Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thoughts On Women And Men And Understanding. Thank you Anita.

I've been reading and following a bit about someone named Anita Sarkeesian, an outspoken media philosopher and feminist and sometimes critic of how women are portrayed in media.

Interestingly enough, I read that she is also a victim of cyber abuse as well unfortunately and very much undeservedly considering the nature of her efforts. My abusers and stalkers usually target me in real life and rarely if ever online and always in numbers. I thought I'd express some of my views on media and sexism.

I think most guys are pretty good when it comes to their treatment of women but there are always a few that make a bad name and sometimes some things just slip by without much thought at all by even the most sensitive of us.

Our impression of how we deal with and treat women is impacted by what we take in from media sources up to an age and point that I think we are the most impressionable. It is in this time that learning about relationships with members of the complimentary sex are very important and relating their feelings to ours.

Ultimately though I think that as we get older, our ideas of relationship are influenced by sexuality and how we perceive and often fantasize about the sex we are attracted to and hopefully are more focused around the person they are than and over idealization of our visual desires. Often we are attracted to the person that our mind loves and we find that person very visually appealing. The concept of a shared idea of visual sexuality will always exist and change in society as it has many times throughout history and is often represented in our art and media (See Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet and Vargas for example). Nudity and the human body are not any part of ugliness at all and make up part of a whole concept.

How women are treated or presented on the other hand within the context of any media form is something to think about and especially the age group to which that presentation is targeted. Media in all of its forms has a history of growing and maturing with society and as such, books, radio, television, movies and now video games have all gone through that process from their conceptualization through to their maturity. However that process requires voices to be active and express grievances so that it will help all sides grow and understand one another. Ultimately what someone like Anita does for video games and media will bring more women into gaming and from that stand point, it is a good thing for us all. Its kind of nice to rescue each other.

In terms of mature sexuality, I believe that`s not a liability of human existence like some people but a device in the language of the expression of love. However in most media forms that expression as it starts is often objectified for an audience in sacrifice of plot, story and meaningful characters that the audience actually care about in order to lure them on the basis of their hormones rather than their minds. This is usually the case until it matures as a form of media and many have already gone through this transformation. We see in modern media such books, television shows, movies and directors that take all their characters seriously rather than relying on type casts or stereotypes to reach the audience in regard to both the nature of people and the various gender identities. Many of the ideas that hinder progress run rampant through society as we speak (such as those who attempt to peak hate amongst others socially mostly to control them) but ultimately in the long run the better sensibility that takes people in this holistic idea will win.

Sexuality will always have a place in our media and there will likely be exploitation to go along with it as long as people are not educated not just about sex, but about actually developing empathic relationships with members of their complimentary sex (by that I mean the sex one is attracted to) and ultimately with both sexes. As a device for building tension in the plot or character interaction it can be quite effective as long as its context is not lost. Play will always exist and play can be fun with a partner as long as it is mutual.

To help some guys better understand what it must be like for some women, here's a thought.

I wonder what it would be like if as guys, we had to wear our sex organs out in some form of "display" in front of us to be thought of as "attractive", kind of like a push up bra for our privates, maybe with a pair of tight shorts or something so that women could whistle at us and give us cat calls or comment about us if our privates were "too small".

I for one would lose out often because I am not overly well endowed and I wonder how that would make me feel in comparison to other guys that were. That would be the case if guys wore their privates like some women are pressured into wearing or baring their breasts. Hopefully for most people their sense of self esteem isn't related to the size of the their genitalia or other parts of their anatomy but rather their whole being. Personal beauty can always be captured by good artists, and not because they make it better than it is, but rather they are good at seeing it for all its glory both inside and out.

So if guys were exposed in a similar manner, there might be a different attitude from many of them, and unfortunately it has been women who've had that to bare for the rest of us (seeing as that part of their anatomy is often subject to conjecture because it is prominent), so naturally I'd listen to what they have to say in that regard.

Imagine if we were on display like that and then judged by our size. I think you'd find that a lot guys would behave much differently and you'd probably have a lot more men talking about sexual exploitation.

Listen to what she has to say because in the end, its only going to be good for the gaming community because more women will feel welcome because they won't be subject to confidence issues regarding how they will be accepted. They're always welcome to the game and as we see more games and media sources recognizing this, the more time we'll share in those media sources.

Stay Safe And Be Well
Brian Joseph Johns

PS: I was not possessed or controlled by anyone into posting this. Just another way that thieves of what other people say and do operate. If you believe it, then you're believing a lie and chances are there's many more that such ideas are built upon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Thief 2015 Version

A thief once came into my life,
and took away by point of knife,
my love of illusion, an inner wealth,
my love of life, my mental health.

I searched to and I searched fro,
for that thief had left me low.
A blade of lies, hilt of deceit,
what thieves take leaves none discrete.

To take one's things can leave a mess,
and more their value heightens distress.
But when they take parts of your life,
experiences claimed by good and strife.

Parts of your being which you did sew,
your seeds for future none would know.
You give them life and keep their home,
before they've blossomed the thief is gone.

To wear your life as if their own,
to bear your past, leave you unknown.
Your words and deeds have built their throne,
while they've left you without home.

I never stopped my vigil against this beast,
for ae'r my loss not be their feast.
When I told my friends of all this strife,
They merely said: "I guess that's life".

Brian Joseph Johns

I wrote a poem like this in 2001 and published it online (I've long since lost that version of it along with another poem called Revolution, which secretly became quite popular), The thief in this poem is really a group of people who try to take things from you by deceiving you and others of the original creator of whatever they attempt to take. Some believe that the creations of others comes from the proximity of others to you but this can be foiled by the thieves, who try to always make their influence appear the best, often in mockery of other cultures like Japan, Korea or even China and Thailand who believe that your behaviour after an interaction indicates your level of respect for them and they are all cultures for whom I have a great deal of respect and care.

So a group of people have made that into a group based game of affecting or swaying that perception by affecting your behaviour after interactions with certain groups in order to favour those of the people attempting such a thing unfortunately. The same people do so by trying to imply their control over you when you do good after such an interaction. So what it comes down to is that when you write something for someone you care about, its stolen by such people as being their own. These people by the way (illegally) monitor computers for such content to take by such means, taking it even before it gets published online because their eavesdropping system catches it before hand. They're not Government by the way. It is usually a group of people close to where you live that do so or at least have access to this eavesdropping (which can see the contents of your screen or log your key strokes). So it is this group that sees what you do, then makes it a game of taking it from you socially while abusing you.

So those are the thieves.

I actually started writing and pursuing it as a hobby that I took seriously (on and off) from the time I was eleven though I`d started writing stories when I was around five or six. I'd been invited to an extra curricular writing class at school when I was eleven. The school was Kingslake Public School and I had a great and very inspiring teacher there who noticed that I enjoyed creating worlds, drawings and poetry (poetry and doodles literally covered my school books front and back back in 1978). It was a great class that I enjoyed, and did well at, landing a few pieces of my work in the school foyer at the time. Not bad for a nerd.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Nothing Taken

Just in case you think it gone,
you'll see in like that its quite strong.
No keen sense hath to it been so lost,
much more than so be winter's frost.

Some dragons leave while others stay,
this dragon will always find a way.
None these words have fled my mind,
for of their like you will not find.

In any verse that's left this tongue,
May I grow old? I'll still feel Jung.
This word's play isn't for give or take,
Nor will you find that within it fake.

Words stretched hither from a branch,
to fall their length before your stance.
You may climb within a day,
or you may fall, 'pon the ground you lay.

Some do learn from what they read.
Yet others feel their only greed.
To take the credit for what they've nought,
Take from again by whom its wrought.

Lay their claim by blood much better,
an heir to theft that's unbefettered.
For if you take from those unknown,
use it to keep those who've much grown.

Who would believe these by words gone?
Much has your like by taken song?
No muse will find you in your heart,
For its not there. From you I part...

Brian Joseph Johns

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Power Of Public Figures...

The iconic powers of a public figure are vast to say the least. They can result in great good or result in pressures that no normal human being could ever hope to cope with and have the ability to help bring attention to things that very much need the light of day.










Recent examples are like this one with a (currently) viral video making the rounds of what a superhero like Robert Downey Jr. and Albert Manero, a Collective Project student who founded Limbitless, both of whom presented Alex Pring, a seven year old boy with a prosthetic limb:



Ambassadors for the workings of projects like the Collective Project, which need public attention and support. Remember that one of the most influential persons in the world of physics is Stephen Hawking, and without the technologies that helped him to communicate with the rest of the world, none of us would have benefited from his insights into the nature of the universe and its many mysteries. Understanding what Stephen has to do just to be able to communicate is just one facet of the extra hurdles that some people go through to take part in this world like the rest of us.

The importance and the beginnings of projects like the Collective Project are imagined in the minds of people like Stan Lee, Gene Roddenberry, Mary Shelley, George Lucas, William Gibson, Arthur C. Clark, HG Wells, Jules Verne who are read (or watched as the case may be) by many different people who have gone on to start projects that make such things possible. The stories and characters become inspirations for people and can sometimes spawn the dreams that make them possible in reality.

[Author's note: When I wrote this post, I hadn't actually read this excellent article by Janice Kay of ScienceFiction.com which talks about some of the direct influence of science fiction writing that has manifested technologies in the real world.]

Over time, the nature of how we consume stories changes and as it does, the stories that drove us in the first place make their way into the next form of media. Often bringing these stories to these new media forms is a challenge and art form in itself. Radio broadcast production plays of books most certainly were in the 1930s and 1940s radio serials. Eventually they made their way to film and in each incarnation of a new form of storytelling, a new kind of artist was born to each to bring those stories to life. Live perform and acting has to be one of them because the interpretation and then personification of a character that everyone has read and has their own understanding of is a difficult task. Everyone has their own preconceptions. When an artist "gets it" exactly as everyone imagined is great. When they bring it to life though, that is when something magical happens. That is the power of the performer and actor (I am referring to box sexes when I say actor). To iconify and bring to life someone that we've known through our stories. Don't forget though that there is a person inside that performer too. Ultimately it is their heart and being that enters into the responsibilities that go along with being an icon or hero and those responsibilities are not small and as I said at the top, they are a pressure sometimes that no ordinary human being could handle. Much like the Stephen Hawking and Alex Pring are no ordinary human beings to be able to overcome their extra hurdles to become heroes of their own.

Sometimes the pressures on our icons and heroes becomes a weight that nobody could bare alone. Sometimes some bad people purposely make that weight a little too hefty and those people burst, perhaps saying something they did not mean or said in the heat of the moment, that might become news worthy. I think that the important thing to remember is that under those heroes and public figures, are people trying to cope with the enormous responsibilities that go along with that life. There are also sometimes some people who want to see them break and there are people who help that process along. When someone does, remember that is a human being who can likely handle more pressure than most people who are capable of dishing it out would ever be able to cope with and live. So next time we read about someone who broke down publicly in some way, why not think about the pressures that go along with their responsibilities in public life, and those that are just the result of those wanting to break them.

Then think about the fact that those same people have the ability to bring light and inspiration to projects conducted by brilliant people, seeking to help people who have extra hurdles that few of us have, that give voices to geniuses like Stephen Hawking or prosthetic limbs to people like Alex Pring.

So for the positive inspiring stories we saw and read today, remember for stories of the ones who stumbled and fell, that they are humans dealing with super human responsibilities sometimes and there are those that want to make them stumble or fall. Remember that they'll get up and brush themselves off. We all fall. Even the fallen have their day too though and when they do, they'll shine their light on something good that needs it.

Don't go too hard on those that get filled up a little too much and then burst. We all have our limits.

Thanks to people make those dreams into reality.

Stay Safe And Be Well
Brian Joseph Johns

Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Of Play...

Well it was a weekend of play and little else, after a week of attempts at tackling the next span of coding for an upcoming software release. After a stressful week of abuse from a local group of people that I've explained about before and I'm sure that there's others elsewhere going through similar circumstances, I decided to spend the weekend doing little else but relaxing, recovering and playing.

Eavesdropping on computers and possibly a person's living space is a common thing by these people I'm talking about by the way, which of course is illegal but it doesn't seem to garner much attention from the authorities despite my reports to them. I don't like being spied upon by my neighbours. I don't do anything illegal or even worthy of being watched for in my apartment or computer, so there's literally nothing to see. Besides I like spending my home time in as little clothing as possible because I am more comfortable that way. Not less civilized, but more cosy. Now that I've revealed that and am probably completely naked, I'll get to the point of my story.

I am a gamer as you all know. and occasionally it stands in place of watching movies or doing something more active. I am quite nostalgic too and tend to stick with a proven formula when it comes to gaming and I always purchase my games as I do my movies or music. It pays to after all, the people who make those things put a lot into them if you've ever seen the credits for one of them.

So I find one that I have the manual for an no disc. I quickly remembered that it had been stolen a few years ago along with a laptop which it was sitting inside, which also went missing too. I had part of the packaging and the manual and right there on the manual is the one thing that you need to use the program: a serial number. So the thief got the disc, but not the software because you can't use it without the serial number. So I thought, I'll just download a disc copy and from a legal stand point, I'd be entirely in my right to do so because what I paid for was the serial number and the licence to install it on one machine at a time. It was not installed on the machine it was stolen in, so I was safe there.

I did a little bit of searching and found a place to download a disc image, which is basically a file that is made from the data on a disc that contains all of the information about a disc (including the empty spaces and what not). I eventually got it down loaded and not long after I did, my neighbours started carrying on like I had somehow become John Dillinger. First of all, how would they even know if they weren't spying on me? Secondly, what I had done was perfectly legal in the sense that I had the licence, I just required the replacement media for the one that was physically stolen from me. Suffice it to say that I am not a pirate. I've downloaded in my life before and there's plenty of rumours about me being some high powered "cracker" or "hacker" but those stories are more rumour than truth. Programmer? Yes. Hacker or cracker? No. Sure, I've downloaded in my life before, but I've always paid for what I did by buying a legitimate package. Especially if I used the software to make money as is the case with compilers, IDEs, QA and test suites needed for development. By the way, I've had over $3000 worth of software stolen from me over the years so I understand the price of theft in such matters and I am most certainly not rich, but more the struggling and starving artist type. I've tasted success once in my life after working hard for it only to lose absolutely everything.  If you are going to ask people to pay for a product, you should do the same by paying for their products and even if you aren't selling something, you should still pay for theirs. Prosperity is a sort of shared agreement in that way. If you're on hard times, share around what you can because when money moves between people, its better for everyone and it comes back. So anyway, back to me being John Dillinger.

So after my neighbours calm down, I get my replacement media installed and I get to the part where it asks me for the serial and of course I have my trusty manual and from what it sounds like, a thousand eyes watching my computer out there by some dastardly trick of technology that I don't understand (that's not true, I do understand but finding a place to put the word dastardly is difficult you know? So you have to get it in there when you can). I get the serial number entered alright and... It works of course, because I paid for it, and I never got to the point that I registered it before, because the computer I used it on was never online. Much to the chagrin of my neighbours who of course were likely looking for a way to cast me into the fires of software hell, I'd paid for it already. The fool who stole it with my laptop, was doing double duty on the bad karma train. They stole a disc and computer, but not only could they not use the software, if they did they'd have to steal a serial number. Here's the punchline. That person stole that stuff from a homeless person. Yes that's right. I was homeless. I'd lost everything just after achieving the most success in my life. I didn't do anything wrong that a deity was punishing me for, it was just one of those things. I'd spent eight years homeless by the way. I worked nearly every day of that eight years, six days a week for about five and a half years. I even spent half a year living outside, and three weeks sleeping in record setting cold (-30 Celsius). That was after working for a company where I'd written a software package solution that saved the company I worked for $150,000, that was part of an internal solution (not to market) that was six years ahead of the market.

So I've travelled a pretty tough road but that road returned me to two stories that I`d started when I was still in public school and that was the idea for A Lady`s Prerogative and The Butterfly Dragon, both of which I started writing during my last three years in the shelter system, while homeless. I`d composed most of the music from this site while there in that situation as well and some of it later. I wrote about thirty (more like about fifty) little software projects for my portfolio because I thought when I funally got housing, that I was going to do well with my efforts. There have been some hurdles, some nasty people as well, some even trying to take that effort for themselves. Even some who took a lot from me while I had nothing else. This isn't another poor me story by the way. That had been my road, and despite what life has thrown my way or what abuse I sometimes put up with from nasty people, I always get up and have something good to share with the kind of people who kept me going during those times.

So John Dillinger I am definitely not. There are more such people out there who make up this illegal eavesdropping network by the way. They're the kind of people who spy what one person does and try to find a way to take it before the person publishes it, like reading over an author's shoulder so you can take their book before they get it to press. They are part of a new breed of thief that actually steal a person's accomplishments, because this eavesdropping is shared amongst a lot of people and others don't really know for certain who is who at any computer. So impostering the actions of a victim this group's friends spy upon is trivial, they just swap identities between the two computers and treat the operators as if they were responsible for the actions of the other. So whom ever has access to that on your end of things is likely to redirect it to their benefit and your detriment if you're not a part of their ideology. I happen to have a double strike against such people because my love interest is actually a different culture than mine (she's Oriental as most of you know), and this doesn't seem to go well with the ideology too well that does the illegal spying by the way. Besides, I am not a member of their ideology in the first place.

The ideology seems to steal other people'good from them, while using a victim as their garbage bag. Not to mention the fact that the groups that do it actually make it a game of tricking their victims into using that garbage against others in a cruel sort of social game. By the end of such a game if you've been played in that way, you'll likely not have friends or allies on any of the sides that did it. Who needs friends that would do that kind of thing anyway? Make it into a game of seeing who could stick something damning to you the longest, while stealing the most from you for their credit? Once you are aware of this, you'll begin to see it happening in more and more places and with more and more people by the way. Its like an epiphany, opening a whole new branch of awareness to you.

For all the bad, I am certainly lucky to have a warm roof over my head, because I know what its like to live outside in the elements for a half a year and what its like to live homeless for eight. The damages created by the kind of people who do such a thing as I've described above. Again, I didn't do anything to deserve it but I certainly didn't let it crush me. So there's life experience in what I write.

I'm treading the line of the gripe dangerously close and I have other blogs for that. Anyway, my disc is paid for and what an incredible piece of software and an action game it is and just what I was craving.

Anyway, an amazing game. It's a bit older and its called Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. I certainly hope that someone with decision making power on Steam reads this and lists it on their store front. Its an ingenious coup de gras for one of the great programmers of our time, John Carmack formerly of id Software and the talented artists at Splash Damage. Check it out if you can find it and if not, encourage them to rerelease it or develop another. Its that good and it stands up to the state of the art games of its' genre even today.

The final chapters to A Lady's Prerogative: Wounded Aerth and additions to The Butterfly Dragon: The Dragon Butterfly are coming soon.

For those of you who did not know, Sunday was International Women's Day. All the best to every lady out there and make sure that you take care of yourself, and love yourself too. Likewise to all the awesome guys, children and other partners that go a long way to letting them know.

One last thing is that for those of you who have been paying attention and are aware, there is a brand of people who seem to be stirring up the worst in other people that they target for such hurtful activity and to spur a hostile reaction from them. It has happened to myself and others, many celebrities and public figures who are often targeted for such activity. A bad reaction is all they're after and sometimes those reactions can be very damning even to the best of us if you aren't careful. I suspect that Paris Hilton's little brother, Conrad is the latest victim of just such attempts. I am going to say that to anyone who falls victim to such efforts, do everything that you can to direct the energy that those people put into getting a reaction from you into standing up for something good, like a principled cause of some form. By the way, when I worked for the company that I created that $150,000 money saving solution, one of the people I worked with was good friends to the Hiltons.

By the way, that does not make me a "gold digger" by my defence as its not motivated as such. A heart of gold is the most important gold to me.

The kind of people who torment others to get a hostile reaction are looking for just that, a bad reaction to better themselves by comparison and not word or deed. By directing your reaction towards something principled in such a way, it has the opposite effect.

There's a chance that you could end up doing a lot of good, and they end up looking really bad. Its about getting reaction that could be damning to your life and career. Remember that our anxiety and anger is a doorway to manipulation because it is based in bodily hormones more so than your free will. It is our ability to love that can't be manipulated or misdirected fortunately because nobody can make you love them. They always have to earn it. Hence why some people reverse the definition of the two. So they can trick what goes along with your love from you by redefining hate to mean love while you turn your back on what you really love, because if hate means love, then love must mean hate. Don't be fooled by it.

You see when this group sees someone with a good idea or repute or making some kind of good effort or even success or wealth, they want to convince others that they controlled that person into that idea or attitude because they always want to appear to be in control. If people rally behind someone, the group wants others to believe they're controlling that person. That way, the credit for it always stays with that group of people. I'd only credit that to people who've had good influence upon myself, not those who seek to abscond with something that they had nothing to do with in the first place. Ultimately we choose whom we accept with that credit (or control if you'd like).

There are people who also believe that what others do is the result of their "presence" and force a payment from those who create in their midst almost as a form of extortion. Unless you are crediting someone whose influence, inspiration and presence made a positive difference in your achievements, I say buyer beware when it comes to such schemes. Don`t pay those who forcefully charge a price either stealing the credit for what you do or making you carry their burdens in order to pay for your own right to be creative.

When they do, think about something else that motivates you even though I know just how difficult it is. You'll feel better and don't let people use you in that way by manipulating you into reaction.

Onlookers as well when you see that happening, keep in mind that the victim is usually alone, and being picked on by numerous people who are dragging them down emotionally to a bad reaction. Remember that the same kind of people used to do the same thing to women in the 1960s and 1970s, and that many of those women ended up on Prozac as a result of a generation that did not understand what was going on.

Stay away from people who burn books and even further from the ones that burn authors.

As usual, watch out for the nasties that usually rear their heads after I post. If I stick up for others, the nasties try to use them as convenient containers for their trash. That's most likely the reason for the illegal computer spying locally as paranoid as it might sound. I don't write to use others for containers. I write to inspire and to give back a bit of the good that was shared with myself. So don't let these nasties use you in that way because I most certainly am not. Besides I have no real trash anyway.

I promised myself that I wouldn't turn this blog into a gripe zone and I think that I've succeeded.

Stay Safe And Be Well
Brian Joseph Johns
http://poetryandfiction.blogspot.ca