Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Conversations with Myself

It feels like I’ve been burning up the keyboard these last few of days. I think I’ve always tended to do certain things in spurts, writing being one of them. I do have to thank the Creative Force behind the new Star Wars movies for lighting that fire under my butt to finally get that jumble of thoughts that have been bouncing around between my ears this past year down on paper – in a manner of speaking. Now that the rumor mill is starting to fly with Episode 9, I finally had the gumption to get my second piece out about The Last Jedi. Bits and pieces of it have been sitting in a file on my computer for the last few of months as was my last entry about Internet Parents, as well as this entry and the next few that I am now vigorously working on – all culminating in my Magnum Opus of my forthcoming very un-Politically Correct views on Political Correctness and the #metoo movement and similar Internet mob movements.

Star Wars may have been the spark to get me motivated to write here again, but the real catalyst has been some conversations and situations at work and with some gaming friends over the last few months that really made me determined to finally start getting my thoughts out here in the Outhouse, maybe just so I can maintain what’s left of my own sanity. There’s a certain (what I call) Brilliant Incompetence to the corporate mindset which has manifested itself at work over the course of the summer and fall. Coupling that with the absolute shadiness of the Toys R Us bankruptcy and liquidation, I’ve found myself being more and more outspoken about the sheer idiocy I have witnessed in the corporate decisions we have been subjected to at work. But before I go any further, let me just say that the last several years I have been working in the retail environment after finding myself jobless from the tech industry have probably been the most rewarding in relation to the job stress vs. job satisfaction ratio. Which makes it all the more frustrating when I see decisions being passed down that lack any form of common sense or regard for the actual work environment in a retail store. In this time I have become more and more outspoken about them, and I have found that has translated more and more into my everyday life.

I’ve always been a shy and quiet individual, and only spoke my mind on few occasions in my young adult years … and no so young adult years. Most of the conversations I have ever had are usually with myself. For far too long I was always worried what other people thought of me and always wanted people to like me. Sometimes it got to the point where I put myself in situations where my happiness, and more, was as risk trying to please other people. So rather than offend someone, I just usually stayed silent, even if it was to my detriment. There are only a handful of occasions where I have regretted saying something I probably shouldn’t have – some of them when I had a few too many back in my drinking days. But I have lost count of the times I have regretted not saying something I wanted to say, or should have said in any given situation. I feel fortunate now, that with a little bit of age, and having more confidence in myself thanks to my gaming videos and livestreams, and of course this blog, that I have been able to shed some of that fear of speaking my mind, and I feel so much better now that I can just go without bothering about a filter. I used to hate people like the stereotypical grumpy old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to stay off of his yard. Now however, I relish the time I can say what I need to say and to Hell with what anyone else thinks.
Which brings me back to my work situation and the catalyst that set off Part One of my totally un-PC diatribes which will be released (I hope) over the course of the remainder of the year. During one of my rants one of my co-workers brought up the fact that I just say what needs to be said without a filter, and that took me back a bit, because this was said to me in a conversation I had with some of my gaming buddies in our chat app. It was also a topic of conversation between Shannon and I when talking about one of her co-workers at her new job, and she was kind of surprised that I compared myself to him because she never thought I was like that at work. The truth of the matter is, I have become so accustomed to being this way at work that I don’t give it a second thought. It does make them worried when we have corporate visits because they know I will call things as I see them and won’t be diplomatic about it. It would be one thing if I was off-base or just flat out wrong about the things I am pointing out, but no one has yet been able to find fault with them. What they don’t know, however, is that I simply just can’t be bothered to deal with the Big Wigs. They are trapped in the realm of Brilliant Incompetence, and it doesn’t matter how true my words may ring – even if delivered in a diplomatic and reasonable way, it just simply cannot change the corporate mindset. Quite frankly I have better things to do with my time – like getting actual work done.

Now, the situations that have come up within my gaming circle are a slightly different matter. At least with them, there’s still some semblance of plain ole common sense that gives me hope that humanity is not completely lost. At least we can have (somewhat) reasonable debates and conversations – and even change a point of view or two. Over the summer, there was a situation in the gaming industry where two developers who worked for a well-known and respected gaming company were fired for their on-line interaction with fans of their game. It sparked some righteous outrage as one of the developers (and the one that began the negative interactions) was a female. As this became a topic of discussion within my own circle, I began to notice our debates took on an air of ridiculousness as several people were searching out on the Internet for specific instances and information that would support their side of the argument, all the while ignoring the vast reams of information that countered their point. None of that was mentioned of course because, as Internet Warriors, it is our job to ensure the cause we support is the right one, so we filter out the information that does not hone to our ideals and raise our Sword of Righteousness in the fight for “Truth”, “Justice”, and the Politically Correct way.

It occurred to me then, but really hit home in the situation I described in my last entry about looking up potty training – just how much we have let the Internet and Social Media rule our lives and decisions on practically a daily basis. I can’t count how many times similar situations have come up either through overhearing conversations at work or through reading conversations in my chat groups on-line to the ones I described in the first part of this series. That day finally hit it home for me, that I too was slowly allowing myself to become Brilliantly Incompetent by thinking that the Internet is the place I need to go in order to help me solve my day to day trials and tribulations, all the while ignoring the people who spent years of their lives studying, practicing, and honing their skills to be able to help, teach, and cure.

That has been the catalyst. Ironically, the fire that Star Wars lit under my ass to begin having more of these Conversations with Myself in the Outhouse here and now has helped lift the mental pressure that has been building up inside me for many months now. Ah, Life, it never ceases to surprise me. So to all who are still reading this, be forewarned. Internet Parenting was just the start. This is the first interlude. I cast off my inhibitions. You may think me a dick; an asshole; a moron; insensitive; cruel; and careless. I don’t care. As I have always said to others in my Internet Battles and on-line interactions take whatever anyone has to say, including me, with a healthy dose of salt (especially on the Internet). Some of the topics I will be writing about in the weeks to come will undoubtedly piss people off, offend people, make people cry, and more than likely make them think less of me or even hate me. It will be your choice to continue reading or not. Either way I don’t care. I have allowed myself to be eaten away by holding my tongue for all of my life. I will continue to call out Bullshit as I see it, and I fully expect to be called out on my own Bullshit as is justified. I will continue to speak my mind as I see things through my perspective. Plain, Brutal, and Honestly. Take it as you will.

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