out to a great story (like The Walking Dead), get scared shitless and have nightmares (like Slender), or all out geek out on the lore and learn everything there is to learn about a world that isn't even real (like the Elder Scrolls series). It means I buy merch and books to do with games. It means I get inordinately excited about games by companies I know or in series I follow. 
Linguaphile. This basically means that I love languages. I love learning new ones and I love to discover how languages fit together and what makes them tic. You know the thing mechanics do with machines? Pull them apart to find out how they fit together? I love doing that with languages. I currently know Swedish, English, French and Japanese. I understand Danish and Norwegian. I'm working on Spanish and Korean. I want to know Mandarin, Russian and Arabic. It also means I own books like History of Languages, The Languages of Japan, and French Grammar and find them extremely interesting.
Japanophile. I love Japan. The culture. The people. Basically everything except their outdated view on women and homosexuals. Japanse commercials are amazing. Japanese TV is amazing. The history is interesting and so different. The approach of anything is different to what I know from here. I love manga and anime (although not as much as a few years back). But this means I can excitedly talk about that latest episode of manga with people and be *omg feels (T_T) I can't even* with other manga/anime/dorama lovers.
Sherlocked. This means I'm mostly pissed at the TV series for only giving us three episodes every two years. It means that I'm super hyper excited before every episode and basically bawling my eyes out at the end. Or jumping up and down on the sofa in at the end. Depending on how the episode goes.
Potterhead. Well, it shouldn't be too hard to figure this one out. I love Harry Potter. Harry Potter has shaped my life and who I am. This means I can be extraordinarily tempered when arguing about the movies. It means I can be strangely excited when reading the books again, although I've already read them all more times than I have fingers. It means that every time I visit a place like Warner Bros Studio Tour or The Exhibition I can be like this:
Whovian. I love Doctor Who. The TV series. The TV series that's 27 years older than me. The TV series that keeps on amazing me and bringing out #tehfeels. Second, Tenth and Twelfth are my Doctors. Haven't finished Classic yet so I might get one or two more to my list :) I own a talking mini-Dalek and a copy of Tenth's sonic. Because I'm awesome :) Being a whovian means I've been on the edge of my seat since the regeneration last December waiting for the new season to start this August. Excruciating wait!
H!P Wota. This is probably the most unknown one. This means I'm a nerd for Hello! Project. Hello! Project is a Japanese music agency that hosts (among others) Morning Musume, C-ute and Berryz Koubou. I've been in this fandom since 2006 and so much has changed since then. But most of my love still belongs with the OGs. This means I can have a brand new music video on repeat a whole day. Especially if it's a new MoMusu song. This means I can curse my bad luck of living in Scandinavia and not in the UK or France to where Japanese groups travel most often. It also means I probably spent too many yen on photos of my favourites back when I was in Tokyo and discovered the Hello! Project Store in Shibuya. Current favourite girls? Kudo Haruka and Oda Sakura. Past favourite girls? Nakazawa Yuko, Yaguchi Mari and Tanaka Reina. 
I can watch entire seasons of TV series in a few days and absolutely love it all the way through. This results in my list of TV shows I'm watching being ridiculously long. I love anything with dinosaurs, because dinosaurs are awesome. It means that I can stay for hours in a book shop, but only visits cosmetics or clothes shops for about 10 minutes. I love books. Books are amazing. I clean out my shelves every few years and still they always seem to become full again... Can't figure out why ;) It means I get ridiculously excited about seeing all the "back to school" stationary in shops in August, although school like that ended for me 8 years ago. 

Basically I'm a geek and this is what geeks do:
And to all of you nerds out there: be proud!
Being a geek means that I can have a teddy bear with a Konoha head band, a pygmy puff, a statue of Molag Bal and a tiny figurine of Charmander in the same room, and not find it strange. And you know what? It's the fact that ordinary people find it strange that makes it so much more enjoyable to be what I am: a nerd. 

But you know the best part of being a nerd? It's when you find other nerds and can share the expectations, the disappointments and the feels with someone else. That's when us misfits who've never really fitted in anywhere in our lives suddenly feel like we belong somewhere. This is why I have the Swedish community Mugglarportalen. It's dedicated to Harry Potter, but I spend every day on there and I talk about everything but Harry Potter to other nerds. We're all nerds there.

Come join the nerd side.
We have Doctor Who.
And wands. 
I'm a Slytherclaw. What about it?