Head’s up

So, I recently moved from WordPress to a Bluehost server.  Because of this, if you’ve subscribed to me, it seems that the subscription didn’t move over properly.  If you’re seeing this message, please be sure to go to www.therantingloon.com and subscribe to the new site, it has all the same content and everything, and I’ll still be reading everyone else’s posts and all, but this blog won’t be updated and instead therantingloon.com will be.

Ja ne!

The Ranting Loon

(Re)Definition and Alone vs Together

Writing this blog has caused me to really think a bit more about what is going on around me, as well as being rather introspective about myself.  Sure, I don’t post about my age or the details of my work or where I live, but you, good readers, still get to see that precious bit of myself called my mind; but before I can put my mind on the table for your personal digestion, first I have to sample the main course myself.

One of these thoughts has been about defining myself in general.  We all do this all the time, typically very unconsciously.  You’ve seen at lease some of my personal definition in previous posts, from the abstract of word choice and format to the more concrete when I mentioned my preferences for some things over others.  One thing that I’m realising as I define myself is that, frankly, I’m not hugely impressed.  We all have our character flaws, my biggest flaw is basically my defining factor, and I touched on it earlier: I retreat too easily.  When the going gets tough, you can find me at the spa.  It’s not pretty, but it is the truth.

Where am I going with this?  Well, not long before I started writing this blog, I moved a quarter of a continent away from my home, my friends, my family and everyone I’d ever known.  When I first moved, it was to help out my family, but since then, said family has moved back home, leaving me here alone.  It isn’t the first time I’ve been away from home, but it is the first time I’ve done it without a SO or any other connections.  It’s been a bit of an interesting experience for me, living truly by myself and all.

Growing up, I never really wanted to live alone, I defined myself by those around me, and I was afraid of what would happen if those people went away.  Would I become a shut in, already a bit of an introvert by nature anyway?  Would I simply lock the door, stop showering or bathing, and basically give the finger to the world except when I absolutely had to go out?  Would I slip deep into depression with no one there to help me out?  And so on.  The truth is a bit father away than my worst fears so far: I haven’t become a full shut in just yet, outside of this blog, I have a small social group that I am actively working on growing.  I haven’t locked myself in either, for a number of reasons starting with rent and ending in needing food, LOL.  But in all seriousness, even if I didn’t have to leave for those things, I’d go crazy well before I ceased to leave the house.  And as for the depression, sure, I can feel it knocking against my mental walls all the time, but I learned that while I always thought it was the people who helped me out of it, I’ve found that it is equally true that sometimes, it was those very people that brought me down into it as well.

There’s a hopelessness in defining yourself by those around you.  If your self worth is defined by the person willing to sit next to you, what does it mean when they get up, after all?  It’s a needy thing, and not very becoming.  Likely, it’s a not insignificant part of my problems with my SO.  But being alone, even if you aren’t truly along thanks to the internet and telephones, helps to reinforce what is really you.  After all, I can’t look at myself and say that I only got up on time because my SO reminded me that today is Tuesday and not Saturday, or even simply helped to motivate me by reminding me that skipping a day wouldn’t look good for my performance review.

Sure, I knew those things myself even then, as evidenced by now, but I let those around me have agency for my actions.  Being alone, the only one to take agency is myself.  If I don’t do the dishes, they never get done, and it’s my fault entirely.  It’s a painful thing, but at the same time, kinda liberating.  I expect that if and when I manage to make it out on my own as a blogger it might be the same.  I won’t have a boss anymore, no more set times to work vs screwing around, but at the same time, if I fail, it’s 100% my fault.

Now, if you looked at the post title, you might see that I mentioned not just definitions, but redefinitions.  Why is that, you might ask?  Particularly as I’ve spent almost 800 words just ranting about the current state of things.  Well, I got close earlier but then, like most rants, found myself diverted elsewhere.  The whole genesis for this post was to get down in ink (at least digital ink) what I learned from this introspection and definition.  As I said earlier, I don’t particularly like a lot about what I’ve seen about myself.  I’m lazy, I’m fat (these might be related), I run too easily from danger or harm, and I suffer for it.  So today, I’m putting the line in the sand.  I know what I am today, and tomorrow, I will be better, each and every day I will strive and push to make the me of that day better than the me of yesterday, until I can finally look behind me and see that I have finally become what I want to be.  And I’m going to blog about the whole journey, from the not-quite-middle-aged introvert today to the very end, whatever that end may be.  I am the ranting loon, and I invite you to join me, and I hope you find enjoyment in watching my triumphs, maybe cry with me in the failures, and perhaps grow with me by the end.

Ja ne!

The Ranting Loon

Yandere and You

So, I know that I posted about Future Diary already, but I’ve been thinking about it a bit more as things often work once they begin to turn into brain stew.  Going to keep this spoiler lite again as best I can, in fact, this post really isn’t about the show itself but one of the basic themes (which is actually pretty common in anime anymore) to the show, but in either case, you have been warned.

Today, we’re talking about Yandere.  What it is, and why I think it has carved its bloody niche in culture.

Yandere, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a Japanese slang term for “love crazy”, and I don’t just mean that like the American term “star struck” or “love struck”, I mean it like puppy love having a rough encounter with Jason Voorhees.  A yandere is typically adorably starstruck in love, more often than not, some form of stalker, but with one hell of a secret: they’re so crazy in love that their moral compass points strait to “and no obstacles remain between me and my love”.  Speaking of which, anyone with any emotional attachment to their love may well qualify as an obstacle, and they will do everything in their power to remove said obstacles, from violently dismembering them to poisoning their food with an expert precision that implies serious training, to…well, pretty much anything else that might kill the theoretic rival.

So, Yuno is a crazy Yandere willing and able to mow down anything that gets between Yuki and Yuno from eternal bliss.  She, like most Yandere is scary creepy obsessive and possessive, and yet for some strange reason, I find this rather compelling, there’s a part of me that wants a Yuno of my own.  Maybe it’s just because my SOs so far have tended to be actually fairly emotionally distant with me in the end, looking at it more as a solution to a situation than an individual to be loved (or at least that’s how personal history remembers it) but the idea of someone being so crazy in love that they would literally (and gleefully!) kill just to keep you close is a powerful thought.  Yeah, it comes fraught with danger, as a single misstep could spell doom for a close personal friend, or the suicide of the yandere, depending on which archetype we’re dealing with, but it also brings with it the adoration you’d otherwise only ever find in a puppy.

Given the popularity of the character type, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way about this either.  Japan is often very weird, sure, I mean it’s the same island that made Card Captor Sakura, La Blue Girl and Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.  But honestly, I think that’s pretty unfair to Japan.  Americans call it weird, but as anime becomes more and more popular, I’m increasingly convinced that it really isn’t weird so much as it is more honest with itself, though that might be more of a rant for another day.

Anyway, given the popularity, someone likes this concept.  Now, I couldn’t tell you for sure if it is because of a heart’s urge to be wanted to badly that the person literally goes crazy for you, or if it is because the archetype always makes for some very twisted drama, or something in between, but I’m going to project a bit and say that at least in part it’s that former bit.  After all, everyone wants someone to love, and someone to love them.  We have so many songs about it, and so many stories about it (some of which float by purely because of the concept of romance) that I don’t think anyone could argue otherwise.  And it makes sense in a way, after all: if they’re willing to kill for you, then obviously you mean a lot more to them than the corpse did, the fact that you’re still breathing and they’re not notwithstanding.  That sort of love is a powerful thing.  After all, psychologically and morally, for most people, human life is a rather big thing.  Having someone willing to throw that away (even if it isn’t THEIR life) for you at the drop of a hat is a very potent symbol.  Sure, you have to walk on eggshells, for fear of hurting one of your other friends, but you can also trust that as long as you are faithful, there is no chance that they will cease to be.

I think that’s the big thing that draws at least me to the concept too, that little itch of an idea that a Yandere might be a monster in a cute disguise, but at least the yandere isn’t going to stab YOU in the back unless you really did do something to deserve it (most of the time).  That’s a hell of an emotional support, at least conceptually.  Now, in practice, it becomes a whole different ball of wax, I’m sure, as any eggshell walking practice becomes, but attraction rarely has anything to do with the concept of practice itself, if you ask me.  There’s also the part where your typical yandere character is CUTE, at least while she’s in the dere (lovestruck) part of the yandere.  They get a bit terrifying while trying to kill someone of course.  And cute never hurt anyone’s chances of others liking them.

Of course, personally, I think an awful lot of it from my perspective has to do with the clingyness of it.  My SOs so far haven’t been nearly as touchy-feely as I can tend to be, and that can be a real downer when you get down to it.  My most recent SO has grown so cold that we barely touch when I do visit, even though normally I live a quarter of a continent away.  That hurts, and thanks to an amazing thing called  polar opposing insecurity compensation, the natural reaction is of course to try and grab the thing farthest possible from the current situation.  Obviously, not the best of options (think about it like flying to the North Pole because it is too hot in the Sahara), but our brains are hilariously stupid when it comes to reacting to pain and fear.  Still, something interesting to think about, at least in my mind.

Ja ne!

The Ranting Loon

Letting go vs. holding on

I know I don’t have a lot of readers out there right now, but I thought I’d share this with those who do. Some really great thoughts, both in the original post as well as in the comments, and as always it is interesting to me to see how differing viewpoints intersect with each other. I’m sure I’ll post my own full blog post about the subject matter, likely not long from now, but in the meantime, please check out a fellow writer’s musings and see what you think.

Ja ne!
The Ranting Loon

Cristian Mihai

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”Dylan Thomas

The say there’s one lesson of importance that life keep trying to teach us: letting go. Accepting whatever happened and moving on. Understanding that it is futile to fight back fate, destiny, or the will of the gods.

That, I’m afraid, is a lesson in humility that I never learned. And I think that it’s a different lesson altogether. That of holding on. Of being brave in the face of adversity, of being bold and persistent. Of forging your own destiny.

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Random musing

So, if anyone was wondering: Shadowrun pretending to be D&D=boring, Shadowrun pretending to be Firefly=awesome.

Just got home from my weekly Shadowrun game, had a lot of fun mucking around with space time in an adaptation of one of the old modules.  Not going to spoil anything, but lots of fun.  Favorite joke of the day was when the BBEG who is pretending to be the good guy to the town (not a spoiler to the player, it gets revealed a long time ago to us) and he says something about how in the wild west, death and dealing with death is a normal thing.  So I insinuated that I’d shoot him dead.  I don’t have nearly enough dice to pull it off, so didn’t ICly try, but a lot of fun was had at the joke (I rolled for the hell of it, after saying it wasn’t an actual attempt, got a critical glitch, which really cemented that it was not meant to be).  We couldn’t finish the current section of the module, so that’ll have to wait until next game.  Oh well, still fun.

Game next week is canceled due to low player turnout, so those of us who are able to go will be playing Shadowrun Crossfire, once I have a game under my belt, I’m sure I’ll post up a bit more about that quirky little game.

In other news, was going to watch Big Hero 6, but that got delayed due to showtimes.  Oh well, instead we plan on watching it on Tuesday, so look forward to a review then too, I guess.  I’ve got episodes of Future Diary, as well as AVP2 and Predators to watch in the meantime though, so I’m a busy bee.  Not sure what series to catch up on after I finish Future Diary though, debating between Sword Art Online (I’ve already seen the first season, looking forward to seeing the rest), Aria the Scarlet Ammo (because a friend reminded me that I never finished it) or finishing off Shiki.  In retrospect, I have a lot of anime that I need to finish off.  So little time, so much to read, see and do!  ><

Enjoying the crap out of Future Diary, but that’s being earmarked for a review once I finish the series.  In the meantime though, I give you this crack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqIX1tslWDw.  Please forgive me for any brain meltage.

:(  And it looks like my headphones are dead.  Now to find my other pair.  LOL  They served me well for many years, but like all things, eventually they fade away and serve a function no longer.  The funeral for my headphones will be held tomorrow and noon, nah, I’m just screwing with you of course, into the trash they go.  Now I have to deal with these weird headphones that I got awhile ago because they work for the PS3, 360 and PC, but they’re not nearly as user friendly as one would hope.  But meh, you get what you pay for, I suppose.  Really, you’d think someone would have made a true wireless (as in no fob or anything) headset for the PS3 and 360 combined, and yes, I know that one is Bluetooth and the other isn’t, but still, wouldn’t that just mean that pairing is theoretically easier anyway?

Wonder how long it’ll take me to stop playing the song linked above.  LOL  It’s crazy catching to me for some reason.

Anyway, thanks for reading and be careful of those yandere!

Ja ne,

The Ranting Loon