Monday, September 11, 2017

Fake News

This whole blog is fake news. It was fake news before fake news was cool. Well, it's that plus sometimes real emotions. But what truly is real anymore? I started blogging back in the aughts, when thoughts and emotions were what mattered. Everything I did back then seemed to feel very important and meaningful. I even ended up in a bunch of newspapers and magazines... awesome! But now, it feels very silly.

I won't be able to compete with all the other talented people out there. But I'm not too concerned. In the end, my thoughts and creative works are a fun hobby. If people enjoy them, then great! If people pay attention to other stuff instead, then that's fine as well. Like Stuart Smalley, I know that I'm a highly worthwhile person. I will do what I like and hope for the best, realizing that it almost definitely won't make me a millionaire.

You must focus on what makes you happy. If you find yourself doing a bunch of busywork and feel like you're not making progress with a particular piece of your life, then you should work on that and see how it can be improved. It may be very challenging, but it's ultimately worth the effort. This could be in any aspect, whether it's your career, your relationships, figuring out how to make money from your hobbies or improving your networking. It can literally take years to get to the next step, but keep plugging away.

Some things are simply unachievable. You may have dreams of working with a specific celebrity, and that goal may simply be out of reach. But you can learn to modify your goals into something more reasonable, such as collaborating with a solid professional in that field. My main goal was to be good at what I did, and somehow I ended up doing various projects with all sorts of amazing people I had never imaged I would get to meet. But the accomplishment of meeting these people was just a side goal; if I hadn't proven myself to be capable at my initial aims, there wouldn't have been any reason for these people to associate with me.

Make yourself a great, loving, self-sufficient person. Be the kind of person you would want to meet and work with, and everything else will fall into place.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Louis CK, Are You Gay?

Louis CK recently made some jokes about possibly being gay. Whether or not he actually is, his set was surprisingly true to concerns of people who are in the process of coming out of the closet, so I commend him on his accuracy.

One of his concerns that was legitimate for a closeted person but not in line with reality were that the moment he showed interest in a man, they would immediately have sex. Sex is something that needs to occur with the consent of both parties every time. Otherwise, that's a problem. So if one of the people is not ready for it, then it cannot and should not occur.

There are many gay people who are physically and emotionally into men but not specifically into having sex. So if Louis CK was specifically interested in pursuing a man, it wouldn't be hard for him to find someone who would suit his exact needs, in terms of a relationship that is loving but not sexual in ways for which he's unprepared. Also, he may find that over time, his views on the matter change as he gets more comfortable with his sexuality and being intimate with a man.

For anyone who is unsure about whether they are gay, straight, bi or something else, I strongly encourage you to talk with other people about it. People who you trust, who will keep your thoughts confidential until you yourself are ready to open up to others. There's also lots of information available on the web as well. Just make sure you stick with pages that are as professionally written as possible. As with much information on the 'net, message boards can sometimes be helpful and sometimes not so much.

Being in the closet is a challenging and emotionally difficult time. For some people, it can take years and even decades to feel comfortable in your own skin. And it may not simply be a matter of being gay. It could be that a person doesn't conform to their expected gender, they are attracted to people different from who the media states are attractive, they aren't into sex at all, they have certain desires that aren't normally publicly expressed, or even something about them is different from others that has nothing to do with sex.

What is most important is that people learn to love the fact that they are different and unique. It's not a problem to have something that makes you unusual. And over time, you will learn that no matter what it is about you, you are certainly not alone. There may only be a small group of other people who feel the same way you do, but they exist. As long as the things you are into are done with the full consent of others, and they don't cause any harm to anyone (including yourself), then go ahead and indulge safely and without fear or guilt.

It may take a while, but you should be proud of who you are. We are all amazing people, who are fantastic in our own way! Use your powers for good, to make the world a better place!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

DJ Soce is on the Attack

Hello, folks. I bought two simulated turntables and a microphone, and I'm ready to get down and spin at your next party. Hire me today!! Here are some sample mixes.. more coming soon.

Pop Quickmix!

Dancehall / Latin Quickmix!!

Videogame Music Quickmix!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Thoughts on Harrag the Ironborn

Although he was only in a few episodes in Season 7, suddenly Harrag the Ironborn has become the only character I truly care about on Game of Thrones, and I'm heartbroken that we may never see him again. The acting by Brendan Cowell elevated him far from being simply a mid-level boss that Theon had to overcome on his way to saving his sister Yara from their evil uncle Euron.

Life for everyone in Westeros is tough, but for the Ironborn, it's particularly tough. Yet Harrag has risen up the ranks to become a captain, so he's clearly faced many hardships on his way to where he is now. He showed the strength to change from the Ironborn ways and stand behind Yara as the new Queen of the Ironborn. But when Euron came attacking, everything fell apart.

The main plot is that his ship rescued Theon, they came to Dragonstone to request help from Daenerys, and then when he learned of the incoming death march of White Walkers and their undead army, he threw in the towel and decided to backslide into his murdering and pillaging ways. But much as people added in additional scenes between the Stark siblings at Winterfell that took place off camera, I have added in further dialogue between Theon and Harrag that was not included on the show.

In my version (which of course is not anything close to canon), Harrag realized that the world was changing and getting smaller. It was time for the Ironborn to mature and become a greater force for good instead of simply roaming the oceans as pirates. Who better to align with than Daenerys, the Queen of Dragons, and be a part of the winning team.

But taking a stand means facing greater challenges than simply fist fighting against your fellow Ironborn or attacking passing merchant ships. War can annihilate your entire fleet, which is exactly what happened when Euron surprised them in the dead of the night. Harrag managed to flee to survive. Even if he wasn't with Yara's team at the time, he certainly didn't rush to assist them in the heat of the battle. So, when his team pulled Theon aboard, he saw himself reflected in Theon's own fear. Yet, as captain of the ship, he was forced to continue to hold up a brave face.

Clearly, Theon had at least one off-screen conversation with Harrag, convincing him to take them back to Dragonstone to request Daenerys' help in rescuing Yara. In my version, they spoke further, openly discussing Harrag's fears of facing off against King Euron. Harrag saw the way Euron quickly and decisively took out Yara's fleet, so what hope would they stand against him with just one remaining ship? It's not easy to sneak back into the Iron Islands.

When they learn that Daenerys is far too busy to help them with their rescue mission, that's strike two. There's a whole shot just of Harrag looking upset. And then when they learn that the undead will be taking over the world soon, that's it. It's over. Harrag loses all will to continue and decides to give up. He knows what he's doing is not right, so he tries to sneak his men out when Theon is busy chatting with Jon Snow. You can see the look on his face when he gets caught by Theon, a flash of shame that he quickly covers up with a scowl.

Harrag is so terrified to take on Euron and face off against the undead that he would rather risk ending it all right here, on this beach, where at least he knows it will be immediate, without any drawn out torture and terror that could occur from his enemies later on.

A lot of people wondered how Theon could have possibly defeated such a larger, stronger man. But Harrag was not prepared for a real fight at the time. He probably assumed that he could take out Theon with one or two punches and throws, and Theon would simply give up. He's completely shocked that Theon keeps getting back up, showing no signs of being the timid weakling he had been when hauled back on his ship, a only few episodes back.

Even though he threatens twice to kill Theon, he feels torn and conflicted about it. Theon may have been a thorn in his side for not having the strength to take on his uncle or all his other failures (captured by the Starks, couldn't hold Winterfell for long, captured by the Boltons, couldn't prevent Euron from becoming King), but he was still the son of the previous king and the brother of the possible queen. At this point, he's also quite winded from the fight lasting longer than expected. Plus all that armor he's wearing was very heavy.

When Harrag discovers that Theon is invincible where it matters, then it's all over. All the strength in the world cannot make up for a loss of spirit. He gives up and cannot be bothered to throw Theon off or protect himself from the rain of blows that follows. Although I was upset at Theon for most likely crushing Harrag's skull beyond repair, I get why he did it. In this world, you don't want to almost kill your opponents, as that can be detrimental for you (see The Mountain vs Oberyn, The Hound vs Brienne, The Waif vs Arya, etc). And why didn't Harrag mount Theon and punch him to death early on? He probably figured that Theon would quickly fold, and it wouldn't look all that impressive to his mates for him to murder such a presumed weakling.

In my version (which again, I didn't write the script.. the actual producers tell a much more realistic story, but hey, who doesn't sometimes create revisions for their favorite shows), back on the ship, Harrag trusted Theon and would do everything for him, but he felt that the rest of the Ironborn did not. He felt that Theon would need to prove himself to them by taking on a fearsome opponent, and he offered himself up. As he was already too scared to take on Euron and the undead, he would rather simply lose to Theon instead of needing to continue fighting against bigger and scarier evils. When he yelled a second time to Theon that he would kill him, he was basically saying "Look, I've been beating you left and right.. if you're going to show some offense, you'd better to it now, or else I really will need to go ahead and kill you."

Although the odds are quite slim, I'm hoping that Harrag will return in Season 8. Some believe that instead of being killed, he was simply knocked out. I prefer that Harrag returns as a good guy, but I will gladly see him again as a villain as well, or even a good guy who becomes a villain (or vice versa). Just bring him back!!! Or feature him in one of the Game of Thrones spin-offs! Or someone put him in more prestige movies or tv shows, so that he can continue to perform for a large audience! He's already shown that he can hold his own with Tyrion Lannister and Euron Greyjoy. Let's do this!!