Otaku Nikki - April 2022 Diary

by Otaking/The Good Student

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Table of contents

  1. Why 'Otaking?'
  2. Politics doesn't age well.
  3. Me, Myself And Die
  4. Is this Gonzo Journalism?
  5. Arguably:
  6. God From The Machine
  7. British Stationary Sucks
  8. Re-reading Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
  9. George Orwell and Honda Toru were normal guys
  10. No Sympathy for "the Working Class Man"
  11. No Longer Seeking Understanding.

18/04/2022

Why 'Otaking?' [toc]

I have been asked on several occasions what the meaning of "Otaking" is, and why I have chosen it as the name of this site and as my username. The latest to ask me was Purinsu.

By the content of his channel I can guess from the "otaku self-improvement" slant of his channel. We are both doing Otaku lifestyle blogging but his idea of self-development may not be the same as mine.

I am not saying his way of thinking is wrong, he basically wants to be a /fit/ mangaka and cosplayer.

In fact I don't even think I have any alternative but I am trying to be satisfied the way I am right now rather than change out of self-loathing. It is not that I am against change, but change in what direction?

Those who accuse you of staying still in life often mean that you haven't changed in the direction they they want you to, so even their love shows that they don't have any respect for you or your ways. They see you as a repository for their overbearing pity and failed ambitions which weakens you. Once someone is weak enough they'll perform the task of disparaging themselves without the need for anyone to do it to them.

Of course I am aware that I am not the only one calling himself Otaking. We are all copying Toshio Okada.

I tried to explain the significance of this to some people but no matter how the nose I got they could not get it. I wondered whether it was their unwillingness to understand it. Let me try again here anyway.

Toshio Okada despite having not much talent (allegedly) as an artist was able to get involved with the formation of Studio Gainax up until the early 90s. He was involved as a writer in the making of the influential Otaku no Video but then left the company before Evangelion was released.

Subsequently he was able to use his involvement with Gainax as a springboard for his career as an essayist but he was never again able to get involved in the anime industry as a creator. Nowadays he has a youtube channel where he does anime analysis. I have heard that Okada even cried on a livestream about not being relevant anymore because he cannot create anime.

I hate to be so on the nose but people don't get subtlety or understatements anymore so on this occasion I will sink down to their level to get my point across.

Okada lived the dream of getting involved in the anime industry but then fell back to the plane of us mere mortals who are only analysing other people's creations rather than making our own. Many film critics end up as critics because they can't create the films they love. Okada and I are no exceptions.

To be honest these similarities occurred to me only after choosing Otaking. My initial choice was probably just due to Otaking sounding cool and affirmative which still is but Okada's story adds a welcome tragic tinge without detracting from its affirmative aspect.

Re-subscribing to Digibro

Digi's video on Mushoko Tensei was actually alright. He might be regaining his footing or maybe I am imagining it. His videos stopped being popular because he stopped giving his opinion on shows but rather turned his videos into wikis where he would go over the factoids  that he had gathered through his research. He even did the mistake of retelling the whole plot in his videos (which is a give-away that one doesn't care enough to actually have an opinion on any of it).

I think by just providing the facts he was trying to avoid people contradicting him. I think he walked back too much from his disagreeable persona to the point that some of the content was too bland, conciliatory, and lukewarm to actually be considered analysis. It felt too much like archiving, like listing facts in a database. It's not exciting to read someone's anime list.

Kanojo, Okarishimasu Chapter 231

I caught up with the Rent a Girlfriend manga and I suddenly don't hate the main characters that much. I still skill most of the text because there is too much of it for the amount of story being told. Well, you could also say that about my posts.

Anyhow it was the "confession," when Chizuru said she saw Kazuya's kindness I felt like we were back firmly in the realm of fantasy. There was something too real about money being exchanged for a simulacra of love that felt like reality infringing on fantasy. It left a bitter taste in my mouth, as did the fact that the heroine went on dates with other men off screen. In fact that hasn't changed.

15/04/2022

Politics doesn't age well.

I have signed out of politics because it is a fool's game. It is also very trend based so most political commentary loses its value over time, people change their minds all the time, yesterday's orthodoxy becomes today's heresy and so on.

Whereas I can read an anime review from ten or twenty years ago and it will not be out of date, art is evergreen content and politics ages like milk. Even as I say this, I do enjoy reading writers like George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens, writers who are both out of date of today's political meta both on the right and the left.

Anyhow it's not for their politics that I read them but because I like their style of writing, but would I still read them if they were diametrically opposed to my views? Probably not. At some level, maybe not superficially, I must agree with their sense of life.

It also helps that they're both dead since I end up being disappointed by people if I speak to them. Their writing speaks better than they could for themselves. Or maybe that's just what I wish for myself.

To care about politics is to put your mood in the hands of others, outside of your own hands, or maybe that's just what it was to me.

Gundam X Review

I wrote a review of Gundam X today. It's the only writing that I had time and energy to do today. I really need to get rid of this habit of sleeping in the afternoon even if I am tired. As for the review I had to force it out of myself but I am glad I did since it came out well.

One thing I paid particular attention to was to connect every sentence to the next, and every paragraph to the previous one. It is tempting to break up a review into sections: Music, Plot, Characters, Themes, and so on but a review is not just a list, there needs to be some idea flowing throughout it. You can pass around this idea through the elements of music, plot, characters etc... but I think it should come back to that point you are trying to make, otherwise it'll get very fragmented.

I have gotten into the bad habit of not connecting every paragraph to the previous one. I think that's fine for a very short review. I still do like those GR Arkada reviews, and in a way I feel like they have aged better because they serve a kind of "anime archiving" purpose.

Poltical Infighting on the Left

So Zarathustra's Serpent released a video predicting or rather declaring The Disintegration of the Woke, I tried listening to the video a couple of times but I don't think I followed his argument. Now as he says at the start of the video he is no longer making "anti-sjw" content but is mostly a philosophical channel which is why I watch him.

He argues that the "woke" crowd is filled with factions and infighting which will eat each other. He also believes that the British and Israeli left have collapsed. Maybe he is right about the Isreali left but I wouldn't declare the British left dead yet. They'll probably "officially" get back into power once the British conservative party has messed up enough. It doesn't really matter.

Honestly as I have said I fail to see the point in keeping up with these trends so I can neither confirm nor deny whether anything he says is true. It's probably a generational thing too. What I can say however is that the "dissident right" or whatever you want to call it is as divided into small factions and gets even less new blood, and really just spends its time spinning its wheels in one place, in the name of "intellectual discussion" or something.

Zarathustra argues that the New Atheist movement has made a comeback and become less juveline. The only Atheist youtuber from the "skeptic" days who is still active that I know of is Logicked, he still makes those reaction videos against low hanging fruit religious channels. It is obvious that he chooses his targets based more on comedic value than intellectual value, which is fine honestly, in fact in some ways because he is more of a stand-up comedian than a scholar that means he has a better intuitive understanding honed by public speaking and personal experience. This down-to-earth gut-instinct-understanding of issues cannot be replaced by the stuff in books, in fact reading books might hinder it.

In particular Zarathustra points to an atheist channel which I had never heard of called Genetically Modified Skeptic. To be fair he has more than 400k subscribers, only about half of those subs watch his videos but that's still impressive. Genetically Modified Skeptic is a mouthful of a name, Logicked is a better name, people had a better sense of internet handles/names back then - I know that The Good Student is too long too but now it's much too late (Or is it?). Anyhow GMS seems to bring professors and other learned people to talk about topics and to "debate," but more like to exchange ideas with.

It may be more thoughtful but honestly it is also more boring and self-important. Its tone is so deliberate and non-combative that it seems to convey a sense of uncertainty, a lack of belief in their lack of belief. I suppose this is the fate of all political movements which have become irrelevant.

The bullish, often mocked attitude of the "debate me - I am an atheist" crowd showed more confidence in their own position, it was more aggresive than passive aggresive because it had momentum.

Zarathustra also points to a bunch of painfully unfunny ex-muslim atheists/Christian-converts making fun of Islam with 3rd grade toilet humour like "piss be upon him." The Spagetti monster fedora-tipping nonsense was funnier but maybe I have gotten older - then again ZS is older than I am. I don't care about Islam but it is true that there hasn't been a terrorist attack in a while, it feels like the western muslims, at least, have cooled down and become more secular, maybe even leftwing.

Anyhow the central thesis of the video that the left is on a path of self-destruction due to infighting seems suspect to me because the left has always been divided into factions but those divisions only really mattered to those in those factions. They will all vote for the same people and support the same politicies in the end. The right is also the same as the left.

12/04/2022

Me, Myself And Die

I finally caught up to the latest episode of Trevor Dewall's Solo TTRPG show. Looking back on it now Season 1 was the best. He should have sticked with that story but now by Season 3 I feel the story is back on track but still not as good as Season 1. Season 2 was the worst and it put me off getting the Ironsworn Solo RPG game system. Nevertheless what he has achieved is quite impressive

I re-watched the anime adaptation of Kokoro from the Aoi Bungaku series. It was awful and it removed any subtelty from Soseki's novel and turned into a tawdry tale, just a love triangle. Also K looked like a thirty year old rather than the skinny kid I imagined him as.

I began making notes on my own Maid Solo RPG with pen and paper. I am worried that I'll end up with a bunch of notes on characters and setting without much story to show for it. I have too many supplements. I should just focus on using Maid RPG and the Mythic GM Emulator for now.

A shared grievance will not lead to understanding. If anything it will lead to disagreement about which is the right answer.

Gundam X and some comments by my co-host Heraclius made me realise that "Newtypes" in Gundam are just a stand-in for extreme ideologues/beliefs, often of a universal nature and elitist kind, small groups of people who think they'll lead humanity to the next stage of history by themselves rather than with everyone.

I can't help but feel that newtypes is also a parallel for otaku themselves. Because it is not only a negative thing.

I wonder what Nietzche felt like when he worked on his projects which no one else thought would amount to anything. He was a strong man, he could have faith in himself when no one had any. Then again he did have "social proof" of his ability by being able to become a university professor at such a young age.

I watched a fifteen minute video about fifteen minute youtube videos by Parz. He is right that YouTube videos are getting too long and unfocused, and that frankly it is harder to watch them. Many essay-type youtube videos are longer than the average anime episode, that can't be right because the average anime episode has so much more stuff going on in it. I am guilty of this too with my multi-hour streams but almost nobody watches them so it's okay.

I am sorry for Lu who watches some of them but yeah I need to make them shorter. I also want to try making 15-20 minute long videos but I don't know how to do any editing. Come to think of it many of the best youtube videos I have watched were in the 15-20 minute long. I think Parz called them the lunchtime videos, or something, which is right, I would sometimes watch them while eating but now they are too long to do that. There's a 2 hours and 36 minutes stream on Edward Said that I want to watch but I feel like the points made could be made more shortly in an edited video.

A short video about a specific topic, right, but ThatAnimeSnob's videos are too short and too numerous to be memorable. Some of his older stuff is good, I always say. I mean if your video is just 3 minutes long then maybe you should have just made a short blog post about it rather than a video or wait until you have accumulated enough content for a video.

But if I were to make a video what should it be about? I don't want to make anime reviews because nobody cares. For a while now I have been tempted to stop writing reviews because there's already so many reviews out there, even for very obscure anime on sites like anidb, or maybe the stuff I review and watch just isn't obscure enough. It doesn't feel like I am bringing attention to something new, or to something that there wasn't much attention on before. I guess that leaves the Solo RPG stuff.

10/04/2022

Is this Gonzo Journalism? [toc]

Digibro used to call himself or rather to call what he did "Otaku Gonzo Journalism," though he clarified that really he was just an Otaku Lifestyle Blogger. This online diary of mine is also basically an otaku lifestyle blog. Am I a Gonzo Journalist?

I tried listening to some Hunter S. Thompson interview (since he is the guy who came up with "Gonzo" journalism) but it was incredibly boring so instead I watched a video which basically read his wikipedia, frankly none of it seemed particularly interesting. Hunter lived with the Hells Angels biker gang, got beat up, and published his diary about it. He also wrote something about his time with drugs and alcohol in Las Vegas in the 60s or 70s or something.

Anyhow it seemed to me that the difference between Hunter S Thomspon and me is that he lived an outdoors lifestyle surrounded by people whereas I live an indoor lifestyle.

I would guess that his lifestyle lends better to gonzo writing because since he met other people he could write about them whereas my "lifestyle" consists mostly of media "analysis," and media by its nature (unless you create it) is a second hand experience whereas Gonzo is all about relating your first hand experience. Then again you could argue that when I tell my experience of watching an anime, I am telling my first experience of it...

So maybe the difference is not in whether it is a first hand or second hand experience as much as whether it was a unique or novel experience.. True my take on an anime won't be exactly as yours... but I do sometimes wonder what's the point of writing yet another review of an anime of an anime which has already been reviewed. It's not like I am bringing attention to something new, or more exactly it's not like I am experiencing something new. Then again maybe Hunter S. Thompson's experiences were not unique to that era, he just got them on paper first. But even if they were not unique experiences, at least they were his own experiences. Maybe that's the difference, so we go back to the "is it a first hand or a second hand experience" point.

Maybe it's not about "first hand" or "second hand" but about participation. Hunter S. Thompson said he was not a reporter, by which I believe he meant that he was a participant in the stories he wrote.

I may try to make it sound like I am a "participant" by interjecting details about what I was doing when consuming media but really you could separate my personal details from my media analysis. After all that was my dissatisfaction with my ordinary articles and why I started this diary, even if it wasn't a good idea in terms of search engine optimisation - I wanted to bridge the gap between my media consumption and my life through analysis of both in one place. I could never say this or many other things with a straight face on a livestream with multiple people on, in fact I end up sounding more snarky and contrarian than I am and regret it afterwards. For example on my stream with Parz I criticised the Tokimeki Memorial video for doing very much what I am trying to do here.

I suppose it is possible to use the media reviewing to get an audience, and then put an emphasis on yourself, the is latter is what Digibro did through his now deleted Digibro After Dark vlogs, in particular his insomnia analysis videos.

What this all means in plain language, is that my lifestyle is a bit too boring to be the subject of writing in it self. I feel like Digibro felt that too because once you have already seen an otaku and his room, what else is there to see? And yet I find this much more interesting than the travelling "lifestyle" blogger who looks more like a travelling peddler in a daze going on railroaded "adventures" from one tourist location to another, from one empty novelty to another. It doesn't feel like their content builds on itself.

Then why don't I just write about other people? Of course I already do write about other people but what I mean by that question is why don't I write about other people that I meet around in me in real life rather Hunter S. Thomson or Digibro or other people who I haven't actually met. The first reason of course is that it will lead to drama but even so I think the bigger problem is that I don't find them particularly interesting enough to write about them.

Kokoro - A desire for others to confide in me

I am slowly going through the Kokoro by Natsume Soseki audiobook and there is one section where the protagonist complains that once a friendship has been estabilished on an intellectual footing then it becomes very hard to talk about personal matters with them. This bothered me very much when I was younger and first read this book but now that I have no desire to awkwardly get personal with my friends, I find that it doesn't really bother me.

I remember when I was younger I very much desired that at least one friend of mine would "let me in" on their deepest desires and self, because I believed that true friendship meant showing that level of trust. I was dissapointed when revealing part of my desires led to teasing, it felt like I was not taken seriously. No doubt I was affected by the portrayal of friendship in anime, manga and novels and fooled into thinking that people were a lot more interesting than they actually are.

I suppose I have become more self-centred since then, since now I have no desire of hearing the deepest held secrets of my friends, in fact now I struggle to feign interest when people try to tell me about their lives.

I also don't talk about my life to others except on this site where I don't have to worry about whether the other person is interested or not. I still find that most talk is banal but it doesn't really bother me since my interest has shifted from people to things and from things to myself. So when I speak to others, it is usally about things rather than about them. Speaking is more a means to stimulate my thinking than to "get to know them."

I used to think that media such as novels and anime were a means to get a glimpse into other people, but now I realise they are an end in themselves.

It turns out I wasn't interested in these things because I was interested in people. I was interested in these things because I was interested in these things.

Or if they are a glimpse into anyone then it is just a glimpse into the author and the subculture which produced him. My expectations for people are very low and yet people still dissapoint me, and so I don't really want to meet any of these authors and creators because I think I would dislike them and they would dislike me. Or even worse, I might feel bored by them.  Their works are plenty of communication enough.

In a sense I believe that the self which they present through their works is the truer one whereas the way they actually act in person is almost a misunderstanding because it is out of their control. They can't go back and edit what they have done, it is an in the moment thing, not deliberate. Some might see the deliberate as fake but then I would say that in its deliberate effort to be real, it is more genuine than the real thing.

I suppose I could never be a gonzo journalist or any kind of reporter, since that would require being interested in other people's dealings. I imagine Hunter S. Thompson must have found Hell's Angel biker gang people interesting. It has occured to me that maybe it's the people around me that are not interesting but there's little I can do about that. It is impossible to change people and I have moved around a lot and met a lot of people to no avail.

Dream Diary

I slept for a couple of hours hoping that it would reduce my tiredness but it only gave a headache. In my dreams I mostly see the people around me rather than fictional characters or unknown people. I won't talk about my dreams. There are people on neocities who do have dream diaries and honestly I find them extremely boring. I will only say that my dreams have a certain movie-like quality.

Okay back to reading Kokoro by Natsume Soseki.

Kokoro: Final Impressions

Okay I just finished re-reading Kokoro but it is too early for me to have an opinion of it. In some ways I must admit I am less impressed by it than I first read it. I had misremembered the phrase "Buried alive among books," as "buried alive under books" which sounds better. Soseki sounds like a very modern writer, I don't know why I can relate so much more to these mid-twentieth century Japanese writers, more than writers these days.

It is not that Sensei's conclusions are wrong in the book but since they are nothing new to me now because I have experienced them first hand, they do not seem as revelatory to me now. I can sort of understand Sensei's comments about being a man from another era, as I reach thirty, I too feel like I can't relate as much to the new trends. Then again I do not get along much better with people from my own era either. "Like a sick man who thinks, "I alone am staying still."" I probably relate to those words more than I did the first time I read this book.

What more did I watch? Well a video by Zarathustra's Serpent about Nietzche on marriage and children. Maybe because Nietzche was a lonely man, he didn't seem particularly about either of those things, or in other words it seemed a bit abtract. More insightful perhaps were The Amazing Atheist's comments about how relationships are transactional and conditional and so why we must kick out of our lives the little demagogues who leech off of us. I guess it made me ask what it is I do for others. Yes, The Amazing Atheist, is probably a man of my era as well.

I get that Zarathustra's Serpent is saying that we should always transform to keep up with the times ourselves but isn't he also looking back at the past? Maybe we should remain in our era, not kill ourselves, like Sensei, but not fool ourselves that we can totally remake ourselves and abandon our influences. This is also a warning to reactionaries who think they can shed the influences of their real upbringing in modernity and absorb the influences of the distant past which did not make them who they are. Not that they would listen to me of course. In a few years when trends change they are going to look at themselves in embarassment or forget the whole thing ever happened.

Did Sensei have anything to say about marriage? Well, nothing that I didn't already know. His wife was innocent and unwordly but a bit callous especially as a young girl. I wonder if such women still exist. They might do.

I feel like comparing Yozo from No Longer Human and Sensei. Yozo feared human beings and Sensei hated them. Yozo hated himself for not being properly human. Sensei hated himself for being human. Did K also hate himself for being human? My impression of K has changed a lot. He seemed a lot more passionate and human and therefore less of a saint than I remembered him.

Fortunately I probably have too much ambition in me to succumb to the despair and loneliness that K and Sensei befell to. Or maybe it's just that it doesn't bother as much that I am not a good person or that people can turn bad so easily. They were too pure, maybe not as pure as Yozo for this world but I intend to live as impure as I am and as impure as this world is because I take a certain amount of pleasure in it, especially in art, like Natsume Soseki's Kokoro which beautify this ugly beautiful world.

I kind of miss the characters in the novel already now that the story is over. I realise now that I was fond of the characters.

Honda Toru, Nietzche, Capitalism

The following are just a bunch of messages I sent someone over a messaging software:



09/04/2022

Arguably: [toc]

takeapiece left a few more comments on my neocities page. Read the previous diary entry to make sense of it. Here is the exchange:

takeapiece: I wouldn't neccassily call it feeble but then again, I don't how I'll truly react when put in a cruel situation. People always bring up the book of Job and how Job suffered greatly. The world is cruel but it has purpose and meaning behind it, even Jesus Christ couldn't escape it and had to endure. It is comforting to place your hope into concepts but, people don't truly learn until they're in a rough spot.

I think the purpose of our life here is to test the spirit. Go through tribulations. Choose the right way rather than being forced. This post explains it a lot better than me if you want to give a try.

I'll try to post a better response at some point!

otaking: Maybe feeble was too harsh but what I meant was that I understand the feeling that the answer to something hasn't materialised yet but it is out there. I do agree that one purpose of life is to test the spirit, or at any rate that is a way to cope and I don't mean that in a bad way, life is harsh and we all need to cope with it and it may also make us stronger.

You know the whole "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" point that Nietzsche likes to talk about. Of course this too has its limits. I do prefer it however to no answer at all. The Greeks may have tried to justify human tragedy by beautifying it with art too, I like that too.

I like the website layout of the site you shared. Based. However I do not think that "sin" and "temptation" justify the level of suffering in this world. I am not that misanthropic. I accept that there may be something we don't know but until we know it, that is all it is. "Tips Fedora." No, but more seriously, I hope you have a nice day fren!


takeapiece:I'm with you. I don't know how something like pedophilia or child sacrifice is justified but, we are given free choice. They'll be held accountable at the end. What's more important is how we handle it and possible prevent it. Take care fren!

I view abortion as child sacrifice. The same people who view bacteria on mars as a sign of life are the same people who view a fetus as a clump of cells. Are we not all clump of cells? Makes no sense to me. It's just them justifying their actions.

End of exchange.

I haven't made up my mind on abortion. I did write a piece on it a while ago trying to make up my mind about it but I won't link it because it is sort of a contrarian mess even by my standards. I have decided to abstain from having a view about abortion until I have had children myself.

I don't want to argue because I don't think anything is achieved by arguing. I just like to write and read but I can't write about nothing so that is why it may seem like I am trying to make a point sometimes. I don't really have any systematic way of thinking so I don't really care about contradicting myself every now and then. I write and read for pleasure.

Nothing has been ever achieved by thinking, other than more thinking.

Rucka vs Sargon

I watched a video debate by Rucka Rucka Ali and Sargon of Akkad (who goes by Carl Benjamin these days). I believe they have both declined in spirit and appearance. This is what philosophical and political discussion does to you. Don't do it kids, not even once!

Rucka was a lot more attractive when he did something, when he made music, I hope he hasn't lost this ability entirely, now he looks pale and sick. He explains how he was sucked into this world of "online political commentary" through vidcon thinking that it was going to achieve something. He hasn't realised yet that it is just a talking shop. Come on, you know it too, at heart those jokes about philosophers endlessly bickering excitedly in self-importance are all true.

Same with Sargon, he looks thinner but also hollower and more confused than ever, a natural result of thinking too much rather than acting according to your gut feeling of what's right. He doesn't know what he believes in anymore, he has read too many books. At least Ruckas simplicity saved him from that. On the other hand Rucka is unable to think outside of his objectivist label. I find that political and religious labels often act as a substitute for a personality.

I don't think I could ever call myself an Objectivist because in a sense that is like declaring you are some minion to some thinker, and that her thoughts and feelings take precedence to yours, even if they are just a flesh and blood human being like you.

However the biggest problem I think is that most people only really have a few ideas of their own based on their own experiences. Many of these youtube channels start out fresh, I rerember Rucka's commentary was fresh and simple, with Sargon too I felt like it came from the heart but then at some point it gets repetitive so what do they do? They go and read philosophy books, regurgitate what they have read along with pieces of their own thought. The more they read, the more they forget what it is that they thought originally.

The final result is a convoluted mess which is simultaneously extreme (i.e. impractical but also grand sounding) and cookie-cutter (because no matter how complicated and contradictory their reasons get, as human beings they can always be defined by a label or two and in practice are interchangeable with other people with that same label).

Anyhow the point of this rant is this: Read for pleasure and not in order to learn anything other than some technical information. Read and write only for pleasure, that way you might learn what you already know in your bones.

I avoid debating people too, it's pretty useless.

Thoughts on Streaming

The Gundam X stream we were supposed to do today got cancelled due to scheduling issues. Now it'll be on next Sunday. I feel a bit burnt out but let's carry on lest I stop.

I also watched a couple of awful streams on Nietzche on the Ayn Rand Centre UK channel. It was a waste of 2 hours of my life I could have spent on something actually enjoyable. To be fair I doubt that my youtube streams are any better. I may have to go through the hassle of learning to edit youtube videos.

I felt like streaming was next level, above edited youtube videos because they captured an in the moment experience in the bottle and so are more sincere because you can't edit it along the way but it turns out it is the other way around, because you can't control every moment in a stream to say what you want to say it is less sincere.

This silly video was probably more enjoyable than the hours of streams I watched today. Another factor is that for small youtube channels anyways, only one person is involved in video making and recording. When more than one person is involved because they do not share the same vision, naturally compromises are made, making it less genuine. Worse yet, when the live-chat affects the video, then it must be tempting to just cater to them.

Maybe that's why I like writing on my neocities site the most. It's just me, myself, and I. I have another site which I went to the trouble setting up and paying for hosting and a domain name. It has a lot more features and more over it's a "group site," which I set up for the people on my discord server to write articles for. And yet despite the trouble I went to, I prefer posting here.

Anyhow enough complaining for today, I am going to go listen to the Kokoro by Natsume Soseki audiobook which is what I should have done anyway. Increasingly I find youtube less and less enjoyable when compared to other forms of media like novels and anime.


08/04/2022

God From The Machine

It's always a pleasant surprise as well as a cause for embarrassment when someone comes across one of my old articles.

Anyhow here is an exchange about an article about God but really about Christianity which I wrote 2 years ago.

takeapiece: I like some of your posts and I read your atheism.exe stopped working. I can write my own response if you're curious on what I think it. Don't worry, I won't be on my high horse
.
otaking responds: Sure I would like to hear your thoughts in a response article. Truth be told my opinions have mellowed since then but if there is one thing that that article shows which I do stand-by, is that it is easy to ascribe nefarious motives to your opposition. At least when arguing with someone you should take them at their word or don't expect to be taken at your word.

It just pissed me off that Peter Hitchens was ">implying" as they say in some places that anyone who is an atheist must be so in order to be a degenerate, just because he was a degenerate when he was an atheist then everyone else who is an atheist must be so for that reason. Literal projection.

I wanted to show how easy it is to play the "motive game" by ascribing the other side nefarious motives. It was tit for tat as a means to illustrate the point.

As for the argument from evil, or to use a less vague term- cruelty, that cuts both ways. On the one hand as Peter Hitchens points out God ensures cosmic justice in the end, on the other hand as his brother pointed out there's a lot of cruelty so awful that there's no excuse for Him to allow it happen in the first place.

Honestly I most likely haven't said anything you haven't heard before. It is an old argument, but I am willing to have it for old times' sake.

Funnily enough of all people, one person who might have an answer against the argument from cruelty, is Nietzsche, because according to his philosophy cruelty is something good enough to be sought for yourself and wished upon your friends. Amor fati, love of fate, is what Nietzsche professed. He did however have his own problems against Christians which I am sure you are aware.

takeapiece: I get you. I would consider myself a degenerate still. I'm not better than anyone. I never understood the, I'm much better than you look at my _______ (Circle One, Faith, Money, intelligence, etc). Haha, I'll reply back because why not for old-times sakes? I question why God allowed certain evil still but, I acknowledged that I don't know anything and it's best to leave it to him. I'm sure he'll tell me eventually.

takeapiece: Faith doesn't specifially tie with God. People have faith in tommorow that they'll have health, money, or whatever. I'd simply redirect that faith into a somebody rather than a something/concept.

otaking responds: I guess the reason why people direct their faith towards concepts rather than somebody is that people can betray you but concepts/ideas/things cannot betray you or maybe they can but it still might feel less worse. Looking forward to your response.

End of exchange.

I could say that was a rather feeble attempt at waving away the cruelty of the world. It's not that I don't understand that feeling of intuition that the answer is out there even if I haven't figured out what exactly it is. For example my views about  pornography are informed by that feeling. Though I prefer to call it hope rather than faith, it is very much the same thing. But on the other hand if you don't already share that feeling, it doesn't really mean anything.

I also did a stream and wrote a review for Eve no Jikan. I also got permission from incelperspective to use his music in the visual novel project. On the whole it was not an unproductive day. The stream was a bit messy probably because I hadn't streamed with Fahrenheit in a while. I feel like when I stream with someone multiple times you can form a shared "current meta," hopefully we'll be able to catch up to each other's metas in upcoming streams. I would say the fault is probably mine because my mind never stays too long in one place, it always wanders off course, on a different path, maybe it's just the hipster contrarian in me. It is unreasonable to expect others to keep up with my meta.

As for the review and the stream themselves I won't discuss their contents other than that say that the review in some ways became a response to what was said on the stream because I wrote it after the stream.


07/04/2022

British Stationary Sucks. [toc]

Now that I have added the "table of contents" for this page, I may no longer need this html table and the little javascript for the "sort by date" button to work. I wonder why it didn't occur to me to just make a table of contents.

I'll keep the table and the script because it is something neat and it would be a waste to get rid of it after I got it to work but from next month I guess I'll get rid of it.

I didn't get much reading done today, partly because of the work I had to do and partly because I wasted my time falling asleep. I get more done when I am at my desk but the desk is next to my bed and the duvet is so warm... an ordinary story. I lack the privacy in the rest of the flat to get anything done.

If my laptop's battery was better, I would go outside to write. Maybe I could go to the library. Sure I would have to walk a bit but maybe I would be more productive that way because there is no bed in the library. Something to consider.

I bought a refillable "parker pen." It's just an ordinary ball point pen other than the fact it is refillable. It looks neat but it feels a bit cheap to the hand. Honestly I don't think I got my money worth, that pen was £16.

I also bought a red notebook, with 200 pages and a fake leather cover. That too felt a bit little £9, but at least it looks good. It is almost impossible to buy a notebook with more than 200 pages here in the UK. One thing I should do when I go back to Sri Lanka, is buy some stationary, notebooks in particular though those "Atlas" pens are neat too and truly do work till the last drop of ink in the pen.

The stationary situation in Britain is appaling. It was slightly better in Italy. I curse those "Pukka pads" notebooks. No, I do not want to turn my notes into a DIY project by putting my pages into polythene covers and then into a fat folder. Stationary is about the only thing which is worth buying in Sri Lanka.

Anyhow the reason why I went through these expenses and bought these writing utensils was to make the writing experience for my solo rpg project a more pleasant one, to motivate me to work on it. I didn't write a word today. Tomorrow I am planning to buy a clipboard too which I came across today. It looked cheap and they charged too much but for personal reasons I cannot order stuff online so it'll have to do.

The reason I need a clipboard is to store the character sheets for the maids and other stuff like that. Ideally I would have everything on paper because when I am on my computer I feel like doing something else than get started on the solo rpg project.

Online Diaries vs Blogs

Regardless I was able to push out a small and mediocre article about online diaries and on how they defer from online articles. I think I couldn't go enough into how they differ from online articles but in short I don't think that personal experiences should be the main focus of blog articles, they can come in handy but there needs to be another point.

The reason for this is because the focus of the article should be on the subject of the article and the author is not the subject of the article, unless it's some kind of interview. Of course you can blend in the two together with "gonzo journalism," or the like but I feel like that is a trick and the subject of the article is the real focus.

Why? For various reasons but mostly a lack of continuity, every article is a blank slate, and your personal stories are just vignettes to illustrate the point you are making, that someone may put together those vignettes into a story about you - is something that only certain devoted fans are going to bother to do.

An online diary is more anectodal and more importantly there is a continuity - it's a series of posts, not one offs. Someone could read this in a chronological order so maybe I should keep that little javascript and table.

Anyhow, I don't want to turn this into a diary talking about writing online diaries so I should stop talking about that topic from now on. Likewise, I shouldn't write blog posts about writing blog posts. Why? I don't know, it just feels a little nauseating and circular, like I don't really have any reason or thing to write about other than the fact that I want to write.

That said there's nothing wrong on commenting on what I have written either, like a sort of director's commentary that is more interesting than the film itself. Maybe that is the effect I would like this online diary to have.


06/04/2022

Re-Reading Kokoro by Natsume Soseki [toc]

I have read the first half of Soseki's novel, Kokoro. I would recommend people to read the older and much better translation by McClellan, not the Penguin translation.It's out of print but you can get it off of piratebay, as well as the audible audiobook too.

Reading this again now that I am much older I feel a lot less partial towards the protagonist and Sensei.Even though I am a lot more like Sensei, minus the beautiful wife or some tragic backstory involving a friend, I guess. Then again Sensei was pretty self-effacing too.

I wonder what Chiasmo will say about Kokoro on Monday's stream/podcast because I have less of a precise impression now that I have re-read it than before I had re-read it.

I remember that the second half of the novel which I have yet to re-read, Sensei's tragic backstory, didn't leave as much of a strong impression as the first half.

Maybe perhaps because when I read the first half I was rather like the protagonist, looking for an older, wiser figure and friend to guide me. I was never able to find anyone like that, maybe some writers like Orwell might count, and I have certainly cooled down on them.

Sensei was right that affection for an older "wiser man" can and will turn to disgust. I have certainly experienced that with certain youtubers whom I considered to be "intellectuals." However that was just a parasocial relationship though I am glad that I got a direct if negative response by the end.

A better example might be the way Nietzsche soured on the older Wagner. Maybe that sort of process is unavoidable and not necessarily a bad thing.

The idea that a man who doesn't work has value, or in other words that it's okay for certain "wise men" to exist without working sounds silly. Rather I don't think the should be supported by the state but if they can live in idleness because of their personal circumstances, like if they own property or someone is willing to pay for them voluntarily, then that sort of person can have value too.

People say that they value labour but honestly they only value certain kind of labour. Honestly, just ignore people. The book is very vague about what subject the protagonist was learning in university. I wonder if it will reveal what Sensei studied either.

Kokoro feels very modern and it's kind of disappointing that since the 1940s nothing new has happened. The kind of experience that the protagonist had has just being replicated and democratised further but it has also become thinner and more shallow and individualistic. Now you don't need to meet your "Sensei" figure because you can just watch him through a digital screen. The protagonist says that his experience with Sensei was "spiritual" rather than material but I would say that it is more "emotional."

Sensei says that the protagonist seeking for friendship with Sensei was just as a preparation for love with a woman. When I first read this passage it rang a lot more truer, that friendship is training for love with a woman. It certainly seemed that way, and in a sense it is true a bond between a woman and a man is less transient for the simple reason that you are stuck with each other once you are married whereas if you don't feel like meeting a friend you can usually avoid him. Then again I have heard of married couples virtually becoming room mates who barely talk to each other.

Now that I am neither interested in friendship with a Mentor nor in romance, it rings less true. But it is true that the infatuation that a young "literary" man can feel towards an older mentor literary figure, even a dead writer, can be rather like a simulacra of romance in lieu of actual romance.

I wonder what did Sensei want out of the protagonist. With a lot of "father-figure-intellectual" Youtubers these days, the answer is simple, money and popularity... But the protagonist could give neither of these things to Sensei.

The contrast between Sensei and the protagonist's country bumpkin father was also relate-able to me. Education really feels like it is designed to drive parents and children apart, especially when the parent is not educated, it has this effect. No, it is not simply a matter of looking down on uneducated parents by ungrateful sons, but rather there is nothing in common in terms of interests, there is no point in even starting to explain.

Maybe Sensei wanted understanding, for someone to understand him. No, that's what the protagonist wanted from Sensei. I do relate more to Sensei than the protagonist now, including his misanthropic views. Sensei wanted his money, that much is certain in the first half of the novel. Maybe when I re-read the second half I will understand.

At a certain point the Emperor Meiji dies (that's the emperor before Hirohito, I think) and a general called Nogi kills himself to atone for losing a banner during a battle many years ago or something like that. The characters are sad about this. If the Queen were to die tomorrow, or if any other political figure anywhere were to die, I wouldn't feel a thing. Maybe there was a time when I would have felt a thing... But I guess my misanthropy has extinguished any feeling of patriotism and identification with any group.

Sensei, and Soseki at least seemed to have felt an attachment to an era or a place. I guess I am attached to certain aesthetics, to certain media, and culture - but I seem to regard these quite separately from the people themselves.

Just like Sensei says that there aren't any stereotypically bad people, I would say that there are no stereo-typically good people either - and that were I to meet the people creating the culture that I like, they would just be ordinary people too in all regards except their ability to produce culture which I like.

That maybe why Sensei and the protagonist failed to connect even if they had plenty of "culture" in common.

Also for some reason after having read it the first time I was under the wrong impression that there was any ambiguity as to sensei's death but it is quite clear from the first half of the novel that sensei is dead and that he killed himself.

Because of this misunderstanding I kept on feeling "what if the protagonist stopped Sensei's suicide?" but no, I now realise that there wouldn't have been any point in stopping sensei's suicide. Unless there is something else which I have missed in the second half of the novel. The audio book is seven hours long and I have listened to half of it.

In general I could relate more to the protagonist's fears but now that those fears have come true and I am still alive, it doesn't really feel as prescient anymore. For example his fear of slowly rotting away as earth clung to him, referring to his fate of possibly becoming a farmer in the countryside. Honestly maybe anywhere is the same for me as long as I have the internet, then again it could just be that I never had the money to experience "city life" even though I lived in a city like London but it is true that I hate the people who live in my "country-side."

More and more this hatred borne out fear is turning into indifference because I don't really intend to befriend them so it doesn't matter that they are not interesting to speak to and as for their low opinion of me, well so much the better so they won't ask me for any favours because they won't think they can get anything out of me.


05/04/2022

George Orwell and Honda Toru were normal guys [toc]

I am more than two thirds into the 500 page book collection of "selected letters" (i.e. incomplete) by George Orwell. The collection is called "George Orwell: A Life in Letters."

From Orwell's essays I got the impression that he was a pretty lonely guy but I guess when you are writer, especially some kind of essayist/journalist you have to network to get paid to write, not that I know anything about getting paid to write. Also when you review other people's stuff they are going to speak to you about it. That I have a little experience with.

Anyhow I am finally getting to letters around the time he wrote 1984 and around the time he died. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not a fan of George Orwell, I think what came through the letters however was just what an ordinary guy Orwell was, and how he became popular almost by accident.

I mean I am sure there were many others who made the same observations he made about Imperialism, Fascism, and Communism.

I guess you could say his writing has "historical value," and to me it has "emotional value" too but when you try to pin me down on it and ask me what exactly is special about this guy that I have spent so much time reading his stuff and enjoying it - there is nothing but a blank.

It's an embarassing thought but maybe the fact that he is so ordinary is what makes him appealing to me, as in, I could be just like him. He doesn't come off as one of those writers who are so above you in their skill that they make you wonder why you bother writing at all. Even as I say that, it can't be just that because he does "speak to me." To a large degree it also depends on whether you agree and feel his outlook on life, whether you can buy into it.

I don't think Orwell is the kind of writer you can appreciate if you fundementally disagree with him - because his frankness is his appeal but if you frankly disagree with what he has to say then no bond can be formed through his writing.

Honda Toru Became Popular For Being Unpopular

I did a stream about Honda Toru with Chiasmo today. I wonder if Honda Toru becomes popular for being unpopular and then becomes unpopular again. Just like Orwell spoke to me, and Nietzche/Bowie spoke to Zarathustra's Serpent, I would say that Honda spoke to Parzifal.

I just did a three hour stream about it so I am not in the mood to explain who Honda Toru is and stuff. I think Frog-kun's interview translation covers that neatly. It's a pity that there isn't any stuff by the man himself (other than a few interviews) translated into English. I would have read them.

Though to be honest I can't get on board with the Waifuism stuff. Not because I think there is anything wrong with it but because although I love anime I can't say that reality and fantasy are the same for me even if I find fantasy more interesting. By fantasy I would include things like History and Politics along with Anime, I mean anything which you can't really directly take part in and affect. Reality is just everyday life and the people around you that you can speak to and touch, not people who you see on television and in the papers. I would say that people you know through the internet are less real too. Though I would say anime is a lot more kind, honest, and true than History or Politics.

Orwell and Honda may have saved themselves through writing but honestly, as I said on stream, I can't help but feel like they just got lucky. It's not a path open for everyone. I guess they would say, it was the only path for them.

It's a very arrogant thought but it goes like this, anyone can do what they did but not get paid for it. By anyone, it should be obvious I mean myself lol.

When Honda says that he used to think, If I can't make a living with a keyboard then I am done for, its not pathetic because he was able to make a living with a keyboard.

Having said all that Honda has disappeared back into obscurity and Orwell too is only kept afloat by two okay to mediocre novels, while the bulk of his writing is only occasionaly perused by wannabe writers like myself (and Christopher Hitchens) but atleast Orwell (and Christopher Hitchens) are dead, they did not live to see the death of their works. Honda is alive. I think Hitchens knew this was the most popular he was ever going to be when he died. The world has become a lot more stupid since then, so I am glad that he died.

Honda Toru is alive but the trends around him are dead, Denpa is dead and Love (Capitalism) is alive. Is the Otaku dead too? Did he die like a hippie or become a hipster? Speaking of Love Capitalism, I don't have much love for Love or Capitalism and yet I can't help but feel like romantic love was always like this, but maybe what he was going for was that Romantic Love now is the centre of life, or maybe more like a final rite of passage into respectable society.

The fact that Denpa or whatever Honda is about, is dead, however makes it more appealing to me, because dead things and dead people can't disagree with you or hate you which makes them lovable. That's moe.

It's a real pity that Libido Kamen is not back yet. He could have provided a less leftwing, and so a less tragic view of Otaku Culture. Reactionaries are comic. Maybe he died along with moe and denpa in the early 2000s. Maybe we all died in the early 2000s. Maybe I did too.

I guess my tragic sensibility must make me leftwing at heart but then does that make Zarathustra's Serpent a reactionary? No he is just a liberal, so tragi-comic. That is how he doesn't believe in a final victory. For a liberal history is more like an endless sitcom, a never ending battle between good and evil because there will always be good and there will always be evil.

Where does this leave Honda Toru, the otaku? Not the "newtaku," not the western "oldtaku" who grew up on Toonami but the real classic otaku, the real deal. Then again I guess he too was a throwback, a LARP if you will (see how tragic modern terminology like LARP and cope are? Most reactionaries are tragic too these days or in other words they are leftwing) to the 80s otaku.

Maybe Zarathustra was right, what we need now might be a "Cinematic Universe," to connect the scattered community in one place but I for one have given up on community, whether it be online or offline. Everyone lives in their own bubble and everyone's vision and interests are different, and so the relation between one and another is necessarily one subjugating the other. See? Tragic, and therefore leftwing.

At most what I can gather are the shattered pieces of my heart, and I don't mean that in a tragic way at all.

Even though they have been forgotten or are dead there is something heartwarming and beautiful in looking at and reading the volumes of writing they have written. That is meaningful to me, I want to know more about them. A connection, maybe that's moe, though I wouldn't call Orwell or Honda or Hitchens "my waifu" but is this love?

Maybe that is what I am trying to replicate with this little site of mine.

With writers of books and novels it is easier to put a human face on the product, maybe that's why things like the Marvel Cinematic Universe are hated for now. No maybe that's not it, I don't really know nor care what the community hates or likes.

Maybe by putting together a list of the things I like, by referencing them, I might be able to construct a chimera of a personality. A contraction in terms, I know, but a unique Chimera - just like Orwerll. Orwell is nothing special, his opinion and views and writing are nothing special but I find him likeable, I find that unique mix of ordinariness likeable, and maybe that's enough. This is a longwinded way of saying I do kinda like myself.


04/04/2022

No Sympathy for "the Working Class Man" [toc]

I no longer have any sympathy for "the working class man." Or for any such group of humans.

I may still have some lingering affection for the "otaku" table and therefore for the people by go by it, but that is all.

On the whole the negative things that groups say about each other are all true. Especially the bad things that the classes say about each other.

The only difference between the economic classes is how much power they have, in character they are all bad, they act badly enough that it doesn't matter who acts worse.

In fact on the whole I would say that I have been treated more badly by the working classes. Then again it might be that most people I am contact with are working class. The subhuman middle-class isn't much better and they deserve a place in hell for their snobbery and fake affectations. They all deserve a place in hell, including whoever set into motion this farce. I am feeling a bit angsty tonight.

Anyhow I will seek to be indifferent to the suffering of the average working man. It doesn't feel nice but pity does no good, not to me and not to them but the point is that they probably don't deserve any pity. Nobody deserves my goodwill by default, it was not a pleasant lesson to learn but now I feel like I have learned it.

Most people are trash, regardless of class and so do not deserve my sympathy or partisanship.

This doesn't mean I should hate them because they are not great enough to be worthy of that either. They are little more than beasts ruled by instinct, by greed and fear, who only understand power because they worship power by any other name.

Anyhow enough about them. I should not think of them.

I posted a summary of the tables in the Mythic RPG GM Emulator. Honestly though those Maid RPG solo rpg sessions are going nowhere. I should spend more time on it, I have been telling that to myself a lot but something gets in the way.

Finished watching Gundam X. It was better than the previous Gundam. Overall I seem to like the newer Gundam over the older stuff but who cares. I am getting bored with reviews but there's nothing much else I can make.

The discord server is starting to bore me as well. It feels a bit repetitive. Anyhow that's why I am trying to solo RPG. Hopefully I will have more to say about that soon.


01/04/2022

No Longer Seeking Understanding. [toc]

The following is something I wrote in my pen and paper diary on the 31st of March. It was not meant for public eyes so that is why it is a bit melodramatic, nonetheless I thought it might be worth sharing:

I am back to writing in my diary because "now I have readers." The truth is that I don't have readers, just a couple of people who may occasionally glance at what I have written if I asked them.

Even with so few readers, I feel misunderstood.

It was a mistake to seek understanding and goodwill from the reactionary right just because I understood them and showed goodwill towards them.

I could go into a critique specifically about the right but that is irrelevant because the reason that it was a mistake is because it was a mistake to seek understanding and goodwill from other human beings in the first place. It was never an option for me.

Orwell said that it was better to be understood than to be loved. I would go a step further and say that it is better not to be loved if you are not going to be understood.

I know that these comments will be met with ridicule if they will be read at all. Yet these are my thoughts.

Every project I have ever begun has been a compromise between what I want and what I thought others would want, you could call it a poorly disguised attempt at fostering some understanding with other people. Perhaps if I'd found the right people I'd thought then... but the right people do not exist.

The SOS Brigade project which I had thought up many years ago while pacing back and forth a public park in Mitcham as the sun set down next to a hill and muddy pond surrounded by bird crap - has come to an end. I don't think I wrote any of it down unfortunately but even if I did it would be "tracing our scars, by sketching the beauty of our fleeting dream," right Haruhi?

Honestly the me from back then would have been surprised at how far I have come. And yet I am clearly the one who cares more and so I lost. Visions, wishes, ambitions just cannot line up with other people's perfecly for me, and so it all becomes so tiresome. It sounds silly to say, but that syncronisity you see in anime is not there. The ideological warrior, I don't like that "ideological" word because I have eschewed politics, and I no longer want "to make the world a better place," only the pursuit of something for myself, and now I realise, by myself.

Very Randian, I know, but I also know that if I try to approach the Randian Objectivists I would not be repaid with goodwill and acceptance either because I wouldn't fit "the best version of myself" that they have in mind either. Whether in real life or online I seem to be walking on eggshells.

As for the "warrior" half of it, I don't want to fight others, nor argue with others, moreover I don't like war and certain people's politics are nothing but a larp about being tough and being fighters while never having being in a real battle. Besides even if they had been, I don't really care. It doesn't give them any right over me.

Terminology aside, it is the only path left for me, or rather that there ever was for me, and I would have been spared a lot of misery if I had gone to it for it from the start. My initial insticts were right all along, but I just lacked the conviction in myself. Surely, I thought, "they must know something that I don't." Well, turns out that they don't. But enough about them, because they don't matter.

I will always be an heretic, it seems. And so I shouldn't have sought peace, growth, or even challenge in other people in the first place. I can't speak for others but by this point I don't even want to speak "to" others let alone "for" them.

Probably the reason everything I did failed was because I did to speak to others or to find a group I could speak for, and of course who could speak for me. That may have been the lie I was trying to hide when I said I only wanted to speak at others.

Anyhow going into any more detail would only be just playing word games, if it hasn't already become that. A word game to impress an imagined reader or audience is what I must avoid.

Anime is Great, and there is no God but Anime. And yet I can't latch onto something made by others because it will stop growing once trends change. Only a world created by my clumsy hands for my heart will do. I hope that I will be able to sketch the beauty of that dream in these diaries. If not, well it was fun writing this entry.