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Elizabeth II - She Was Britain:
9th September 2022

A day many have long feared is now behind us: Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, died yesterday at the age of 96, after having served as the monarch of Britain and the Commonwealth for seven decades, longer than any other monarch in British history (maybe even world history if we don't count the regency years of France's King Louis XIV). As such, the Queen's reign has seen great leaps and bounds abroad and especially at home, as it transitioned away from being a traditional nation which served as the seat to a vast and ruthless empire, to a modern and vibrant country still maintaining a strong, but less-confrontational role (for the most part) on the world stage. When her reign began, only a select few had access to a television in Britain, the nation was still recovering from the Second World War (rationing was still performed for certain foodstuffs), and much of its population was largely culturally and ethnically homogenous. Today, almost all of the British public holds immediate access to outside connections through the internet, our country is one of the centres of the financial, political and cultural world, and the UK has been celebrated for its diversity and multiculturalism. Throughout all these changes, all these phases in the creation of today's Britain, the Queen remained a constant throughout, representing a new country, and a new and risky, yet exciting, world throughout much of the 20th and early 21st Centuries.

My family first moved to Britain from Ireland during the first couple decades of her reign, as did many other people from the former empire, something which would continue throughout the remainder of her age as Queen. My parents never knew another monarch, and my surviving grandmother was still a child when the previous King, George VI, died in 1952. This can reflect the memories of the majority of Britons, as well as those around the world who also admired her leadership. After ruling the country for so long, she effectively became synonymous with it. When people think of the UK, many would quickly also think "That's the place with the Queen, right?". That's why I chose the message "She Was Britain" to go with this image, because she was effectively a part of the country: The institutions bore her title of "Her Majesty", her name was invoked in every international sporting event, and she remained as the centrepiece in all drama and discussion surrounding Britain's first family, in an increasingly tabloid-ised media-scape.

Her loss brings about the loss of one of the last remaining connections to a simpler bygone era, and the beginning of the reign of her son, Charles III, brings about large shockwaves and uncertainties for both British society and the world stage. It's my belief that much of Britain has supported the continued existence of the monarchy because of how legendary of a figure the Queen was. But now that her son, who has long been subject to controversy and has already received calls to give up the throne in favour of his own, more popular son, has ascended to the throne, it seems unlikely that the Royal Family can continue to ride on the goodwill offered in the times of Elizabeth. The Queen herself had already been challenged by harsh criticism and calls to abdicate during certain points of her reign, most notably during the week following Princess Diana's death, so it seems likely that these criticisms towards what many regard as an archaic system will only continue, during the reign of Diana's ex-husband. Only time will tell which direction the country will go in now that its foundations have been rocked to the core.

Regardless of the country's future and people's personal thoughts on the monarchy, the moment it was announced that the Queen had departed at Balmoral was a sombre moment for everyone around the country, and for some, like myself, it may have also been a little shocking, both because of how quickly it seemed to happen, but also because of how her mother and husband were able to hold on for a little longer than she was able to. I suppose the pressures of ruling a country and losing those close to you may be a bit tougher on one's physical and mental wellbeing. But just after the Queen's death was announced, there was this image on the news footage, of Windsor Castle with a rainbow just behind it, an image that felt remarkably poignant given the circumstances, so much so that one of my brothers joked that it was almost like the British government was in control of the weather, because it worked so well that you'd rarely see something like it outside of North Korean propaganda. Given how badly it was raining this evening, he might've been on to something.

The instantly iconic nature of the phenomenon made it work really well for this image here. I knew I had to do something in celebration of Her Majesty, so I've spent the best part of a day putting together this picture. I was in the middle of some other projects, and it is a bit rough around the edges (the shading and the Queen's eyes could've been better I suppose), but I really like how I managed to compose everything together in the way I wanted. A couple little details I felt were worth bringing up would be the appearance of the Royal Standard atop the castle, as opposed to the half-mast Union Flag in real life, which I added to show that the Queen is still here with us, in terms of our country's spirit, as well as the choice of colours for the text at the top of the image, which were intended to reflect the colours for the flags of England, Scotland and Wales, her home territories in the three words (If you want, the red and white letters in "Britain" could represent Northern Ireland too). Though of course, the impact of her reign did not stop at Britain. Whilst it was her home first and foremost, she is still a key part of political life and society in the many realms of the Commonwealth, with each of its member states being touched by her influence, as indeed were other nations outside of the Commonwealth. Though officially she represented a declining number of countries on the world stage as her long rule went by, she will still be fondly remembered across the world for years, decades, and perhaps even centuries to come. May she rest in peace.

God save the Queen.

What I did on my summer holiday:
30th July 2022
So I haven't really been doing much on this website these past few months, so I figured I might as well talk about something relatively interesting that happened recently. So a couple days ago, I came back from a week and a half-long holiday in Bodrum, Turkey. Besides finally being the first trip away from Britain in a couple of years, it's also the first time I've stepped foot in Asia, though the country isn't really that dissimilar from countries in Mediterranean Europe that I'm more familiar with, like Spain (and only Spain since I haven't really been to another Mediterranean country since I was like 4). The city is a popular destination in the country for both international tourists, and especially for Turkey's citizens, travelling down from the big cities of Istanbul and Ankara for a nice summer retreat, as was the case for some members of my extended family, who hail from the country (they're in-laws, in case you're confused because of my last post), which was part of the reason why we chose to go there this year (the other being that the country had less travel restrictions compared to Spain this year).

So that's the background out of the way, now what about the city itself? Well, despite its influx of both national and international tourists, Bodrum definitely feels very much like a traditional Turkish/Mediterannean city, with everything all crammed into one neat easily-walkable package; minerets dotted around town reciting the five daily prayers, images of the country's treasured founder, Kemal Ataturk, were emblazoned within businesses throughout the area, and much of the shops and restaurants have a very home-grown and traditional feel to them (complete with intrusive merchants who greet your British ass with a friendly 'Awroight mate!'). One of these local restaurants that I'd really like to recommend is one that's a bit off the beaten path, and was one our family only heard about through another recommendation by a fellow hotel guest: This would be the "Curly's Demeter" bar and restaurant, mainly because of its atmosphere. The guy running the place is a really outgoing dude, and the staff really feel like they're part of a family (they even have a pet dog hanging around!), with these guys really feeling like they want to be your friends, helped especially by the attention many of the customers are given since the business is also pretty quiet. For example, my brothers were looking to watch an F1 race, so the boss switched the TV over for us, and when we wanted to see the Gaelic Football final later on, not only did he switch it over again, but he even had access to foreign channels that were actually playing it too. In addition to the bar and restaurant, the place also had its own pool, available for free to anyone looking to hang around (though they aren't shy about offering drinks while you're there). The pool's pretty vast and generally quiet compared to what we had back at the hotel.

Speaking of which, the hotel we travelled to, Hotel Istankoy, was definitely a pretty interesting place to stay around. The experience was hit-or-miss, though there were definitely more hits than misses, though one example of the latter would definitely be the quality of the wi-fi, which isn't really the fastest thing in the world, and while this isn't really unexpected or much of a problem given the country's general online infrastructure, the main problem lies in how inconsistent it is, occasionally failing, reconnecting and then failing again when doing something as simple as loading a webpage. The hotel is also a bit too dense, with much of the seats' placement resulting in many cases where family mealtimes were within the "splash zone" of a pool filled with rowdy kids (though to be fair, there's a separate indoor restaurant area that my family seldom used outside of breakfast, so maybe that problem's on us). But those obviously aren't the only things worth talking about regarding the hotel. While the wi-fi's not much to write home about, the quality of the rooms themselves, as well as the room service, was top notch, perfectly organising the beds and restocking all the toiletries me and my brothers needed on a daily basis (they were sometimes even pretty generous with how much they gave us). There's also plenty of things going on around the hotel, which in addition to having the aforementioned pool, also has quite a few events taking place at night, like a performance by a street dance troupe on one night, as well as a skilled juggler on another, and even a pretty intense bingo night too! The hotel's also right slap-bang in the middle of Bodrum, so if the events or the food don't take your fancy, then you're just a stone's-throw away from nearby amenities. Its central location also results in the hotel offering living space to many stray cats in the area, who make good company throughout your stay. Just try and stop them from entering your room, 'cause if they get in then it can be tough to get them out without getting scratched.

So, what about those things you can do in Bodrum? Well, one thing you can do is indulge in local history by visiting the local castle, built over 500 years ago by the Knights of Saint John, back when they were primarily located on the Greek island of Rhodes (which is also only a 2-hour boat ride from Bodrum if you're interested), partially using remains from the destroyed Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. There's also the ancient theatre, though I never really got around to checking it out. If historical landmarks are a bit slow for you, then there's also plenty of watersport activities to get yourself involved in, like scuba diving for example, which I ended up doing for the first time. It was bloody terrifying, and it felt really weird trying to breathe whilst stopping myself from getting salt water in my mouth, but at least it's something to tick off the bucket list! There's also a few things to do on dry land if stuff like scuba diving is a bit too intense. For example, there's this really nice waterpark, Aquapark Bodrum, not too far from the centre of the city, and it's got tons of exhilirating waterslides to experience. I might even put it above the water park that I frequented in Spain, since there's a larger choice of slides, far smaller queues because the place wasn't too busy, and it was also far cheaper too. In fact, everything seems cheaper in Bodrum compared to what I'm used to. Impressive steaks that usually cost around £20 often go for around the equivalent of £12. There was even this nice gaming cafe, named "Safe Zone", which offered hundreds of games at the cost of just 10 Lira per hour; that's about 50p for a whole hour! Meanwhile, many British offerings cost around ten-times that amount. Though something that might be a bit more costly, but still a fairly decent experience would be that of a quadbiking trail a fair bit out of town. While it's not as intense as a racetrack, and they seem to have a policy of "bring your own bandanas" as they're not included in the price, it's still worth experiencing the rocky terrain of the Turkish countryside, as you get pummeled by large swarms of dust and fumes from your fellow riders, even if it's not exactly a Sega Rally Championship.

Overall, I had a pretty pleasant experience on my visit to the south coast of Anatolia. Whilst I guess I'd prefer Spain because it's closer and I'm more familiar with it (and also because it doesn't cost a small fortune to use your mobile data!), I would definitely be up for a return to the old city in the future. If I were to rank my experiences in Turkey based on the world map featured on my "About" page, I might label it as "Like", though if go again and grow more accustomed to the environment, then it could very easily be ranked in the "Love" category. As for where I might travel in the future, I'll hopefully be travelling to Berlin around Easter of next year, after years of it being pushed back due to the thing that you've probably heard of, and I might travel to my home-from-home of Minnesota for a wedding next summer (CDC-willing). The world's re-opening slowly but surely, and unless another pandemic is thrown at us, or martial law is declared, or the world ends or whatever, then it will continue to do so. And I can't bloody wait!

Oh, and here's a couple decent holiday pics I managed to take during my time away from this island:

Elizabeth II - She Was Britain:
9th September 2022

A day many have long feared is now behind us: Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, died yesterday at the age of 96, after having served as the monarch of Britain and the Commonwealth for seven decades, longer than any other monarch in British history (maybe even world history if we don't count the regency years of France's King Louis XIV). As such, the Queen's reign has seen great leaps and bounds abroad and especially at home, as it transitioned away from being a traditional nation which served as the seat to a vast and ruthless empire, to a modern and vibrant country still maintaining a strong, but less-confrontational role (for the most part) on the world stage. When her reign began, only a select few had access to a television in Britain, the nation was still recovering from the Second World War (rationing was still performed for certain foodstuffs), and much of its population was largely culturally and ethnically homogenous. Today, almost all of the British public holds immediate access to outside connections through the internet, our country is one of the centres of the financial, political and cultural world, and the UK has been celebrated for its diversity and multiculturalism. Throughout all these changes, all these phases in the creation of today's Britain, the Queen remained a constant throughout, representing a new country, and a new and risky, yet exciting, world throughout much of the 20th and early 21st Centuries.

My family first moved to Britain from Ireland during the first couple decades of her reign, as did many other people from the former empire, something which would continue throughout the remainder of her age as Queen. My parents never knew another monarch, and my surviving grandmother was still a child when the previous King, George VI, died in 1952. This can reflect the memories of the majority of Britons, as well as those around the world who also admired her leadership. After ruling the country for so long, she effectively became synonymous with it. When people think of the UK, many would quickly also think "That's the place with the Queen, right?". That's why I chose the message "She Was Britain" to go with this image, because she was effectively a part of the country: The institutions bore her title of "Her Majesty", her name was invoked in every international sporting event, and she remained as the centrepiece in all drama and discussion surrounding Britain's first family, in an increasingly tabloid-ised media-scape.

Her loss brings about the loss of one of the last remaining connections to a simpler bygone era, and the beginning of the reign of her son, Charles III, brings about large shockwaves and uncertainties for both British society and the world stage. It's my belief that much of Britain has supported the continued existence of the monarchy because of how legendary of a figure the Queen was. But now that her son, who has long been subject to controversy and has already received calls to give up the throne in favour of his own, more popular son, has ascended to the throne, it seems unlikely that the Royal Family can continue to ride on the goodwill offered in the times of Elizabeth. The Queen herself had already been challenged by harsh criticism and calls to abdicate during certain points of her reign, most notably during the week following Princess Diana's death, so it seems likely that these criticisms towards what many regard as an archaic system will only continue, during the reign of Diana's ex-husband. Only time will tell which direction the country will go in now that its foundations have been rocked to the core.

Regardless of the country's future and people's personal thoughts on the monarchy, the moment it was announced that the Queen had departed at Balmoral was a sombre moment for everyone around the country, and for some, like myself, it may have also been a little shocking, both because of how quickly it seemed to happen, but also because of how her mother and husband were able to hold on for a little longer than she was able to. I suppose the pressures of ruling a country and losing those close to you may be a bit tougher on one's physical and mental wellbeing. But just after the Queen's death was announced, there was this image on the news footage, of Windsor Castle with a rainbow just behind it, an image that felt remarkably poignant given the circumstances, so much so that one of my brothers joked that it was almost like the British government was in control of the weather, because it worked so well that you'd rarely see something like it outside of North Korean propaganda. Given how badly it was raining this evening, he might've been on to something.

The instantly iconic nature of the phenomenon made it work really well for this image here. I knew I had to do something in celebration of Her Majesty, so I've spent the best part of a day putting together this picture. I was in the middle of some other projects, and it is a bit rough around the edges (the shading and the Queen's eyes could've been better I suppose), but I really like how I managed to compose everything together in the way I wanted. A couple little details I felt were worth bringing up would be the appearance of the Royal Standard atop the castle, as opposed to the half-mast Union Flag in real life, which I added to show that the Queen is still here with us, in terms of our country's spirit, as well as the choice of colours for the text at the top of the image, which were intended to reflect the colours for the flags of England, Scotland and Wales, her home territories in the three words (If you want, the red and white letters in "Britain" could represent Northern Ireland too). Though of course, the impact of her reign did not stop at Britain. Whilst it was her home first and foremost, she is still a key part of political life and society in the many realms of the Commonwealth, with each of its member states being touched by her influence, as indeed were other nations outside of the Commonwealth. Though officially she represented a declining number of countries on the world stage as her long rule went by, she will still be fondly remembered across the world for years, decades, and perhaps even centuries to come. May she rest in peace.

God save the Queen.

Being Irish:
17th March 2022
Happy St. Paddy's Day, ladies and gentle-ladies! Though this holiday has definitely become a bit too commercialised nowadays, I suppose it can also function as a decent opportunity to look back on the family histories of people like myself. Now, whilst I was born and raised in Britain, as were my parents, all of my grandparents hail from the Emerald Isle (though since one is from Northern Ireland, that could be classed as a bit more ambiguous, depending on who you ask). Despite this though, many of my links with "the old country" are quite limited compared to that of many Indian, Pakistani and Afro-Caribbean Brits that I'm aware of. I suppose I'm basically assimilated into British society, and only really bring up my Irish-ness on rare occasions like now, kinda like how I imagine many Italian, German or even Irish-Americans connect with their pasts (I might be over-generalising about such large groups of people, so your understanding might be much better than mine). I guess the main reason behind this would probably be that many of my familial ties to Ireland, with the exception of my paternal grandmother, have passed on, with my great uncle (on my mother's side) dying last November in his 90s, which I suppose would immediately create much more of a disconnect from people who were second-generation immigrants, like my parents, and grew up with both their local culture, as well as the culture of their parents. I've also rarely visited the country to connect with this side of my family, especially compared to my parents (though bear in mind those trips to Ireland were probably all they could afford for foreign holidays back then), with the most recent time being for the 50th birthday of one of my uncles, almost seven years ago.

I suppose another, more contentious reason would be that I may be more similar to the majority of people in Britain, in terms of how I look, and by extension I've been much less susceptible to prejudice and discrimination to need my old culture and community as a group to find solace in. This wasn't always the case, the phrase "No dogs, no blacks, no Irish" comes to mind with my grandmother's generation, and my Dad, growing up as an Irish-descended Catholic during The Troubles, would occasionally be subjected to people harassing him and calling him a "terrorist", which I suppose could reflect the discrimination felt nowadays by many Arab and South Asian individuals, particularly Muslims, in the age of the so-called "War on Terror" (if we can even count this age as the War on Terror, because much of its mention on the news has long subsided). Since then though, this discrimination has largely diminished, and the closest I've really felt to it came in the form of harmless jokes by juvenile classmates, and that was only really because I made my heritage known to them. I could walk down the street and there would be very little chance of anyone coming up to me and calling me a "mick", a "taig" or a "potato [gamer word]", which unfortunately can't be said for other groups of people. I also feel grateful that, from this age of discrimination, in three generations, my family went from some rural Irish farmers who weren't used to having electricity in their homes, to people who I'd say have firmly placed themselves in a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, and I've certainly gotta thank my grandparents and my parents for helping me get to where I am now.

That isn't to say I've completely given up on the old life my family left behind. I would definitely like to visit the old country again at some point, especially now that there's a golden opportunity since they've got some really lax travel restrictions compared to other nearby countries. But, I suppose the rest of my family would much rather prefer that we go somewhere warm this summer, especially since we've spent far more of our time in rainy England than we're used to, so maybe not for now, but hopefully at some point soon. Suppose there's also a bit of culture I can indulge in to reflect on my roots, like the song "Thousands Are Sailing", (or a fair few other songs) by The Pogues. Now, I know that The Pogues aren't actually an Irish band, just British people of Irish descent (if this is news to you then don't worry; I was kinda shocked myself), but the composition of this song in particular really reflects the journeys and experiences many Irish people who made their lives in America, which I suppose can mirror the experience my grandparents felt of coming to the place many immigrants from the Empire called the "Mother Country", even if it was a much later era than what the song portrayed. I'd also really like to check out "Wolfwalkers" someday, largely because I've heard pretty good things about it through the grapevine, and I suppose I like to consider it, at least fairly ironically, as like the Irish "Black Panther", with its focus on both Celtic mythology and the nation's history of repression under people such as Cromwell. Still though, I guess it might be a while before I decide to fork money over for a DVD, but I'll definitely be up for it someday. So then, I hope you enjoy today, and I hope that one day many of you out there will be able to celebrate your culture like I do today: Not out of a need to find solace within an environment that shuns you for your perceived differences, but rather as a fun thing to look back on with fondness, in celebration of those who came before you.

Twenty:
13th January 2022
So here I am. The big Two-O. No "teen" suffix to make me feel like I'm still a teenager; I'm now a straight-up adult, who should be out doing adult things. But still, I don't really feel much of a change at all. Yeah, I know; obviously that'll happen because it's only been a day since I was 19, but I mean I don't really feel like I've changed much since I was like 15. There were things I've wanted to do, people I wanted to see, places I wanted to go, but ever since that bug walked out of that lab, everything else has ground to a halt. I still can't drive a car (not legally at least; I've had almost three years-worth of lessons), my social skills are still pretty lacking (but kinda getting better) and I'm trapped on this island because of all these restrictions, when I could be out travelling. Most of all though, I seem to have very little drive towards making stuff. I guess I'm just kinda shy and shoving my face in front of a camera, like I planned to do after my A-Levels, isn't really my strong point, and I've been thinking of making a couple videos here and there but my plans of doing all these big bombastic online works seem to have fallen to the wayside. I suppose I do need to get some people together to help create something big, especially if I want to have a future in media, but then again, I'm not exactly good with people. I'm planning on doing this placement for university, so maybe that might help get my foot in the door, but so far it's been a really long and tedious process. Still, I'm starting to get involved with using the equipment at uni and might get something together soon, so baby steps I guess.

So then, where do I see myself by thirty? Ideally married, getting deeper into my career, living in my own house, and maybe even having a kid. Is that all unrealistic? Yeah, probably. And not just in a whole "not in this economy" kind of way, but also because I've still got far to go until I can get there. I'm still really co-dependent and can't seem to take responsibility over much at all really, so expecting myself to clean my act up and become a super-successful and dependable guy seems like quite a daunting task. Yeah, it's ten years, and yeah, I'll have many more opportunities to grow my career and relationships in that much time, but I suppose developing those things is like a lifelong process. I've just got to get involved at some point and not end up like Chris-Chan or someone like him by expecting the world around me to bend to my will. Personally, I don't mind not having a massive ring of connections since I've always preferred my own company. Sure, I guess it's nice to be out with the boys, but just one or two life partners (whether they be lads or lasses) is all right. Honestly, I'm kinda rambling at this point, laying out my thoughts as I go along, but the main thing I'm trying to say is that I've gotta be a "good guy", I suppose. I've legally been an adult for two years now, but now I've got to work on actually being one. Going out there, seeing some stuff, making connections, finding someone, settling down and being successful. It's been a little under twenty years since I entered this world on that cold January night, and judging by my relatives, I've got another 60 years ahead of me, so I've definitely gotta realise my hopes and ambitions from now on, and live the best life I can.

(Now watch me go back to sitting on my ass and browsing the internet for another week or so!)

Have you heard of thewoodcutter.com?:
14th December 2021
I don't really want to dedicate this whole page to just doom-and-gloom stuff, so I figured I might as well make this post that I've had on the back-burner for a little while now, involving something strange and obscure I came across a while back on the internet. So about two-to-three years ago (fuck, has it been that long already?), I was browsing this thread on 4chan where some guy asked people to get him something cool while he gets stoned. One example came from somebody who offered this website, with the domain of www.thewoodcutter.com. This was an interactive Flash-based point-and-click affair (I don't know if you can call it a "game", since there's not much interactivity outside of clicking a few things, and there doesn't seem to be any objective), which was created by an artist named Josh Kimberg in 1997, during the early days of the internet and it was probably one of the first examples of Flash being used online prior to its explosion in the 2000s. It's also really weird. Like, super weird, and kinda creepy. I'll try and explain it about as well as I can.

This "experience" (I guess you can call it) takes place on this island, and the main character appears to be this human/furry kind of creature with a log for one hand, and another hand that's most often on fire. You can douse this hand in a lake of piss, but then it catches fire again once it comes into contact with the sun. This guy also has a few different forms, some are more simplified and stylised, while one of them is basically the character's face super-imposed over a tracing of a human body. There's also a bunch of other creatures that you can find around you, including the "Piss Poodle", which pisses from its head when you pinch its tail, making the piss lake I mentioned before. There's also the "Meat Angel", who holds a bucket of chicken drumsticks, and hosts "The Wound", who lives in a wound in her ass, and offers advice on what to do. But much of that advice doesn't really seem that helpful in terms of progressing through the experience, since there's no real beginning or end and all the pages loop back around to one another. So like I mentioned, it's not really meant to function as a game, and is basically just meant to be a strange and unique art project, that was meant to be told through what was then a new method of communication. So, let's just try and go over what this could all mean.

From what little I know about this whole thing, I believe that it has something to do with the idea of playing God, and attempting to accelerate the process of evolution. However, when attempting this, there appear to be situations where this rapid acceleration is prevented from taking place. This can be seen through the prior-mentioned multiple forms the main character takes, as well as his attempts at modifying his appearance, such as dousing his burning hand and chopping off the stump of his log arm, which are ultimately reversed either through later stages of the character's "evolution", or through outside events (e.g. The guy's hand catching fire again from the sun). There's also some imagery relating to Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, a particularly topical topic for the time this thing was created, with a picture of her appearing in the Meat Angel's room, and what I assume is audio from a related news report playing after the guy chops his stump off. Maybe this is suggesting that potential future technologies relating to this experiment, such as human cloning, have shown little practical purpose outside of spectacle according to the artist, hence the whole "going round in circles thing"? Or maybe this theme is mostly related to the grotesque visuals, which could indicate how humans might potentially impact the world around them with this new-found scientific understanding?

In all honesty, I don't really know. I guess I'm kinda grasping at certain points, and maybe this is all just meant to be a weird thing about nothing. Still, who knows? Maybe you could find something more to it than I could. If you want to look for it, though, you probably don't have many options as of now. The website appears to have gone down a little after I found it in 2019, and since Flash is no-longer supported, then you're not gonna be able to navigate it the way it was on the Internet Archive without some kind of Flash emulator browser extension like Ruffle. I figured I'd make the process easier for you though, which is why I uploaded all the .swf files I could find on the Wayback Machine to the Archive at the end of last year, alongside an honestly rather complicated guide on how which file relates to which. This might not be all there is to it, though, since these were only the pages that were archived, and there might have been a few links that I somehow didn't notice when navigating the site via the Wayback Machine. Maybe at some point, I (though probably someone else) might be able to contact Josh Kimberg for a better understanding of the site in the future, but for now, I suppose this is all we have to work off of around this old relic of internet past.

Regarding Lowtax:
11th November 2021
I guess I'm not really involved with discussing the wild life of Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka, but if there's one thing I do know about him, it's what he's left behind following his untimely demise. Lowtax was the man who around 22 years ago created somethingawful.com, which is a name you might not have heard of, especially if you're younger. However, if you've been on the internet long enough, or engaged in internet culture in any capacity, you've probably seen something that came from Something Awful without realising it. The Slender-Man mythos all stemmed from a Photoshop contest on the site. The phrase "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" was first spread around the site around the turn of the millennium. Chris Poole (better known as "moot") first got 4chan off the ground through a following on SA. Let's Plays as a genre of video first got their start on the forum. Even the practice of putting Impact font text over an image to make a meme comes from Something Awful. I partially created this site as a celebration of early internet culture, so in many ways I feel it necessary to appreciate the work achieved by the man who effectively created the "Ground Zero" for modern internet culture and discussion, something he apparently loathed, but his influence remains regardless.

Of course, I've come to learn that he was no saint, and was in many ways a divisive figure both on and off the internet. Whether it would be relatively menial issues such as his general neglect of the site following its heyday in the 2000s and requiring new users to pay a fee to register, to personal issues in his private life, such as a long history of domestic disputes with his many partners. These all made him the subject of ire in his later life, and he gave up ownership of the site to an admin about a year ago. Immediately prior to his death, he was settling a divorce with his third wife, which ruled his past behaviour as abusive. Shortly after the verdict, news broke of his suicide. He was 45, and left three daughters behind. The life Lowtax lived was, like many public figures, turbulent and controversial, and like many of those who lived this type of life, he was gone far too soon. But, in times like this, the most important things to consider here and now are both the privacy and wellbeing of his family, as well as the legacy his online work left behind. Whilst he may have not lived his best life, his work made many friendships, saw people gain fame and fortune, and changed the landscape of the internet forever. He wasn't a flawless man; nobody could suggest that, but he's a man who, whether we'd like to admit it or not, was key in creating the online landscape we know today.

The Death of Chris-Chan:
1st August 2021
I suppose I'm a bit late to this discussion, since I've been away for much of the weekend to see family, but I first took in much of the gruesome details surrounding this event on the the journey there, and they've basically been all I've been thinking about this past day or two. In case you're somehow not aware, no; Chris isn't actually dead, but let's just say he's "dead to us", if you know what I mean. Last Thursday, word came out about how Christian (or "Christine") Weston Chandler, one of the internet's most infamous figures, whose online presence has been tied to his seemingly never-ending "Love Quest", has finally found perhaps an end goal to this predicament, but in the worst manner possible. Chris has admitted in text and audio to a new "gal pal" that he has recently had sexual relations with his own mother. There's little more that needs to be said in order to nail in how shocking this whole event is to the communities that have documented him, but its actuality was cemented when news came of local police and doctors conducting a wellness check on the Chandler residence, which subsequently saw Chris removed from his home, whilst his mother Barb, was transferred to a care home, with Chris being forbidden from interacting with Barb due to an Elder Protection Order. This EPO was shortly violated once news came out that Chris was discovered to have been syphoning $750 from her account, in order to pay for his "expenses", whilst expecting a $1000 donation in the pipeline (which was obviously withdrawn once this came out). Last thing I've heard was that Chris is currently residing in a hotel and may or may not go to court for the things he's done.

This whole event has been a lot for me to take in personally. I first heard about Chris' escapades around early-mid 2015, shortly after his first proper run-in with the law following the whole GameStop incident. I'm well aware that this was long after the "Golden Age of Chris-Chan" as you might say, had come to an end, but I quickly grew fascinated in the history of this individual, like many others have before me. Whilst I was well aware that Chris had basically gone off the deep end with his more erratic behaviour, even compared to his past behaviour, I looked at him with some degree of sympathy, as I saw him as a sort of cautionary tale, partially because of his status as the Elvis of "lolcows", for his early following in an unfamiliar environment, but also because of his personal issues that people like me could fall into if we're not careful enough. His oftentimes ridiculous beliefs and creations also managed to capture my imagination in their absurdity, as you may have noticed by my more recent addition to this website's "Works" page, "Two Worlds Collide", which was based directly on Chris' ramblings on the so-called "Dimensional Merge". However, as you might expect, everything's changed. You can't look at a man who committed sexual acts against his own mother, who is far into her old age and could possibly even have dementia or a similar illness that results in a lack of proper consent, and still be sympathetic towards them. The best that can come of this is if Chris is taken into psychiatric help, where he can finally make steps towards bettering himself one way or the other, and at least become a semi-functioning member of society, like how he seemed to be shortly before the internet first found him. However, you can't do the things Chris did, and expect everyone to welcome you with open arms, and an event like this may spell the end of his documented online presence, and perhaps even the beginning of the end for his own life, at least as we know it.

There were many things that you could say got Chris to where he is today. Despite this event, one could argue that Chris was the victim of a lot of things: Excessive parental coddling, manipulation and verbal abuse from vast numbers of online trolls, and especially his own continued naivety and inability to change or gain motivation to do anything. But regardless, whatever direction his life has gone in, it all seemed to culminate in this event; something he can never take back, and something that the online world could never possibly forgive or forget. I know this whole thing has been a bit of a downer, and honestly I'm still trying to process all of this myself, but I still feel like I've got to say something about this event. At least we still have those shared experiences and memories surrounding that strange man from Ruckersville fresh in our minds, even if they've practiaclly soiled by what we found out in these past few days.

Update: It seems that Chris has now been escorted out of his hotel room and is now in police custody. It's anyone's guess as to where this may go next.

So I saw that new Adventure Time special. It definitely gave me a lot to think about. God did it give me a lot to think about.:
22nd May 2021
The whole thing was very existential like many later-season episodes tend to be, and appeared very beautiful in how it portrayed its narrative, plus it seemed nice that they actually gave something for The Lich to do after he was absent from the series finale. But the whole thing just felt really depressing, y'know what with both of the main characters being dead and all. I suppose it's also a bit of a shame that Finn's life after the Gum War wasn't really noted that much (yes, I know, another Finncel seething over his love life not getting a satisfying ending, but still). I mean, if Bubblegum and Marceline got a whole episode to themselves about their relationship, then I suppose it would make sense for Finn's later life to also be touched on (I mean, It wouldn't make sense to put people like Flame Princess in the title sequence if they weren't gonna show up). Though to be fair, Bubbline is by far the most popular ship in the series and basically single-handedly maintained the show's mainstream popularity in its later years, but Finn is still the main character, guys. Of course, you could say that the whole thing's open-ended to allow for the show to continue at a later date, but I don't really know if that will be happening anytime soon.

Together Again very much entails finality; both of the characters are dead forever (well, ignoring reincarnation of course), so I suppose it wouldn't make much sense to continue on with them in the future when there technically is no future for them, since their spirits have now being reincarnated, so I guess you can't really do anything with them until the dust settles in a long while, otherwise any continuation would feel like a cheap cash grab. Speaking of continuations, I suppose my personal ideas for a second series won't need to change much to fit into this new work, except for one major problem in the plot: Ghost Jake is one of the show's main characters and regularly interacts with Finn on his adventures. This goes completely against the main conflict of Together Again, where Finn is disappointed that Jake never communicated with him at any point following his death, despite that being possible for him to do. I could always work around this, but it may be difficult to do. I could just say that it was all a dream that Finn had to cope with Jake's death, but saying anything's "just a dream" is basically the cheapest of cop-outs you could possibly do. On the other hand, I could instead say that Finn and Jake would have to erase their post-death memories of each other following the events of the second series to allow Jake to ascend further towards reincarnation, like what happened to Donna in the Series 4 finale of Doctor Who (spoilers btw), but I also don't want to throw out Finn's characterisation and character development in this series.  Once again, the finality of this special wouldn't really allow for a proper continuation on the scale of the main series itself. I could maybe consider a comic series instead, like those sequel comics for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and have the timeline diverge after "Come Along with Me", but I don't suppose I have the patience for writing and drawing comics independently the same way I do for basic script writing, but maybe something more might come of it in the future if I go down that route (like an adaptation somewhere down the line).

But I suppose those are all my thoughts for now. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go off and stare out a window, listening to Guts' Theme from Berzerk, as I process what exactly I watched last night.

So this is my new blog:
7th April 2021
So, this is basically where I put out my personal thoughts and announcements and stuff. I might not do this particularly often, but I suppose this'll work well as a place for me to vent about shit, recount certain events (like interesting dreams or something) or explain a few things relating to my ideas. A bit like my old Tumblr blog from ages ago, but hopefully a little less cringy. It also might not be updated as frequently because I've gotta rely on my computer's HTML editor to write stuff. Still, I hope you guys stick around to see what I've gotta say.