August 10, 2015

Onwards and Downwards

I've noticed that a lot of bloggers who were contempories (and occasionally friends) of mine when I first started doing this "blogging thing" have given up in the last couple of years. It's always annoying when you go to a favourite blog and the blogger hasn't posted for ages, but unfortunately, enthusiasm doesn't last forever, and that's just the way things are.

Each of them had their own reasons for quitting, whether it be due to health problems, financial difficulties, or simply the fact they couldn't be bothered to write anything longer than a status update on FaceySpace anymore. In a few cases, real life changes which prompted some people to start writing are the same ones which eventually contributed to them not wishing to continue. Sadly, some very good bloggers got ill, and a couple of them even died.

I'd also hazard a guess that the reason why the majority of bloggers gave up is when they realised that they weren't going to make it, or more specifically, they weren't going to make any money out of blogging aside from a pittance of Amazon affiliate revenue.

The thing is, if you think that you're going to become rich or famous from blogging or podcasting (which is so 2006 and utterly worthless that it's hysterically funny to me and my friends), you need a damned good shake. You're too late, the ship has sailed, and the people at the top who got there first have no intention of ever letting you join them. They're laughing at you, not with you. Even the new YouTubers with floppy hair, British accents, and/or big boobs aren't getting anywhere now.

I don't mind telling you that I've made just over $10 out of this blog in the last five years, which I blame more on the rise of streaming services and hardly anybody buying DVDs/Blu-rays anymore than the more obvious fact that I'm a shitty writer. Oh yes, I do realise that I'm not much of a writer, especially when I go back and look at earlier posts where I didn't have a clue about what the Hell I was doing.

If you're new to blogging, you'll soon discover that there are very few people at the top of the writing pyramid. As the rest of us know now, that area is full of nepotism where the same bunch of people (who don't write any better than anyone else) continually cross-promote each other, kiss each other's asses, and slither around the social networks like a poisonous nest of vipers ready to knock anybody down who might look for even a moment as if they could take a few pennies away from them. Yes, it really is that cutthroat, and it's the reason why you often hear that "everyone hates everyone else". The root of this evil is jealousy over tablescraps. Like most things online, including the passive-aggressive gaslighters themselves, it's truly pathetic.

Plus, even without those horrible yet seemingly "successful" people (trust me, they really aren't all that!) to discourage you, the poorly thought out and insulting comments which all bloggers get every single day are not something which we in our naiveté ever thought we'd encounter, especially from just talking about stupid movies which we have no financial or emotional investment in. Rarely do we get something useful such as "you spelled that wrong" or "your comma is in the wrong place", but that would be nice. The Internet, generally, brings out the very worst in people and hardly ever anything nice.

I've heard that women who blog get worse insults than men, but I doubt it. There's always been too much "crying wolf", attention-seeking, and card-playing from the person who told me. Having seen how this person operates, I don't believe a word of it, and neither should you. Although the nature of the insults may sometimes be different, it's not worse. We've all been lied about and insulted because of our perceived intelligence, our looks, our sexuality, or ridiculed for the things we like. There have been often comical attempts to demonise us, label us as things we aren't, and dehumanise us to a point where we can be "called out" or "brought down" (which ironically implies that we are considered above the attacker). We've even had death threats. Death threats over movie reviews? You have got to be fucking kidding me!

Yes, the bullying is real. It usually starts with two people disagreeing, then all their social networking buddies have to join in and one-up each other with insults, and then some random idiot (usually a whiteknighter who isn't even part of the often already resolved original problem) decides to continue the vendetta because he or she has no life and this is fun. Oh, it's so much fun, isn't it? It doesn't matter that whiteknighters invariably become ostracised by everybody including the very people they pretended to be defending. So think on that the next time you want to light your flaming torches. Online grudges remain for years, and even if you think you've escaped because all you did was comment, you're all on somebody's shitlist and your time will come. Of that, just like death and taxes, you can be sure.

Blogging is not a game for sensitive souls, and whoever wrote the famous blog post which said, "Why not write a movie blog? It'll be fun!" wasn't telling you the whole truth. If I'd known what I was getting into, and the type of disgusting and clinically insane people who I was to encounter online over the years, or that I might often be tempted to become just like them, I never would have bothered to create my first website. Self-praise is no recommendation, but I can assure you that even with the mistakes I've made in the past, I'm not like them and I never will be.

As I said, I make no money from this, and blogging for me has only ever been a folly to pass the time. I'm better at it than some, and not as good as others, but from time to time, I do try to write something interesting. I probably shouldn't, but there are still a few decent people out there who like reading blogs, and we're all each other's entertainment anyway. There are even some people who enjoy reading my blog posts and for the right reasons. Imagine that! What a novelty.

Rather than go on what certain toxic people on almost defunct message boards (including their equally cowardly inciters on social networks) refer to as "an insane rant"—because I hate to break it to those armchair-psychiatrists, wordy-pricks, and holier-than-thous, but apart from occasional minor bouts of depression and physical ailments, I am perfectly sane—I'll move on from this to tell you about some things which I will endevour to be changing on my blog.

"Stick to what you know" is the best advice that you can ever be given. I've passed that cliché to people who've ignored it, and I've even been told it myself and ignored it, but we all should have listened. What I've been doing on my blog is not what I ever set out to do, and I really have no idea why. It's all pointless anyway, but I'm going to stick to what I know from now on.

Over the years, I've been dabbling in subgenres of new horror movies which I don't even care about, and that has to stop. Not only is my jaded attitude to that utter rubbish boring to read, but it's boring for me to write.

Even my cat laughs at you!

When the Summer movies dry up, all that happens at this time every year is that people get frustrated. The social networks and message boards erupt with backstabbing, shit-stirring, insults, and everyone trying to ruin each other's reputations. It's happened so many times that it's predictable and almost funny now, except obviously, if you become the recipient of the wrath of the "horror nasties". I've done it before, and I've had it done to me. None of us are angels. If you could see the thousands of screencaps which I've collected over the years of everybody (from the fandom to "celebrities"), you'd either laugh or never want to have anything to do with them again. I now choose to have nothing to do with any of these people. They can chase my ghost, for whatever it's worth, because they're all dead to me.

I almost fell into the trap of having a pop about somebody else who I don't even know last night, but I'm not going to. The stickybeaks who can't seem to stay out of each others' business online should do what I'm doing by ignoring it. In fact, everybody should be more concerned about what they are doing rather than what everybody else is up to. I can illustrate this with a story about a guy I once worked with who was so intent on watching other people not doing their jobs properly that he cut his own finger off accidentally on a lathe. Hopefully, although I know that a lot of people seem determined to misunderstand the English language that I write in, you will see my point.

Seriously though, take a look at these people who cause all the trouble. There's barely a full head of hair, a mouthful of teeth, or a single-chin between them. Morbid obesity seems to be the fashion, and none of them have a penny to scratch their sweaty old asses with. Those of them who aren't continuously e-begging and who have jobs are a minority, and they aren't particularly great or intellectually fulfilling jobs at that. That's why they come online, because it gives them the opportunity to "reinvent" themselves and milk what little success they've ever had in their lives for all its worth, but nobody believes them or in them anymore. The ones who call themselves "filmmakers" and have IMDb credits for three-minute YouTube video-style shorts which you've never seen, or for donating $5 to their equally fake e-begging filmmaker friends with boring documentaries and camcorder movies which nobody wants, make us all piss ourselves with laughter. Don't even get me started on the hundreds of "screenwriters" and vanity-published authors whose work will never be read.

It's all bluff and bluster, smoke and mirrors, and the drama usually involves the same bunch of self-important, entitled, advertising-conditioned Americans (and a few Canadians, Brits, and Aussies, to be fair) who hypocritically adopt the latest trendy causes and buzzwords as they try to fool everyone into thinking that they are morally and intellectually superior, or just plain better than everyone else. They aren't. Nobody is better than anyone else. We all put on our pants one leg at a time, and have to eat and shit. They just choose to do the latter two things in the same place.

As a fellow horror blogger (who often hates me, but it's all good) once said,
"You aren't a journalist, you aren't a critic, you're just someone who has internet access!"
It wasn't aimed at me, by the way. I've paraphrased it a bit and added the exclamation mark, but his point is still a valid one and is applicable to so many people.

But I said that I wasn't going to rant, so let's move on...

I started off my "reviewing career" (which hasn't ever amounted to much) by writing about vampire movies, sometimes ghosts, and occasionally computers or cats. Those were the subjects which I was most interested in, and although I'm not an expert in any of them, I used to enjoy them. So, to cut a long story short, I'm going to rewrite (or delete) a lot of my older reviews and articles when I get time, and focus only on the things I like from now on.

I stopped writing negative reviews of bottomfeeder indie horror movies a long time ago, because they aren't worth wasting my time or yours on anyway. You aren't ever going to watch them. Really, you aren't, and I wish that I hadn't watched them either.

For those people who still don't get it after all these years (and probably never will), I'm not part of the "horror community" (if such a thing even exists) or any community for that matter. I'm not a horror "fan" or a movie "fan". I may have accidentally used that term to describe myself before, but "fanatic" is not a word that could ever apply to someone as lazy and politically apathetic as me.

I'm not a "nerd" or a "geek" either. I'm not even sure when those terms ceased to be insults, because I still think of the people they are applied to as a type to be despised, wedgied, and locked inside their own school-lockers. Maybe that's why those who think they've "taken it back" have become cyberbullies now. It's their revenge on the world. Yeah, good luck with that.

There's a ton of stuff which I don't know about movies or books or music or games or whatever, and I don't care about any of them. I like what I like and have no interest in what I don't. I have also never had any desire to write for any of the "big name" horror magazines or websites (which I don't think much of and usually avoid anyway). It's all just wasting time between meals or until we end up six feet under, rotting in a box.

Basically, I'm just like you. I'm some average "man in the street" (so to speak) who watches a lot of movies, and who one day just got bored and decided to start writing about them online. Because I don't want to sit here and write "O level exam" (or "highschool" quality) essays every day for no money—I've already been there and done that—I'm probably not going to do it for much longer either. But we shall see.

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