Productivity

Posted: January 21, 2011 in Society/Culture/Tradition

Ola Amigos!

It has been a very interesting few weeks for the old Paulokat, and most of this interest stems from the seeds I planted in 2010… the seeds I am talking about are the various projects I started, thought up, or finished, and the beginning of 2011 has shot off in such a fashion that I am greatly looking forward to the remainder of the year.

The creative process is something that I have stumbled on in the past; not in an “I can’t create” sort of way, but rather the momentum needed for creative processes and taking advantage of the momentum when it is in one’s grasp. Being an artist is about creating, whether it be paintings, sculpting, writing, film, poetry, music, whatever… and it has been a productive beginning which is looking entirely promising.

As for my art, obviously the writing is a massive part of my life, but presently, I am focusing on the music; I have already laid down the foundations to an 8-track EP, likely to be produced by myself, but eventually I will need to hit the studio in order to get that crisp, professional sound.

Stay Tuned…

To Be Continued

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Crazy

Posted: November 24, 2010 in War

Another day, not another dollar; the way of the up and coming writer! Seriously, writing is my passion, and when the time comes I will grab a script/novel/article by the balls and kill it. Yep. That’s right.

It’s feeling like summer right now, as I write this my room feels so humid and warm, and it is only 11am! Oh well, what to do… I’m in the process of writing a new feature length film script, plus a few short stories, but for now I am just basking in the glow of knowing that I am half way to my Diploma. For the last eight years I have toiled in factories, engineering shops, car washes, and a manner of other jobs that involved labour and back breaking qualities. So for now I am just happy yo be doing what I love, enjoy, and love to do: writing.

I am thinking about writing a short story about North Korea… or South Korea, considering the latest flare up of animosity between the two. Many people are already freaking out, and I do believe there is justification in this freaking, but something tells me there won’t be a war just yet; maybe soon, but not this year, although South Korea has taken a pretty definitive stance by way of threatening the North with a vicious bombing campaign if the North doesn’t stop its aggression. Should we be scared? Probably, and the fact remains that if these two were to re-commence hostilities then that would possibly signal the beginning of WW3 (seeing as though there are multiple conflicts/wars already going on) but why worry about such things when we have no control over them? I don’t know, but let’s just hope that nothing more comes out of this latest incident.

Sex Game Sinks Sailors

Posted: November 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

(This is a piece I wrote after being asked to write a tabloid article based on real events in the early 2000s. I might add, it was for a University Journalism class, and we were asked to spice it up, so other than the bare facts, the rest is made up)

SEX GAME SINKS SAILORS

AN INCIDENT involving six sailors aboard HMAS Newcastle, has thrust the Royal Australian Navy into the limelight once again, for all the wrong reasons.

‘Sheena’, a 27 year old sailor, had been relaxing with her peers after a long stint in the hot zone of East Timor, and came to drinking “a few beers”, which turned out to be over the ‘two-can limit’ guidelines enforced by the Navy years earlier.

After an official party, the six male sailors, and Sheena, continued their night into an out of bounds area on the rear deck, and proceeded to play strip poker, when an argument over a piece of clothing occurred, and Sheena, clad in only her lacy underwear and t-shirt, was set upon by three of her associates.

“They took advantage of me… then when I didn’t agree to ‘David’s’ demand, (which was quite sexual) they literally swept me off my feet and picked me up and dangled me over the edge like a rag doll… I was scared sh**less.”

The drunken sailors then lost their grip, and Sheena, fell into the sea, in what the chief of the navy, Vice-Admiral David Shackleton described as, “a sad incident that easily could have turned tragic,” and perhaps luckily, Sheena was rescued twelve minutes later, and counseled by the navy chaplain.

“I thought I was gonna die, the water was freezing cold and all I thought about was a great white biting my naked thighs… It was such a nightmare, I can’t believe that sailors in this day and age can still treat females this way… I did not deserve this.”

The men involved denied any sort of shenanigans, and claimed that the drinking games were an embedded culture on the high seas and the HMAS Newcastle, with ‘Ronald’ saying, “She knew what she was getting into, it wasn’t the first time this particular game was been played with her involvement… she wanted it”.

The sailors appeared before a summary trial under the Defence Force Discipline Act, and a Defence Force statement said that six navy personnel were disciplined, though it was not made public what they had been found guilty of, or what penalty had been imposed.

Vice-Admiral Shackleton confirmed that “The investigation is not over, and the naval investigative service will continue until next week… further serious charges are being considered.”

The Prime Minister even weighed in, issuing a statement “Our navy has a proud history, and when an incident such as this rears its ugly head, we as a nation should be disappointed… We expect our servicemen to act with maturity and discipline, whether abroad or on a warship… I have ordered a review of the command, leadership and management of HMAS Newcastle.”

Vice-Admiral Shackleton assured the public, “The navy is committed to providing a safe and harmonious workplace for our personnel… This incident runs contrary to the navy’s values.”

Sheena is undergoing continued counseling and has since quit the navy. She has started writing a book based on her life as a female sailor in a male dominated navy.

COMMENT PIECE – SEX GAME SINKS SAILORS

It is a sad reflection on society, when even in our armed forces, a female who is supposedly ‘equal’ to her male peers, can be treated with such disdain as to be thrown off a navy warship.

There are stories that hark back generations, regarding sailors and their exploits, some more devious than others and this shameful occurrence has rekindled some of those ancient stereotypes and old legends.

So, even in today’s modern armed forces, women are still seen as inferior and sub-standard to men, to be used as mans plaything. What a crying shame!

I shudder to think what really happened on HMAS Newcastle, and also am scared of the image our armed forces portray to the world at large.

Every other day we hear about soldiers misbehaving in the Solomons, the Middle East and in Bali and Timor, some instances obviously worse than others, but nevertheless, the native peoples of those lands, must see our armed forces as brutes and uncivilized, because I cannot accept that if these personnel act so stupid on their own warship, one can only imagine how they conduct themselves in other countries, where ‘normal rules’ won’t apply.

Our leaders are bigoted too, often sticking up for these clowns by keeping the investigations quiet and out of public view, and to this day, it is still unknown whether those six sailors were found guilty of, and what punishment they got. One spokesman for the navy even had the nerve to blame the young woman for the incident, claiming it was she that instigated the whole thing!

Sorry mate! What rubbish! What possesses a man to sexually assault his fellow sailor and proceed to dangle her off the side of ship? I don’t know either, but apparently according to that spokesman (who cannot be named due to legal reasons), it’s ok to treat women like that, because she initiated it!

I have a sneaking suspicion that our precious Royal Australian Navy has a lot to answer for, there seems to be an ingrained attitude in the navy towards women, where every few years, scandal after scandal occurs, like the one a few years ago where the navy was accused of a sick betting ring which basically worked around how many females (or males) you bedded.

And that one was only uncovered after a brave whistleblower decided to come out and share the story after being disgusted with the behaviour of his fellow servicemen.

How many investigations and inquests must the taxpayer fund, before our Defence Forces realize that their behaviours must be altered? How many times will our politicians let these guys off with barely a slap on the wrist?

Imagine if the female sailor died in that incident… There would have been a day of mourning, maybe, but it would not have changed a thing, because change like the one we are asking for does not happen overnight. The psyche of the navy needs to change, from the bottom up, education needs to be improved, as do the attitudes of these macho men.

Our society is heading nowhere fast, and it doesn’t help when the people we are supposed to look up to, and for inspiration, such as our footballers, sailors and politicians, all treat themselves as above the law and separate from the rules everybody else adheres to.

I would hate to think what would have happened if I was on Fairstar the Fun Ship, and happened to dangle a half naked female over the side, dropping her in the sea. What do you think would happen? Does a different set of rules apply?

The Art of Pixels

Posted: November 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

The one thing that continues to irk me as a gamer continues to be the ‘are games art’ argument, and those that argue against the belief that video games can be and are artistic. Many in the games industry, along with many other people agree and point to titles such as Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, and Ico.

Other games, and this is my opinion, such as Fallout 3, Dragon Age, and even Castlevania qualify as art. Is it solely the interactive elements of gaming that irk the naysayers? Possibly so, but the very definition of art itself is not so easy to lump into a general classification; whether something qualifies as art is entirely up to the eye of the beholder, something I think is a great work of art may not be thought of the same way by somebody else.

When I look at something like a sculpture, I don’t see art: I see a sculpture. Yes, I may be wrong, but when I look at the castle and the artwork in Castlevania : Lords of Shadow, I see beautiful artwork, great backgrounds, and good architecture. Likewise with Uncharted 2. My argument may not go deep, but actors are considered artists, are they not? Movies are art, are they not? Isn’t Uncharted a work of art? So, how can people keep claiming that games are not art, especially when the game worlds are increasingly more complex and detailed.

For mine, I think as games as more of an art form than film. Video games are not to be lumped together in the same box as ‘traditional art forms’ like books, painting, etc. Games are their own beast, and indeed the whole games industry is its own beast.

I agree with the argument that video game narrative is more often than not, basic at best, but with the industry growing and making dollars comes the ability to hire ‘real’ writers for game scripts. Gears of War 2 has a decent story, Uncharted 2 has a nice epic feel to it, but more and more, gamers are deprived of genuine storytelling in the games they play.

Eventually, the writing will get better (much better, I hope), and this hope rings true when games like Gears of War have professional writers developing dialogue and scripts. It has got to the point where story and gameplay ideas are being recycled willy-nilly across all formats. When was the last time you played a truly A grade title that had a semblance of originality and revolutionary ideas?

Where we differ from the other art forms is that gaming is an industry that is borne from monetary value. Books, film and the rest of it exist in a way that in order to produce a book or a film, you don’t really need money to make it. Grab a pen, write. Have camcorder, record a short film. With games, you can’t just get up and make a game, and this is in no way meant to imply that there are no developers out there that make games because of passion, but the truth is that most developers and companies are in it to make money, not lose money.

Games have always followed a simple economic formulae; make game, sell game, make profit (hopefully), make more games, then rinse and repeat, and so the cycle goes on and on.

As it goes, games have a level of interaction that is not available with the traditional art forms: sure, you can immerse yourself in a good book, get lost in a good film, but you can lose yourself in a large and realistic game world for X amount of time, and the levels of immersion are second to none.

Gamers are getting bored, and sick of the same ole, same ole, and are crying out for something that deviates from the tried and true formulae, hence why I am looking forward to BioShock Infinite, Homefront, and Alice: Madness Returns. It feels like we are on the precipice of something big and new, but then again, it has felt this way for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

A Day at the Races

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

A race that stopped a nation sped through the city of Melbourne yesterday, the Melbourne Cup. The short(ish) priced favourite didn’t manage to get up for a win, though it did manage third spot. A record $90 million or so was spent by Aussies that seem to not have better things to do with their money, and yes, it seems that I myself fall into this very category.

First, I should congratulate Americain, the lovely horse that took the main prize for the big race. Americain beat Maluckyday and So You Think to the line, in an exhilarating display of speed and staying power. So You Think was the talk of the town in Melbourne, indeed for a whole month the sporting and racing media pumped up the horse to the point that it seemed that the whole bloody country believed the hype, and in the end fell for the favourite trap.

It’s hard to understand the thinking behind a ‘race that stops a nation’ if you do not come from, or live in Australia, but the Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in the country. One thing that will never fail to amuse though, is the drunken idiots that keep making fools of themselves at the racetrack while wearing thousand dollar suits. The females do not fare much better either, with many a drunken woman stumbling over her heels by the time the last race is run.

Selfless and Selfish

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Paulokat is back on the scene after a small hiatus, he has been hibernating in the hills of Tasmania, and after hibernation, meditated on the state of worldly affairs and other meaningless things. Like, how many people read this blog? Surely not many at the moment, but Paulokat has got his Feng Shui right and in order, so in no time, some of you may actually read this!

Why not read this I ask? Well, in all truth and honesty, people are too much like sheep these days, robots caught in a never ending addiction to electronics and other online capabilities. Of course nobody reads this, because I am not famous, I am not on Twatter, not on Facebook, I am a nobody! Correct? Maybe it’s time to market the Paulokat out, and get pimped by greedy, money hungry corporations and other businesses. Hmmmm, onto something?

Seriously, I am sick and tired of celebrities on Twatter and all that jazz; you see, if said celebrities actually had the impetus and ability to actually write something MEANINGFUL or HELPFUL to the people of earth, I might understand, but seeing as though most of them on Twatterboxes are just writing BULLCRAP, then what is the point, seriously? If you have something to say, say it, but please, WHY do you have to tell the whole fucking world that you just went shopping and bought a hundred thousand dollar necklace, or tell us that you are in your pyjamas watching Desperate Housewives? WHY? Have you nothing intellectual or important to say? Or are you so vain and into yourself that nothing is as important as yourself?

Anyhow, that is my rant. Please understand that after my self imposed hibernation and subsequent period of meditation, there was a need to vent some of the negative energies. So forgive me if it may seem like I have some sort of agenda, but really, honestly, why can’t our celebrities do things that benefit society and those in need, rather than indulge in selfish acts?

To finish, tonight I saw one of these celebrities that may have forced this rant out of me. Shane Crawford, I congratulate you. This man ran a marathon of over 800 km, from Adelaide to Melbourne, in a mere 10 days, for the noble cause of breast cancer. Crawford also raised (with help of course) over $400,000 to the Breast Cancer Foundation, and it is selfless acts such as these which make you think, and ask questions of other celebrities and their like.

I have a dream, that someday, more people like Shane Crawford do such things. And yes, I also understand he is not the only one, but he IS the one that triggered these emotions in me.

PEACE!!