Poem: “Epiphanies”

Hurt. I
Fell over.

Short Story: “Hell”

A old woman sat down next to me on the bus. “Oh great,” I thought, “smelly-old-lady smell all the way back to Dunedin. I hope she doesn’t talk to me.”

I conceded a wan smile and slight nod in her direction to acknowledge her presence, and I shuffled my bags around to clear leg room for her, at the expense of some of my own. She was smiling at me, but I was careful not to make eye contact, fearing a conversation. I didn’t want her to sit down next to me; who wants a stranger sitting next to them on a six-hour bus trip? Nobody. It’s awkward having to make pleasant conversation for a prolonged length time with someone who, thanks to that law-maker Murphy, is inevitably racist, religious, or reeking of body odour. Furthermore, the whole exercise is pointless, because you will never see this stranger again, and you will not benefit from the new acquaintance in any way at all.

So, overall, I wasn’t too chuffed that this old lady was squashed in next to me.

The bus had a small screen which was playing one of my favourite movies, and I was glad to have some distraction. Some time passed in awkward silence between us, however when my legs started cramping and I felt it had been long enough to check the time on my wicked 2009 flip-phone, it had only been fifteen minutes. God! This was going to be hell. Read more of this post

Red Rope Liquorice

The year 2000 arrived. I attended the local bonfire celebration and danced in a big circle of 300 neighbours holding hands, who were all red in the face and acting very strangely and stumbling. And a few weeks later, the holidays were over and I went back to school.

I was 11 years old this year. In New Zealand, the school curriculum for 11 year old kids begins to include technology subjects like woodwork and metalwork, cooking, and sewing; all those hands-on life skills that young adults need to become aware of as they enter adolescence and self-sufficiency. The time had come for me to graduate from child to young adult. Read more of this post

Changes to this blog are coming.

My whole life I wanted to go to sea.

I was brainwashed by stories of how boys went to sea and came back men, how the navy transformed and built young boys into something amazing. Plus, I really, really, really, REALLY love sailing.

I was so dazzled by this pathetic dream of curing everything wrong in my life with salt water, that I joined the fucking navy. I joined the fucking navy.

Just mere days before I was due to ship out (ha) to the induction and basic training, I had a horrific spinal injury. Talk about fate intervening. Two of my lowest vertebrae were fucked in a brief scuba diving accident. I spent a year in acute, screaming agony, with barely a breath of respite, before the inflammation of the surrounding tissues began to abate and a physiotherapy and osteopathic treatment could take root. Least said about that time the better. Hey, did you know walking upright is actually a privilege?

The point is, while I have always been writing shit on the internet (see the About Me section), I was doing so before in a nautical-themed blog which I created entirely with handwritten html code. And then AFTER this spinal injury, and AFTER becoming a pacifist and denouncing the navy and all militarism, I began this new blog in 2012. Hence the title, Andrew’s New Blog. And I gave up on the nautical themes, focusing more on content than style.

I had all of the usual grand plans to write amazing things here daily, and they never worked out of course. But other amazing things worked out here, such as the opportunity to write longwinded ranting essays about my favourite films, and receive interesting and stimulating feedback on them. Doing things this way from 2012 til just now, in 2019, has got me to One Hundred Thousand readers.

100,000 readers. Holy. Shit. Thank you all for dropping by.

Nowadays though, my thoughts turn once more to the old ways.

2012-2019 was the Era of Procrastination. In all these years I’ve only published a dozen essays. I have drafts saved for this blog of essays that I wrote in 2012 and have still not fucking published because they aren’t quite ‘done’ yet. Now it’s 2019, and I’ve cracked the 100,000 mark, I think I would like to have somewhere to write shorter, more intimate thoughts with much more immediacy. And I can’t bring myself to create a NEW new blog. “Andrew’s New New Blog” sounds a bit silly. No, this was the right idea all along. This blog will be forever new, meaning, it will need to occasionally be refreshed to keep up.

And so, this one will simply be getting a whole lot more content (with a whole lot less editing; you’re welcome, universe), and all of my *cough* dedicated readers can simply deal with the change.

Stop Writing Computer Hackers!

I never want to see computer hacking in a movie ever again.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
-Arthur C. Clarke.

I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it.
-Ian Malcolm.

Computer hacking in movies is so often just magic. Boom, something impossible happened. Who cares? It undermines the human story: that curiosity and bravery are noble traits. It removes struggle. And if you don’t struggle, you don’t truly earn something.

I currently live on an island. When I recently had occasion to visit the mainland, I eagerly took the opportunity to catch a couple of movies I had been desperate to see in theatres: Jurasssic World Fallen Kingdom, and Ocean’s 8 (about whose predecessor I have written at length). I must say while of course I loved JPark and O-8 and I’ll eat them up no matter what in this gutless era of unnecessary sequels, I was quite disappointed with the computer hacking aspects of both. I am so done with computer hacking in films. Contemporary screenwriters have shown themselves utterly unfit to wield that power. Read more of this post