Before Friendship

It probably comes as a surprise to none of you reading this that my opinions earn me just as much ire as they do respect. For every feminist that stands at my side or ME sufferer that applauds the awareness I raise, there is another person willing to call me an over-sensitive wuss or accusing me of ignoring the struggles of men. Don’t be mistaken, this blog doesn’t get the traffic necessary for anonymous hate mail and when I do receive that, I can shrug it off as easy as anything. No, far more often, the people waiting to the sidelines to jump in with snide comments and putdowns are friends and family. My usual response is try to talk to them one to one to explain my point of view but if they’re gonna be pig-headed or, heaven forbid, insulting, that’s that and their name is quickly scratched from any Christmas card list I have going. I’ll never back down on my morals, I just can’t, morals define who we are, our codes are unique and we must not let others force us to against them or we lose ourselves. I won’t deny it can be disheartening but I won’t ever compromise on that aspect of myself. That said, here are some common arguments I want to lay to rest:

1. “That’s just your opinion”

I will not cut you out of my life for having a different opinion to me. I will not cut you out of my life for following a different religion or voting differently to me (Unless you support a party such as UKIP or Britain First). I understand my friends will have different opinions to me, I have friends who think minions are adorable, that Transformers are dull and that Dynasty Warriors is a braindead button-mashing experience but I don’t unfriend people over that. Opposing feminism isn’t having a different opinion to me, it’s an entire viewpoint away from mine, a whole different set of rules and values that just aren’t compatible with my own. Using feminism as an example, if you’re anti-feminist, then there a whole host of views that you may or may not fall in line with – victim blaming, slut shaming, the ‘place’ of women in society, friend-zoning, supporting such views is anti-feminism and opposing them? Pro. You might not wear the label but if you believe a woman shouldn’t deserve to be abused because of what she wears, that’s a feminist belief. Opinions are singular, you can look past those, what I am talking about is so much more than “That’s just what I think”, it’s “That’s what I deem to be morally correct”

2. “You’re refusing to hear what you don’t want to”

I think it’s fair to say that in this day and age of technology and viral videos and such, burying your head in the sand and ignoring the world around you is harder and harder to do unless you exclusively use the internet to do your Tesco food shop and watch porn and even then there’s probably going to be some crossover. We have the right to speak, the right to listen and the right to ignore, it’s a big deal with free speech. In all fairness, I’m not so much rejecting the viewpoint, I have to accept that such views exist and I am constantly aware of it, that’s why I do what I do, what I’m rejecting is the association of friendship between people like that and myself. I am AWARE of Donald Trump, that doesn’t mean if we met I’d have to have him added on Facebook to know that he is a racist orange gibbon.

3. “Refusing to talk to people with different views is cowardly and proof you can’t beat them in a debate”

This, I hear a lot, a sort of “If you don’t fight your case, you’ve lost” deal, like I’m on trial every time I put a link to a Laci Green vid in a status. I’ll start by saying that flat out refusing to talk to someone just because they’re right-wing or such isn’t how I start, that’s certainly a buffer I have up against new friends or partners, if a date makes a joke about Poland being full of cut-rate builders ruining the British economy by taking our jobs, I know I won’t need to bother asking her out on a second date. I do try and talk people around and I find, more often than not actually, it is not me that first resorts to personal attacks. Granted, in the past, I’ve had a tendency towards dismissing my opponents as imbeciles but more recently, it is often my critics that come forth with harsh barbs. A wide belief is the first to resort to such, is out of actual intelligent points to argue. I will try and talk someone around but if they’re being unpleasant or mocking me or such, I have no obligation to listen to the rest of what they might say

4. “What about Echo Chambers?”

Echo Chambers, for those who are unaware, are the idea of having a social media account that is loaded with nothing but people who agree with everything you say or do and as such, you become both big-headed and narrow-minded. I mean, if a hundred or so people are telling you on a near daily basis that you are very clever, attractive and morally righteous, surely it stands to reason you might one day believe all that to be fact? Well, aside from my hilariously out-of-hand anxiety having the power to keep any sort of ego of mine in check, not all my friends agree with me on everything I do and we are all capable of critical thinking. Dangerous as it is, I will always peruse the comment sections of news articles and videos, to see different views being expressed beneath. Largely, I’ll admit, it is people making vulgar remarks and such but there are a broad spectrum of opinions represented in these places, some fact-checked, some not, and I will take my time to mine the internet for comments actually worth reading. However, beyond that, on something like Facebook, can you blame people for wanting to be surrounded by people that like them a whole bunch and tell them nice things when we as a society are so readily prepared to pull one another apart? If you want an Echo Chamber, go ahead, you can always self-administer some doses of reality by watching the news or going outside, you don’t need a quota of dickheads on your Friends list to water down your self-confidence.

5. “You won’t win anyone around to your way of thinking by unfriending them”

Err… I’m sorry, when did that become my obligation? When did it become my job to try and win the hearts and minds of every person I meet? No, you see, the BLOG is where it’s my job to defend my viewpoints because that’s all this is, this is literally a website full of me saying shit I think and believe. My Facebook is just my day-to-day thought journal and means of contacting friends and sharing dumb photos I like because penguins are in it or it contains a pun or something. In my daily life, I have every right to just tell someone to piss off because Jacob Wolfe needs his space, Old Man Wolfe, on this site, is the guy doing the debating and lengthy arguments and such and if I need to illustrate my point, I can just tell Facebook friend “Go read this thing I wrote THEN talk to me”. I’ll defend my beliefs at any point in life, sure, but a highlight of the digital age is that if someone is an annoying wanker, you can click a button and they no longer exist in your radar, why would that not be a feature I would make use of?

Well, that’s that then, feel free to use these points in your own rebuttals when you have to explain to your parents why you blocked Aunt Carol on Facebook because she won’t stop sharing anti-vaccination posts on her profile. Your media, your choices, you don’t have any obligation to argue with people if you don’t want to and your beliefs are more than just opinions, they make you who you are and if people can’t accept them, they can’t accept you and that’s not on. Tolerance is all well and good but it’s a two-way street so don’t just put up with nonsense for the sake of being a good person, you have to let yourself break away from toxic influences. Just keep up to date on the world affairs and you won’t lose sight of reality behind rose-tinted glass (And hey, fuck reality once in awhile, take an evening a week or something or an hour of the day to just forget David Cameron is in power and go play a game or watch a film). Remember that you are no less for wanting to spend more time in the company of people like you and that it is a clever move to remove people from your life who will only cause you harm or upset. Okay? That’s all.

Really need a sign off phrase…

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Month of December 2015

Hello! Ranties… Rantlettes… I need a term to refer to my fans, such as it were. The Game Grumps have Lovelies, Pewdiepie has the Bros, I need a thing. Oh, and a cool sign off, cool sign offs are a thing. Erhem, point, back to it. So I’ve been quiet, I did warn you all I was taking November off to have a think and other than some bit pieces on the current deplorable state of our world, I stuck to that, but it’s December now and you’re probably wondering what I have in store for you right? I hope you are, I’d hate to think you’re indifferent about it because that would make me feel like I’m wasting my time here. So with that in mind, here’s the plan I’ve got laid out for December 2015 and moving on to the year ahead.

Firstly, owing to the success of the Decap Attack playthrough, Jonah and I are going to be taking on another holiday-themed video game, all I need to acquire first is screen-recording/video editing software (I used a trial version of a product beforehand but the trial has expired and to buy a key is like £200 so I said fuck that in every way known to the English language and grumbled for several minutes). The Let’s Plays have cottoned on it seems, people enjoyed the casual vibe and honest banter, which makes sense because it was literally just my brother and I playing a video game together, that’s 90% of our shared activities, the rest is political discussion and wandering around town or just me irritating him by squeezing his face or pretending to punch him, as brothers often do. I’ll do more of them, they’re fun to do, but please bear in mind they’re not going to be my staple thing, that’s not what I’m trying to achieve public recognition for – that’s no jibe against such types, I’m a strong follower of the Beard Bros and Game Grumps but I don’t want to be known as another beardy white boy playing video games for a living jumping on that bandwagon because it is still rolling strong. So yeah, there’ll be a Christmas one and we’ve considered some other games that’d be fun to do, I have a wealth of emulator roms and a Steam library full of stuff Jonah has never heard of so he’ll be wombling through that with total confusion, as will my audience no doubt, that could be fun.

Secondly, a Christmas special post, you’re probably expecting one, there was one last year after all. Well, I do have a fair bit to say on the subject of Christmas, albeit in what will be seen as a Scroogey fashion but with good justification. I’m not sure what to expect of Christmas yet, there’s been little mention of it around the home but depending on what happens will dictate what I post on actual Christmas Day. However, I can do some Christmas related posts beforehand so look out for those, interspersed with any recent topical news I feel obliged to speak out about.

Finally then, the new year! What is coming? VIDEOS. Yes, I’ve said this for a while but I have a camera, I have locations I can utilise, I have people willing to help out and I’ll soon have some editing software so the pieces are falling into place. A YouTube channel is being set up and a schedule worked on to provide enough content without overdoing it and balancing it between funny bits and serious bits. I realise there are a few things making my blog a task to get into – it’s very depressing stuff, it’s very long to read and it doesn’t always balance fun and serious discussion too well so people can be put off thinking they’re just subjecting themselves to more “How can we allow this stupid thing to happen?” style rants when there are a few “I watched a funny movie!” posts in the mix. Contributions from my audience are encouraged, not monetary (Though I won’t complain if you’re offering! Kidding!) but ideas of what you want from me. Let’s Play requests have come in and in the past, even article requests but these videos are made by me for you, it’s important for me to know what people want to hear about. I’m also tempted to do some lengthier discussion pieces for people to listen to in the background as they do whatever because I love those myself so let me know if that’d interest you. Like, say an hour’s discussion in a radio show style thing on a topic, using some bits and bobs found on the internet and in the news for talking points featuring myself and some other guests (friends I can desperately rope into sitting in a room for an hour talking to a laptop). So if that sounds good, at least as say, pleasant background noise, let me know!

So that’s that, keep watching this space on here and on my Facebook page. OH, Twitter, gonna get me on of those, seems it’s a thing that won’t go away anytime soon, start using them hashtags and what have ya. Keep watching, please keep supporting this blog and maybe one day you’ll see Old Man Wolfe in the trending section on your News Feed hmm? I did recently do some sponsored posts, reached out to over 7000 viewers, of those 7000 at least 250 of them checked the blog (Not massively impressive I know but it’s better than the usual “Hey, you have three good friends who read all your rubbish and like, four guys were bored” I get on here)

Signature sign-off phrase pending! See you all soon!

The Step Forward

Trigger Warnings – None.

Sorry this post is out a bit later than usual, I’ve missed that prime time opportunity but hey, it happens. I’m not sure what to write about tonight, I’ve felt really quite passionate about my previous articles of the week but my view stats haven’t been this low in some time – maybe I’m not reaching out, maybe I’m too proud of stuff that actually isn’t interesting, I don’t know. So, whilst I hate to be a self-piteous jerk (I do hate it, I know I post a lot of personal crap but that’s more for me really, this blog is the inside of my head), I need to get some stuff off my chest.

Understandably, my latest topics have put off would be readers because they’re heavy subjects – the Sydney siege, the Sony cyber attacks, talks of politics and whilst I thought I broke it up pretty well with the Cards Against Humanity post and the Cereal Killer post, which were distinctly more popular than the others. I’m not too surprised and whilst I did enjoy writing those articles, they’re fluffy filler posts, they’re not hot button topics and I don’t want to just write about that all the time because if I was just going to blog about insignificant topics that are amusing to the right people I’d blog about the depiction of historical events in video games and line by line did-you-knows about the ERB performances of Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter. I knew when I started on this blog I couldn’t extensively blog about what I find fascinating because when I bring it up in conversation, people just nod and have no reference points to go by as I explain my rage at a bad characterisation of a samurai or a ninja I like or something or as I try to clarify why I think something is genius. I’m not bitter about that, it’s fine, maybe if I ever hit the mainstream I can do some niche side projects for those fanbases.

I’m thinking of moving on from blogging to YouTube, it’s where the people are and truth be told the concept is more exciting to me now, though I do despise the sound of my own voice. Heads up to you yanks that are expecting me to have a smooth sexy Hiddleston voice, I do not, I sound like a complete and utter twat. I mean, I’ve always loved the written word for expressing myself as a suave, charming fellow of sophistication but in person “Erm, erhem, so yeah that’s uh… hi… what?”. I’ll probably use prompts or write the article out and go from there and then upload the written version here for those of you who still read, a dying breed but a special one. I’ll need to invest in some good tech for it though I should think, a webcam won’t cut it by itself but thankfully I have people willing to help me out in their own way. I’ve decided the format will probably be a weekly or bi-weekly upload of a sort of me telling you the news with my own opinions and then the occasional less polished side notes of things I feel like sharing with you and a friend has discussed animated videos with me, it’s held an appeal to me for ages and would be fun to do.

I shouldn’t complain, I managed to inspire a friend of mine into starting their own blog, that’s pretty ego-boosting. I don’t want people thinking I did this ‘taking them under my wing, they owe it all to me’ thing because it was more just me idly saying ‘You need to blog, you are smart, I would read it’ and they sorta rolled with it. I’ll post a link below, check them out – a fellow feminist taking a fearsome arsenal of intellect and insight to tackle pop culture’s short comings, they’ve only just started but I look forward to what is to come:

https://fatalfeminism.wordpress.com/

I’m sure it will be well worth a nosey once the posts start rolling out but just to make sure you don’t miss out, bookmark the home page hey? And on that note, I hate to be the guy pushing myself forward and saying you should read this, we all know that creative one who uses any subject to segue into their blog or book or poetry and everyone rolls their eyes but speaking from experience as that guy, it’s usually the only way to get people to actually pay attention, nobody seeks out the unknown writer do they? Some friends and family support me and that’s great but audience is small and dwindling so I’m gonna suck it up and say it…

Please, like and share my articles if you enjoy them, subscribe as well. Ugh, feel dirty. Mind you, even the most popular presenters of the Tube still ask so I should feel no shame in doing it, I always just imagined my own merit would carry it but perhaps not, perhaps I have to actually advertise. Would a Facebook page help do you reckon?

Anyway, that’s that, I’ll try to come out with something better tomorrow.

Fresh Hot Humble Pie – Highly Recommended (Originally Published – 30th January 2013)

Well fuck, seems that only two days ago I got so emotionally charged that my fingers went mad at the keyboard like a fury of small mallets attacking plastic gophers but just looking at my Facebook News Feed and the people around me is often all I need to get so fired up that I’d carve my rants into a baby’s face if it looked at me funny. I find myself unable to comprehend what runs through peoples’ heads these days and I mean that as more than just a psychopathic man with social issues, I mean that as a man with a brain in his head. You know what a brain is right? That pink mushy draft excluder between those flaps on your head that seem to be purely ornamental for most people, as if they’re just two flimsy scraps of pig skin taped onto a kumquat. By now, you’re probably hoping I trip over a pipebomb and land in the jaws of a pissed shark but the truth is that, myself included at times, we’re all just a bit stupid and wrapped up in our own pride and petty issues.

Ok, so run with me here, this is serious. I’ve often berrated half the people I’ve ever met in life for rambling on about twoddle I wouldn’t wipe my arse with, to which they reply with various colourful ideas involving said arse and sharp objects, but I seriously think a lot of us need a serving of humble pie and a smack across the jaw. I mentioned in a previous rant that I used to be a bit of a loose cannon. Strike that, a bit of a loose cannon would imply I just got drunk every now and then and missed coursework deadlines, I mean loose cannon as in that lifting people up into the air by their throat and cursing at them was my standard form of greeting and my pass times included fights, fights and more fights. I’m not afraid to admit that back in the day, arsehole was the nicest thing you could call me, and my reputation in the community made me sound like Jack the fucking Ripper. However, my selfish lifestyle granted me a huge loss and suddenly life was dipping it’s hairy balls in my mouth for being such a massive tosser. Humble pie, ladies and gentlemen, is the meal you never seem to order but you will always end up eating sooner or later, whether you’re the local twat or a full on bloody billionaire. Look at Romney, even his piles of money and an ego so large it in itself would need a seat in Congress were not enough to overcome his opposition so now he spends his time doing the rich guy equivalent to slitting his wrists… probably fucking mermaids and eating caviar until he collapses from the worst smelling orgasm imaginable

How does this apply to me, you ask? Simple, in more ways than you probably think. I had a serving of humble pie and it took me a while to build myself a new bubble of arrogance and even that’s just for display. I don’t mean to say that I privately sit in a corner crying and wishing I was Duke Nukem, but even the level of pretentiousness I’m at now is overplayed for a laugh and I’m easily thrown out of my groove by a sharp criticism and a backed up argument. I think that’s what gives the impression I believe myself to be superior, nobody has constructed a good enough reason for me to go kill myself and those that could do so, won’t do so for whatever reason. I guess it’s easy to cry over the little things, because ultimately the small details can add up to the bigger picture, but there are ways of handling things that put you in the wrong that just work better. I’m guilty of this, and so are you, and that’s attributing your misery to others. I’ve gone through a lot of work to stop giving a shit about the people who make me miserable and about eight of ten of those people have no power over me any longer. The world is cruel and savage and so forth, and I’m not gonna be the one who protects you from it’s horror or tell you it’s ok because you’re not here for comfort, you’re here because you know there are elements of truth in my comic ramblings and if you can’t see it, you’ve probably got bored by now and gone off to play games with the cat or something. I grew up with disappointment, and so did most of you, so why do we all feel the need to fly off the handle about everything we can’t have? People, tears buy nothing in this world but the sympathy of the few, and even that doesn’t wipe your runny nose for you.

Incidentally, a better idea for us all is to hang the sense of it and make the most of what comes your way, whilst trying to find that one thing to hold up as an umbrella in the shit storm. I imagine I’ll be unwittingly ordering more humble pie very soon, even though I still have some leftovers glaring at me in the fridge, but if anybody wants a piece, I recommend it and would suggest you serve it hot with the cream of consideration

Thank you.

Like and Share, you mindless mortals! (Originally Published – 10th September 2012)

Hello, Jacob Wolfe clocking in again at the factory of foul ranting, after a lengthy holiday that mostly consisted of working my nuts off, here, there and everywhere I could be made to do something for somebody. I’m sure you’ve all been wandering what happened to these once-upon-a-time weekly rants but rest assured I’m going to try and get back into routine so you don’t have to miss out on the hilarious results of frustration plus keyboard. To those of you checking out my work for the first time, you haven’t missed out on too much. The premise is simple, I vent out my anger at a failure within modern society as a page of fanciful ranting and then put up on the internet for people to either laugh at, or be offended by so I can laugh at them. I must warn you in advance, this isn’t friendly stuff so if you’re of a nervous disposition or easily offended, go read something more cheerful. If you’re still here, you’re no doubt after some entertaining vulgarities aren’t you? Oh go on then

My topic today is related to Facebook and in particular, one of the most annoying things about it. I’m not talking about the ever changing layout that leaves people in tears, desperately clawing at their screens because change is bad. No, I’m on about something much much worse. ‘Like and share, ignore if you’re heartless/hate gay people/want to die a grizzly death involving your eyes, a melon bowler and several burly men etc.’ I don’t really have to explain why this is so bad do I? I mean, it’s smegging obvious what’s so bleedin’ annoying about this airy-fairy drivel and if you can’t see the problem, you’ve probably liked and shared one of these stupid photos or maybe you were the one who uploaded that picture of a dying child, demanding I share the photo or you’ll appear under my bed with a knife? By the way, appearing under my bed would be an impressive feat; it has no legs so the space under my bed is as thin as a sheet of paper.

The offending photos range in appearance, usually something harmless and brain dead along the lines of ‘Share if you like Black Veil Brides. Ignore if you’re a Bieber fan’, which, whilst a strong motivation to not ignore your photo, I don’t like Black Veil Brides either and the idea of giving you my attention makes me feel like vomiting. Occasionally, the photos get a bit wedged up their own ass and preach to you about heaven and hell, saying that God will only save those who like the photo of him posted on Facebook. I have read the Bible and I am pretty sure, there isn’t a Psalm Reading along the lines of ‘And so the loyal shepherd liked thy holy spirit’s Facebook photo and so he and his flock were spared from the vengeful flood’. I may be wrong. God’s losing it if he really has to run heaven as an online subscription service, perhaps he’s feeling the effects of global recession and the economic value of the afterlife equates to an amount roughly the same as a Greek saving account.

However, I can put up with the harmless photos of puppies, cartoon characters and various musicians pulling cute faces at me, hoping I’ll grace them with space on my profile because in all honesty, they’re just the end results of creepy weirdoes using pictures to get a couple more friends and the only real way to avoid them is to scroll past them quickly and hope that you don’t get murdered by a ghost or banished to the void between dimensions. I may be irritable and grumpy but I let this slide because it’s essentially just the only way these monkeys can socialise. On the other hand, there are times where the photos can just go too far. I know what you’re thinking, I dance on the edge of taste myself but if you look back at my other rants, I do not dirty my work with anything much too vulgar. Cancer, specific national traumas, disabilities are just three topics that I make sure not to make crude jokes about because I know it’s entirely tasteless and that I will actually be murdered in my sleep by a victim of such topics. However, the photos don’t stop at the border of what’s a harmless picture for some likes and what’s actually just cruel. The photos and their creators are like some sort of psychopathic comedy nightmare, moving into areas that you just cannot poke at for attention. I’m sure we’ve all encountered the photo of a dying baby, suffering with a terminal illness, an abnormal growth or a victim of cancer and below the picture is a tragic back story and this command to share the photo a million times or the baby will die. Firstly, I don’t want anyone to think I’m a heartless old man who thinks those that are ill should die off and leave room for me and I certainly don’t want anyone in the world to have to live with such horrid illnesses, nor do I wish them upon others, even the people I wouldn’t save from being hit by a bus. I just want to make it clear, the photo is not a miracle of medical science and sharing it has no benefit for the child. Doctors get to work the moment they receive a patient, case studies are not uploaded onto Facebook for the public to decide who gets medical attention and who gets thrown out. If a child receives less than one million likes on Facebook, unless the child has already passed away, the child is most likely stable or on the path to recovery whilst receiving support from a number of trained doctors and surgeons. However good your intentions may be, you cannot save a live by making a photograph appear on the Facebook news feed of half your home country. Correct me if I’m wrong but no global catastrophe or terminal illness was ever prevented by a photograph on the internet

Allow me to tell you the story of a little girl named Isobel, a new-born infant that was suffering with a terrible cancer on her brain that appeared as a lump on the side of her head. I mean to tread softly as possible here and I hope nobody takes offense so please let it be said, anything that is interpreted as rude is not intentional. Please also note the information may not be 100% accurate as I am relying on information received from people who identified with my outburst on the comments of her photo. Isobel was photographed, lying on a bed with this growth and clearly looking uncomfortable as she bravely fought against the cancer but what she didn’t know, nor did her parents, is that the strictly confidential photograph was leaked onto Facebook and made into an attention whoring campaign for admins on various tactless pages (You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones with page names written in something even a dyslexic person can spot spelling mistakes in and that offer you 2000 extra friends if you add their shirtless admin and tell him your name, age, occupation, bathroom habits and so forth). The photo came with a brief misinformed back story and the demand that people must share the photo for the child’s sake and that failure to do so is proof that you have no heart. Comments were disallowed unless it was sympathetic but still, the wiser users of Facebook, albeit the grumpier ones, voiced their disgust at what they saw. I would like to inform you all that the child in the photograph survived and received the necessary surgery to remove the cancer; the parents are overjoyed and the whole family is moving on gradually. Now I can’t understand why anyone would use the personal struggles of a stranger just to make themselves popular, it’s sick. The photo is available across the internet and it seems to just say to anyone who looks at this popularity campaign ‘This is the length that an idiot will go to if it makes them popular’. Heck, you’re not even impressing your friends, you’re trying to appeal to people you’ve never met and never will. Isobel’s family were outraged and awash in tears as they watched this photograph make its way across the world for all the wrong reasons. Isobel isn’t the only victim here. Starving orphans, seriously ill babies and sufferers of natural disasters are all exploited as ploys to get Facebook admins noticed.

I do not wish these people to die or become ill but should they ever suffer, I may just reach for a camera. However then again, I might not, for fear of sinking to their level. I couldn’t live a life where my moral standards sit lower down than the Earth’s crust. I don’t normally end on such sombre notes and I hope you all enjoyed this rant as much as I hope it made you think but to any admins out there, the line in the sand should not be crossed for the sake of a few more likes. I can tolerate your bombardment of photos of Bieber and Biersack, your pictures of Satan, of Jesus and of ghosts but if you ever exploit the suffering of another human being to get noticed, you’re not somebody I want to know