Monday Meeting 4/19

The Orange Years, Virtua Fighter, Pandemic Fatigue, Berserk, and archaic POV’s of mental illness. 

  1. I watched the Nickelodeon documentary The Orange Years on Hulu. Highly recommend it if you grew up in the 90’s like I did. That network was really doing some groundbreaking things in that era, and you can see why when they explain what their strategy was with appealing to kids about the ridiculous expectations children have in the American society. Truly a must watch, and super nostalgic for me. My parents didn’t have cable until I got older, but my grandparents did and they lived about six blocks away from me. Every day during the summer I would bike down there and watch Nickelodeon. I loved all the shows, except Hey Dude. For some reason I couldn’t get into that one. Are You Afraid of the Dark unsurprisingly had a profound effect on me. Currently I’m watching Rugrats with my own children right now. The amount of Nickelodeon I ingested between 4th and 8th grade was intense. A lot of the shows resonated with me because it explored darker subjects that were actually honest about the complexity of being a kid and growing up. It turns out that was Nickelodeon’s plans all along. I’ll probably talk about this again in the future, I have a thousand memories that can be explored about it. The Orange Years, check it out on Hulu. Really fascinating. 
  2. I completely stopped watching Virtua Fighter on Amazon Prime. I just couldn’t do it. It. Was. BAD. I thought I might be able to force my way through it so I could warn everyone on here not to watch it after digesting their full inventory. Couldn’t do it. Every single anime, martial arts, and fighting game stereotype was painfully showcased in this television series in the most boring ways possible. The characters were simplistic, unexciting, and predictable. I thought the classic 90’s animation, the cheesy synthesizer tones, and semi-80’s rock ballads might get me past the complete and utter lack of character development, but that didn’t happen. I’m excited to cleanse my palate with something else this week. If you decided to check out Virtua Fighter because of my hyperbole, go for it, but you’re officially a masochist if you do.
  3. Pandemic fatigue is a real thing. Even though we’re getting vaccinated and whatnot, the urge to return to our “normal” lives is magnetic. I don’t think that’ll exist again as we saw it. Like with any trauma, it is sort of difficult to head back to things before it happened (if not impossible, but I’m not a therapist or anything), but what we can learn is how to recognize the damage and to control how it might dictate our lives. The amount of people who valued personal freedoms over the collective well-being of others is staggering. No doubt we’re still very much a divided country, and this pandemic has showcased this schism. I don’t think the US is without hope, but there is a fair amount of turbulence ahead in the coming decades. In many ways the crisis has showcased a ton of good things in people, but there seems to be two sides to that coin. I’m sort of rambling right now, but my initial point is there is no normal to return to. You cannot pretend that COVID doesn’t exist. It makes me sick to think about, but there is no going back to the way things were.
  4. Berserk. What a story that one is. There is no way I could focus on just one monster from that one without writing a freaking dissertation on it. I watched a video on YouTube that was two hours long and recapped everything that had happened in the manga. I had no idea how many arcs there were and how many tragedies. Of course, the dark and grim aura of that story reminds me so much of Game of Thrones, where the universe they exist in is absolute shit and there is no hope anywhere. The monster in Berserk might actually be the world itself. The brutality of existing in a world where life has no value. In both epics the characters are actively trying to make the world a better place by driving out evil forces, which both happen to be a strange mix of magic-made vs human-made. I always find it interesting when a story has the universe itself as the monster or antagonist. 
  5. I’m not thinking too crafty here this weekend. My thoughts are sort of floating to my family drama. My wife needs surgery, my work has a full on COVID outbreak, and I have to take a bunch of unpaid time off to deal with it all. I just have other things on my mind. One thought that sort of sprang up as I was writing this musing was the concept where employers are like: “When you come to work, you can leave all your problems at the door and just focus on work. Don’t bring in any baggage.” What sort of unrealistic farce is this? It makes it sound like we all are supposed to have some sort of superhuman emotional control. It’s like we’re robots who can just turn off feelings with a simple switch? How unrealistic and idiotic is that? Everyone has emotional baggage. There is a mental health crisis in this country and this antique method of ‘dealing’ with it is one of the reasons why it is happening. Dismissing, pushing aside, or toughening up through trauma is causing devastating echoes across our country. Also, it is not like work doesn’t cause emotional issues either.

Jottings:

  • If you haven’t started reading the Greenland Diaries or anything, I’m posting the entire first 100 days every Thursday, which will probably take a few years. Enjoy
  • I just realized they made Mario, Zelda, Chrono Trigger, FF7 and Street Fighter Stickers. Yup. They are also dirt cheap on Amazon. Life is good. 
  • Anyone else on social media figured out the perfect equation for dealing with friends on Facebook who spout hateful rhetoric? I might mention this in my next musings, but let me know your thoughts. Ugh. 
  • I went through a weird thing with my text tones on my phone. I had a Tie Fighter fly by sound. Then I went to these diabolical organ tones reminiscent of Dracula. Now I switched to something glittery and light, because life is stressful enough with your text tones making you feel stressed out. 
  • I could watch Gravity Falls over and over again. What a great series. Animations have just become too good. I love it.
  • Progress is going good on Greenland Diaries: Days 261 – ?. It’ll be done by the fall for September release. 
  • Thank you all for reading my writing and supporting me. Have a great and healthy weekend. 

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