Building the Perfect Beast

DAY 14: The end of 2018 deserves to be pushed out with a bang.

Blogging used to be a largely unassuming, cottage industry, but in 2019 it will become a bigger business than has ever been the case. The key, of course, is getting people to talk about your product with an air of genuine interest, and then that being used to further promote brands that rely on the word of mouth such endeavours create. Except, of course, there are those of us who don’t give a flying fuck about such associations.

What matters most, in the end, is truth. Kermode’s scathing deconstruction of why 3D is such utter creative bobbins might have (allegedly) ruffled industry feathers but it highlights both integrity and intelligence that ought to matter far more to those of us pursuing a balanced view of the World around us. Except, of course, more and more that’s not nearly as important as putting food on the table.

It’s that moment you dread when the much loved small streamer looks uncomfortable doing ads for the company that decided they’re capable of making sensible people buy their product. It’s the break in favourite podcast where hosts all talk about the sponsored service in their ‘style,’ desperately attempting to make you interested. It is the depressing, inescapable creep of corporate takeover that now consumes (almost) everything online.

Sponsorship isn’t necessary or required, of course. Except, inevitably, if a company believes your work is the best place to sell their wares, who in their right mind will turn down a lucrative placement deal? It’s one of those Moral Dilemmas that is easy to pronounce as a no-brainer right up until the moment someone hands you a contract. Honestly, will you be the one to say ‘nope’ when the amount offered really will change your life? Does it even have to be money? Is being approached enough to alter your outlook?


It will, ultimately, all depend on your notion of Success. I turned down a couple of offers during my time as a small-time gaming blogger, one of which was a) impressive and b) would have actually made me money. The more it’s thought about, the greater is my satisfaction that, at least in this corner of the Internet, there are quite enough other people lining their pockets in this fashion. Yes, it’s cash, but not required for my individual notion of success.

This year there’s thought to approach a number of Mental health charities to freely publicise their efforts, after which there’ll be a push for people to give ME money to pass onto them. Blogging has never been about doing words as a business, always as hobby:  over a decade plus that mindset has never really changed. I don’t resent or object to those who are doing just this, and don’t envy them either. It’s hard enough to write regardless, without the shadow of a corporate contract hovering in the background.

If you can be honest regardless, that’s a good place to start.

Always on My Mind

What the last couple of days has demonstrated, at least to me, is that history is becoming more subjective with each passing event, and this is a problem.

Why anybody is surprised that Roseanne’s fucked up is beyond me. That’s pretty much how she has plied her trade over the entirety of a career which, let’s face facts, has never just been quiet and safe. The difference between Then and Now, of course, is the speed at which she fucked it up for everybody else on her TV show. Cancelling something with ratings that high within a week of the offence is, quite frankly, a game changer.

History, you see, is awfully subjective when it suits the people involved. For example, a man was yesterday jailed for contempt of court over filming outside a Court where filming and reporting was banned. This man was already on notice, and had been warned that if he repeated his actions, there would be jail time. This was a discussion topic on Friday in this house because of the shared video that was made and sent to Facebook, by which time conspiracy theories were blooming.

Except, the truth remains intractable. Watching random Twitter antagonists fuelling the fire of this yesterday and being beaten down with facts by British legal professionals was, quite frankly, a joy to behold. History may yet be an interpretation of what you as an individual consume, but parts of it remain, and always be nothing to do with you, however fucking hard you try to get involved.

There’s also a fuss in the Gaming World about Battlefield 5 right now, which no longer counts as ‘realistic’ historical fiction because there’s girls in it with prosthetic limbs. I’m fairly confident that even though these games may look and play as ‘realistic’ that was always where their similarity to actual war summarily ended. Lots of games get glamorised to pull in players and then end up fucking themselves royally because there’s no where left to go. You can only bleed so much cash out of an idea. Then, it needs to be put aside, and everybody should move on.

Except film and TV studios and game companies don’t like taking chances on the new. They prefer safe, proven warhorses which pull in cash. That’s why Ms Barr got her TV gig back, after all. Making fun of Hitler didn’t ruin Mel Brooks’ career, so really, what was the worst that could have happened…? I think, what yesterday proves, beyond a doubt, is that if you currently wanna sail against the conventional tide of public opinion, there’s a decent chance you’ll need a bigger boat. Also, your legal standpoint will have to be fucking bulletproof.

Maybe, as the influence of instant opinion continues to evolve, more individuals will grasp that trying to please everybody is a waste of time and it might be the moment to concentrate not on what makes money, but what is actually enjoyable.