Journal

Twin Peaks is the best show on TV right now

No TV show goes to places in the way that Twin Peaks does, or indeed even did when its first series aired.

I’m not talking about level of graphic violence or any sort of shock factor; I’m talking sheer originality. Twin Peaks always has been, and always will be, completely original. From the unique collaboration of David Lynch and Mark Frost, this series has such a depth of story, location, and character that it is a place I’d love to live in real life – even when it’s completely terrifying.

When people keep talking about the default shows – namely Game of Thrones at the time of writing, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really like Game of Thrones, but nothing gets under my skin quite like Twin Peaks does. I try to describe it in a way to get other people into it too. I find it hard to put into words but I try. It’s like that feeling of butterflies in your stomach when there’s a huge moment of realisation or connection between characters and / or events. Of course many other series have those reveals, but I honestly don’t think any other show does it in quite the same way.

Anyone who has seen some of David Lynch’s films should know what I mean about his unique style. He has a certain vision and confidence in that vision to bring truly unique stories, visuals and sounds to the screen. This is no different in the new series of Twin Peaks. If anything his years of cinema between the original series and now, have in the very least strengthened his confidence in his vision.

Twin Peaks has evolved into 100% unfiltered David Lynch, based on the ideas of both Lynch and Frost, and I fucking love it.

Journal

I would miss SoundCloud

I’ve just been reading about how a decision today could potentially lead to the end of SoundCloud. The company has just been saved by a couple of investors but still may be gone very soon.

I’ve discovered some great artists through SoundCloud and will be somewhat saddened if / when it does indeed die.

It also makes me think whether or not I could create a similar service to take it’s place. I know there is Spotify and Google Play et al, but those just don’t seem to me to have the same heart as SoundCloud.

Journal

Taking my blog too serious

I’m finding I’m taking my blog way too seriously. Instead of just writing; checking; and publishing, I’m leaving posts in draft worried they are not professional enough.

This is stupid.

This website is for me and me alone. I’m currently writing (have written) a long post about my experience with playing Life is Strange and I’m too busy trying to make it sound like a professional review to actually publish it.

From a couple of podcasts I’ve listened to recently I have found this is a common issue for bloggers.

I’m going to do my very best to not censor or judge myself too much. Instead I’m gonna do my very best to just get writing every single day.

In this spirit I’m not going to proof read this post – instead I’m just gonna press publish…

…now.

Journal

Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, Episode 4 of Season 7 – The Spoils of War, reminded me why I love the series. Just when I thought I’d guessed the outcome, I was wrong.

Journal

There’s an electricity in the air today; thunder and lightning and a quick downpour has recharged the air outside. I often prefer the weather like this when at home – there’s something about being indoors when outside is like that.

Of course a lot of people have no choice but to be out in that sort of weather. Please consider donating to Homeless Link today.

p.s. This post started off as just a quick personal note; a status update. However, in the course of writing those two paragraphs it made me think of other things. This in turn led to my seeking out, discovering and linking to Homeless Link. If nothing else, this has confirmed that I really should be writing every day – for myself; not just for any potential readers.

And if I can help others along the way then that’s an added bonus.

Journal

Building systems for yourself to achieve your goals

Setting goals is the accepted way of aiming for those achievements you want to make. Write a book; buy a house; run a marathon. While having goals is important, more time should be focused on building systems for yourself. These should be designed to help you get there rather than just focusing on the end result.

When you simply have a goal, you are essentially failing until the point at which you achieve it. Even then your success is short lived as you will probably move on to, or already have, other goals to aim for. Creating a system to achieve those goals can be hugely important and beneficial to you. Each action you take can even be treated as a mini success towards your goal.

Running a marathon

For example, I am planning to run a marathon in October. If I just had the goal, I wouldn’t actually reach it until the point at which I cross the finish line. However, with a system in place, in my example it is running every other day, I am consciously making steps towards that goal. Each run I finish is another success towards my end goal.

Writing a book

The same can be said for writing. If your goal is to write a book, then again your goal remains unmet until it is complete. But if you put in place a system to write everyday for a given amount of time, you are always moving towards that final product.

I am trying to take this approach with my blog now. I always picture my blog, like a lot of people, as having many visitors each day who I am actively interacting with. So instead of focusing of that goal alone, I am instead doing my best to publish every day. This way I know I am working towards making those thoughts  a possible reality.

Get started with your system today

Whatever it is that you want to do or achieve, work out what you can do each day to make it happen. What positive habits do you need to beat into yourself in order to get what you want? It doesn’t matter how small the action you take is – if you stick at it and make it a habit, you will soon see the benefits begin to show themselves.

Get started today.

Good luck.

Journal

Faith in humanity restored

I write this post on just another commute into work. The journey in is almost always uneventful, albeit for the occasional train delays and cancellations. However, today was different and my faith in humanity, and what we can accomplish, has been restored – and all from one simple interaction with a stranger.

I pretty much always get a seat on my train due to where I get the train from – one of the only benefits to my journey. Today the train was particularly busy and some people needed to start standing. One of these people was a lady who I noticed had two heavy bags with her.

Out of an automatic response to this I offered her my seat. She replied, “Only if you’re sure?”. I stood up for her and she accepted with thanks. Now, I’m not telling you this to show how much of a gracious person I am. No. I tell you this because of what came next and how it made me feel.

So I stood up for her and she sat, put her bags down, and the train continued on its journey. A few more stops down the track some seats were freed up – I took the opportunity to sit down, where I then proceeded to zone out to Hante’s latest album – it’s great and you should take a listen. Anyway, I digress.

When the train later pulled up at a further stop many people got off. As the train emptied I felt a hand on my shoulder – the same lady was stood over me smiling and said to me, “Have a lovely day”.

I smiled, replied in kind, and she went off on her way.

This small interaction between two perfect strangers highlighted to me the difference that can be made at the smallest level of society – embracing these tiny interactions in a positive way and always being willing to help, or offer help, to those around us. By acting in this way, creating change at the smallest level, we may help to affect positive change at higher levels.

Journal

Ear, ear – Changes in acceptable cinema violence

Back in 1992 Quentin Tarantino released his directorial debut : Reservoir Dogs. Although this is considered a modern classic of cinema, and rightly so, many people lost their shit when this film came out.

The most notable reason for the hostility towards the film was the infamous ear-cutting scene performed by Michael Madsen’s Mr Blonde on Kirk Baltz’s Marvin Nash – even though the act itself is performed off-screen.

Last night I went to see a recent film release: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (don’t judge me), which itself had a scene with somebody getting their ear cut off. The cutter even talks into the severed ear just as Mr Blonde does. King Arthur, however, is rated as 12A and I bet it wont be denied a video release for three years.

What does this say about modern cinema, or about us as people?

Now I’m not somebody who has any complaint about cinema violence – I bloody love it. It’s fun to watch and unless you have trouble differentiated fantasy from reality, or have an already-existing mental condition, is not going to make you want to replicate violence in the film. If you do find yourself wanting to act out certain scenes, please seek medical advice (I mean this sincerely; I’m not trying to be funny).

I’m not a student of Psychology or Film, but I did find it interesting – when watching that film last night – just how the levels of acceptable graphic content have changed in twenty five years. I think we have generally become a lot more decensortized to graphic content in films – I would make the assumption that it’s due to the inherently graphic nature of the world around us. Also the abundance of visceral imagery shared on social media as shocking events and atrocities occur across the globe.

Let’s face it – the modern world is a great deal more horrifying than any film that could be released (All the ones I have seen at least).

It’ll be interesting, perhaps even scary, to see where those levels are in another twenty five years.

Journal

Retracing my steps with The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is one of my favourite ever TV series. Dark; brutal; gut-wrenching – it’s everything you could possibly want in a series. You may know it already but for the benefit of those who don’t, The Walking Dead is based on a long-running comic book series of the same name.

Since the finale of Series 7 recently, I have decided to re-read the series from start to finish (or at least up to the latest issue).

The TV series is different enough from the comics to enable you to enjoy each for their own merits. Many characters are in both, however, some have vastly different life spans. Some characters in the TV series even perform certain actions that completely different people did in the comic.

I always remember when an old boss of mine, who is still a friend, telling me about his excitement for Negan to arrive. This was back in series 4 when the Governor was the big bad and Negan was a long way off. He used to say how evil he was, but still how charming. How right he was.

If you get the chance, I strongly recommend you picking up The Walking Dead compendiums and checking them out. If you are a fan of the series you will almost certainly be a fan of the original source material.