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Rakai'Thwei

[ website | Rakai'Thwei- The Chosen One ]
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Do people STILL use Livejournal? [Apr. 15th, 2017|09:34 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |curiouscurious]

That's the main question of the day because, I've had this journal for maybe over fifteen years and so far I haven't really used it in the last... decade or so. Maybe a little bit more than that because I haven't really had anything to say or share what is on my mind. It also doesn't help that I am on other means of social media platforms such as Tumblr and Facebook where I probably have more friends who are active over there than on here. A lot has changed since the internet evolved in the last thirteen or more years. It's been a long time, and I can't help if people even really use Livejournal to get their thoughts down.

A lot of friends of mine seemed to have moved on or simply vanished from this blogging site, and a lot of the communities which I know of and used to be a part of simply died and dropped of. I know of only one person who shares their thoughts on this social media platform and when he does have something to say, it's usually pretty depressing to hear. I can't help but wonder if he is on the other social media sites but then again, considering his reputation... It's best if he isn't.

So, really, who does use Livejournal anymore? I'm asking out of genuine curiosity because so far my friends page seems to be quite inactive. You'll find me on DeviantArt, but even that journal is seldomly updated, and good look on finding me on Tumblr and Facebook. I ain't giving that shit out to just about anyone unless I personally know them or have been friends with them for years.
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2015 in Review! [Dec. 23rd, 2015|10:28 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |complacentcomplacent]
[Current Music |As the Rush Comes (Above and Beyond Remix) - Motorcycle]

Good Christ, where do I begin with this year? I can definitely say without a doubt that 2015 was definitely a better year than 2014 for a variety of reasons but I wouldn't go as far as to say it was a particularly easy year. If anything, 2015 was perhaps a very rough year considering that most of it was an attempt to make a return to what I could call something of a normal life. A lot of things were gained, somethings were lost but I suppose that's a normal thing in a game called life. This was a year where I had learned quite a lot of things, and am still learning them.

The year immediately kicked off with the tail end of a tragedy which had occurred towards the end of 2014, with my family and I losing our home due to lack of employment and being unable to pay the rent at our previous development. All of our belongings were put into storage, and we went back and forth with motels-- suffered in the process and ultimately, we had stayed with my Grandmother in Philadelphia and then caved in-- and traveled down to Florida, where my aunt Minerva lived. And this is where 2015 begins...

Through out January to April, I believe.. we stayed at my Aunt Minerva's place due to the fact that we have no place to go and really were down there to look for work until we managed to get back on our feet. Bills are piling up, storage rent is due, and we're trying to somehow keep up for all of this. It seemed like we were going to be down there for quite sometime, and done some soul searching to see where we could improve our situation. Blessings were given to us, reassurance that we would be fine.. and we were still down there. Come around spring time, we were given the prospect of a job in New Jersey and we see a chance to finally come back out on top!

Unfortunately, we had all of our belongings which we acquire in Florida-- and half of our belongings such as clothes and equipment which we took from New Jersey when we came down to Florida. So we were in a bit of a predicament and had to somehow compromise how we were going to get back with all our stuff. My aunt decides to come with us to help, so we arrange a train ticket to Virginia, and drive our way back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And as soon we arrive in Philadelphia, we are accepted with open arms by my Grandmother and having realized the hazards of staying at a motel, we knew better and decided to stay with my Grandmother, despite lack of internet and cable. You could imagine how stressed we were.

So my Mom heads down to a couple of interviews, with the promise of being given a job with good pay.. and none of them hire her. But we still have to keep trying because we needed to improve our situation. And the money which my mother earned while working at the Target in Odessa was quickly becoming scarce.. And we needed a solution to our problem of diminishing money while we needed to eat meals too.. This is where I find out who my real friends were, and who weren't. I started a GoFundMe campaign and signed up for Facebook-- all so we could acquire the money to buy food, water, and perhaps a roof over our heads. But this wasn't going to be a permanent solution.. Not without a fixed income of sorts. I managed to get in touch with friends of mine from school, many of whom were gracious enough to donate money. To those who have spread the word, and donated.. I cannot thank you enough! Without your help, my family and I would've surely been in a far more worse situation.

So while the GoFundMe campaign was lasting us until my Mother and I had landed a job, my godmother Juanita took us in as she had an internet connection which was an incentive for us to head on over as we could use it to look for jobs.

So, I realized that in order for us to have a resemblance of a normal life.. I needed to get a job. Someone had recommended me a job at Toys R Us, and seeing as I am a person who enjoys toys and video games-- I figured what could it hurt and I decided to try my hand at numerous retail outlets and restaurant chains such as Walmart, Sam's Club, Wegman's, Panera Bread and of course.. Toys R Us. So until we waited to hear something, we remained patient and considered our options on where we could live. We had several developments in mind, and the potential of living in an apartment home.

To our happiness, my mother and I managed to land the jobs which we have been so dependent on, and the GoFundMe campaign had managed to break goal. So, we started to look around for a place for us to live. And we found an interesting.. Victorian home somewhere in Merchantville, and while it showed promise, it had harbored a secret which... made us reconsider in staying there. Not only was the place old, and had a musty smell to it-- it had roaches in it. Thankfully, our months rent payment didn't go through, and we demanded our money back-- which we indeed did get. So, we had jobs... but no place to really rest our heads but the car.

We're still looking around for a place to live and ultimately decide in a development which.. doesn't exactly have the greatest parking. We tried investing in a two bedroom apartment, but as it turns out-- our combined income didn't exactly allow for that, so we had to make due with a one bedroom. At this point, we decided that we were going to make this work because any roof is better than no roof over our head. We paid rent in advance with the GoFundMe money, and make an immediate move to well... move in. It took us two months to move in because we couldn't afford movers, and when we managed to acquire enough money, we were only able to hire three guys for about two hours time to get all of our stuff inside.

We started getting our lives back. That's all that counted, and that's all that mattered then.

Mom and I start our jobs soon, and we're learning the ropes-- while we're getting paid as well. I've briefly worked retail before, but mostly for odd-jobs such as working for a Halloween store, and for Express. Both of which were seasonal and I thought this was going to be an easy job. Turns out, retail year round is one of the hardest jobs anyone could do. But I learn from this experience, learning from doing the job and I'm making some money to help out to pay for bills, groceries, and whatever needs attending to.

Now it's all uphill from here, but it hasn't been an easy push uphill. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears were made as we clawed our way back to what we could call a normal life. We're still aiming higher, preferably for a two bedroom apartment as I am using the living room as my living space-- and I would like more room for my stuff which is still in boxes. At least my Mother is comfortable, and I can say that allows her to be at ease..

I want to keep on working as I vowed to never let what happened in 2014 to ever happen again but at the same time, I want so much more so we can really have our lives back. I've been working for six months, and am finishing up the hardest time of the year in retail, and tomorrow is the last day. All I want to do is help my mother, support her, and get our lives back.

I'm going to say that 2015 is the year of the come back... No regrets.
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The Steven Universe Debacle [Oct. 29th, 2015|12:02 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |disappointeddisappointed]
[Current Music |Banned in the USA- 2 Live Crew]

Alternatively Titled as: Steven Universe Fandom- Worse than Bronies?

I am something of a casual Steven Universe fan. I enjoy the show for it’s aesthetic, soundtrack and the original concepts which it has brought to the airwaves, something which I felt that Cartoon Network has lacked for a little more than over a decade. Those are my personal reasons for liking the show, but for others it’s all about representation. The show has presented positive representations of people with different body types, ethnicity, and even sexual orientation– this has made people feel like they have been vindicated. But let’s look at what that word means..

Represenation

1. The action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being so represented.
2. The description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature.

In the three years of Tumblr, I have come to realize that representation is a very big thing. Also there is a group of people on Tumblr who fight for many things, sometimes to a fault.. this niche is called the Social Justice Warriors. These people sometimes fight for representation, and while their hearts are in the right place, their methods are not and are often blind to the damages they do. Steven Universe has drawn an appeal to these folks.. but let me say that these people are a small niche within the Steven Universe fandom.

But they are an active and extremely vocal few.. To the point where if they find something they disagree with, they will come and harass someone to the point of near suicide. I am talking about the Zamii070 incident. For those who don’t know, Zamii070 has drawn fan art depicting stylized versions of the character, the designs differing from the official depictions. Apparently it was the depictions of a thinner Rose Quartz and Amethyst, as well as fan art of other franchises which incurred the wrath of these SJW fans of Steven Universe and it had caused the artist to attempt suicide. She was missing for three days, and later uploaded a video from the hospital, indicating that she was getting the necessary help.

This incident had reached the ears of the Steven Universe creative staff and when they had announced that fans were able to draw whatever they want, the Steven Universe fandom, or rather the vocal niche.. went completely bat-shit insane. Claims from members of the fandom were made, ranging from that the Crewniverse staff was taking away their representation, that the Crewniverse staff was supporting pornographic artwork of the characters.

As far as I see it, as a Steven Universe fan.. and a former Brony… The Steven Universe fandom is more or less mirroring the My Little Pony Brony fandom in almost every single way. From starting out as a harmless fandom community, then a small niche rears it’s ugly head, and then causes one or more members to attempt suicide.. and then declare a revolt against the creators. There are differences but I see the similarities are staggeringly close.

Rebecca Sugar and the Crewniverse are NOT taking away your representation. Rebecca Sugar and the Crewniverse are NOT advocating pornography of the characters from the show.

That is an illusion brought upon the extremist Steven Universe fans placed onto themselves. This niche in the fandom is ruining it for the rest.

Rebecca Sugar and the Crewniverse are defending the First Amendment and are allowing the Steven Universe fandom to have fun. The extremist Universe fans, do not want that and wish for the fandom to conform to their views.

I will be ending this with a quote from 2 Live Crew’s Banned in the USA:

“What is this?? Is this not America? This is not China! This is not Russia!
This is not the place where they brought down the wall, this is America! We have the right to say what we want to say, we have the right to do what we want to do, and what I do in my house, you might not do in your house! So what I do in my house is my business! And the simple fact of it all is that we are BONDED by the First Amendment! We have the freedom of EXPRESSION! We have the freedom of CHOICE!”

So to the extremist Universe fans… You are actively trying to silence those who wish to express themselves with their art. You are taking their freedom of expression away. You started off with good intentions like the Brony fandom, you then later projected your views onto others like the Brony fandom, and soon started harming others like the Brony fandom..

You two fandoms deserve one another.
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PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MY FAMILY!! [May. 21st, 2015|01:26 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
Hello my name is Philip. I have started this campaign in an effort to keep my family safe, off the streets, and to prevent ourselves from losing everything. This is an effort to bring some relief to my mother and alleviate the situation which my mother and I are currently suffering.

As of June of 2014, my mother had lost her job after suffering stress-related chest pains and severe depression. After attending rehabilitation and therapy to deal with her depression, she was able to bounce back and began to look for work again. She has been on job searches ever since with no luck. Fortunately, she was able to collect unemployment income for a few months but the income was insufficient to pay the rent and ended in December, 2014. However, as of September 30th, 2014, our rental lease was up and my mother was unable to renew it so she, I, and a few friends packed up all of our belongings and put them into storage. Unfortunately, one storage unit was not enough and two units were required to store all our belongings costing us approximately $400/month in storage fees.



We’ve been staying at hotels, motels, as well as with friends and family in effort to keep stay off the streets for a little over six months, now. We left New Jersey and stayed in Florida for five months with my aunt while searching for full-time employment down there but again nothing was achieved. The only work she was able to find was part-time work at a Target store. She never gave up, though, she has always continued to look for work. She finally received several calls for interviews in New Jersey in April. Once again, we packed our car and returned home for the interviews. We returned believing we would finally find relief. She attended all of the interviews and has yet to hear anything back. That was weeks ago. She had also coordinated a job transfer from Florida to New Jersey in the hopes of continuing her part-time employment with Target but somehow that fell through as well. While she should have been a transfer, she was interviewed as a new employee instead and was never hired by the New Jersey store. We still don’t know what happened there, but we do know we have no income now.

My mother has followed up on her interviews but the employers have not returned any of the calls. There are no job offers in the works and we are still destitute and in a dire situation. We continue to go to the library every day so that she can have internet service to apply for jobs online. She is not a quitter!
We have been staying at my Grandmother’s building which is a senior citizen community in Philadelphia and the management there has allowed us to stay for four weeks. As of May 18th, our stay there will end and my mother and I will be completely homeless with no place to stay, other than our car. We have no money for food, shelter or to pay our bills for the phone, storage and car. She is also behind on several bills and they continue to pile up.



My mother and I have been trying to make this work. We’ve never asked for help during this ordeal as we felt as if we could achieve this on our own. We’ve been turned away from numerous social service agencies for one reason or another, due to circumstances such as being unqualified or having no physical residential address.

All of our resources have been exhausted. We simply do not know what else to do. Therefore, I suggested the idea of starting a GoFundMe campaign in an effort to raise some money so that we can at least have enough for the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, etc., and to help pay off the remaining bills which have weighed us down.

My mother is a proud and very strong woman. She has worked over 40 years. She has never had to depend on anyone and does not like to ask for help if she feels she can do it on her own; but this is too, too much and too, too big. Now, she needs the help, and I want to help her.



We just need enough for us to survive so we can continue to find employment and so we can rebuild what we have lost.

If you can send in any donations, even if it’s just a dollar, five dollars, ten dollars – whatever the amount, we would be most grateful. Thank you and God Bless.

You can find the donation fund at:
http://www.gofundme.com/u53r6pc
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Trouble [Apr. 7th, 2015|10:43 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |crushedcrushed]
[Current Music |The Pork Chop Express- Big Trouble in Little China, John Carpenter]

Livejournal. Good God, I feel like this site hasn't been relevant since 2004. Why do I still even have an account here when everyone's moved on? Do people still even have Livejournals and still even so much as read these anymore? Anyway.. moving on.

I know I haven’t really been posting a lot of my personal life here on Tumblr but that’s because I usually don’t have a lot to say. Well, as it turns out… I now do have something to say. And it’s not necessarily something very pleasant which I want to talk about because.. it is a little embarrassing. And as someone who has no close by friends as they have moved on.. makes my situation a lot harder. So I just need to get this off my chest.

We thought that coming down to Florida to stay with my aunt was going to work out but as it seems.. that may no longer be the case. Infact I would say that Florida may have been the WORST move we have made to date. Not move as in to stay there permanently but… it’s prevented my family looking for jobs up north because they want face to face interviews and training. And because we are down here.. we can’t do that. Getting a plane to Philadelphia just for an interview which doesn’t guarantee us anything is… not practical to say it in the nicest way.

So as it turns out… things just got worse. My aunt who has taken my mother and myself in so we could avoid being on the street has made a decision, right off the bat to move out of the complex, she’s given notice already. I don’t know when she will begin moving but one thing is certain…

We have to go back up North.. Without a plan.

This is something I have been so very afraid of. I don’t know what to do. It’s too expensive to rent a place up north anymore without two incomes. The job market in New Jersey is dry and it doesn’t help that it’s a very discriminatory market up north as well. The only positives about this are that we will be able to do face to face interviews, and able to go said training.

But what’s the guarantee?

Mom hasn’t had a steady job since maybe… 2010, when a co-worker had screwed her out of her job. A person whom she had trained, some Indian woman named Shami. This woman had back stabbed my Mom and cost her a good, high paying job.

As for me.. the only jobs I’ve been able to get are odd jobs and retail jobs. Jobs which society doesn’t consider as “real” jobs. I’ve only been able to get part time work as a costumed marketer, or a floor attendee at a Limited Express.. That was five years ago. Haven’t been able to find work since.

Florida is even WORSE. Unlike in Jersey where everything is in walking distance, everything is spread out and only in driving distance. The only job I was able to apply for was at a local Target Mom and I both applied for.. Having more retail work, I should’ve been considered but.. I wasn’t.. Yet somehow they pick Mom but give her ungodly hours and severe underpay..

It seems… We may have only delayed the inevitable. We have to go back up north.. and I don’t know where we can go from here..
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2014 in Review! [Dec. 26th, 2014|11:32 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |cynicalcynical]
[Current Music |Mirage of Hope (Chilled Mix) - Hemstock & Jennings]

With New Years coming up, I figure that this is something that I might as well end up sharing. I normally don’t do anything like this, and I actually detest New Years because it actually brings me a year older and closer to the inevitable end. But this is a special ocassion as many things which are quite note worthy as far as years past are concerned. So what can I say about the year 2014? Well.. I think I can break it down in a few words. I am not sure how everyone experienced this year but…

2014 SUCKED!! AND IT SUCKED HARD!!

I could say that the sucking began in 2013 when me and my Mom went back to Jersey in October of 2013 when she had managed to get a job back in Philadelphia, but then this would be going back to the later end of 2013.. Know what, let’s include that in there. So our bad luck started around the later end of 2013 as Mom was making meager wages while selling appliances. And she was still in training but at the same time she was also working nights for a nearby Ross.. and the rent was getting cranked up more and more.. So it was impossible for her to make rent. To make it even worse, we had a one year lease— one which we weren’t likely to renew and stay.

But as soon as 2014 had come, we had hoped that some good luck would come out way. The year seemingly started out fine as far as I am aware but around March of 2014, Mom got seriously sick. She was experiencing severe panic attacks and had chest pains. At her age, getting a heart attack from stress is a very real and serious issue not to be ignored. Mom is known to work hard, sometimes she’ll run on diesel and just work until she’s past the breaking point. A personality trait which she had inherited from her father.

I tried looking for work at local places such as Big Lots, PetSmart, and Target. None of them had even really bothered to call me but the ones which I tried the most were of course the Big Lots stores which were nearby. Only a five minute walk away from the apartment which I used to live at. All in effort to help my Mom out financially.. No interviews were offered, no phone calls returned. I tried, and I tried constantly.

So Mom was put on disability for three months with pay. She was even recommended to see a therapist to deal with the stress which she was undergoing. She went from being a cheerful and smiling woman, to a broken and often abrasive and frowning one. Constantly, discussions about preparations to leave for Florida to stay with her sister were made and often.. avoided.

I’ve tried to speak to my father about helping us but he claims to have no money to give in order to help us. Frequently he’s made excuses that he is sick, unable to work and has no money whatsoever. The problem with that is man has lead a double life for thirty years, long before I was adopted and entered into his life. He’s got two sons who are roughly my age with the woman whom he’s been seeing.. and he drives a white Chevy Avalanche with a 1,000 dollar payments a month. All of this on a SEPTA bus driver’s salary. And he somehow has managed to keep the Chevy but he can’t help me and Mom out to stay in the apartment?

So the next three months for Mom are spent on her relaxing, and trying to get her mind rested but she is facing problems ahead instead. She doesn’t know any rest, doesn’t know what else to do. I’m still trying to get work anywhere I can and haven’t been offered interviews. Three months go by, she gets called into work and has a panic attack.. They give her a mutual release and she’s given six months unemployment.

This is where we become desperate, looking for work in New Jersey. We have until October until the lease to the apartment is null and void. Mom becomes increasingly depressed, suffers crying bouts and I’m getting increasingly angrier and angrier.

So.. September comes..and Big Lots calls me for a job offer.. ON THE DAY OF PACKING.. Yeah, thank for not hiring FIVE MONTHS prior Big Lots. I’ve only applied several times to you and you kept on over looking me for a permanent position and only are hiring for seasonal! So.. Fuck you Big Lots! Fuck you very much!

We immediately start packing everything up and prepare to leave our apartment. I come up with the proposition that we stay with Grandma for a while until we find a job. Unfortunately, the apartment complex allowed us only nine days to stay.. So we make do with what we can by eating out at restaurants and going to a local library to do job searches. Nine days pass, we have no where to go and ultimately hop from motel to motel.. Until we suffered an attack from Bed Bugs.

It’s ultimately decided.. We cave in and make a trip for Florida to my aunt’s apartment. She is the only person who has decided to take us in. So we drive all the way down to Virginia, then take a train down to Sanford, Florida and ultimately drive our way down to Odessa. So we only took with us the clothes on our backs and in our suitcases.

So far Florida has been.. our stopping point. Everyday, I feel a longing to go back home to New Jersey to a place I can call home. So does Mom. She’s been working at Target for the season at first, but she’s been offered a permanent position. I’m still looking for work down here..

So for me.. That’s 2014. The worst year of my entire fucking life.

Yeah.. 2014 sucked.. Goodbye 2014.. Please let the door hit your ass on the way out. And please, no one wish me New Years.. I hate New Years.
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Feelings of Anger [Dec. 3rd, 2014|02:22 am]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |discontentdiscontent]
[Current Music |The Time Has Come- The Dark Knight Returns OST]

This really isn’t easy for me to say because I am not really open to discussing my emotions and putting them up onto the internet because of things such as fear of ridicule. I just find that whenever I open myself up, somehow or someway I just end up being ridiculed. But I really don’t have any other outlet and I need to put these emotions somewhere. Otherwise they’re going to end up eating me from the inside.

I have been battling depression for a little over a while now. I would say I have been battling it for maybe two or so months. I’m going to say maybe three months because September was when I was beginning to face the fact that I was going to be out of a home and all my stuff was going to be put into storage. So around the end of September was when the packing was finished and when we lost our home. Anyone would be saddened at the fact that they’re homeless, right?

Well October was extremely rough on me and my Mom.. For a while we were constantly in transition and still awaiting to hear word from anyone that would take us for a job. And we weren’t hearing any. We had no place to go or even sleep, so we spent most of the time at my grandmother’s place which is of course.. a technological dead zone. No internet service, no cable service.. We really didn’t even have television. So unable to spend too much time, Mom and I went around moving from motels to motels.. We were fine for maybe two weeks. We spent the third week at my grandmother’s since we needed to keep our money saved.. But the fourth week at the motel.. proved horrendous at the end as we had to more or less deal with the fact that we were bitten by bed bugs.

So we had to leave the motel and we had no place to go.. I was getting pretty stressed out by everything which was going on. Due to the bed bug attack we had, I had to look over clothes and suitcases to make sure we didn’t bring back anything. Fortunately, we were taken in by my god mother, Juanita and we stayed for three days until we decided to travel down to Florida..

Which leads me to here and now.. Florida has been good to me and my Mom. She’s already managed to get a part time job at Target. It’s not a lot but it’s better than nothing anyway. Mom has been trying to get me through the door and a spot at Target but.. no one has called me yet. That’s not surprising to me, and I’m fine with it.. My aunt Minerva has taken us in. She’s clean, has provided great hospitality.. I should be fine, right?

Right?

I am far from alright. Because of the string of bad luck which me and my Mom have been through, we went to go see a curandero (in Latino culture, these people are spiritual healers or shamans) to determine whether or not we’ve had a jinx put on us. I am generally not a superstitious man but.. everything this man spoke hit the nail on the head. And he didn’t fish for information like the Long Island Medium, John Edwards or Ms. Cleo.. This guy was the real deal. And he even told my Mother that I had told her that.. I needed professional help. She cried upon hearing that because none of us told him that, and she knew because a few months ago before all this happened.. I told her.

I have been battling depression, but I have also been battling anger. The two are.. interchangeable at this point because I feel more angry than sad. It’s like whenever I get seriously depressed.. I don’t cry but rather I turn sadness into anger. But it has gotten out of control. The best way I can describe this feeling is like.. fire.

I lash out… I yell at people whom I’ve no reason to be angry at. I find myself being abrasive as well. I sometimes have an expression of frustration on my face, so much I can feel it. I have been trying to control my anger.. trying to distract myself.

But there is also depression as well.. I find myself not being as happy as I normally used to be. Things which interest me, no longer hold any or instead sometimes cause me very intense feelings of resentment. Wishing that things could go back to what they were.. Sometimes I have difficulty sleeping. Sometimes I don’t eat as often I should.

Also it doesn’t help that blood work determined that my cholesterol level is high from over a month of eating restaurant food during the events of October. So I’ve been trying.. to change my diet.

Two days ago.. I had an anger attack. I was on my way home from visiting my Mom at her workplace and on the way out I felt this.. flare up of rage within. I clenched my fist as hard as I could.. Felt the urge to just hit something but I reminded myself to not do so as there would be consequences.. I felt a pressure build up in my chest. Out of need I had to call someone who was very close to me to help calm me down. Breathing exercises were performed.. they helped.. and talking also helped but.. this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this.

I would say this is the worst time I’ve ever felt this. I’ve had flare ups of unexplained anger and I KNOW that I’ve no reason to feel this way but I just happen to be feeling them and have no control over it. And I don’t know when I will feel this way again.. I just have a lot of anger and resentment inside of me.

I am supposed to be seeing professional help. I just don’t know when my next visit to the counselor is going to be.

Just needed to get this out there.
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Off My Mind: Alien-Predator Continuity [Jul. 9th, 2014|10:41 am]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |awakeawake]
[Current Music |A Hundred Miles and Runnin'- N.W.A.]

As much as I love the Alien-Predator franchises, including the AvP films— the only exception being Robert Rodriguez’s PREDATORS, as I felt that movie had happened to be a major piece of shit, and with the upcoming sequel by Shane Black on the way, I wanted to get the continuity of Alien and Predator off my mind as it’s been plaguing me for a while.

If you don’t like reading wall of text, see the TLDR; version below by scrolling down or by passing the cut material and just getting to the point.

How Should the Continuity Work?Collapse )

TLDR; The Alien-Predator continuity isn’t coherent. People saying the AvP films are non-canon is just nothing but fanon discontinuity. All the films are set in stone, while EU material is filler. The singular timeline doesn’t work and shouldn’t be viewed as one but multiple timelines like how Godzilla and Halloween are viewed. The fandom needs to adopt this idea.
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Death of the Saturday Morning Cartoon [Apr. 12th, 2014|07:39 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |disappointeddisappointed]

So I woke up earlier than usual this Saturday and I really didn’t feel like getting on the computer. So with nostalgia coming into my mind, I decided to see what was on the television. Against my better judgment, I wanted to see if there was anything on television this Saturday morning— not counting channels which show cartoons twenty four-seven like Nicktoons or.. Cartoon Network. To my surprise, as far as basic broadcast channels are concerned, only the CW is showing cartoons on Saturday mornings.

Growing up over the years, especially during the 2000’s I have noticed a decline within the airings of the Saturday Morning cartoons and the channels which aired them. But really this has been going on earlier than that, since 1996 since the FCC demanded that animation programming have educational content. Since then, channels started to stop airing animation programming on their Saturday morning block.

I think it’s safe to say that the Saturday morning cartoon is dead. I hate to say it, and it pains me to say it but that definitely seems to be something of the case here and there. Kids generation who were born in the late 90s, early 2000s and even in the 2010s really don’t have the Saturday Morning cartoon. It’s actually depressing because if I ever have children.. they won’t really grow up with the shows I grew up on, or the characters even.

For us 80s and 90s kids.. I can say that we were lucky. We managed to grow up with Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, My Little Pony (not Friendship is Magic), She-Ra: Princess of Power, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Life with Louie, Bobby’s World— etc, etc. We remember fondly of these characters, waking up and seeing what today’s episode is going to be. They had profoundly impacted our childhood. Truly, for us growing up in the 80s and 90s.. We had it good and we took it for granted. Sure, we can buy the DVDs and Blu-rays of our favorite series, but nothing really compared to the magic and memories of seeing these shows on Saturday morning.

But with the FCC’s Educational and Informal mandate, the rising popularity of video games, adult oriented animation (The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad) and the loss of American animation companies.. There doesn’t seem to be a place for Saturday Morning cartoons anymore. It’s either educational and informal programming, or paid advertising infomercials filling the Saturday Morning block.

That’s something which I noticed heavily while I was flicking through the channels as the basic broadcasting stations were hosting either Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, College Football, College Basketball, Paid Advertising and more Infomercials. And channels like Cartoon Network and Nicktoons really don’t emphasize on Saturday Morning cartoons.. The same could be said for most cable stations.

Truly, both 80s and 90s kids were lucky. While our beloved cartoons have long since gone off the air, we fondly remember the memories which they have provided us. Never the less, it’s such a damn shame that today’s generation of kids really don’t have something to look forward to seeing on Saturday Mornings. Especially for families who don’t have premium cable or satellite.

I say.. Bring back the Saturday Morning Cartoon. No kids are really going to want to watch Paid Advertising or College Sports.
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Off My Mind: Dark Horse's AvP Reboot Comics [Mar. 22nd, 2014|06:13 pm]
Rakai'Thwei
[Current Mood |worriedworried]

I've been holding this a lot within myself for a long time, and to be honest I am very apprehensive about sharing my thoughts here regarding the AvP Reboot comics. I have seen a lot of people being excited for them, I have seen several people hawking non-stop about it to the point of it being a tad annoying, and so far what we have seen is proving to be quite interesting. We've seen interior pages, and they look great! The cover art is simply phenomenal (Mignola's cover? No.. Just.. No.)

I don't really mean to be a wet blanket, I really don't but as someone who has a great love for the franchise (Rodriguez's PREDATORS not-withstanding) and the expanded universe.. It's kind of heart breaking to have the comics rebooted in the EU. Mind you this isn't the first time the comics have been rebooted-- we wound up with the Hish mythos which completely eschewed the Yautja mythos when John Shirley released Predator: Forever Midnight.

I have two main concerns regarding the AvP Reboot comics. One, how does this affect the canon and the twenty something years of backstory and mythology which started in 1989 with the original AvP comics. Two, what changes will they be making to the Predators and their culture?

In regards to the canon, we know that the new AvP comics will be using Predator, Predator 2, Predators, Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection as inspirations and sourced them as canon. Much to my dismay, as someone who liked the AvP films-- they won't be treating them as canon. Furthermore, the writing team has decided to ignore the twenty five years of continuity established in the previous comics.

Does this mean that the old comics are considered non-canon?

According to the canon policy of Twentieth Century Fox-- all published media featuring Aliens and Predators extending to the films, comics, novels, and video games is generally considered canon. The problem with this viewpoint from Fox is that it creates a shambled mess as there are inconsistencies and even.. different continuities according to the stories in all Alien-Predator media.

Even filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Ridley Scott didn't adhere to previous continuity as Robert decided to ignore Predator 2, AvP and AvP-R when he wrote PREDATORS in mind. In Ridley Scott's case, he wanted nothing to with the Predator or AvP franchise, and stayed within the realm of Alien when he filmed Prometheus.

So canon is dubious. Or.. even ambiguous because of Fox's claim on the canon. This is where personal canon comes from.

The thing is if these comics are using seven out of the ten films, then does this mean this is a different continuity path? Where does this even leave the old comics continuity anyway?

But if these reboot comics are the main status quo, similarly to what the New 52 is to the DC Universe-- then where does this leave characters from the old comics as well as the unresolved or open ended storylines?

Despite the mixed reception of Three World War, it left an open end where we see the Killer Predators preparing another attack as they have multiple Queens laying eggs. What happens then?

Where do characters like Machiko Noguchi, Dachande, Herk Mondo, Wilkes, Billie, and Detective Schaefer and Rasche go? Do they just stop existing or never did exist at all? Were their exploitations and adventures rendered meaningless?

I've actually managed to get in touch with Christopher Sebela. So far his quote regarding the old comics and the continuity of the old one goes as follows:

"I have a question regarding the new Alien-Predator universe which Dark Horse is creating. Is this a whole separate and new universe from the already established twenty five years of lore which was started from the late 1980s to 2009 or does this completely override the old lore?"

"The old Dark Horse comics series about Aliens, Predators and Aliens fighting Predators never came up in the writer’s room as we’re working off a different angle of the universe, one that may touch on some of the stuff those old books did, but only by accident. But we’re not declaring all that stuff moot or rebooting it or anything, it’s just two different neighborhoods in a pretty big city."


Source: http://christophersebela.tumblr.com/post/63748483508/i-have-a-question-regarding-the-new-alien-predator

From what I have gathered, Sebela mentions that these comics won't render the old comics moot or jettison them out from the canon. And the separate city analogy suggest this is a different continuity. Take from what you will from that.

If Fox considers everything canon, but the filmmakers and comic writers don't adhere to that viewpoint which Fox lays claim to.. How does it all fit and how can it all fit? If these new comics don't retcon or jettison the old comics from canon.. what does this mean for the Alien-Predator timeline(s)?

Recently, I came up with a theory that there might be an Alien-Predator multiverse at work-- similarly to how Highlander has a multiverse, or even more comparable would be how the Godzilla series has a multiverse. To my surprise, I've managed to get a few people who feel that this might be the case. Of course, there are a few who don't share this view point and subscribe to Fox's views on overall canon. You can read about it here:

http://www.avpgalaxy.net/forum/index.php?topic=49750.0

So is there an Alien-Predator multiverse at work? Some people seem to believe that there is but Fox hasn't admitted that there is a multiverse. And I doubt Fox would care to address it since keeping a coherent continuity or canon isn't their primary thought.

Still.. I am interesting in hearing the answers from others.

Now my second concern regarding the Predator culture. We do know that they will be making some changes for these new comics. I am curious to know what changes what they will be making to the Predator culture, especially since they are counting PREDATORS... much to my dismay. But what changes have me more curious are the Predators relationship with the Engineers and their creations. If anything AvP-R showed us that the Predators and the Engineers have had some prior contact, and given the Engineer helmet seen-- it's definitely antagonistic.

But they aren't counting the AvP movies or the old comics.. A reminder.

So what exactly is the relationship then? Aside from a Predator-Prey type, that remains to be seen and expanded upon.

Also, what changes are going to be made to the culture? According to Christopher Sebela, the old comics weren't even looked at and by extension probably Steve Perry's novels as well. However he did say that they will likely by coincidence or accident touch up on some things the old comics did. Will they keep the Predator-Alien relationship? Will they keep he Blooding Ritual?

How will these changes be done? This wouldn't be surprising if the entire culture was changed because John Shirley's Hish mythos completely changed the Predator culture, discarding the Yautja concept in favor of the Hish-- a race which was more barbaric, world conquering and participated in the enslavement of other races. The Hish also were hermaphrodites, where as the Yautja had male and female sexes.

So will these new comics completely change Predator culture? I don't know but I hope that they keep the Yautja concept and reference very little or none from Robert Rodriguez's PREDATORS.

As for future comics well... We're not at that bridge yet.

Sorry for sounding like a wet blanket but.. I just needed to get this off my chest. I really did.
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