It’s been half a decade.
Half a decade since that weird, shiny, glowing box first came into my life.
5 years since I first learned how to “surf” the “Internet”.
115 weeks since I first played a “flash” game.
1800 days since my life started to collapse.
I’ll start with one, very simple statement: I hate my life.
It’s boring. It’s filled with work. It’s monotonous.
That I can deal with. Monotony is easy. Work is easy.
The straw that happened to crush my life was built. Slowly accumulated through the ages. I’m always hiding something from someone. Even as I write this rant (in school, it’s a wonder I’m not caught), I’m also perpetually blocking the sheet of paper out of view from everyone. I can’t tell things to my “friends”, I can’t tell things to my family, I can’t tell things to the Internet. It’s like a satellite in geosynchronous orbit; only one side ever faces each observer. And then, you still never know what’s inside, even if you circle the satellite once.
First of all, school.
I don’t hate school. I like school. I like schoolwork.
I used to hate it; 16 hour days just didn’t cut it for me (I wasn’t in high school yet). Work work work. Reflections. Notes notes notes. Reflections. Create create present. Reflections.
Ah, I remember the good old days with mind-boggling clarity. I didn’t hand in half of my assignments, was always late for class, and skimmed through the grades. And I still somehow got the “Award for Academic Achievement” for three straight years at the end (my teachers really suck at actually critiquing who’s the actual smart person). My parents always forced me to work work work, and I still didn’t complete everything correctly.
I like school now, don’t I? What’s the problem?
Well, now, my parents are discouraging me from schoolwork. It’s fun, goddamn it, don’t you know the meaning of the word?! “Look at the other children” they would say, “they’re all playing with their friends, why don’t you go hang out at some person’s house?”
And do what? Play mindless video games on a console too expensive for me to own? Admire the endless rows of trophies each person has received? Get a ball kicked/thrown straight into my face, 5 times in a row? Yeah, guess what, that isn’t really “fun”.
Also, I don’t really have any “real” friends. Sure, they’re all friendly and stuff, and I return the favour, etc. etc., but does any one of them know what is actually going on inside my head? I’m probably more friends with internet people than them. It’s sad, I know; I have no real social life. But what is the definition of real anyways?
Is the definition of a real social life friends that you can see? People that live near you?
Language was invented for a reason; to convey messages. Read a novel; the people described in the novel aren’t your next-door neighbours, are they? But still, their feelings/actions/emotions/clothes that they’re wearing are conveyed directly to you. Talking with a person living somewhere in China is the same as talking to someone living next door. It’s talking. There is no real and fake; the person on the other end just has to be a human.
Anyways, so my parents basically stopped letting me do my schoolwork, just as it was actually getting /fun/. And what do they tell me to do now?
“Sign up for Skating lessons! Look at how good Yhsum is at Swimming! Sign up for that too! And Tennis! And Chess! And sharpening pencils manually using a kitchen knife because we have money to spare!”
….Yeah, too bad. Is skating really useful in life? Do you seriously need to learn skating to be able to become successful in life? Also, why would anyone even need a tennis coach? Did the first tennis coach have a coach? No. Then how’d he get so good? There’s something called learning by yourself; go look it up.
Also, just because Yhsum is so epically good at all these, does that mean I have to be of equal or greater skill level? Life isn’t a coupon exchange; firstly, I don’t need to be better than Yhsum, and secondly, none of those are necessaries to life. On the other hand, learning is. OH MY GOD REALIZATION MUCH?
Did I mention that I’m already signed up for some horrible lessons? One is Chinese, the infamous reason for my #SuicideSaturdays. You basically pay $600 a year (“because we have money to spare!”) so that the teacher can give you 3 $10 textbooks and teach you how to read them. For 2.5 hours.
How does this go?
Teacher: Hand in your homework!
[hands in homework]
[teacher writes a B on homework without reading]
Teacher: Read your books.
Teacher: Alright, end of class.
..Do I really need to pay for that? Oh, I might be getting a bit exaggerated here. The teachers actually do some work. They create tests. Basically, they tell you to memorize every single lesson ever taught since you were in Kindergarten, write them down, and automatically give you a score between 0 and 80 percent based on how neat your writing is.
That’s not all. The teachers are just lazy, but the classmates are even worse. Everyone, with the exception of several awesome people, are either spoiled brats, extremely perverted (though not to the point of drawing certain images on danbooru), or genius brats. Meaning, super smart 4 year olds who don’t know how to walk without tripping over themselves, but can still get straight As. Did I mention those are the only people who ever get As?
Next activity: Music.
Same as homework: Me hate, mom forces. Me like, mom destroys.
At the start, I hated playing piano. Maybe it was the teacher. Maybe it was my mom. Or maybe, it was just me. It probably was. I must have been so stupid not to balance 7 pennies on one hand while drumming out one of Czerny’s etudes (did I mention I have 200 of these?) or to not be able to fit a mango under my hand (mind you, I was 7 then). Obviously, such stupid mistakes must be punished by my extremely caring mother: Iron clotheshangers and a needle were the ingredients to her therapy. Plural on the clotheshangers, as sometimes, they broke while swung at me. Piano was stupid; I practiced 4 hours a day, of which 3 hours and 50 minutes were Hanon’s (fuck you, Hanon), and 10 minutes were pieces that I had to memorize, one piece a week.
And then I started liking it. I /enjoyed/ playing piano. It wasn’t torture anymore; it was a hobby.
Obviously, my mom turned from stabbing me to “OH GAWD YOUR PLAYING SOUNDS LIKE A WET SNAKE HITTING A MANGO ONTO A BROKEN DRUM”. She then banned me from playing piano because it was too noisy. I passed the exam with the same pieces with 80%. She then blamed me for my low mark because of lack of practice.
Oh, and for the first time, I could actually play piano /pieces/, not etudes. Sure, you might say repetitive 5 note melodies count as masterpieces, but in my opinion, they weren’t. Czerny went from repeated scales to actual, challenging melodies. It was fun. Also, I learned how to improvise and play several anime/game songs. Obviously, these were “noisy”, and so my mom would attack me with more clotheshangers (I have no idea why we never run out of them) whenever I play one. See, here’s one reason why I hide things from a certain party (in this case, my parents).
Finally, right now, she’s considering dropping my piano lessons. Why? Because it’s a waste of money. Oh, and obviously spending $600 on a useless waste of time isn’t. And learning how to skate isn’t either, because you’ll totally need to learn how to skate really fast to escape from an army of frantic Hungarians, if you happen to be teleported to the past when they had no arrows, had a pair of skates on, and were on a solidly frozen lake. On a side note, teleported isn’t in the dictionary.
Oh, my mom can’t get all the blame. I blame the world’s society for this.
We changed piano-playing from a pastime into a competition. I can’t talk to 10 people about piano without 11 saying “LAWL I PASSED 12 EXAMS”. That means you failed one, dumbass. Anyways, you don’t compare piano as a pastime anymore, it’s acompetition. Sure, this is nice and all, but we’re not competing even for skill anymore. We’re competing to see whose parents has more money to afford exams. We’re competing for competitions. What that doesn’t make sense? Exactly.
Adding on to this, music theory is also another part of music. It was interesting, learning new concepts… until my teacher gave me 30 exams to complete. Mind you, each one takes 3 hours. What’s more, she defied everything explained in the official textbook with cheats for exams (not actual cheats, but minimize work cheats). At the end, I passed with 87%, an A. I didn’t learn anything.
Now it’s History I have to learn. Apparently, as long as the answer appears on the textbook, it’s correct. Fun fact: Haydn composed 106 sonatas. According to my teacher, that’s incorrect. Why? Because obviously, the textbook says so. Who cares about what the fucking textbook says? Here are the facts, this is the truth; if you can’t accept it, go rot in a well off the coast of Finland.
Civilization as a whole has evolved to a point where everything revolves around competition, marks, tests, exams, and the like. Actual comparison of skill and knowledge is a thing of the past.
Which brings me to yet another point, the topic of Kongregate badges.
They’ve leeched at least 300 (SPARTA) hours out of my life now. I want to stop; I can’t. They already have Achievement Addicts Anonymous, but that isn’t gonna help me.
These badges are too damn addictive. What’s more, competition in Kong is all about who has more points; people stop playing a game right after they get the badge. N00bz adjust their rating based on badges: “0/5 awesome game but needs badges” consists of 98% of comments on Kong (the other 2% is spam). Yeah, games with higher rating get a higher chance to get badges; obviously, voting 0/5 (which you can’t, it goes on a 1-5 scale) will help it get badges a lot.
And speaking of comments, the world is full of spammers. Full of raters who think their opinion is valued over everyone else’s. Scroll down 30 comments in Kong, you’ll find 31 have a rating in them. Also, 31 of those commentors are under 13 years old. COPPA, folks.
Yep, COPPA. That dreaded demon of a law that apparently forbids underage children from participating in online activities. Thing is, it doesn’t help at all; people over 13 are over 13, yay, and people under 13 don’t know what that shiny checkbox means when it says “I am over 13, and I am smart as well”. Stupid people don’t understand what that checkbox means either. Then, suddenly, some 12 year old gets the urge to spam in Kong chat “I AM TWELVE YEARS OLD YOU ARE ALL N00BS HAHAHAHAHA”, and get insta-banned by the admins. All while 11 year olds are watching in fear of the day when they will suffer the pain of being banned. If those 11 and 12 year olds survive long enough to reach 13, they’ll obviously tell everyone in chat that; thus destroying the point of COPPA, to protect children’s privacy. As soon as they turn 13, everyone knows. Before that, nobody cares. If they didn’t have COPPA, most people wouldn’t even tell everyone their age, but because of it, everyone wants to after they turn legal.
Back to the previous topic, badges and addictiveness.
I just can’t drop something after I begin it; it took me two weeks to stop dreaming about Dream World and how a scoped vindicator graviton discharger of speed + 3 will eventually appear in the shop. This means that I have a massive amount of things to complete on the internet every single day.
Which makes me have almost no time for actual gaming at all. I go home. I finish my dailies (150 new posts in google reader, 15 new chess games, 20000 more tweets, 100 new forum posts, 20 more other forum posts, 500 more other forum posts, 10 more youtube videos, and 50 more games). After this, I have no more time for actually playing a game for the game, not the card, not the alpha, not to test it, not for the badge, not because it’s daily, not for the achievements, not because the developer wanted me to review it, not because a friend recommended it, not because there’s an once-in-a-lifetime event occuring, but for the game itself. Curse you MotK and your active userbase. <3 Gensokyo.org~
But I should still have so much time! Wrong. My parents have no idea what I’m doing on the internet, and thus disallow me to do whatever they think isn’t homework (which they don’t let me do anyways), or helping them type something up. I go by the old rule, ignorance is bliss, so I keep what I do a secret. This has put a ton of pressure on me over the ages; those 2 hours between end of school and mom coming home from work is always a mystery to my parents, as apparently, nothing happens then.
And now, my mom has a financial exam; my total computer time, including homework, has shrunk to 2 hours. It takes me 3 hours to finish my dailies.
My other family members are also annoying. My cousin can scream at at least 18,000 cycles a second at a frequency of once every half hour. The length of his scream is half an hour. His mom is his /slave/. I feel really sorry for my aunt.
Oh, and he cries if you throw some grass at him (at 18,000 hertz), and the wind blows the grass away. Even if you could sense something as minute as grass touching your fucking shirt, IT DIDN’T EVEN TOUCH YOUR SHIRT. Oh, then he tells his mom that I hit him with a lawnmower or something. Obviously, cause there’s no injury on him. I really just want to shove him inside that well off the coast of Finland with the rest of those people I told to go into the well.
My brother isn’t as annoying; he just punches and kicks me every single day. A lot. Thanks to him, I now have an iron head and light-speed defense skills. But before that happened, it fucking hurt. Thankfully, my brother is one of the few people I actually trust, introducing me to flash and gaming. I suppose that’s a bad thing, as because of him, my life is destroyed.
Also, my peers. I’m tired of having someone two year younger than me beat me at chess, homework, tennis, basketball, math, soccer, science, running, projects, socials… and then tell me that every sfive minutes. Oh, he can also takeback his moves in chess.
Not that I’m referring to anyone specific here. Also, facewashing + pen-stabbing my face and ribs, respectively, is a do not want. I really want to spaz out and attack some annoying people, but I won’t do that for another 5 years. I need to hold back my anger.
Finally, I hate my pencil sharpener and how a 10 cm pencil can magically become 1 cm in 3 seconds. This should release massive amounts of energy because of E=mc2, but it doesn’t, which makes me even angrier.
And now, my internet connection is fucking up. I hate how all the computers I have ever used in my life are shared. I hate how my parents stop me from looking at anything that isn’t pure white with black text. And to add on to that, I thus hate those forums (you know which I’m talking about) without a change skin option that uses pure black with white text. What does that even do? It’s unattractive. The text is unreadable. The contrast sucks. You can’t read it at school, at home, or at work without people asking you “Wth are you looking at?” It doesn’t even save energy, for I think the cathode rays emit equal amounts of light regardless of the actual colour. Also, it doesn’t seem professional at all. It just seems like one of those amateur freewebs sites that detail how good Yhsum is at math, and how we all suck at it.
Oh, freewebs. Remind me to make you go bankrupt when I have the power. Not only do you provide a horrible WSIWYG editor, but the skins suck, your websites are all amateur, n00bish creations with a repetitive background obviously copypasted with the wrong software.
The same things applies to youtube and twitter. I’ve seen hundreds of youtube channels/twitter backgrounds that consist of the same image being repeated several hundred times on one page. Not only is it unattractive and annoying, but it also must have used up a lot of your time to find the image. Spend some time. Get a good image. Upload it, make it full size. Or just stick with the default if you’re lazy.
Ah, twitter. The newest form of sucking away my life, slowly. Vampires don’t twitter. They bite.
Around 80% of my tweets consist of announcing I have posted a new post or “g’night” and “g’day”s. Before, I thought twitter was useless. Then, I found it fun and interesting. I’m beginning to think it’s useless again; doesn’t this remind you of ternary form? Even if it was rounded binary, it still ends on the A section.
My life started with me knowing nothing. Right now, I know too much. Will it end with me knowing nothing as well?
No, it will not. I’m not one of Beethoven’s sonatas, and I don’t plan to become one in the near future.
I hate my life. But I won’t change it.
Because this is my life. And I love it.