It has been about a year really of struggling with to blog or not to blog. While not a totally fruitless year it has been my driest period since I began movie blogging and blogging in general about eight or so years ago when I was in Beijing. After much soul searching I have decided I am ready to return to writing but there will be changes in my attitude towards it all. I have had to wrestle with a few issues, not the least being my own ego and expectations from what I expected to get from my blogging endeavors. So as I sit back with a late night cup of packaged Thai coffee and listen to the 25th Anniversary Edition of the Blade Runner Soundtrack (almost the only album I listen to when I write with some Eno or Tangerine Dream now and then as well) I will touch on these matters briefly as a means of catharsis and then move on to do blogging with a a new and improved Zen like attitude. But I do not want that Zen like attitude to keep me from making note of the fact The Uranium Cafe finally broke the one million views mark!
I will have to first admit that I struggled very hard to maintain this blog in one form or another. I feel I truly I lost something recently, a year or so ago, in terms of my fighting spirit. Some of you may know of what I speak and others may not. The bottom line is I try to run this blog from China, where Blogger, along with every other blogging platform, is blocked. I do everything using a paid for VPN service (if you do not know what a VPN is then you probably live in the USA or England) or various types of proxies that are not easy to configure and maintain. I find a combination of a VPN and an http proxy (I use one that is set up in the Google App section of one's Google products, called a GAE proxy). It took me seven days to figure this out. What is a GAE proxy? Why torture yourself with even knowing about this stuff. Move on with your lives. But I live in China where they just banned The Big Bang Theory TV show from the streaming TV sites here. No reason had to be given or questions answered. I found out that these shows actually are not typically pirated and the streaming networks in China in China pay as much as 150,000 an episode to use them and advertise legally over them. Does that matter to the paranoid, authoritarian commie government? No. So why would my measly blog matter. In the end I have had times of sheer frustration with the net here and have had to teach myself to step back and let it go. In the end there is more to life than the Internet.
I have also learned that the Internet is a fickle and cruel world at times, and like nature itself it moves in a way that is often contrary to my personal needs and dreams. The commie suppressed net and the Great Firewall are one thing, but the world of things like Google is another all together, where blogs and data just vanish for a myriad of reasons or no reasons at all. One example; I have also spent the last year learning lots of recording software and recording original music, some of which I share here at the Uranium Cafe now. Why did I start doing that? Putting my music here at my movie site? A couple reasons really, but one was that I had set up an account with a place (I will not give the name as to avoid endorsing or damning it) and had uploaded about 50 pieces of music. That is right, about 50. Some were short experiments and samples, but still took work. One day I went to log in and found my entire account was gone. When I finally got a hold of the guy who runs the site he checked into it all and told me my account was not deleted, but that it is a rare glitch or bug in the server or system. It is like one chance in thousands, but the computer erased my account and all data and there was no back up. I could go on with stories like this and about jihadist hackers and shady hosting services over the years. Suffice to say, you may have an account or blog today at some site, including Wordpress or Blogger, but you may wake up tomorrow and no longer have it. And that site may have been the world to you but it is small beans to the people who run those places and the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousand of blogs they host for free or for pay. And I know, paying does not make your site any safer or backups anymore insured. Again, I had to learn to let it go. Just to enjoy my regular life. All of this can affect your moods and outlook.
Another issue, and this is embarrassing to talk about in some ways, is that I tired to get a little involved with other people projects and even have some people get involved with mine. Well, as far as I am concerned all of that is a total joke and my temperament may not be cut out to be a truly "social" blogger, which is a bit of an oxymoron if you think about it. I barely ave any connection with my real family or old friends on places like Facebook, much less somebody else whose only connection with me is we both like Night of the Living Dead or something. Beleive me I am far from perfect, but I found out the hard way a lot of people who run similar movie blogs are nothing short of dumbass dickheads who believe their blog projects are so much different and better than everybody else's. I will leave it at that and not name blogs or bloggers. In the end I am creatively sensitive and it is why I work with music alone and not with other people.So I will simply not waste my time, and other people's, with these goofy group projects that in the end are self-serving. It is when my self-serving goals begin to clash with somebody else's self-serving goals that conflicts arise. In the end I have to accept I will never be the tallest midget in the circus and there are not only midgets taller than me by many centimeters but who wear platform heels to falsely boost their height.
As life has gone on for me I have come to realize that things we were once passionate about do not always maintain their fire and zeal for us. We are sometimes left later with a strange feeling of "why don't I ( ___ fill with something you were once passionate about here____ ) anymore?" It can be healthy to let old passions go or to learn to moderate them in some way. I used to be passionate about drinking and now have not drank in eight years. Or it is nine? I forget. I miss it sometimes, but I simply never imbibe as it is not good for me to do so. But I used to also draw passionately. I was an art student and often spent hours and hours a day drawing. One day I stopped. Well not all in one day, but over time. I would say that other than doodles I have not drawn in almost 20 years. I am ambivalent about it and have thought a lot about it. There was a lot of pressure that came with artistic talent for me. I was not the type of person really who was going to make lots of money with art no matter how talented I might have been. I am easy to take advantage of and easy to have my feelings hurt. I reached a place where it was too much work for me and my eyes began to get worse as well. In fact why don't I post a couple old drawings from back when I was doing that sort of thing:
There you go. Lots of hard work and it all meant something to me. It was important to me to do those types of things and to try and get better at it, whether I got any money for it or not. Not that I am above money. I love money. I will kill for money, and in fact I have. But I am not a business minded person and that is that. I had no idea how to make money at drawing or anything and I soon got tired of people making odd comments about how I was wasting my life and such and such. "Oh you can draw, you should be a millionaire!" type shit. I began less and less to show people my work until I stopped altogether and soon simply stopped working . It was a struggle and to this day I still have issues with stopping my art. But I did.
I am in many ways a creative person and I need some sort of outlet for my fertile and sometimes twisted imagination. For me blogging has become an outlet and maybe substitute for not drawing. Soon I began working with music recording and that too has become an important outlet for me. The blogs I maintain take lots of work and the songs I make do as well. It can be grueling and tiresome and yet I find the potential lack of pay off less painful for me than with art. I enjoy writing and I miss it. There may be a day where I draw again but not I that style I put up above. Maybe brush and ink and watercolor. Maybe or maybe not. But one thing that inspires me is the net, and the chance to potentially share artwork, the way I now can share writing and music.
And with all of that I find myself wanting to get back to blogging, but just blogging for the sake of blogging itself. No comments are suddenly okay. No praise from "peers" is okay. I do not give them anymore so it is all equal I guess. I will blog regardless of how many visits from the Ukraine I get in a day's time, and a sign of success will be if a person adds me to their blogroll somewhere. I do not wish anymore to be part of any community (though I am honored to be part of The League of Tana Tea Drinkers and thank John C. for all his work and dedication over there) or work with other people in mutually self-serving ways. I just want to do what I set out to do here (and at my other movie site Necrotic Cinema) and that is write about horror and cult movies. That is it. I am happy to be a small fish in the blog sea and I will be sharing my music projects and ideas here (and at my pulseless music site Miasma Inc. as well). I will admit that if I began to draw again I would be happy and if I do I will start a category for that here as well. I do not know though. But I have been watching lots of drek and do not know where to begin, but I can finish up that review of Daughters of Darkness I have been sitting on for a couple months. So lets get on with things and move on from the murky mire of the past.