Archive for chivalry

With friends like these

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by Johnny Broken

There’s something that’s been bugging me, and I just wanted to… bring it up here, I guess, while I’m still so annoyed by the whole thing.

First off, a bit of context to the situation.

I know you may find it just a wee bit hard to believe, but I don’t have that many friends in real life. In fact, for the better part of the last three years, I’ve counted two guys as the totality of my friends. And “friends” in this case are people who would contact me, to want to do something with me. Thing is, of those two guys, one of them, let’s call him #8, he moved out of state last month. And the other guy is #3.

And to put it lightly, #3 is a bit of an asshole. I mean we get along for the most part, and we have similar interests and all that, but he really, REALLY gets on my nerves sometimes. In Geek terms, he’s Chaotic Neutral, and I’m Lawful Evil. He’s also one of those kinds of people that absolutely refuses to admit that anything is ever his fault.

-He gets pulled over by the cops (repeatedly) for his car not being inspected, because the police are out to get him. (Not because he’s too damn lazy to get his car inspected in time.)
-He won’t get his car inspected or insured when he’s supposed to because the mechanic and insurance agency are out to screw him for his money.
-He was fired from his job because the boss is an incompetent moron out to screw him. (Not because #3 is a rude asshole who regularly misses work.)
-He’s broke because his part-time job didn’t file his paperwork properly AND the government is out to screw him, so he can’t get Unemployment any time soon. (Not because he’s too lazy and arrogant to just go out and get a fucking job.)

You get the idea, yeah? And he’d never admit it, but he’s a borderline ADD case. If he could help it, he’d constantly being trying something different every two minutes because he got bored with what he was just doing. (Me, I tend to get one track minded with something I like, causing me to stick with it for years.)

I don’t ever… well, I rarely ever bring up these counter points to his ramblings because I really don’t like arguing all that much. In fact, you really could say that by default, I really don’t act like a “typical” guy with people I think I get along with. I don’t do jocky type frat boy shit like pranks or constant teasing. (I got enough of that shit in school. I don’t consider myself to be that level of a jackass to inflict that on others.) I’m not a physical person, I don’t fight. Don’t get me wrong, I WILL make fun of someone if they annoy me, but I rarely do it just to be an asshole. #3, he doesn’t really follow this code. The bastard constantly rags on me for the stupidest shit like I’ve committed some grave sin.

So anyway. A couple months back #3, #8 and I started a writing project for a website. For the most part, we all agreed how to handle it, but #3 and I disagreed on what I still think is a fundamental part of what we were trying to accomplish. I think a blog based website, ideally speaking, should be updated with new content AT LEAST once a week. You could go two weeks between updates, but that’s pushing it.

#3 disagrees with this like I’m trying to drag him to a Southern Baptist church. His first explanation was that he thinks of a website like a concert. And even if you really like your favorite band, you don’t go see them play every week, because you’d get sick of them. It took a while, but I finally got it into his head that his comparison didn’t even work because of the amount of time involved in watching a band versus reading a column online.

Then he started rambling about his own online viewing habits.

It’s hard to explain, but he basically has OCD when it comes to reading… anything… online. He just skims articles through a reader and moves onto the next site, because if he stays on any one website for too long, the internet goblins will catch his scent and reach through the screen and grab him. Or something. He’s bitched to no end about how much he hates going to a site and seeing that they’ve posted multiple updates in a single day, because regardless of the content of the update, he thinks he needs to read them all before he can move on. So naturally, that applies to everyone else.

Gah.

Skip ahead to the last update for our site. About a week after our last column was posted, I started a column the week before #8 was to move out of state. I understand the guy was moving and priorities and all, but it took him a full two weeks to add in his first part to the column. #3 added in his part in a few days, and I add my next part in twenty-four hours like I always do. #8 took around another week to add his next part, but #3 took a little over two weeks to add in his next part, explaining that he’s lost his primary internet access until further notice. (See the above about him and his current lack of money.) At this point, I’m thinking the incredibly loose schedule we were keeping was beyond fucked, so there was really no rush. I relayed as much to #8. Six days later, #3 has the gall to send me this email.

“Your internet still works right? Why aren’t you doing the blog during the week when I have computer access? If you’re done I can finish it up without you.”

This was my response.

“We’re around 4 weeks off any sort of schedule already anyway. As I said last week, a few days won’t make much difference at this point.”

And his following reply (which I received on 8/12) was the thing that’s pissed me off to no end.

“So, your solution to the problem of the progress being too slow for you is taking an extra long time to do your parts? Because then at least you are the problem?”

Are you fucking serious? I’m responsible for six days of over FOUR WEEKS and I’m the problem?! It’s my fucking fault that he obviously doesn’t give a shit about the project anymore because I know he’s spent hours typing up other shit for a game we’re playing AND he doesn’t even have a full time job now.

I usually hang out with #3 Friday nights, and we’ve been doing a gaming night with a couple other guys Saturday nights. #3 sent me one text after that email on Friday, and I never responded. (My initial plan was to just ditch everyone I knew for the entire weekend, but boredom won out over anger Saturday and I went along.) And I was half tempted to return the last two books I’ve borrowed from #3 so I could just stop talking to him until I cooled down. If I ever did.

(This isn’t the first time he’s pulled something that got me to stop talking to him for a lengthy period of time. That disaster involved a girl, but the worst part about that whole thing is that he has NO idea that I’m… still… angry that he “got” the girl I had been talking to. But that’s another story for another day.)

And since I don’t really talk to anyone else, I’m honestly asking here. Am I overreacting? Am I justified? These last few days I’ve seriously been contemplating trying to burn the desire for human companionship out of my system. Again. Why bother trying to be friendly when everyone hates me?

-Johnny

Devil’s Advocacy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by Johnny Broken

What is evil?

I was going to directly quote a dictionary until I noticed one of the listed definitions of evil was “that which is evil.” Seriously, Captain Obvious? Great editing job there. I’m also going to avoid using any terms like “sociopath” and “psychopath” because both of those words seem to get different meanings depending on the time of day. So, moving along!

We joke that taxes are evil. Or the judge on the reality TV show that didn’t vote for the contestant with some actual talent is evil. In one area of the world drinking alcohol is a crime punishable by jail time, and in another it’s a given aspect of adult life. Views on marriage vary greatly all over the world. Some religions think you are going to end up in eternal torment if you don’t agree with them. Other religions just want everyone to get along. There’s a branch of Satanism, for example, that believes that you can basically do whatever you want in your life (within reason) and as long as you repent before you die, you’re fine to make it into heaven. Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong?
What about what we have little control over? Is wanton destruction evil? What about a child being born with severe birth defects compared to a newborn that’s a picture of perfect health? Now generally speaking, there are some “universal” constants like murder and theft. You could also probably count forcibly imposing your will on others. But once you get past the basics, things get tricky.

So why would I want to associate with evil? And by the by, The Evil Midnight Blog What Blogs at Midnight is a joking reference to a comic book called The Tick. (Hey, it seemed hilarious at the time.) But for that matter, my amusement with an insane supervillain called The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight probably says… something… about me too.

As you may have gathered by now, I do not have normal views when it comes to morality. I think it started back in junior high (which was actually in the same location as my elementary school, which was grades 1-8. So I tend to think of junior high as later elementary school, not early high school.) when my classmates started turning against me for whatever reasons kids do the horrible things they do. Which in turn actually led to multiple dreams (day and night) where I killed my classmates in rather comic book-ish style. And believe me, when you’re young and the foremost thought on your mind is how much you hate 99% of the kids you know, it starts to alter how you look at the world. You don’t want to wear the white Simpsons shirt and purple shorts you wore last year any more. That’s what they do. The bad guy on that action show you like dressed in black, and no one messes with him. Maybe that’s the way to do it?

And then you start to notice that the heroes on TV and in the movies have a lot more in common with the people you hate than they do with you. And the heroes seem to always be saving people you hate too! So the popular, good looking people who like sports and crappy music are the good guys? The good looking hero gets the girl? That’s not how your life is. The bad guy was spurned by the girl he was attracted to? The other kids mocked him because he looked different? He was weak, and wasn’t good at the other games the kids played? That’s more like what you’ve been through.

And then you start wondering about just why the “bad guy” is so “evil” after all. So he wants money. Well, don’t we all? Or maybe he just likes destroying things. Well if you didn’t have to clean up after yourself, you’d break a lot more stuff too. Or maybe he wants to rule the world. Well, most people are kind of stupid, they need someone to tell them what to do. And you’re smarter than they are, so isn’t that how it works anyway? The smart people tell the dumb people what to do.

And then you get a little older, and your mind is opened up to the world of R rated subject matter. Well… hmmm… maybe that guy that got caught in the crossfire wasn’t going to do anything with his life, so that’s… no real loss, right? Or that guard, he was in the military, so he got himself into that situation, they probably expected him to die. Oh, that guy at the bar that tried to get in the villain’s way was just a jerk anyway, he deserved it. And that other guy was old, he was going to die soon anyway. But that hostage lady who was really scared of her captor, there’s no need for him to do… that! That’s not right!

Granted I’m simplifying things extremely here, but I came to the conclusion (I actually typed that out as “confusions” the first time, heh) during my formative years that while I think my thought process tends to lean towards evil, I have my limits. Which is probably part of why an old friend, let’s call him #6, always used to chide me that “Pft. You’re not evil!” when this came up. Yeah, I’m not out murdering people or dealing drugs and I’ve never been in jail for breaking the law. And I have two responses to that. First, there’s a reason they say you should beware the quiet ones. Second, there’s a saying in the geek community that goes something like “I may be chaotic evil, but I’m not stupid.”

So I’ve done some crazy stuff, and I believe in some even crazier crap, but I don’t have a criminal record. Does that disqualify me from being evil? The geek community also tends to call a villain who lives by their own personal code of ethics “noble evil” and I love the sound of that. Another way of describing what I’m getting at is that “even evil has limits,” which I also think rolls off the tongue fairly well.

The thing is though, for as hateful, spiteful, and death-obsessed as I am, somewhere along the lines a sort of Gentleman’s Code fixed itself into my way of thinking. Be polite. Treat a woman with respect. Don’t steal from someone, because it sucks to have your stuff stolen. If you have a job, y’know, do it. Don’t be a freaking slacker and drag everyone else down because you’re lazy. Don’t be an ass in public.

These dueling personal codes also make Renaissance Faires the weirdest, albeit still highly enjoyable, experience for me. On one hand, I’m rooting for the villains because I don’t understand why bad guys always have to lose. (I mean bad guys win in real life, and people make incredibly boring true-to-life shows/books/movies and stuff all the time. So why not make something exciting and true-to-life where the bad guy wins?) But on the other hand, a knight declaring his opponent has fought honorably on the field of battle almost brings me to tears because it’s so awesomely awe-inspiring.

So yeah, I may not think fascism is such a *spooky fingers* bad idea. (I actually think it’s even better if I’m the one making the rules). I also don’t care if some random person dies, or if my own brother is getting married, or what your newborn looks like. But at least I’m nice about it to you.

-Johnny

Maybe I don’t know my type after all

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 12, 2013 by Johnny Broken

I humbly admit I’ve developed a fondness for certain social medias. The online variety, of course. If there’s a need for a distinction, but anyway, I’m also on twitter @destroyedspirit. Feel free to look me up there. I guess I like talking to no one in particular about topics that people don’t like talking about. Kind of hard for me to do that in real life, as I’ve just recently learned that one of the last two guys I consider a friend is moving out of state for work. As his wife is a controlling bitch of Jabba-esque proportions , my only other real friend and I don’t expect to ever see the guy again. So I’m down to one real world friend. And even he’s an asshole more often than not. Fun times, my life.

Do I have any prospects for a girlfriend? As you may have gathered by now, I’m horrible with women. So I really don’t know. Some random women my age talk to me at work, but I have no idea how to interpret any sort of flirty sign or signal or anything. Or if the looks cast my way are of the “Oooh, interesting” or the “Oooh God stay away” variety. There’s one girl, for example, who confuses the hell out of me. But before I start talking about why she does, I do want to point out that I still don’t know if I should be chuckling or horrified that she has the same hair color and name as that last “real” girlfriend I had all those years ago.

Anyway, this girl, let’s call her #4. The biggest thing is that she’s, well, hot, and thusly out of my league. Way, waaay out of my league. Like I just found out t-ball existed and she’s won a couple world serieissises. (Yeah, I do generally hate sports analogies, but it gets the point across rather well. And yeah, again, there’s no intended innuendo.) If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years with any certainty, it’s that ugly ducklings DO NOT get the swan in real life. And not that it matters, but she’s also a good bit younger than me, and she has two kids. And I know it’s jumping ahead a lot, but you can rest assured, I know full well I’m not ready for anything anywhere near THAT level of responsibility. So, back to the confusion.

Now #4, she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I could go on about her reading level, but I don’t know if she even has a GED, so I can’t say how badly the educational system failed her. The important thing to keep in mind here is that in a business environment, I’m a grammar Nazi and I’m pretty sure management knows this. I admit that when she was moved right next to my station at work, and I got a chance to hear her repeatedly stumbling over very simple words, at first I started working on a lot of jokes about how she was putting said inner grammar Nazi into a coma. But then a team leader came by, and #4 quite literally burst into tears because she felt that what they had her doing made her sound stupid, which was made worse by whatever was going on in her home life.

After hearing her confession, I just couldn’t bring myself to mock her as badly as I intended. Feeling a bit chivalrous, I decided that so help me, I will make her smarter and as good at this job as I can. Now I should also mention that the guy who sat on the far side of her was equally capable of coaching her, and did as well from time to time. So a few weeks passed, I helped her out as best I could, and the other guy did too. And to my pleasant surprise, I noticed that she caught on pretty quick.

I try to make small talk with anyone I have to sit next to for like 30 hours a week, and the job it boring enough as is, so I’d also try to make her at least laugh from time to time. (There’s a big clue about that career opportunity I’ve been alluding to.) I was relatively content as the next few weeks passed, then I got moved to a different area at work. More than anything, I was annoyed that I was getting moved away from the hot girl that talked to me, and I figured that was the end of it. But this is where the confusion kicks in. When I pointed this out to her, to my extreme surprise, she actually got all, well, pouty that I was being moved away.

My heart skipped a beat. Women, especially the incredibly attractive ones, don’t express sorrow that they will no longer be next to me all day.

She explained that she preferred learning from me, compared to the other guy on her far side. He’s apparently a lot harsher, and I’m more laid back and easier to deal with. For as pleasantly unexpected a development as that was, it was quickly countered by how badly my new desk at work sucked, and my belief that if I didn’t have a desk right next to her, I probably wouldn’t talk to #4 again. Did I mention she’s beautiful? Beautiful women don’t talk to me. Skip ahead a few days to the start of the work day, and I hear someone behind me trying to get my attention. I turn around, and again, to my surprise, it’s #4. She commented on how she doesn’t get to see me anymore, and then she said something that’s stuck with me ever since.

“I miss you!”

-Johnny Broken