Depression Reality – A Poem (Mental Health Awareness Week)

For those who don’t know, this is Mental Health Awareness Week, at least in the USA. I know many people who suffer from mental health issues, and my last post was on the topic as well. There should be an update post coming from me soon. I know most of you are here for anime and such, not this stuff, but well, this topic is why I hadn’t been watching or writing much about anime in the past couple of years, even though I wanted to. As always, if you find the need to talk to someone, I’m here to talk, on Twitter, via email, Discord, etc.

Hopefully this poem will be pleasing artistically, and will help people feel less alone, more understood, or will give those on the outside a glimpse in. The preamble to the poem is part of the poetic effort in this instance.

The Death of Socrates - Jacques-Louis David 1787.jpg

 

Some people like bringing up rules to be adhered to when discussing poetry. Rules such as, “no abstractions,” yet what do you think metaphors and similes are? What do you think are words?
What sort of poetry can you write, when you let the rules use you rather than using them, and knowing when to abandon them? And if you cannot do anything but parrot said rules, shouldn’t you just point at the rules, rather than call yourself a poetry critic?

Hark! For this poem that follows contains no abstractions. Nothing but concrete reality here.

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Living with a Chronic Illness – Chronic Depression

Writing of Chronic Illness:

How and why do you write of something that’s as ever-present in your life as the eyes you look at the world with, the air that you breathe, or the internet in your net-addict life? Where do you start approaching it from, as it is impossible to untangle from every other facet of your life, due to its presence permeating anything and everything else?
Well, you just talk about it. You talk about your life, and you talk about the thing, and you don’t try to separate the two.

The Death of Orpheus- Henri Leopold Lévy, 1870

Ah, Orpheus. Making it to hell, and back again, and then dying.

As for why I am writing about this thing, even though reading others’ accounts of the same malaise actively makes things tougher for me? Because I know it helps others. Though helping others isn’t actually my goal here. I’m writing of this thing for the simple fact that I feel like it, and it’s a blog, a personal blog, at the end of the day. Besides. There are plenty of people I care about who read these things, and this is as much a part of me as my penchant for writing in poetic prose or being annoyed by spelling mistakes.

It is not my goal to tell an uplifting story, give you life lessons, or be a spokesperson for every chronically ill person, not even for everyone who shares my own sickness. It might happen, because, again, this is a story of handling things, and of my life, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to write for the sake of writing. To share for the sake of sharing. The goal is to be. But we’ll get to that.

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Journey with Kino’s Journey – Second Stop – Hard Questions (Monthly Watch)

I am now watching Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (also known as Tabi no Kino in Japanese). The series has an episodic, metaphorical, and allegorical nature, reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels or Voltaire’s Candide, but more sombre. As such, I think it lends itself well to being watched one episode at a time, and also to being discussed, or kicking off discussion, so that’s what I aim to do. The first four episodes have been posted before, but had been put on hold due to how much energy writing them demanded of me. I’m excited to resume the journey once more, and will be bringing over the older comments as well.

There will be a new post on the second (or third if it begins early) Monday of every month (next post: March 11th) , each covering one episode of Kino’s Journey, or the films. You can buy the series here, or watch it dubbed on Hulu here, if you live in the United States. Each write-up might differ in style, length, and focus. I might spend more time on the episode, its ideas, or what it made me think of, or feel. These write-ups assume you’ve watched the episode, and the discussion that’ll follow could be had on the episode, the points I raised, or the questions I pose. Well, let’s get to it.
(Also, sorry, I miscounted the weeks this month, which led to this post being a week late, sorry!)

Episode 2 – “A Tale of Feeding Off Others -I Want to Live-“

Kino's Journey anime episode 2 / Kino no Tabi anime episode 2 - Being alive

Is it just me, or did the head-slaver look like the “monk” from Princess Mononoke? Quite a bit, actually, and their characters are quite similar as well.

Questions Are Interesting:

Before we get further, I have a question, how many of you didn’t see where this will go from about halfway into the episode? I think the whole nature of the episode, and its title, and the fact this is a show more about human nature than random observations about nature, more or less told us it’d go something like that. I dunno, I think once they spoke of their “Homecoming Festival” I was sure. I did suspect them from the get-go, that they’d attack Kino after she caught the first rabbit. They just struck me as “off”.

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Journey with Kino’s Journey – First Stop – The Value of Experience (Monthly Watch)

I am now watching Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (also known as Tabi no Kino in Japanese). The series has an episodic, metaphorical, and allegorical nature, reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels or Voltaire’s Candide, but more sombre. As such, I think it lends itself well to being watched one episode at a time, and also to being discussed, or kicking off discussion, so that’s what I aim to do. The first four episodes have been posted before, but had been put on hold due to how much energy writing them demanded of me. I’m excited to resume the journey once more, and will be bringing over the older comments as well.

There will be a new post on the second (or third if it begins early) Monday of every month (next post: February 11th) , each covering one episode of Kino’s Journey, or the films. You can buy the series here, or watch it dubbed on Hulu here, if you live in the United States. Each write-up might differ in style, length, and focus. I might spend more time on the episode, its ideas, or what it made me think of, or feel. These write-ups assume you’ve watched the episode, and the discussion that’ll follow could be had on the episode, the points I raised, or the questions I pose. Well, let’s get to it.

Episode 1 – “Land of Visible Pain -I See You-“

Kino's Journey anime episode 1 / Kino no Tabi anime episode 1 - Jealousy of birds

Well, this was interesting. This reminded me more than a tad of Mushishi. Travelers who do not wish to get too involved, a new place and a new story each time. Likewise, I suspect the best way to watch this series would be an episode a day. After catching up with what the anime-club needs, I’ll probably watch it that way. Also, like Mushishi’s Ginko, I suspect we’ll see Kino and Hermes taking a more invested stance at some point. Continue reading

Netoju no Susume – On Compersion and Virtual Identities

Netoju no Susume anime review - Recovery of an MMO Junkie anime reviewYou know that feeling where you’re watching kids run around, laughing, and it brings you joy? Or perhaps when your best friend is celebrating a promotion at work, and you feel happy for them? Or, say, when you watch a romantic comedy, or an underdog story, and when the couple kiss or the protagonist overcomes all struggles, you fistpump and/or cheer? There’s a term that encapsulates this feeling, this emotion, which comes from the polyamory circles, and that term is “compersion,” take to mean, “Joy at the joy of others.”

To some degree, one could say that all romantic comedies operate off of our desire to see the couple hit it off, but while some romantic sub-genres (see Harem RomComs, as per my write-up on Nisekoi) work more off of wanting the story to take its “natural pathway,” some shows, such as last season’s Netoju no Susume (or either “Recovery of an MMO Junkie” or “Recommendation of the Wonderful Virtual Life” in English), really do bank on us feeling compersion for the characters, and desiring them to be happy, because our own happiness depends on it (to some degree, don’t get too crazy here).

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that rose in my mind as a result of watching the show. There will be spoilers for the entire show.)

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Three Perfect Science-Fiction Books

In my many years of reading, I’ve encountered three “perfect” science fiction books, and I’d like to share them with you, because they are more than worth your time.

As a short preamble, this isn’t a listicle, and this isn’t a “Top 5 Sci-fi Books!” for two reasons: One, I hold a distinction between “favourite” and “best”, and not all of my favourite books are likely to also be yours. Second, I’m not going to share the runner-ups here, this list is about perfect books.

Science Fiction Library - Perfect Science Fiction books

Second, before we get to the list itself, I want to say a couple of words about science-fiction. Science-fiction isn’t merely futuristic or in space, but it’s about stories that ask questions, that posit changes and explore them, or advocate for said changes. The setting can help, but isn’t necessary, for instance, Star Wars is famously an Arthurian fantasy series, that happens in space, rather than a science-fiction story.

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Guy is Back, Back Again. Guy is Back, Tell a Friend.

I don’t know whether you guys missed me or my writing, but I missed both: Both writing, and engaging more with you lot, and having some form to have longer form anime discussions.

Without Me - Enimem - Crossed with Limecat

Wait, I seem to have gotten ahead of myself. In case you hadn’t noticed, this blog suddenly grew extremely inactive towards the end of May 2016. Sadly, in case you hadn’t been following my Twitter, or hadn’t noticed, I was basically out of commission due to a chronic illness flaring up around that time. While the last couple of times this blog has gone on hiatus had been due to me getting sucked into video games or just taking a break from anime, this was not such an occasion, and while I kept wanting to both watch anime and blog, I could do very little of either. I actually started and did work on a couple of anime season previews that hadn’t gone up.

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