After ten thousand years I’m free! It’s time to conquer Earth!
Alright, it’s been a while since I last updated. But I’m still alive, keeping it fresh for 2016. Some of you are wondering where The Oxygen Destroyer blog thesis is at, don’t panic, I’m dealing with transferring certain content to its newer hub location. Sure, I’ve experimented with various usernames; JakeOfAllTrades, BlueGhost, New Geek Philosopher, Asperger’s Anime Blogger, Everybody’s Dracula, although none of these former net handles fit my identity like a glove. Until, I came up with a portmanteau of The Pagemaster starring Macaulay Culkin, and Witchfinder General starring Vincent Price. There’s an awesome heavy metal banger called Hopkins by Cathedral, referencing the latter in their indelible yet utterly misleading music video – I’ve seen Witchfinder General (Dad got me a nine disc Vincent Price Blu-Ray set for Christmas) and there’s less Satanic witches in it than Cathedral led me to believe. Turns out Witchfinder General‘s one of those controversial religious horror flicks, problem being, if you’ve already seen Flavia The Heretic; Witchfinder General‘s infamous disturbing final frame pales in comparison to Flavia‘s graphic torture sequences. Flaying your main character alive isn’t easily forgotten, sorry Vincent Price, Florinda Balkan’s got you beat. I also caught up with the majority of A Nightmare On Elm Street sequels I’ve missed, Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare remains the only one I haven’t seen yet, RIP Freddy’s Dad. My undying love of metal overlaps with my reborn interest in horror, hearing Dokken on the Dream Warriors soundtrack made me purchase their Rhino Original Album Series CD set. 1980s hair metal fills me with a specific joy few other styles of music can replicate, I love Nirvana and Alice In Chains, but I can’t in good conscience throw hair metal under the bus to placate grunge snobs who’ve signed its death warrant. Certain Blind Guardian songs get me misty eyed over lyrics about wizards and Tolkien, I had Slayer’s Reign In Blood and Show No Mercy on rotation for a month, inexcusably the sole Metallica release in my collection’s Lulu, instead of Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning or Master Of Puppets. I received The Very Beast Of Dio from Josh Starita on one of my birthdays, Yngwie Malmsteen’s I Am A Viking amused us both a great deal in study hall. We were in a band called SPAM together (Stupid People Attempting Music), I played bass aching to be Cliff Burton, Fountains Of Wayne should’ve served as my more realistic role model. American Movie starred this awesome metalhead who was addicted to scratch lottery tickets, I gravitate towards long haired heshers whose bedroom walls display posters of unicorns and dragons, maybe I’m too Millennial to truly embody that archetype myself. I got close to living that dream when I tacked a Warhammer Fantasy poster showing Dwarfs fighting Orcs I obtained from White Dwarf Magazine onto my bedroom mirror’s sliding door, sadly I moved house last year to a place where I can’t put those colourful posters back up cause my family’s renting the roof above our heads.
I’m still digging through heavy metal’s extensive backlog, plenty of bands whose CDs aren’t available at JB Hi-Fi deserve my support.
My eclectic interests have frustrated repeated attempts to solidify any specific online brand, Everybody’s Dracula as a title for my WordPress blog pigeon-holed me equally as Asperger’s Anime Blogger did: I haven’t really stopped watching or loving anime, nor have I rejected my appreciation for horror as a genre. All I’m saying is, I’m not easily categorised as an author whose work fits inside one exclusive genre; plus aniblogging’s relevance has declined since I’ve emerged from self-imposed Christian Weston Chandler-caused exile. I fled from cyberstalking creepers hoping to milk their latest lolcow, disappointing them when I cancelled my floundering web-manga, jettisoning it alongside all the weeabooism such a cringe-worthy concept implies. While I cannot draw for peanuts, I’ve been writing novels for half my twenty-something lifespan, Christopher Paolini published Eragon back when I was slogging through secondary education. I recall an era where self-publishing was deemed a last resort of hacky authors who couldn’t escape the slush pile, it was brutal out there for emerging writers trying to survive an unprecedented economic recession. Fifty Shades Of Grey and The Martian challenged untested, stigmatised markets I participated in not so long ago, perhaps a lack of mainstream success sheltered my growing pains from the public eye. I coveted Christopher Paolini’s overnight celebrity status, hoping I’d escape high school hardships penning several enchanted tales of changelings and elves, problem being fantasy no longer brought me the same comfort it used to. I watched Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, wondering what might’ve been had I sacrificed my mental health and academic studies on the altar of imagination. I’m glad I haven’t murdered my mother for fantasy’s sake, she’s supported my creativity despite our disagreements about homework. Another fascinating development occurred when all of a sudden, slasher icons like Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees ceased to be boogeymen I avoided like the plague, I’d become educated enough to appreciate what these totemic monsters represented rather than hiding from them behind the couch. So I did extra-curricular research (the fun kinda homework) on horror as a genre, Neil Gaiman already held the gateway from fantasy to nightmares wide open for me, as if there was no boundary separating the two realms in the first place. One day I browsed in Books Kinokuniya, procuring a rare hardcover first edition of Keith Donahue’s The Stolen Child, I read its pages learning the truth of what changelings were, and the concealed history behind their mythology entwined with my autistic identity. Fantasy, my first love, had invited me back into its domain as an adult; the first MA15+ movie I saw opening weekend was Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. Accompanied by a loyal friend, when The Pale Man reared his eyeless head, he asked me whether I was okay. For the first time, sitting inside an old fashioned theatre with its red satin curtains, I didn’t abandon ship.
I couldn’t stand Disney’s Peter Pan until I read James Barrie’s book, Pan 2015’s Smells Like Teen Spirit sacrilege helped me appreciate Disney’s unexpected fidelity to the source material’s mature aspects.
So you’re probably wondering why I’ve decided now’s the perfect time to reboot my ruined blogging empire, small as it may seem. Well, you know how I took a hiatus to pursue higher education, an academic abyss I feared would bury me alive inside the Ivory Tower which offered no escape from stressful deadlines? I graduated from Sydney College of the Arts bearing my Bachelor of Visual Arts (Media Arts) diploma in 2014, removing any excuse not to pursue my calling as an emerging thrash metal novelist. It’s been rough adjusting to life outside classrooms, I’ve followed Reviewerverse video critics around like a Grateful Dead groupie, wandering the online open steppe trying to find myself. Pretty sure Kyle Kallgren’s Brows Held High helped me survive the onslaught of postmodern theory, in fact when I was pitching The Oxygen Destroyer to my Uni professors, Dan Olson’s Folding Ideas #GamerGate episode convinced them that my blog-thesis was worth endorsing. Academia often lags far behind current events, demonstrating your internet-savvy thesis has legit scholarly merit behind it means a lot when you’re writing about subjects which haven’t produced decades of research citable as sources. The Oxygen Destroyer blog-thesis is an online art exhibition, not a manifesto (thank God), annotating my unpublished Trollslayer manuscripts showing how these cybergothic horror novels grew out of contemporary history and several online subcultures surrounding them. I intended to ask questions about both creative arts and mass entertainment such as “How much influence does online connectivity have between practicing artists and fandom communities?”, or “When is literature glorified fan-fiction?”. Previous attempts to tell The Oxygen Destroyer‘s meta-narrative such as The Ballad Of Flynn Rider failed due to a notable absence of novel excerpts eschewing unpublished spoilers, however if you’re familiar with the mixed-media collage format of The Ballad Of Flynn Rider, you can probably guess where those earlier experimental development stages might lead. The Oxygen Destroyer‘s 100,000 word length is warranted, cribbing elements from Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series and related webseries in order to convey such an ambitious storytelling project, with embedded video art installations I made during my campus tenure at Rozelle.
Essentially The Oxygen Destroyer was like Emmett’s Double-Decker Couch, my professors were Master Builders questioning the validity of its intangible, conceptual nature I justified using a PDF ashcan copy.
Tony Goldmark’s three-part autopsy of Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow confirmed my suspicions that current American directors aren’t capable of satirising Hollywood’s corporatised mass entertainment on par with Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue or Tatsuhiko Takimoto’s Welcome To The NHK, so far Ari Folman’s The Congress is closer to a coherent subversion of corporatised studio systems than Randy Moore’s muddled screed against Disneyland. As an autistic adult working within the arts; one’s ability to construct coherent narratives means the difference between screaming into social media’s nihilistic void in a desperate attempt to be heard, or being understood and touching the hearts of millions. I doubt any of these Reviewerverse critics are aware I’ve been watching their videos, or why I’d watched them religiously from across the other side of the sea. I can only imagine how baffling my Twitter feed must seem to them as I gush over manuscripts no editor has seen firsthand, wondering where the hell my legacy fits into their rich tapestry of Reviewerverse lore. I haven’t just been binge-watching their web original content, I’ve been learning from them as an auto-didactic savant, leaning on them whenever I needed guidance or morale support writing and editing manuscripts like Trollslayer. I know I reconsidered spewing vile hate-speech at Tony Abbott on Facebook after seeing Linkara’s Atop The Fourth Wall review of Batman: Jazz #1 of all things, it’s easier listening to Lewis Louvhaug take your extremist ideology to task than enduring an intervention from your British ex-pat uncle, Todd In The Shadows even gets a cameo in Trollslayer‘s sequel, Internet Hate Machine, breaking ground in exposition as he reviews the animated music video Ichi: Grandson Of The SS creates for his onryo ex-J-Pop idol girlfriend. Let’s just say Mark Z. Danielewski’s House Of Leaves was one of my major literary influences in terms of unsolicited celebrity cameos from critics.
If Tony Goldmark, AKA Some Jerk With A Camera falls in love with your dumb Twitter handle, I consider it a good omen of continued success.
2014-2015 did a number on me, hopefully 2016 heralds a new year where heavier subject matter in my schedule clears up so I regain some levity. The Oxygen Destroyer blog-thesis is by no means a joyless nihilistic trudge like several film critics dubbed The Revenant, yet I’d be hard pressed to call its abridged presentation of my Trollslayer novels a laugh riot from beginning to end. The sad stuff is really, really sad, but the funny stuff is really, really funny. Occasionally we’re headed into Saving Mr. Banks territory, other chapters involve a Father Ted-esque Bodhisaatva who swears and subdues Neo-Nazis by re-inverting their swastika tattoos. Once upon a time, Def Jam Records unleashed Slayer’s Reign In Blood upon wider audiences, elevating their unparalleled genius to household name commercial success. I want Trollslayer to find a similar reach, paying tribute to Jeff Hanneman and other fallen metal gods like Ronnie James Dio or Lemmy Kilmister; if any contemporary artform could make controversial, provocative content palatable to the masses it’s bloody thrash metal. I’ve got other upcoming projects like Astro-Boyhood, where I’ll examine the cultural impact of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy throughout its many anime adaptations. I gathered half my necessary materials for Astro-Boyhood already, I still need to import the Mill Creek DVD set of the 2003 anime version made after Osamu Tezuka passed away, I’ll also be tackling that CGI Astro Boy movie which was geared towards American audiences. Expect me to begin Astro-Boyhood in the latter half of 2016, I’m very busy finishing off my delayed deadlines I dropped the ball on around Christmas, depression knocked me out of the loop working on stuff which’ll make me vulnerable to further attacks in cyberspace. Reviewing more books is something I’ve wanted to do for aeons, especially Welcome To The NHK which deserves an Oxygen Destroyer-length in-depth analysis of its prophetic themes. Greg Sestero’s The Disaster Artist is one I’ve got plans for too, in case you’re unaware, my twin brother’s a film school graduate active within Australia’s moviemaking network; The Disaster Artist brought back memories of how he’s often been forced to work with damaged, quixotic individuals due to film’s collaborative process. These are all huge undertakings which might take me forever, but I’m excited and hope you’ll enjoy the ride, Pagemaster General‘s here to stay.