Monday, 2 June 2014

The Cruel Tutelage of Pai - Mei

I hang my head in shame because I see that it has been a long time since I have posted here. It's been a strange few months, in all honesty some of the things that I have seen have caused a great deal of despair and annoyance. In the midst of all of it, I genuinely wondered what the hell I could say on these pages to those who seek my words and take them in.

It seems that every time of late, that I go on-line, I see this wave of hatred in a place that I was once very comfortable in and a huge defender of. It is so hard to defend something you love when there are folks who just seem so damned determined to poison it. What am I talking about? Trolling.

I had the pleasure of seeing the immense Shane Koyczan over the Easter and was absolutely blown away. Shane was a triumph to behold but there was a point when the whole thing was about to be derailed. After 'The Impotence of Proofreading' by Taylor Mali, Shane began to recite, "To This Day", his well known poem about bullying. During the performance, a random drunken idiot shouted out. The dipshit in question had presumed that the Taylor Mali poem was an insult and then found it hypocritical to talk about bullying. 

The effect was awful, it froze Shane and at one point, he debated that he would end the night there. The audience responded with a standing ovation and what proceeded was a fantastic poem about Trolling. 

This was not supposed to be a tirade about trolling, about how it has become common place now to threaten rape to women over a difference of opinion about a comic or game, this is not that. This is just a call. We once said 'Do not feed the trolls' but in that, we left them beneath bridges to breed and manifest their filth, because they eventually leave the bridges and find their own food.

I just think that it is time for something else...a different mantra and deed as this monster has mutated into something so much more hideous...

One of my main takeaways from the night was the amazing effect of Spoken Word. I was blown away by some amazing talent that night and inspired.

I feel as if I have been collecting inspiration all around me and hoarding it for a rainy season. I see so much around that gets a reaction and then I sit in front of the keyboard or pick up the pen and the words don't flow or the images don't come or worse still they look like the demented scribblings of a thoroughly annoyed 5 year old.

So I have been struggling....yep flipping understatement. So how the hell to get out of it?! Well, I was raised on a steady diet of Kung-Fu movies...not Kick Boxer but the good stuff like Snake in the Eagle Shadow, Drunken Master the list continues on and on and I had a bit of a realization.

Some of the best bits of those movies is the infamous training montage...the bit where the hero is brow beaten and humiliated, their arrogance and anger laid before the feet of the master and then the real training kicks in. You know what I mean? The carrying stone buckets up a billion stairs, upside down push ups against boards, incense under your crotch while crouched, balancing bowls of water on your shoulders...the stuff that is probably the warm up for Shaun T's Insanity.
I love a good training montage, and grumpy trampy preferably drunken old dude with bamboo stick is an added bonus.

I recognised that my frustration is borne from a new level up and that I need to do more and train a bit harder.

So I am undertaking 2 30 day challenges, one for drawing and one for my writing. A mantra I can relate to is that the beginning of life is at the edge of your comfort zone, so I am going into these challenges with the aim to put the work on my creative muscles and focus on some things that genuinely bring me joy.

Time to stop hoarding inspirations and get to using it. 

There are loads and loads of these things out there. The 2 that I am starting from today are here courtesy of Tumblr and here courtesy of Pinterest.

I aim to have something exciting to show during the course of my challenges, so cue the music while I take a beating from Sam Seed and level up.

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