I belong with the Dead Poets, so thank you Mr. Williams

I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I had vodka in me when I wrote it, and if you’re reading this then I had the courage to submit it.

So, it’s been awhile and my come back just happens to be the topic of the loss of an important person. It’s mostly because I felt the need to write this after hearing the loss of Robin Williams, which has been apparently done by suicide caused by depression. Of course everyone knows this by now, but I felt the need to state it just so we’re all on topic. I’ll be talking about Dead Poets Society briefly because I just watched it recently (spoilers on that part). Also, this will get personal, just a warning.

Anyway, this blog post will probably be rambling and full of tangents, but I hope you all stick it out because at the end, there will be video! Important videos that I believe people should see.

So I heard that Robin past away on my break at work after logging onto facebook and saw a post. I didn’t believe it at first, but an hour later I logged back on and started seeing news articles confirming the fact. I was, of course, and still am, shocked to hear what had happened, and even more so hearing that he committed suicide.

Of course like many people, I didn’t expect that to happen to Mr. Williams, but then after thinking about it, I remember the saying that usually those who laugh the loudest, are the ones who hurt the most. My heart has gone out to Mr. Williams and his family, because I don’t know what he had been facing for who knows how long, and I never could tell.

So, after work, I drank a small glass of Disaronno in tribute (though I also found out that night that he was a recovering alcoholic), and after awhile, I decided to watch Dead Poets Society.

Long story short, the movie was fresh to me once again, it had been too long since I last saw it. It’s in my top ten for plenty of reasons, but over all I just love the film. Robin was a wonderful choice for Mr. Keating, and he had great chemistry with the younger actors. While I love his silly movies, for the most part, I do love his serious work, because he brings his A game there as much as he does anywhere else, and it shows.

But I love the movie so much because it’s more about “Seizing the Day”, despite that that’s what all the characters do in the film. The film is also about finding your own voice, to be passionate, to love with an open heart and be accepting of new ideas and people. One of the major themes is how the older generation sometimes has the worst influence on their children, as seen with Neil and his parents. Neil wants to be an actor, his parents want him to be a doctor, he tries to go against them but it doesn’t work out and in the end he becomes suicidal due to the amount of pressure his folks place on him, and the fact they were going to force him to go their way by sending him to military school, so he kills himself with his father’s gun.

To me, being able to “Seize the Day” is good, but being your own man and having your feet pointing in the right direction is just as important before you can reach out had seize anything that you would like to. There is nothing wrong with balance, though I don’t blame those for wanting to just seize the day and go where the wind blows. Mr. Keating was trying so hard to keep those boys from falling into line, and at the end, when those few boys stand on their desks, he knew he had reached them. It didn’t matter if they didn’t become artists, writers, or musicians, but as long as they were open minded, willing to go forth without hesitation, then he did his job.

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(I decided to try and stand on my little white desk here in my room to see what the fuss was about. Oh hello bed, nice to see you.)

I respect Mr. Keating, not many people are willing to try and help those who are younger realize their potential. I respect that Mr. Williams took the role, obviously it meant a lot to him or he wouldn’t have been Mr. Keating at all, he was probably a man who seized the day as much as he could, and tried to help others with his humour along the way.

But yes, I am sad that Mr. Williams is gone. I’m not going to say that he shouldn’t have done it because he was rich, or any other things people may bring up while the notice of his death is still in our minds. He deserves better than that. Obviously we’ll never know how he truly felt, the man was taken to a dark place, by his own mind no less, and at that point he just couldn’t handle it anymore. I don’t find suicide to be cowardly. I can’t because I know what it’s like: I suffer from depression as well. That and social anxiety.

I’m not saying I’m clinically depressed, because I haven’t been looked at. These are self diagnosis (cue the groans from the people who may believe that I’m doing this to get attention) but I know they are true because I have the symptoms.

My social anxiety is basically me always constantly worrying what other people think about me, all the damn time. I know I should just brush this off and “go with the flow”, or laugh at myself when people are laughing at me, and I do, when I can muster up the energy to do it.

But think of it this way: you haven’t been able to actually connect with people for most of your younger life. It consists of people putting you down, telling you you’re worthless, the mistakes that you do are amplified beyond measure and you’re reminded day after day, no stop, no rest. It’s bullying, yes, but it manifests because there is no way to relieve the pressure, so when you’re older and can talk to others without the past around you, you still double check yourself; you double think, worrying about what those may think or say, or even worse after saying something you worry what they think because of what you say.

This goes on, then your mind brings up those times when it all went to hell. When people laughed at you, when people left you, when they out right hated you because even though you were nice you may have said the wrong thing without thinking.

So it goes on, and on, and on until you fall in depression because you just feel like shit, worthless. You believe that everyone hates you, that you are worth nothing, that no matter how hard you try you’ll fuck everything up, and no one cares for you, and everyone you meet will always leave you. Think about this going on for about sixteen years.

Am I saying Mr. Williams had the same problem? No. Depression can be created due to many different reasons: soldier’s have it from fighting in the war, spousal abuse, death in the family, injuries, etc. I’m just relating to you guys why I have it, and this is me just getting this out here.

But yeah, I’ve been like this for awhile now, for the past month or more, and my mind likes to remind me of the shit that I’ve done. Either it be a month or so ago, a half a year ago, a year ago, or stretching back even further. It does not stop, it will not end. This happens because of constant recycles (of people being able to push my buttons or just me taking things too seriously), or myself hurting those I care about because my own lack of social skills just makes me not realize that I am doing something wrong, and then it’s too late.

I feel older than I am. I’m 25 going on 26 and yet I feel like I’m 50.

I have no problem admitting right now that at least once a day I wish I could die.

BUT, before anyone says anything to me saying that I need help, I can say this right now: despite my mental state, I can’t pull myself to doing it.

I talked about this to one person, and they thought that it was that I had the will to live. No, it isn’t. I don’t know what keeps me going, I really don’t. I can look inside myself and not find the reason. It’s not because I’m a coward and can’t do it, it’s not because I have the will to live or there is hope, I just can’t do it and I don’t know why.

Every day I have to wake up, and wonder why, just why. That’s all. I try to be a good man. I’ve been trying to be better for a long time now. But I keep on fucking things up; I keep on hurting those who I love despite my best intentions. I feel like I can never be happy, as who wants to be with someone who’s always going to apologize for the mistakes he believes he makes (when there was nothing wrong), yet not realize that he is causing pain when he thinks he is doing good?

I know this post was suppose to be about Mr. Williams, but I just wanted to show that yes, anyone can be affected by what happened to him, and we’re all trying our best to get through each and every day. Some don’t, some do, and that’s all we can do. Mr. Williams obviously did his very best, and I love him for that. He knew he was important to everyone, but we never saw the real him, he kept it from us because he cared more about making us happy than seeing what was eating him inside.

He had done so much for us, been there when we needed some form of laughter, no matter how cheesy it really was to us, he did it because he cared, and that is more than enough. I will always love the work he has done for us, no matter what is said of him. He knew that with the skills he had he could do more in his lifetime than anyone, and he set out to do it.

I will never look at him as the poor comedian who suffered from depression, instead I will always look at him as the man who cared so much that he put others forward instead of himself. His film Dead Poets Society has been a touchstone for me, the willingness of Mr. Keating, the development of the boys, the fallout yet the courage that the young pupils show at the end, they mean so much in a film that spans two hours and ten minutes. I’ll never forget it. Mr. Williams, your legacy will always live on, no mater what.

But depression is not a joking matter. Many people suffer from this condition, and to tell someone that they need to just “get over it” or to “grow up” means that you don’t know exactly what the person is going through and you don’t seem to care. This problem is more serious than anyone can ever know, and it will take a lot of empathy and love to help the person, but it will never go away. If you ever know anyone who is suffering from depression just be there, or if you are a person who is suffering from it, please try to get some help. It’ll mean the world to you, and the people who you care about.

Here are two videos that I believe that are important. The first one is from a man named Nash Bozard, and while it is the longer of the two, I hope that you stick it out because it is important for those who suffer from Depression, and those who know people who do, to listen to it. The second one comes from a man who passed away last year. His name is Justin Carmical and he too committed suicide due to depression. He knew in the end that people loved him, but he did what he did, and there is no denying that. But the video is important, his kind words are the type that everyone should hear. So please, if you value my word, watch them.

Take care, everyone.

Ugly Little Things, a collection of dark ficiton

Hey guys, fellow writer Todd Keisling has just launched his limited collection of short stories titled Ugly Little Things just a few minutes ago. He will only take orders until August the 16th, so please, if you like dark fiction, go support a really good author. Just click the link on the title, and it’ll take you there!
 
Take care peeps.

Winter is not coming

I’ve realized something after awhile. I’m a man of the cold.

Of course for those who know me, they’ll probably roll their eyes when they read that sentence, as I am Canadian and when it does get cold up here, it can be pretty damn cold. But no, I’m not talking about where I’m living, I’m just talking about myself.

What I mean when I say that I’m a man of the cold, it’s simply means that I just prefer the cold. When this past winter came, and stayed, and everyone across everywhere was complaining about it, I felt fine until right near the end where even I was getting sick of it. Still, at this moment I cannot help but feel such pleasure when as I drive I roll down the windows and the cool breeze just envelopes me. Usually now when it is cold outside, I walk out without a coat on. I like feeling the cold on my skin, until it gets too cold to the point I need to bundle up. I really cannot stand the heat or humidity for long periods of time, but where I live (Southern Ontario) we get spouts of humidity which is really annoying.

Okay, to put it in better perspective, I’m going to talk about Game of Thrones for a moment. No need to worry about spoilers, as there won’t be any. Anyway, I love the Stark’s, they’re my favourite out of every other person on the show. But I also love Winterfell, the rolling hills, the grey skies, the fields of hard earth that reward when toiled on properly, it just makes me happy. Of course despite that Westeros is in a decade long summer, the North still has its bouts of snow, it’s just not classified as winter like we would think it would be.

So yeah, my body prefers the cold over anything else. I need to have my bones chilled, my hands numb, and maybe just be a bit frostbitten. Hell, I don’t even need winter, give me a sea side town and let the ocean winds fill my room through an open window, that would satisfy me in plenty of ways; or a place near a mountain side near a large stream where you can chill a six-pack in it instead of using a fridge. There are plenty of places I would love to visit at the right time to achieve this. Ireland sea side, the prairies in Canada or Montana, or the east coast of the States.

I know this seems a bit silly, but that’s just the way I feel. I still like summer, just not as much. And I want to visit places with warm climates, but my body yearns for cooler temperatures. Anyway that’s all, a simple rambling from me today.

Take care peeps.

On the State of Publishing

You know, the more I think about it, the more I would love to open a publishing house if I ever get the money. I’ve been seeing so many articles about women, POC or the LGBTQA writing community (and all the other communities I cannot list) who are of course, not recognized and the field is dominated by just white guys. Not that there is anything wrong with white men writing, as we all know there are brilliant pieces of fiction that have been written by these men; but when you think about it, just how many voices have gone unheard? How many brilliant stories have been chucked aside because, well, the person who the story was submitted to passed on it because “they couldn’t connect to the character”? (wherein fact the person submitting is, lets say, a POC, and the publisher is Caucasian) I’m serious on that statement. While it may be true that all the stories have been written, not all the point of view’s have been given a chance.

I know, me being a Caucasian male may seem like it would be hard to try and get with any story that comes my way, but I’m a lover of really, really good fiction no matter who it is written by and who the main character may be. Though at this point this is where I would ask other people to join in and read the stories, and of course we can discuss the stories, just in case I may not get something or we can have a debate over why the story should be published or not.

I will point out again that a lot of really good pieces of fiction, whether it be lit, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, humor, etc, have been passed over ever since fiction has really been recognized as a serious art form. So we have probably missed out on so many brilliant tales spanning over the past 150 years, at least. To me, this is a crying shame. For example, I have been missing out on writers of the classic sci-fi era because I never heard of them before, or they passed away before I found them, or their work went out of print despite that they’ve won awards. That’s why I want to open my store and try to bring back some of these stories, because there is still brilliant fiction that has been made, but no one knows of it. So think about a writer who is a POC who was turned away by a publisher, or convinced to do something else with their life because they are told no one would care about their work, and multiply that by an unknown number then span it across many different groups. It’s insane.

Of course not all fiction is good fiction, we all know this; but we also know that it takes time to cultivate and create good work, no matter what art field one resides in. There needs to be places, and publishers, who are accepting and willing to give anyone a chance. I say this because we also know for a fact that a good piece of fiction is entertaining, but an amazing piece of fiction, no matter who it is from, no matter who is the main character, can inspire, can change lives, and it has happened before and it will continue to do so well into the future.

I’m starting to wish that I realized that wanted to do this ages ago, maybe then I would have pushed myself toward this idea. I’m still trying to write as well, and life is, life, and it likes to remind me that I have things I need to deal with. But if I could do this, and I want to do this, I know it could happen given time. I’m just a sucker for a really good story, but man, I want those writers out there get their due.

“Sneakers” and The Naked and Famous

I love making playlists when it comes to my writing, as the music just happens to fit the story and it does actually help with the process. But there are times where there is only one song that encompasses the entire story, and this song by The Naked and Famous is one of them.

The story is called “Sneakers”, and it’s just a regular piece of fiction, no supernatural elements, no far away worlds composed with magic or technology. It’s just about friendship, experience, and memories. I easily know how it’s gonna start and where it’s gonna end and I’m grateful for that at least. So with this tune pulsing in my ears, I think that I’m ready to see where it leads me.