Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas dear readers, is the turkey sitting nicely in your gut (or vegan equivalent? So as not to discriminate). I hope this year finds you all doing well and of course, wishing you the best for the year to come. As is becoming of yearly traditions, I am here to fill you in on my Christmas and a recap of the lead up to it, from my perspective, because that is what you are here to read. I am not a newspaper nor a company, merely a man with a blog that you all seem to take some interest in, however slight or strong it may be.

I will admit I have not looked forward to Christmas – unemployment, tight finances, dwindling social life and a constant stream of happiness from the world around me seemingly for everyone bar me has had me greet festivity with bitterness in my heart. As I write this, that bitterness begins to come forth once again, as it often does in an evening. I made my efforts though, I am not one to let my personal woes ruin the joy of others and so I participated in gift-giving, jumper-wearing and cheer-spreading, albeit with a somewhat pained grimace where a smile should have been. Today in itself consisted of the usual gift-unwrapping followed by films, Doctor Who, dinner and then everyone toddles off again to do their own thing, my thing being returning to my little cell of a bedroom to brood and contemplate on doing something creative until it is suddenly 2:34AM and all I have achieved is removing my trousers and staring at the utter lack of notifications I have to attend to on my Facebook.

Christmas, in a sense, has yet to actually come for me because whilst I have received cash from the folks and a new shirt from one of my brothers, the bulk of my gifts are coming from friends I have not had the chance to see yet and perhaps on those occasions I will feel more cheery. As it stands, home life is not cheery, tensions are high here and there has been far too much aggression in the air to call this a holly jolly holiday. Interesting, when one considers this might be my last Christmas like this – though I feel perhaps that was considered by everyone present and some perhaps greeted that thought with the silent response of “Thank goodness”, there has been no attempt to bury hatchets here and hostilities are either laid plain or knives are sharpened behind backs. Indeed, perhaps even this blog is my knife, though whom it would cut remains to be seen as my work is met with the most trifling interest by my family.

I apologise, I am a downer on a day of joy, such is my lot. I wish I had stories of charity and cheer to tell and whilst this season has not been an endless suffering on my part, indeed one party was attended and unexpected gifts have been assured to be coming my way yet as it stands, at this time on this day, I feel a black mist grip my soul and drag it back down like always. I look forward to the new year, if only because I have ambitions to drive me and feasible means of achieving some of them and the prospect of being in work again is seemingly more apparent – two employers have expressed great interest in me and once the world of work is back in order then they will hurry to usher me in and get me sorted out as either their new team player or latest addition to the rejection bin.

I have no right to complain, I spent Christmas in a warm home with turkey on my plate, no job to tear me away from my family and there was no actual family tragedy today, just muttered words and a general consensus of “Let’s do this for as long as it is bearable”, with some of us giving up an hour in and some sticking through to dinner before departing. Families do that I suppose, the Christmas card image of a family gathered and united in love is appealing but fairly untrue, especially in homes on the breadline like mine. Ultimately, you must think me a terrible whine, to speak of how poor I find myself and woe is me but you are not obliged to read on, this is merely a personal filling in and as it stands, this is the truth of it – a modest Christmas with a family divided and I am little more than a misery.

I do not know what 2016 will bring. I hope it will be the year that changes everything and intend to work hard to make it so and yet, I have said that much for each year of my life since I left school and here I am. On the upside, with a gym contract I’m obliged to for twelve months, at £9.99 a month, I can at least be depressed and fucking jacked up like a beefcake, I’m too much of a tight git with money to let the best part of £10 vanish from my bank account each month and not turn up at the gym – I’m lazy enough, I don’t intend to charge myself £10 a month to be so.

Still, Christmas is a time to be thankful so let me end on the lighter note as to what I am thankful for. I am thankful to my family for providing me a home and for the efforts they have made for me all year round, to my Dad for being willing to invest in me and help me take my first steps towards revolutionising my work by buying me the equipment. I am thankful to my friends for their steadfast loyalty, especially at this time and whilst the run-up to Christmas would provide many of them valid reason to make less effort, some have made more effort than ever to check that I am okay and provide me with some reason to smile or laugh. Lastly, let me give thanks to the unexpected friends I have found this year, old grudges washed away and casual acquaintances have made new strides to know me better, it is always something that can make me smile.

Merry Christmas everyone, I will provide a 2015 retrospective later this year and in it, I will look back on my year and my plans for 2016, for those who take interest in such matters

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Christmas Is Always Coming

So, let’s talk about Christmas, it’s obligatory with it being less than ten days away at this point and I do plan to discuss my actual day of Christmas with you on Christmas as it happens, a sort of sum up like last year followed by a retrospective of my year as a whole. However, for now, let’s discuss Christmas, in particular why some may view me as something of a Scrooge on the topic. I never really partake in festivities to the same degree as my friends – no antlers on my head, no Christmas jumper waiting to be sprung out come December and you’ll never get me singing along to Jingle Bells. A variety of reasons surround this, first and foremost is my social anxiety which insists that although everyone else in the room looks like a colossal dickhead wearing red noses and tinsel scarves, I will be the most dickheadiest of dickheads if I join in, that somehow my foolishness isn’t just fun, it’s utterly disgusting and degrading to watch and people will remember the display as a reason to hold me in slightly less high regard. On the other hand, there are some other reasons I’m not huge on Christmas as a whole, which I’ll cover over the course of this post.

Now, don’t be mistaken in thinking I want December 25th to be just another day on the calendar and we don’t bother at all, that’s not it, I think it’s nice that we all agree to dedicate some time of the year to togetherness and family time and so on – though it sucks to the nth degree not all of us get that. Christmas, forced onto the mainstream by a previously Christian dominated society and now kept around for people of all walks of life due to a combination of tradition and marketing, is fun when you’re in the right setting for it with the right people and resources and so on – hard to be miserable at Christmas when you have all you want. The problem is just that though, Christmas is such a beacon of light and joy that some of us expect it to cast out the negativity simply the grace of existing and we can overlook the pains, struggles and loneliness of our fellow men because we think “It’s Christmas, someone will do something for them and they’ll probably feel better with a belly full of turkey and some nice new trinkets to unwrap”. Here then. we have that phrase, that phrase that is the bane of my life every single year between the end of October and December 26th.

“BUT IT’S CHRISTMAS!”

You know what? So fucking what if it is? We’re aware what time of year it is, which by the way, I resent for creeping earlier and earlier into the year, partly because I’m a November baby and partly because it applies the pressure to be cheerful and excited on depressed folk like me before they’re even in the right frame of mind to adopt false happiness. Christmas isn’t some be all, end all cure to the woes of the world, whatever Bob Geldof insists on telling you. The reality is Santa doesn’t deliver world peace, bosses don’t always let things slide because the big day is coming and not every broken heart finds someone willing to bring them out of the cold, let’s not delude ourselves. If we perpetuate Christmas as being the best thing to happen in a year, it loses that status because we don’t need to do anything, it becomes that for the consumerist masses just by being Christmas – people already have their Christmas spirit pumping without the need for volunteering in a soup kitchen or checking in on their lonesome neighbour who doesn’t have kids to come visit or whatever. By doing that, Christmas becomes less and less like the fairy tales and slips more and more into what cynics like me have been calling it for years – a mass of over-excited meatheads stuffing their faces and buying shit.

So, Christmas lovers, maybe you’re think I’m being a Grinch hmm? I just don’t understand because I’m a misery right? Maybe you’re right, this year is seeing me be the most depressed I’ve been at Christmas time since my schoolboy days, for reasons too personal to disclose here. However, last Christmas (Don’t), I wasn’t as bad, I had money, friends and even though Christmas didn’t happen at my home, I did my fair share of philanthropic gestures and gift giving and even then I STILL wrote an article about how overhyped Christmas is and how unfair it is on children in particular. I love Christmas and that’s speaking as a staunch Atheist to whom Christmas has no religious meaning to give remembrance for, it’s literally just “Winter is shit but hey presents and food happen!”. but I still love this idea of a time in which we stop to think about people and how we can express our love for them, my only concern is that perhaps we lost sight of that.

You know the shpiel here, that Christmas has become about buying affection rather than earning it, in showing love through consoles and laptops rather than actual words of kindness or shows of support and many of you will roll your eyes at the goody two-shoe deal here but it is so important we remember that and we must remember that Christmas isn’t a time of joy for us all, no matter how much you wish it to be. Tragic story time, my Dad when I was young, despised Christmas, so much that seeing decorations filled him with dread and sorrow because to him, it didn’t mean joy and laughter, it meant a time of spending money and fulfilling other people’s dreams because if he didn’t, he had to disappoint them. We had no decorations in our house until Christmas Day itself and they’d come down again afterwards as soon as Dad could manage it, just so he didn’t have to see that tree for one second longer than he had to. I didn’t understand as a child, I don’t think my Dad ever realised that as a kid, I was always happy at Christmas with anything he got me – probably because kids are so shit at being grateful for stuff. We’ve always lived on the breadline in this home and to then have December 25th pop up “JUST A HEADS UP, YOU BETTER SPEND AT LEAST LIKE… £500 ON GIFTS OR PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU DON’T LOVE THEM” when you can barely afford £5, it’s terrifying and makes you resent Christmas as being a toll, a challenge to PROVE your love and selflessness, as if everything else you did all year didn’t count.

Christmas is getting a little too big for its own boots here and stomping on the poor and the heartbroken, it brings joy not only because we are all given what we want and are giving those we love what they want but because everyone looks happy when you push the unhappy ones out of the photo frame. I’m not even going to try and count the number of times my depression has been muddled up with a lack of Christmas spirit, that somehow all this obnoxious corporate money-grabbing and ugly jumper parties should be the strongest mood medication I could ever want. Somehow though, it is not but I still partake in Christmas – gifts have been bought, nice gestures done without the hope of them being returned have been performed and on Christmas Day, as is my tradition, I contact everyone I consider a friend to at least give season’s greetings.

So, what am I saying here, you ask? The article has sort of read as a general guilt-tripping Santa-bashing bitterness sandwich but I guess ultimately, I want you to read this and remember that Christmas in and of itself is not special, Christmas is as special as we make it for ourselves and others. If you think buying lots of stuff is all it takes, well done, you’re nothing more than a patsy Amazon and Wal-Mart will bleed dry year upon year, but Christmas is about charity and charity isn’t just giving to the homeless, it’s showing love. PLEASE take this time to check on people and that they’re ok, if that’s the only genuinely good thing you do that isn’t all about presents, please make sure that miserable fuckers like me are at least safe and comfortable this Christmas. I guarantee you that everyone who hates Christmas has a reason for it and it’s no good telling them to just cheer up; do something that makes this time of year a little easier for them.

Merry Christmas.

Yet Another Milestone!

Greetings one and all, Old Man Wolfe here to tell you that I’ve finally hit the 5000 view mark. Not bad hey? I’d never have guessed it when I started this back in 2012, I didn’t expect my rants to catch on but they became so popular on Facebook I started my own blog and here I am now with a blog on a steady popularity climb thanks to my latest posts sparking discussions here, there and everywhere. I’ve ranted on a vast spectrum of subjects from the inane to the important, from duck lips and falling trousers all the way up to serious political commentary and speeches on women’s rights. I am now looking to move on towards a new medium, a visual medium with my rants becoming cartoon episodes for your enjoyment on YouTube, with the written counterparts being made available here. With all this in mind, I want to take this opportunity to keep you updated on what to expect from Jacob Wolfe and to thank a few people who got me this far.

So like I said, the next big step for Old Man Wolfe is the migration to YouTube with animated rants to become available on a regular basis, possibly fortnightly or weekly, depends how long it will take. I am doing this because of the possibility of a wider audience on a more universal website and because sadly, I’ve noticed some people just can’t be arsed to read any more. I’d send them the link, wait five minutes to then get vague responses like “Yeah, I liked it” or “That’s good”. I check my site stats, no new views, I know they’re lying to me. You ask them for more detailed thoughts and they panic, nothing to say because they don’t know what I wrote. I’m annoyed at those people but hey, I get it, it’s 2014, most people don’t read anymore.

You’ve perhaps noticed that TDWC has stopped on here, with due reason. The mini episodes I uploaded on here were too short and lacked the depth of plot and character I knew I was capable of and as such, TDWC is back in the workshop to be rejigged as a script, which I may try to get made into a television show in the far future. I mean, I know it’s not Shakespeare, probably not even Moffat, but you need only look at shows like The Midnight Beast and My Mad Fat Diary to know that somewhere out there they need something new. My ultimate ambition for TDWC is for it to one day be a major fandom – I want to see at least one person cosplay as Lee in my life, that’s true recognition for any writer nowadays. Back when I was little, true recognition for a character was when they had their own action figure but now its based on how many people would dress up as them and how many slashfics they star in (Though Lee is 20, Katakura 44 so uh… kinda creepy, unless you’ve ever dreamt of watching Philip Glenister bone Tom Hiddleston. Not that I’d cast those two, they were just the closest lookalikes that came to mind). I don’t want to give too much away about the new TDWC just yet but I can reveal there will be a new female lead to break up the testosterone filled atmosphere a bit, greater depth to the personalities, Vito will be moving forward to a more major role and the entire series will combine nitty-gritty action and drama with a flare of silliness that pays homage to the trench-coat heroes of lore from the likes of Doctor Who and Firefly.

I have other writing ambitions – namely two novels that I want to publish once I can work out the kinks in them. The first is a fantasy adventure that seeks to challenge the conventions of the genre by rebooting a lot of established fantasy species like elves, goblins and such whilst also sending out a special message that will become clear when it is on the shelves. If ever it caught on, I’d desperately seek to avoid it becoming a film, films never live up to books – perhaps a television series or who knows, it’s all just daydreams at the moment. My other novel is a dark short story about the future, a world submersed under water from global warming and ruined by pollution with the rich escaping to Utopia and the passageway for the poor into paradise is to humiliate themselves for money and fame as dancing monkeys and ultimately seek to exaggerate the flaws of our society as they stand and enrage people into demanding better for themselves because part of the problem is us, we allowed this. You see shit on the news about Bieber doing this and that and he does it because he wants our attention, he wants to be immortalised and by putting his face on the TV, we did just that. The story is influenced by the Black Mirror series, headed by my idol Charlie Brooker and I want to take his message and update it before shouting it to the world. I warn you now, when it is available, it will not be comfortable, it will not have a fairy tale ending and it will make you feel something. I hope to have all these projects done at some point in my life.

Well, 5000 views hey? Been a long journey to get here and now I want to give my thanks to those that helped me along. You know who you are, the list of names is a long one. Alice and Epona in particular have never missed a post and always spurred me on to write the next one so an extra huge thanks to them but also to my other loyal friends and followers who encourage me to keep this up. A shout out to my best friend Hannah as well, who has been a long time fan of every creative work I’ve ever done and pesters me consistently for more, which always makes me feel like what I do is worth it. I’d also like to thank Carleen for helping me revitalise some of my more stale ideas and challenge me to do better, even if it meant tearing stuff up and telling me I could do much better if I actually considered it carefully. I often got snarky and mean but I know it was for my own good to improve as a writer. Other than that I’d like to thank my regular readers, to name but a few my good friends Debbi, Sian, Addison and many many more, you all know who you are. Thank you for taking the time to read this and to keep me going with your valuable comments and by passing my rants on to your friends. You may have noticed I have a lot of female friends, like 80% of them are female, long story but it’s certainly not what you’re thinking so get that idea out of your head you silly child. Erhem, anyway, onwards and upwards for Old Man Wolfe. Thank you and watch this space!

PS – I have an apprentice now, a newbie to the world of rants that you may or may not enjoy following for an extra dose of rant from a fresh perspective. A very good friend of mine, she plans to rant about anything that comes to mind and whilst new to blogging on the whole, her first post is a good read. She’s a lot less profane and more courteous than I am but her wits are no less sharp. Please show her your support!

Here’s the link to her home page – http://hannah693.wordpress.com/

If you feel your blog and my own have a connection, or you’re a friend of mine looking to get some free publicity riding on the back of this juggernaut *cough cough*, do get in touch and I may or may not give you a shout out at the end of a rant (Provided I actually enjoy your work, I’m not advertising anything I don’t personally approve of)

Special Edition Update

Well hello again, nice of you to drop by. As you’re all hopefully aware, I… What do you mean a warm welcome is a weird start for a rant? No, it’s not sarcasm. No, seriously, it isn’t. What? Fuck you. As I was saying, you’re all probably well aware that not too long ago  I hit the 1000 mark. Yeah that’s right, 1000 views, not years of age, and I feel that despite this being a minor achievement in the eyes of some internet celebrities like your Alex Days and your Egoraptors, I should commemorate the occasion somehow with a special edition to say thank you to my audience whilst reminding you all why you’re still interested in what I do.

So, I opened the door to allow the raging hordes of opinionated people inside in order to hear their suggestions on how I should go about celebrating 1000 views and would you believe it, I let you guys have your say and only one person says anything constructive. I feel like the teacher at the front of the class that tells the talkative students to discuss something as a group and instead they sit there looking more awkward than finding you’ve got a raging hard on at your grandmother’s funeral. Oh well, I guess I’ve beaten you so hard with the opinion stick, you’re scared that if you say anything back to me I might reach through your laptop screen and throttle you. However, you needn’t fear because I didn’t leave the floor open to suggestions to be a vindictive asshole and besides which, if I could travel through cyberspace and reappear in people’s home to inflict physical harm, the population of this planet would be thinning out, but on average, have a higher IQ.

Well, let’s put all that aside because I’ve decided for myself, though I admit I was influenced by my two most fervent readers, to do a stop-motion video rant. I had contemplated using some professional animation software but then I remembered all too late upon opening some downloaded software that I have the computer animation skills of a blinded mongoose with a head injury. So, I’m going old fashioned on your asses, which I promise is not a pick up line from 1870, and will be using a whiteboard and pen to draw up some visual humour to accompany a spoken rant. Lucky buggers you are, you’ll get to hear my voice and I accept no responsibility if the elastic in your panties melts all of a sudden… or at least I would if I didn’t have a voice that sounded like I gargle marbles whilst I speak. However, I imagine the recording will make my voice sound even weirder so if it comes back totally inaudible, I may go back to the planning stage and see what can be done to fix the problem, should it arise.

I figured I should explain my plans before putting them in place because I’m sure you like to know what’s going on in advance so you can be ready for it. I can’t give you a set date yet but I’ll keep you updated on how the work progresses. I have two weeks off for Easter now so that speeds up production time a fair bit but I do have a busy life (Yeah, that’s right, an internet nerd has a busy life complete with other people and going outdoors!) Don’t expect anything professional because I’m a writer, not an animator, and there is only so much I can do but by making videos, I can use visual humour alongside written humour – a whole new dimension to play with and rest assured, with my new toys I will only find more and more ways to be an absolute prick. Well that’s all I have to say for now. Stay tuned.