This week’s challenge is all about depth. I was doing this National Geographic photo assignment that required a faceless portrait, so I decided to focus on what everyone sees first when they see me: the hair. You don’t see many guys rocking this style. Upon closer (macro) inspection, I’ve just now noticed how many layers deep two feet of curly hair really is!
Hey, folks. Day 21’s assignment was all about building upon and/or explaining the post from Day 19. I chose to use quotes because…well, I’ve tried pretty much all the other formats. Rather than sticking with a specific quote, I chose a group of them that not only reflected my thoughts on this blog, but arranged them in a way that would form something resembling narrative. I’ll just give them a brief run-down:
- Jorge Luis Borges blew my mind when I first read his work, and the quote I used seemed to capture the feeling all too well. Causality is fascinating, be it in a philosophical or religious context. Borges wasn’t sure about what his storytelling was going to do, only that there were stories. It’s the same thing when I post something here; I find it cool and interesting, but I can’t account for others’ biases or beliefs. All I can do is tell it the way I can, and hope it’s good enough.
- The dedication page for House of Leaves always stood out for me. That book is several mind-screws all bundled up into one, and “This is not for you” is just one of the earliest ways it messes with your expectations. I want to do the same with my blog; I want to get you to wonder, to think. And much like that quote, I don’t just blog for everyone else; I blog for myself, too.
- The third quote comes from my favorite fighting game ever. If you want a great example of video game role models, Ryu would probably be high on the list. He doesn’t just want to fight for the sake of violence; he wants to experience and learn new things. His quote is kind of my unofficial mantra.
- The fourth one is that infamous reveal from The Shining. It serves as a counter to the previous quote; if you spend so much time focusing on objectives and improvement, you can lose sight of who you are, and the life around you. There has to be a balance somewhere, and it’s good to have a reminder of that. On an unrelated note, The Shining is one of my all-time favorite movies.
- Solid Snake’s rant is the capstone to the infamously mind-screwy Metal Gear Solid 2 ending. The entire game is essentially one long lesson on postmodernism, and this little speech is probably the most straightforward moment you’ll ever get. Snake basically argues that we as individuals are more than just producers of the next generation. We can show them – and each other – what is important to us. We are survived by what we pass on. That’s a sentiment I want my blog to reflect.
- Blood Meridian is one of my favorite novels. Not because of the setting or the brutality – Judge Holden is such an amazing character – but how the story is told. The imagery is so vivid, and…I better stop now before I start ranting. The quote I used reinforces my curiosity; I want to be the one who pulls the tapestry and takes life on his own terms. And I want you to try, too; you can’t fully live if you don’t ask questions.
- Moving The River by Prefab Sprout is one of many, many one-hit wonders I have on my playlist. I prefer the acoustic to the regular version, though. It’s about a guy who’s disappointed with life, and must comes to terms with his parents – and his own – expectations. I’m very much the same. As the title implies, living takes Herculean strength; the song even ends with “but it takes such an effort/to stay where I am…” The lyrics I chose reflect my doubt over the subject matter I choose to post. A few of my interests and hobbies aren’t exactly…mainstream, and I worry about alienation and abandonment over them.
- …Like depression, for example. Out Of My Head is a late 90’s hit about personal reflection, regret, and doubt. Despite its simplicity, the song manages to be tear-jerking and introspective. I quoted it to reflect my issues with depression (and mental health in general) and how it’s one of those taboo subjects. How are we as a society supposed to combat such illnesses if we don’t talk about them?
- The next quote is just a continuation of same idea. It’s worth noting that Gotta Knock A Little Harder is all about someone overcoming their fears and doubts, even if they have to bust through their own emotional barriers to do it. I’m working on that part. This song is part of Cowboy Bebop’s tremendous soundtrack, and I highly recommend that you give it all a listen sometime.
- Stardust Melody is an old, amazing song. It’s not about love, but idealizing love. After time and lives have past, all you have are the memories. I worry about that; maybe I’m doing this all in vain, but I still do it. It’s an incredibly lonely, but peaceful song. I listen to it sometimes before going to bed. I wanted to link to my favorite version – Mel Torme with just a piano – but I couldn’t find a video for it.
- The Late Lament is a poem that comes after the ending of the Moody Blues’ Nights In White Satin. It depicts a somber, lonely evening in which people settle in for the night. The part at the end struck me because of its defiant tone. Despite all the sadness and doubt, we are the ones who decide how to live. It’s a reminder to never give up.
- The last quote is actually a quote of a quote. “You’re gonna carry that weight” comes from the Beatles song, but the line is also featured at the final screen of Cowboy Bebop. There’s a very good reason why it shows up, and I’m not going to spoil it for you. Basically, you have to live with the decisions and actions you take. Be it guilt, sadness, desire, pleasure…you carry those moments and memories around for the rest of your life. I want my blog to not only share such things, but to help me going into the future.
Life isn’t just about passing on your genes. We can leave behind much more than just DNA. Through speech, music, literature and movies…what we’ve seen, heard, felt…anger, joy and sorrow…these are the things I will pass on. That’s what I live for. We need to pass the torch, and let our children read our messy and sad history by its light.We have all the magic of the digital age to do that with. The human race will probably come to an end some time, and new species may rule over this planet. Earth may not be forever, but we still have the responsibility to leave what traces of life we can. Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing. – Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty
The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate. – Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Though I dream in vain, in my heart it always will remain
My stardust melody, the memory of love’s refrain – Stardust Melody
Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion. – Moody Blues, Nights In White Satin/Late Lament
You’re gonna carry that weight. – Cowboy Bebop
Hey, folks. Today’s Zero To Hero assignment is a biggie: laying the groundwork for a social network. This one was actually pretty hard for me; I’m really shy, so I’ve always kept my distance from social media. This time, I decided to just dive in and see what I could do in a single afternoon. I already had Tumblr and Twitter, but nothing else. So, I created a Facebook page, my Goodreads library, and (after several technical problems) a Pinterest. The latter two will definitely be useful for getting to know more the online literary and photography scenes respectively. Goodreads will be essential to keeping my books organized, and it’ll make posting reviews and recommendations easier. Tumblr and Twitter are relatively chaotic, but they’ve proven useful when it comes to finding breaking news and geeky articles. If you want to check stuff out, everything’s now accessible via the side bar. I’m still getting a handle on the whole WordPress thing, and now there’s a ton more stuff to learn! This all going to take a while to fully build, so please bear with me. I’d like to think I’m off to a good start.
How about you? Do you have any social media platforms that you enjoy using alongside WordPress?
Hey, folks. Today’s Zero To Hero assignment is all about the WordPress neighborhood. The task is simple: Follow five new topics in the Reader and find some new blogs to follow. At least, it seemed simple. As you can probably tell, I’m really into learning. So when someone shows me a whole new way to search for blogs and articles, I dive in headfirst. I’m pretty sure I’ve been perusing WordPress for at least three hours. There might be drool accumulating on my lower lip. The assignment called for only five topics, but I’m up to 25: Anime, Astronomy, Book Review, Books, Culture, Depression, Education, Fiction, Films, History, Introversion, Languages, Literature, Movies, Mythology, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Psychology, San Francisco, Science, Travel, Video Games, Writing, and ZeroToHero.
…I should probably step away from the laptop.
Anyway, I’m still sifting through everything. I’ve already found a few intriguing ones, such as Physics4Me, Lijie Zhou Photography, For Lack of Paper, and JAR Blog. I’m sure there are tons more out there (still looking for a good psych one), so I’ll probably be at this for the rest of the evening…after I’ve eaten something.
What awesome blogs have you found today?
Hey, folks. Today’s Zero To Hero assignment is all about thought. As in, what I was thinking when I started this blog. In a single word: frustration. I’m very shy, so I rarely talk to people. Writing has always been my preferred communication method. Problem was, I wasn’t writing; I was burned out and depressed. I was sick of the online communities I knew. Polymathically is actually my seventh attempt at creating some kind of online journal/communication medium. The first – and still ongoing – is my list of video game reviews. While it’s remained my most popular venture (standing at 1,691,719 hits as of this hour), it felt limiting; it took me years to realize I was worth more than that list. I tried expanding my efforts to a couple of blogs and a Tumblr, but they never went anywhere. I started a deviantART page for my photography, but its success has been minimal. Since fewer people read text-based reviews, I thought I could start a YouTube channel and do presentations…only to discover that my voice was way too soft.
I needed to write.
Or at least, do something new. On my birthday, I decided to take another plunge into the world of blogging. I’d never used WordPress before, but I’d read good things about it. I went in with the understanding that this wasn’t going to be just about video games; I’d spent too long focusing on one hobby. I could do so much more than that. My initial posts were fueled with frustration; I was sick and tired of being the only one bothering to actually look at my surroundings. There was also lingering doubts about how I’d be perceived; some of my interests are socially stigmatized, so I didn’t want things turning into a lurid escapade. But I couldn’t just sit back. If I wanted others to start wondering about their world, then I needed to inspire them. Two months later, I’m still going strong. I’m not some huge name (yet), but at least I’m doing something productive with my anger.