Source: Happy Thursday.
Source: Happy Thursday.
Had therapy yesterday, was so anxious about it, had to pull myself out from a panic attack before I went. I know I have to look deal with stuff, but doesn’t mean I have to look forward to it.
One of the many things that came up was, I have a problem with someone, I s**t all over his achievements, point out all his flaws and harp on about them and generally make their life something of a misery. That person is me. I wouldn’t speak to anyone the way I think of myself, but somehow I carry that on. I wear clothes to death, because buying them for me, seems somehow a waste. Have worn the same glasses for 4 years, because that’s a lot of money to spend on me. How messed up is that?
A podcast me and my wife (The Mighty Rosie) used to listen to, it was called (Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men) and they coined the phrase ‘Angry Claremontian Narrator’ to describe narration. The caption boxes would almost shout at the characters. Inside my head is the angry internal monologue. After going back to work and enjoying another s****y work day (end of the month stress) it occurred to me that my therapist was right. I really should take it a bit easier on myself.
It raised a point, shouldn’t we all cut ourselves some slack. We’re all trying to get through this, we all have our struggles. Getting this far, should be a success, not a failure.
You are worth the effort.
You’re doing ok.
Reward yourself from time to time, pay yourself for the work you do.
I tell you this, so maybe I will remember myself.
We all have value, we all have worth.
As an aside, these are the music videos my son watched this morning……
We all need silly in our lives
Last week, I posted something about my giving DC comics another try. I added at the end, I may review them. You know what, I think I will.
Since I don’t review or discuss comics under three months old, I feel that this time, I must caution anyone who cares, there will be spoilers, but to be honest, it’d be surprising if anyone interested has either not read the comics in question, or not had it spoilt somewhere else, but heigh-ho.
Is that a big enough gap?
DC Universe Rebirth was written by Geoff Johns and was pencilled by a rotating roster of Gary Frank, Phil Jiminez.
Synopsis: The story opens with narration from the story’s lead, who after we see Bruce (Batman) Wayne trying to understand some conflicting information about the Joker, is revealed to be Wally West, former Kid Flash, former Flash and high profile casualty of the post ‘Flashpoint’ Nu52 continuity. Wally is trapped in the Speed Force, source of this reality’s speedster characters. He’s tried to get back to the life he knew, which thanks to issues both in-story and not, that life no longer exists. Wally tries to get Bruce to believe/remember, but this failure pulls him back into the Speed Force, but he is able to point him in the direction of the truth, by mentioning the letter from Bruce’s father.
Wally then thinks about his history and the events leading upto ‘Flashpoint’ and the Nu52. His time as Kid Flash, Barry’s ‘death’, Wally’s time as the Flash and Barry’s return. There’s then another attempt to reconnect, this time with Justice Society of America member Johnny Thunder, who can’t call his Thunderbolt/Genie. This is the first mention of the Justice Society as it was for a good 5 years now.
There’s some cutaway scenes now. There are secrets about Wonder Woman’s history, a woman claiming to know the future being interrogated by police, who have confiscated a Legion of Super Heroes flight ring. In Ivytown, Ray (the Atom) Palmer has vanished, leaving a message to recruit his assistance Ryan Choi, there’s a warning, but Choi never gets it. Ted Kord is trying to get Jamie Reyes to use the scarab of the Blue Beetle for heroic purposes, when Jamie leaves, Ted is met by Dr Fate, who informs him, the scarab isn’t alien technology, it is magic. There’s the sudden death of the mysterious Pandora, who dies in a very distinctive manner. Arthur (Aquaman) Curry proposes to his long time girlfriendf Mera. Also a brief look at legendary couple Green Arrow and Black Canary, who in this world and time, have nothing to do with one another.
The world reels from the death of Superman, but the pre-Flashpoint Superman is hiding with his wife and son, He’s met by Mr Oz, who puts the idea out, that his memories are wrong, he is not who he thinks he is, nor was the Superman who died.
Wally tries to connect with others from his past, Digger (Captain Boomering) Harkness, Victor (Cyborg) Stone, Dick (Nightwing) Grayson and the love of his life Linda Park. None of them know him and he feels he is fading from a reality that has no place for him. There’s even another Wally West, his cousin, soon to be the new Kid Flash. Wally begins to lose hope, ready to say goodbye, he finds his best friend, his childhood idol and his mentor Barry (The Flash) Allen.
Wally Appears before him and as he tries to say goodbye, in a fairly moving scene, Barry does something no one expects, and no one else did, he remembers Wally. This connects Wally to the world again, he is made whole and hugs his uncle. He confirms with Barry that this darker timeline and the changed relationships aren’t the after effects of Barry’s Flashpoint, but something else is going on.
In the Batcave, Batman find a smiley face button, with a familiar bloodspurt on it. The epilogue on Mars shows a clock 15 minutes to midnight and dialogue from the comic series Watchman ends this issue as the image of a watch started it. Ozymandius and Doctor Manhatten are here.
The Clock is ticking.
Notes: It would be very easy to consider this some kind of cheap cash grab and publicity stunt, but from what I could see, there’s not much else DC Comics could really do here. While there were some successes from the Nu52, it was becoming something of an unworkable mess. The good things were good, there was a slew of new series with decent ideas and a sense of jump on this new thing that DC hadn’t had since 1994 and their post Zero Hour issues. This gave the idea that continuity wasn’t an issue, no more Hawkman/Donna Troy sort of things. (Look up the comics history of Hawkman, I dare you.) The problem was more with the execution, many interesting series were quickly cancelled, or retooled to be unrecognisable. Characterisation was dumped in favour of edgy and dark new directions. Continuity was just as much a mess, Tim Drake was Robin, no, wait, Tim Drake was never Robin. There was an original Teen Titans, no there wasn’t, was there? There was editorial control the likes not seen since Jim Shooter’s time at Marvel Comics and an exodus of talent. While some good stories came out of it, by and large the Nu52 was not the resounding success in terms of story, or indeed of sales. One of their event series called Convergence had the side effect of several two part mini-series which showcased lost timelines and alternate stories, which had the effect of reminding the audience of what DC used to be like. After Convergence, there was more of an attempt to shake things up and try new things, but I don’t think that this had the effect that was wanted. So to be honest DC needed to do some fan pleasing, to bump up their bottom line and smooth over some occasionally bad PR. So by the time I picked this book up, I was already seeing this a cynical move by a company with a history of not great decisions in an industry that slowly eating itself to death. My hopes were not up, when I pressed the button on comixology. But I did have some hope left.
Hope is what has been missing from the DC Comics universe (or DCU) for a while, that absence of hope drove me away. This had the beginnings of that hope. Wally West was one of the great casualties of the Nu52. He started as Kid Flash and had a very clear arc of change. From Sidekick, to teen hero. From teen hero to replacement Flash. From replacement Flash to his own man. From there he became as great a hero as Barry Allen, if not better and certainly the best written Flash. When Barry was brought back, it was clear that Wally was not going to be around much longer. I miss him as a character and to have him back is great, especially since it doesn’t interfere with DCs plans for the other Wally West. The writing is solid, if at times a little perfunctory and Johns’ history with the characters have everyone sounding as you would expect. Outside of the Wally West visits people story, we get a lot of small one to two page vignettes showing the current status of some characters and changes in the lives of others. All of which seem at least interesting. We see Wonder Woman’s history questioned, the Nu52 Superman being dead and the pre-Flashpoint Superman being pulled more into the centre of the DCU.
Barry and Wally’s reunion was genuinely touching. They were like father and son, mentor and pupil, but above all they were friends, they clearly love each-other and their reunion is a moment of hopeful joy. There has been a darker era and maybe this right here, is the beginning of something brighter. Since we can’t blame focus groups and editorial decisions on an in-story basis, we need a villain. So what we get is Watchman. My first reponce was REALLY? We doing this now? But it makes a degree of sense, no current villain either has the power or the status to do this and no one expected them to back to the Watchmen well. It creates controversy and online headlines and this can translate to sales. It did in my case at least.
This was a promising start to another desperate initiative from DC Comics to claw back lost fans and acquire the elusive new readers. Will it work any better than the realaunch in 2011, or the recent DCYou relaunches? I don’t know, but this was a decent comic written by someone who likes these characters and for the first time in a while, I got to read characters I recognised without either nostalgia or that “Well this won’t last feeling.”
Next Time: Aquaman Rebirth
Comics related stuff, sorry.
8 Months ago, I wrote that I was giving Marvel another chance comic wise. With the rising costs and 3rd and 4th issues becoming more and more lack lustre, I decided to get out again, just as I did with DC during the first couple of years of the Nu52 which started in 2011. As new events started and more series were announced, I was happy I made that call. As a result, beyond graphic novels and the odd impulse buy, I kinda got the impression me and monthly comics were coming to a sort of end.
I first heard about rebirth through facebook and other more social media outlets and I had a sort of “heigh-ho” blaseness about it. Then on free comic book day last month, I got a special copy of previews
Went back and forth on maybe started reading DC again, after all, I am a comic fan/addict/victim. (Delete as appropriate.) Started hearing positive stuff from trusted sources and since I had a comixology account, decided to get the DC Rebirth special.
Now, here’s how I left DC. It was a dark and miserable place, overly violent, bleak and oh so serious. DC had more hope and more fun to it, so seeing that leave was to my mind, reason enough to go too. But Rebirth changed my mind, it brought by Wally West, if not my favourite Flash, certainly the overall best written one, but didn’t get rid of the other Wally West that had recently been introduced. It seemed to offer the idea that history was wrong and that things should be different. It also showed me something I hadn’t seen since 2010, Superman. Oh don’t get me wrong, Superman was still in a comic, but that was very much a Superman’esque character, just like the one in the recent DC movies. It was another of several different versions of Superman, but there was none of the hope and overall decent-ness that you associate. A facebook friend of mine suggested Lois and Clark, which was a story about the pre-Nu52 Superman, his wife Lois and son Jonathan.
This was Superman as I remembered him, honest, caring, calm and above all hopeful. It was well written, decently drawn and fun. As I dad, I could relate to the worries and fears about his son’s safety as a husband his dealings with his wife made sense too. I even liked that he stayed in the shadows to avoid confusion with the Nu52 Superman. Then I learned that this was going to be the new Superman. I didn’t know how that was going to work, but was curious. So I gave some Rebirth titles a go.
I liked what I saw, probably won’t be reading Aquaman or Flash, but I liked what I saw for the first time in a while from DC. Lois & Clark Superman going public made little sense, but if the new one was gone, stepping up is exactly what he would do. For the first time in 5 years, Superman comics have someone I recognise as Superman in it and new things are happening.
I know I’ll be disappointed, I know it’ll end badly and I know I’ll spend too much in between now and then, but I have comics that I can enjoy and when the world seems a miserable place, hope, even fictional hope is a good thing.
Maybe I should start reviewing these?
Feedback is always appreciated.
I’m disappointed with the people of Britain. By a thin majority, the population has voted to leave the EU. I would’ve hoped that the fear-mongering and outright deception would’ve been recognised for what it is, but sadly no. No matter how high we soar, their’s still that undercurrent of ‘bloody foreigners’ that always seems to pull us back down.
Control of our borders was a big part of this debate, certainly the only one that the media focused on during this campaign (one of the most negative and divisive ones I have ever seen) and that is always a far right go to place. Thing is WE ARE ON A F***ING ISLAND! You’re never going to prevent people coming in and people will always flee poverty, oppression and war. We are a safe, fairly prosperous country, people want to be here and therefore they will, legally or not. There’s always the..’taking out jobs’ rhetoric. Thing is, if a newcomer to this country, who can barely speak English can take your job, him doing that isn’t your biggest problem.
I think I just wanted to rant. As a country, we have made a stupid decision based on fear and we have no idea of the full consquences of this decision. This generation and the one to follow are just going to have to make the best of it.
On the positive, the sniping, lies, pointless debates and fear-mongering are over, well at least for this topic.
Ta ta for now internet people.
I just got my grades back for my final assignment for my last unit and I’m so happy. I got 87% which is a High Distinction and my tutor started her comments with “Wow”. Maybe I’m bragging a little bit but I’m SO STOKED. It took a lot of work and there were elements I was concerned about but turns out I needn’t have worried. She made two comments total for the whole thing and they were both compliments on how it was going. I’ve posted my essay below – it’s a bit longer than anything I’d usually post but hopefully you don’t mind.
Aaargh! That’s such a relief. I definitely deserve a glass of champagne tonight. And it just so happens I’m going to a champagne degustation in 1.5 hours – how handy is that?
I’m standing on the front steps of our house. Naked. It’s summer and a breeze ruffles…
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worth. it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve always dealt with issues of my own worth, my own value, after being devalued for so long growing up. but my thoughts are turned outward of late.
I am amazed, depressed, and angered by the number of responses to the Orlando shooting that it was “God’s work” or “serves them right”. People so lost in their own hatred of others they don’t see the pain in one life lost, much less fifty.
But what I’ve seen lately turns my stomach. It’s the alarming number of people who just aren’t concerned. They shrug their shoulders and go on with their “whatever” attitude … This burns more than the hatred. How can anyone devalue life so much that the cruel taking of a life spurs no response at all? How do you get so disconnected with the heartbeats around you… Don’t get…
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I worry about things, I worry too much, always have, probably always will.
I have a therapy session tomorrow and an eye-test, both things I have been putting off, so today I am feeling somewhat anxious. My instinct is to avoid, to defer or something like that. One thing I have learned, my instincts are s**t.
Have started joint gym sessions with my wife (the Mighty Rosie, who is at present feeling less than Mighty) which I enjoy, we support each other in most other elements of life, so this is just another thing (our health and fitness) that we’ve stumbled doing ourselves, but can help one another better. We compete, we give eachother s**t and push each other that little bit further. Reminding me that a lot of the things that stall or block us, are simply in our minds.
With that thought in mind, I was reminded of a post I did a while back about a VERY obscure comic character, the post is here
The interesting thing here, is that it’s about a masked hero, who suffers PTSD, he gets his a$$ handed to him, then can’t bring himself to put the suit on for 5 years, until forced to by circumstance. A theme to the story was the power of the mind over the body, he had a mantra “I can, I must, I will.” Little else from that story stuck as well as those words, I feel tired today, it’s hard to muster up the energy to do anything at all really, but I can, I must, so I will.
You are all stronger than you think you are, braver than you believe. If you can need to keep going you can, you must keep going, you will keep going, because through all the s**t in our lives, there is one of those moments, that make you smile.
This morning my son and I passed a small red car with several black polka dots on it, I said it looked like a ladybird and the next few minutes were spent talking about other times he saw a ladybird, after a big hug, he went into school. Those moments are the prize for not giving up. So while I am tired and worn down, my spirit is up and I will get through this day.
I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was writing here, I just want to keep getting something down.
Ttfn internet people.
At the gym last night, had a very heavy session with Ali (man that sounds dirtier than it should) worked out so hard, that by the time I got home I was throwing up and crashing hard. Evidence there of the many years of neglect of my body. That said, I felt I achieved something yesterday, felt that it was worth the time it took to get there and the work I put in.
I need to put the work in more, in many elements of my life. But it can’t be all bad, I am going back tonight for more. I realise there are life skills, that I never really picked up whilst younger, my low self esteem and depression have taken their toll and I need to start making some bigger changes to how I live and what I live for. Time for new ideas.
One such thing is a list of goals to achieve, things I need and something called a vision board. I don’t see the point, but I am getting to the opinion that my way doesn’t work and I need different ways to do stuff.
But this is positive post, I ran at 10 miles an hour longer than I ever have before, it is Friday and my best friend and soul mate is working with me to improve our lives. It is never too late to do better.
But you do have to start.
Hate seems easy. Don’t believe me? Turn on your tv, read a paper, spend ten minutes on the internet, follow politics in any way. Hate is easy, so as a result, a lot of people do it.
Mass shootings over hate, death threats over disagreements. There are fandoms, supporters and other ‘factions’ of all kind of things fighting with one another. I’m tired of it all.
But here’s the thing, we learn hate. Fear is inherent, anger is reactive, love is instinctive, but hate is something we pick up. It divides us, it changes those we are different to, to the ‘enemy’. I think about these things and I ask, do I have an enemy? I have a line manager that I disagree with, but that’s more a clash of personality types and my own distrust of authority. Are immigrants my enemy? England is a flawed and often sh***y country, if you want to come here, things aren’t going well where you were are they. Someone wants to make a life here, will work hard doing cr***y jobs for minimum wage and will be glad to do so, is that someone’s enemy? If you feel that someone who is fleeing poverty or war is a threat to you, that doesn’t say much about them. Is Europe my enemy? I don’t see how lots of countries working together hoping to make solutions to large problems and helping support one another is my enemy. Is Islam my enemy? No, nor is Budhism, Christianity, Judaism or anything else I don’t believe in that promotes the idea of being good to each other, which is something I do agree with. There are conflicts in this world, clashes between armies and groups and there are people to fear, but that’s not the same thing as enemies.
The news tells me to fear immigrants, muslims, people on benefits, political correctness, they push the idea that we should see them as other. I don’t agree, we are all one thing, people. I am often distrustful of people, cautious of people, but I don’t hate them. I don’t have time for hate, too busy looking at what else there is to do.
Next week is a referrendum on this countries membership in the European Union. I was unsure about my vote, what were the benefits, pros/cons, that sort of thing. Then I got a leaflet giving me the #leave side of things. There was the usual interference/sovereignty issues and the costs, but it was telling me that several new countries were joining. The idea that more countries coming together to help one another and have a greater political strength when dealing with the rest of the world was a bad thing. Do we hate foreigners so much, that we want to wall our selves off from them? Whether we like it or not, we are in Europe, being in the EU gives us more of a voice. We have more workers rights that we used to paternal leave is more. we have adoption leave, slightly higher minimum wage and other changes that were not gifts, they were fought for, by people all over the EU.
I am not going to tell anyone what to think, how to vote or what to feel, but I am going to vote based on what I think and not take my ball and go home based on disliking immigrants. By the way, it goes both ways, we can go there too. Nothing stopping you buggering off to Spain, or Holland to have a go at a better life. Nice to have that option isn’t it?
My point is, that decisions and judgements based on hate are very rarely the right ones.
Try something, go a day without that word. Try not to use it to express a feeling.
I hate this becomes I don’t like this, that sort of thing.
Hate seems easy, just as easy is compassion.
Hate isn’t a thing we feel, it’s a thing we do. It’s a bad habit, we should probably stop.
It’s a miracle how much lighter we feel, when we stop holding these grudges and carrying this anger.
Gotta go, Fridaying to be done.
Ttfn Internet people.
Thoughts are always welcome.