Fake Geek Girl Adventures Act 3-1: “Today is Your Day!”

Published May 3, 2015 by immaterialideal

(previous)

(Morning, convention centre entrance)

Milking a pun for all its worthPhew, made it. Better get in line. Looks like the Gamer Club’s just getting signed in.

(at reception)

REN: Representing the Gamer Club, miss.

RECEPTIONIST: Okay…(checks off names) Your registration is confirmed. Please head down the hall.

REN: I’m pretty nervous. Those city kids are going to be tough.

LUCAS: Stop being such a sissy, Ren. They’re no different from the usual online scrubs.

(Gamer Club walks away)

(Receptionist sighs) Noobkiller, seriously?

UNCLE: Okay, you kids get signed up. I’m going to wait in the hall.

a.k.a. StacyWait, what? Aren’t you going to wait in line with us?

UNCLE: It’s your contest, kiddos. Better hurry, it’s a long line-up.

a.k.a. StacyUm…excuse me Oliver. Could you reserve a spot?

Milking a pun for all its worthSure thing! (gets in line)

a.k.a. Stacy(steps aside, faces Uncle) I thought we were going into this as a team! I signed on all three of us!

UNCLE: You did? I never agreed to this.

a.k.a. StacyCome on, Uncle! You’re here, so why not have some fun? Show off some of your skills?

UNCLE: Skills? I haven’t played in ages. I don’t know a thing about “wavedashing” or “L-canceling” or anything else you kids keep blabbing about.

a.k.a. StacyBut you were the best Street Fighter player around!

UNCLE: That was just a few games over drinks at the pub. We never had tournaments. It was just something we did after work.

a.k.a. Stacy(gasps in shock) You mean, you’re not a gaming vet?

UNCLE: Heavens, no. I’m an old man. Do you think I have any time left for video games? I have a busy job and a family to care for.

a.k.a. StacyI’m your family too! All I wanted was for us to have fun together. It doesn’t matter how good you are.

UNCLE: Oh, come on Stacy. You don’t expect me to go out with a bunch of kids, do you?

a.k.a. StacyYes! That doesn’t matter either! Everyone will be excited to see an adult playing! You’ve told us how much you enjoyed playing at the pub. Well, here’s your chance to be young again! Please, Uncle? For me?

UNCLE: (pauses, thinking it over) All right. Let’s get in line.

—-

RECEPTIONIST: Okay, let’s see…Fake Geek Girl?

a.k.a. StacyYep, that’s what everyone calls me!

RECEPTIONIST: (stares disapprovingly) Sheesh, show some confidence, girl. (checks off name) Now…Filthy Casual?

Milking a pun for all its worthYes, ma’am.

RECEPTIONIST: (checks off name, turns to Uncle) Okay, what silly title are you going by?

UNCLE: Just Uncle.

RECEPTIONIST: (smiles, relieved) Thanks. You’re all confirmed. Please head down the hall.

Milking a pun for all its worthReady, everyone?

UNCLE: No. A lot of those kids look pretty good.

Milking a pun for all its worthAll the better to win against, right Stacy?

a.k.a. StacyYep. Can’t wait to hang with the pros. But before we go, just one more thing…(pulls out marker, scribbles on hand)

—-

LUCAS: Well, well, the fakers have arrived. And oh look, “geek” girl’s brought her daddy to cry to.

a.k.a. StacyFor your information, he’s my uncle. And he’s playing in this tournament too. Got a problem with that?

LUCAS: Ooh, I’m so scared. So now you need some big strong man to play for you too?

UNCLE: Hmph. Kids these days. Now listen here boy. You better not be causing these two any problems, or else.

LUCAS: Or else what?

UNCLE: Your parents will be hearing about you.

LUCAS: (glares defiantly)

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 6th annual Super Smash Bros Tournament. Each match will be single-elimination, one-on-one. Sixty-four smashers have come from all across the city and beyond, but only one will survive six gruelling battles to take away the Smash Cup. So, fighters, are you ready to SMAAAAAASH?

CROWD: YEAH!

ANNOUNCER: Awesome! The first-round bracket has been determined. Fighters, take your positions in the assigned rooms. And remember, let’s keep it clean! Now come out fighting!

Milking a pun for all its worth(looks at bracket screen on the wall) Wow, Stacy. Take a look at who you’re up against.

a.k.a. Stacy(checks bracket, gasps) No way. (stares at Lucas)

LUCAS: (sneers back) Hmph. Scared, faker?

a.k.a. Stacy(waves hand with NerD written on it) No. Are you?

LUCAS: Ha, you kidding? Thanks for giving me a free round, Miss “Nerd”. Bring it.

a.k.a. StacyWith pleasure.

To be concluded…

Fake Geek Girl Adventures Act 2-3: “I Don’t Like Your Plan. It Sucks.”

Published April 25, 2015 by immaterialideal

(previous)

(Evening, Oliver’s room. Oliver sitting at computer, browsing the Internet)

(on-screen) LUCAS: Can’t wait to crush some noobs tomorrow.

REN: Um, Lucas, how much practice have you put in?

LUCAS: Practice? Hah! My opponents are nothing against Meta Knight.

REN: Look, we’ve been over this. You can’t expect to win just by spamming tornados.

LUCAS: Spamming? You’ve seen me play. You should know my skills better than anyone.

REN: Yeah, I do. You’ve never beaten anything by yourself. You always reach for the FAQ first. You mocked that girl for not beating Ruby and Emerald Weapon, but even after you looked up the guide, I still had to tell you how to do it.

LUCAS: Oh, boo hoo. If you love Fake Geek Girl so much, why didn’t you say anything then?

Milking a pun for all its worth(while looking at forum posts) Heh heh, what do you know?

—-

(The next evening, one day before the tournament)

Milking a pun for all its worthHey, Stacy, I got some great news.

a.k.a. StacyYeah? Shoot.

Milking a pun for all its worthYou know Lucas? He’s a fake! He only beat Ruby and Emerald Weapon because he had someone helping him!

a.k.a. StacyNo way! What a hypocrite.

Milking a pun for all its worthOne of the other Gamer Club guys was complaining that he never practices and just expects to win with Meta Knight.

a.k.a. StacyWow. I can’t wait to pop that guy’s ego.

Milking a pun for all its worthMe too! Whoever gets him, we’ll kick his ass! Then we can expose that fake geek to the entire university! I can’t wait to see the look on his face.

a.k.a. StacyUm…sure.

Milking a pun for all its worthJust think, for once, everyone will be laughing at him, not us! He’ll be ruined! Once the school gets word, he’ll never be able to face his stupid club ever again!

a.k.a. Stacy

Milking a pun for all its worthStacy, what’s wrong?

a.k.a. StacyI’m sorry, Oliver. I…I just don’t want to be a part of that.

Milking a pun for all its worthWait, part of what?

a.k.a. Stacy…calling people fake. All we end up doing is pointing fingers at each other.

Milking a pun for all its worthBut he’s been nothing but horrible to you!

a.k.a. StacySure. But he’s not the only one. And it’s like what Lindsay Lohan said in Mean Girls. Calling other girls ugly didn’t make me any prettier. Calling them shallow and vain didn’t make me feel any less fake. I’ve went through enough. Making other people go through that humiliation won’t make us any happier.

Milking a pun for all its worthOh. Sorry. Just a stupid idea of mine, that’s all.

a.k.a. StacyDon’t worry about that. I know he’s been an asshole to you too. But we don’t need dirty tricks. We’ve got our skills. We trained hard for this tournament.

Milking a pun for all its worthYeah, you’re right. We’re gonna go in there and win! On our own merits! Let’s do this!

a.k.a. StacyIndeed! (high-fives Oliver)

—-

(Stacy’s house, outside)

UNCLE: (parks car) Ready? We won’t be stopping for bathroom breaks.

a.k.a. Stacy(smiles) Ready as ever.

UNCLE: Stacy, I got something for you. (hands over case)

a.k.a. Stacy(opens case) Aww, thanks, Uncle. They’re lovely. (puts on new glasses)

UNCLE: You’ll need perfect eyesight for the tournament!

(on the road)

Milking a pun for all its worthHey, Stace, I hope we don’t die of dysentry.

UNCLE: (glares at Oliver through front mirror)

Milking a pun for all its worthYou know, Oregon Trail?

a.k.a. Stacy(stifles giggle)

UNCLE: …that’s it. No more game jokes, you two. Save em for the convention.

(end of Act II)

(next)

Fake Geek Girl Adventures Act 2-2: “Swift as the Coursing River”

Published April 12, 2015 by immaterialideal

(previous)

(Stacy’s house, living room at dawn. Morning sun shines into the room)

UNCLE: So, you want to be a master of video games, do you?

a.k.a. StacyMilking a pun for all its worthUh-huh.

UNCLE: You want me to train you so you can fight back against bullies?

a.k.a. StacyMilking a pun for all its worthUh-huh.

UNCLE: Then why don’t you just learn karate?

a.k.a. StacyBecause our bullies are nerds, not jocks.

UNCLE: Oh, nerd bullies you say? A contest of brains, not brawn?

a.k.a. StacyMilking a pun for all its worthUh-huh.

UNCLE: Wrong answer! Intellect alone can’t win you games. Reflexes alone can’t win you games. You need both to defeat your foes!

Milking a pun for all its worthSo you’ll help us? Grant us your great video game wisdom?

UNCLE: Don’t be a kiss-ass.

—-

(Stacy’s room, afternoon)

UNCLE: We start simple! Punch-Out!! An arcade classic! No gimmicks, just pure timing and reflexes! Even with your new-fangled graphics, it’s all about fundamentals! (inserts disc in Wii)

Milking a pun for all its worth(keeps jabbing King Hippo’s belly, gets knocked out) Geez, how are you supposed to hurt him?

a.k.a. StacyLet me try. (gets King Hippo down to half health, but gets knocked out by double punch) This game is hard!

UNCLE: (shakes head) Kids these days.

Milking a pun for all its worthCan we play Smash Bros now?

UNCLE: You want to give up so early? You haven’t even passed the first circuit! Are you just going to wimp out like this in front of so many people?

a.k.a. StacyBut how is this supposed to help us? Smash Bros is a lot more complex than this! You have special moves and stuff.

UNCLE: Stacy, how can you throw fireballs before you learn to punch? We’ll try a different game. (puts on Pac-Man) Use your big pellets wisely. Look at the entire screen. Draw the path to victory in your head, then travel it!

Milking a pun for all its wortha.k.a. Stacy(both repeatedly hear Pac-Man die on the first two levels)

a.k.a. StacyStupid ghosts!

Milking a pun for all its worthThey keep trapping me!

UNCLE: (shakes head) Enough. We try again in two weeks.

a.k.a. StacyBut Uncle, we haven’t played Smash Bros yet! And the tournament’s in a month!

UNCLE: Expert players have instinct. They will think 20 moves ahead of you. You both lack that instinct, and it cannot be taught in a month. And I have a job and family to attend to. Two weeks, no sooner. (leaves)

Milking a pun for all its worth(looks at a dejected Stacy) Well, you tried. We can still go to the tournament for fun, I guess.

a.k.a. Stacy…it’s not about the tournament.

—-

(Stacy’s room, a few days later)

Milking a pun for all its worth(after a long losing streak in online Smash Bros) Your turn.

a.k.a. StacyWe’re not getting anywhere right now. Let’s take a break.

Milking a pun for all its worthYou know, that Punch-Out game was hard, but it sure was fun. I’m glad you have it.

a.k.a. StacyWell, I never got around to playing it before, but yeah, it’s satisfying just to punch people. Let’s do it.

—-

a.k.a. StacyJust remember the order his fast punches come out, and you’ll get him this time!

Milking a pun for all its worth(cuts to Oliver laying the final punch on Mr. Sandman) Yeah! That was so much fun.

a.k.a. StacyJust like fighting bullies, right?

Milking a pun for all its worthYep. My favourite boxer’s Super Macho Man. He’s just like Lucas. (imitates Gamer Club leader) “Oh, these games? You haven’t played THESE games!”

a.k.a. StacyHahaha!

—-

(montage of victories in Super Smash Bros by Zelda and Ike follow.)

a.k.a. StacyHi, Uncle!

UNCLE: Oh, hello, Stacy. Are you still playing that Smash Bros game?

a.k.a. StacyYes. Thanks for the advice! Beating Punch-Out really helped, and we’ve gotten a lot better at thinking ahead of our opponents because of it! Just like you said!

UNCLE: WHAT?! You kids sure have a lot of time on your hands.

Milking a pun for all its worthHey, er, Uncle, do you want to play with us?

UNCLE: I don’t know if I have the time…and I’m not used to your newfangled games…

a.k.a. StacyPlease, Uncle? We haven’t done anything together in years.

UNCLE: (sigh) Fine. Just for my beloved niece. Let me just read the manual first.

—-

The Winner is…Mario!

UNCLE: Haha! The old man’s still got it!

Milking a pun for all its worthSee, Stacy, I told you just attacking me was a bad idea!

a.k.a. StacyWell, you were always chasing me! But anyway, it was a close match. Congrats, Uncle!

UNCLE: This takes me back, when it was just me and my buddies blowing our extra change on Street Fighter.

Milking a pun for all its worthSay, were you really that good? And who was your favourite character?

UNCLE: Oh, I would win every single game as Chun-Li.

Milking a pun for all its worth(gasp) That’s awesome.

a.k.a. StacySo, do you think we’re ready for the tournament?

UNCLE: Well, you kids have certainly put your mind to this. You should do fine. In fact, I’ll drive you two there!

Milking a pun for all its wortha.k.a. StacyYay!

a.k.a. StacyI’ll sign us all up then!

(next)

10 heroic girl characters from the turn of the millennium

Published March 8, 2015 by immaterialideal

It’s International Women’s Day, and so, I dedicated this post to all the little girls (boys too!) with big dreams. Everyone has role models in their lives that have taught them they can be and do anything. Some of them come from stories, in which through their characters we become powerful, clever, heroic. So here are my childhood inspirations:

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

An obvious inclusion, since she’s the gal everyone thinks of when they hear “nerd girl”. She had the intelligence of a Ravenclaw, but chose the valour-valuing Gryffindor instead. She started off as a well behaved model student, but learned throughout the course of the books learned that well-behaved women seldom make history. As the brains behind Team Potter, she was instrumental to their planning and counterbalanced the more rash Harry and Ron. And of course, Emma Watson became a face of feminism, even presenting at the UN!

Fa Mulan (Disney)

The movie made men out of all the kids of 2000. She saved China, got the guy, and brought honour to us all. Her desire to prove her capabilities to herself and to her parents also resonated with me, especially coming from a Chinese family.

Violet Baudelaire (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Another brainy girl, but with MacGyver-level ingenuity instead of magic. An engineer well-versed in the arts, imagine that. As the older sister, she bears the responsibility of keeping her siblings safe in this crazy world, and her quick thinking got them all out of multiple scrapes. (the marriage loophole was brilliance!) One thing I’ve noticed about girl characters is that they tend to win by guile rather than just brute force, and she’s a prime example of that.

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls)

Yes, three characters, but whatever. While they’re superheroes beating up a wild gallery of anime-style bad guys, they’re still little girls at heart. Literally. Nowadays, Lauren Faust, wife of creator Craig McCracken, went on from this show to create My Little Pony, and we all know how famous that is.

Jade Chan (Jackie Chan Adventures)

Street-smart, savvy to action movie cliches, and always eager for adventure, she made us feel like we too could be Jackie Chan’s sidekick. Obviously, she’s a little girl up against adults with magical powers, but she could hold her own pretty well.

Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura)

Also known as Sakura Avalon in the English version. What instantly interested me about her was seeing her rollerblade, run, and generally be more than a match for the boys in athletics, and no one questions this at all. She constantly outwits magical spirits across town, and she’s still a girly-girl at heart.

Li Meiling (Cardcaptor Sakura)

Two characters, because anime is good at representing female characters. Like Jade, she’s a fighter, but most of her antics revolve around crushing on Li Xiaolong and being a brat. Normally, people hate this kind of character, but her sheer determination and competitiveness makes up for it. Plus, she frequently switches between hilariously bitchy snark or adorable sweetheartness in an episode, which is always entertaining.

Cindy Lou Who (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

She’s not just compassionate for inviting the bitter, lonely misanthropic Grinch to the Who’s Christmas party, but brave and smart as well. She firmly sticks with her belief that no one should be alone on Christmas despite the constant mockery from the mayor and skepticism from the town and even beats him in a political argument. Lest you believe a girl of that age and maturity is unrealistic, you shouldn’t. Kids can be surprisingly smart.

Nobody’s Girl (Michelle Wright song)

Yes, I included a song in here, because the titular girl is quite the compelling character. It’s not an anthem of independence, but also illustrates that people aren’t that straightforward. Even if we can be devils sometimes, the saint at our core still shines through. We go through a lot of shit, but become stronger for it. Interestingly, I was surprised by the bright, cheerful music video, since I always interpreted the character to be more melancholy. But that’s the power of imagination for you.

Helga Pataki (Hey Arnold!)

I saved her for last because of how wonderfully complex and human she is. Hey Arnold was a great cartoon since it portrays kids with a level of respect and understanding lacking from the stereotypes of other shows, and Helga’s the secondary main character of the crazy cast (especially compared to the vanilla Arnold). At the surface, Helga’s just an aggressive bully, but internally, she struggles with dealing with her inferiority complex in a dysfunctional family and her crazy, obsessive love for Arnold. She out-tsunderes most anime tsundere characters with her love-hate relationship towards the titular character. She’s the embodiment of us young people; not entirely stereotypes, but sharing a common motive of trying to find ourselves in the world while carrying varying degrees of heavy baggage.

So that’s my list. Obviously, I’ve left off a lot of great female characters, but I wanted to emphasize inspirational characters from childhood who showed me what girl power meant in all her various faces. Sometimes clever, sometimes klutzy. Sometimes bitchy, sometimes sweet. Sometimes cheerful, sometimes sad. Sometimes strong, sometimes crying. And since people are so complex, everyone has their own list of inspirational characters, and I encourage everyone to think about theirs, if only mentally.

MagicAmy and the new age of Trial by Media

Published March 2, 2015 by immaterialideal

Recently, a prominent pro Hearthstone player, MagicAmy, faced unsubstantiated accusations by the Reddit community that a man was playing the game for her. After a thorough three day investigation by her team, they found nothing that supported this claim. Regardless, she has retired from the game over this incident. A more detailed summary can be found at this link.

So, why is this important news? This comment should sum up why:

It’s becoming a trend to throw acusations at people over the internet but never fully back them up, instead just bullying people into dropping whatever they’re doing.

Whether or not MagicAmy is who she says isn’t the real issue now. The issue is a lot more disturbing. It’s like the next terrible step up from the Sam Sheppard “trial by media” fiasco because now there isn’t even a jury of peers to be influenced – the judge and jury is the internet.

-Ohshiftson, commenting on a PCGamer article about the MagicAmy fiasco.

All it took to ruin MagicAmy’s reputation and drive her away from eSports is to make a claim that appealed to the prejudices of video gaming’s infamous machismo culture, no proof necessary. The online community is already inclined to believe any “Fake geek girl” accusations, and once the accusation is thrown, no amount of evidence to the contrary will sway the mind of a conspiracy theorist. It’s why Gamergate has lasted long after the accusations against Zoe Quinn were debunked, and it’s why, despite the investigation, much of the online community still believes the libel and blames MagicAmy for, well, whatever excuse that allows them to deflect responsibility. And they receive no repercussions whatsoever.

This enabling of libel and sexual harassment has gone on for way too long in the eSports and online video game community. It’s treated as mere trash-talk, and even a part of the culture according to the guy responsible for harassment at the Capcom Cross Assault tournament. News flash, if you pulled this crap outside your insulated community, you would be ostracized by the rest of the world. Many people are well aware of the invisible barrier to participation just for being female and are repelled by the toxic culture within. Is this how you recruit new followers? By forcing people to put up or shut up? And as the MagicAmy case shows, it doesn’t even matter what you say. It sends a strong message: “it doesn’t matter how good you get at a game. You are not one of us. And you will never be one of us.” And then you wonder why people don’t take eSports seriously. So if you want eSports taken seriously, for people to join, then start acting the part. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

For too long, we’ve trivialized Internet “drama”, treating it like some sort of dream world detached from reality. Well guess what? A Nightmare on Elm Street isn’t fiction anymore. What happens on the Internet has real-world consequences, worst of all, high-profile suicides such as Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons. The witch-hunt against MagicAmy is yet another black mark on the gaming community showing our acceptance and enabling of hate speech. This must end.

Fake Geek Girl Adventures Act 2-1: “That’s Every Day of my Life”

Published February 15, 2015 by immaterialideal

(previous)

(Classroom at dawn)

a.k.a. Stacy(walks to desk, avoiding eye contact)

(chatter) Hey look, it’s Fake Geek Girl.

“I love RPGs! Zelda is my favourite!”

“Playing since the Nintendo. What’s a NES?”

“You need to beat a game to be a gamer?”

“What’s a Shenmue?”

Hahahahaha!

a.k.a. Stacy(Frowns, bites lip while staring down aimlessly at her desk)

—-

(school bell rings, outside the classroom)

a.k.a. Stacy(while quickly walking away, sees Oliver running towards her) Oh, it’s you.

Milking a pun for all its worthYou feeling all right?

a.k.a. Stacy(keeps walking)

Milking a pun for all its worthLook, I’m sorry about yesterday.

a.k.a. Stacy(keeps walking)

Milking a pun for all its worthOh, c’mon, don’t be like that! The club leader was scary!

a.k.a. Stacy(keeps walking)

Milking a pun for all its worthOkay, okay. I was wrong to throw you under the bus for cheap popularity. But you don’t know what it’s like, to constantly be told you’re not good enough to fit in.

a.k.a. Stacy(stops) You think? You heard everyone call me fake, and you think I don’t know? All my life, I’ve looked for the real me, someone people could accept, someone in the mirror I could be happy with. But no matter who I tried to be, I was always shut out. Every identity I put on, a fraud. If games are as uncool as everyone tells me, I’m not even cool enough to be uncool. So tell me I don’t know my own feelings.

(pauses) You were right. Who wants to be friends with a faker, anyway?

Milking a pun for all its worthI do. Because, I’m a faker myself. You saw how terrible my Pokémon are. Everyone seems to know more than I do, so I always lose. I can’t even beat Gobblegut.

a.k.a. Stacy…you mean from Super Mario Galaxy 2?

Milking a pun for all its worthUh-huh.

a.k.a. StacyDo you mind if I come over to your house? I’ve got all the stars except for the last one. That is, if you still want my help.

Milking a pun for all its worthSure. Meet you there!

—-

(Oliver’s house, night.)

The Winner is…Zelda!

Milking a pun for all its worthAw, you would have been toast if I didn’t screw up that Aether!

a.k.a. StacyProve it then. Let’s go again!

Milking a pun for all its worthHey, did you hear? They’re hosting a Smash Bros tournament at the university! We should totally go! Besides, the Gamer Club will be there! If we win, it’ll show them!

a.k.a. StacyOh, I’d love to stuff their “faker” crap in their faces. But let’s get real. They’ve been playing for ages. I can’t even find anyone else to practice with. How are we going to get as good as them in a month?

Milking a pun for all its worthOh, right. We need to find some gaming guru or something…

a.k.a. StacyWait! That just gave me an idea. My uncle’s been an avid gamer since the arcade days. He was around for all the classics: Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, the like, and he’d always best his buddies in Street Fighter II! He could teach us a thing or two!

Milking a pun for all its worthDo you think he’d really want to play with us?

a.k.a. StacyUh, I’m not sure. We haven’t talked to each other for years. But it’s worth a try.

(next)

The motive for kindness

Published February 14, 2015 by immaterialideal

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I guess I ought to think of something vaguely love-related. I was reading an interesting blog post by Eseld Bosustow about her motives for helping underprivileged students and arguing against MRAs, which got me thinking about my own, I guess, “rational self-interest”. I’ve always distrusted classical economics because of terms like that. If you conflate rational behaviour with selfishness, we wouldn’t have people helping others for the sake of it, right? And yet I can’t help but wonder if my own desire to help the underprivileged stems from my own selfishness.

There was a time in which I felt guilty of my own existence, feeling that I was only capable of making others miserable. At worst, I felt that I was an error of a human being that would do the world a favour if I disappeared. Part of it was because I was slow to learn social cues to understand when I was upsetting people, but it still didn’t help that I was a narcissistic brat back in junior high. That’s a reason I place a high value on empathy; it’s a reaction to my past self both hurting others and being hurt emotionally. My one disappointment with regards to this is learning not to be so narcissistic only to find out that society places a high value on narcissism for the select few, like businessmen who mistreat their employees such as Steve Jobs and racist, bloodthirsty warmongers such as Chris Kyle (I can’t believe American Sniper is a thing considering that the Iraq War was a crime against humanity based on false premises). Still, I don’t want to be like that anymore because it would upset me too much to see others suffering.

Later in my life, when I started having friends, I was surprised when people said how kind I was. So I started thinking, maybe I can make a positive impact. Maybe I wasn’t created for the wrong reason. If I have any selfish motivation for trying to help and understand others, it’s so I can tell myself I don’t exist for the wrong reason, that I can make others happy instead of miserable.

There’s also the fact that we’re all going to die someday, and when we do, all the money and possessions in the world will mean nothing. After passing, the only things that survive in this world are memories and legacy, to be held by the people whose lives we’ve touched. So it logically follows that pure selfishness is a losing investment. Sure, you can build up an illusionary legacy like the aforementioned men, but your victims won’t forget your trail of blood and pain. Even if you don’t believe in an afterlife, is it not worth it to leave a positive footprint?

For me, my life has no inherent worth, because I am aware I will die someday and accept it when it comes. My life’s meaning is to give others the chance to find their own meaning. So, whether it’s selfish or altruistic, I guess that’s my motive for fighting against racism, sexism, climate change, and the modern capitalistic structure that enforces these ills by valuing money over people. I will always want to end the suffering of others and give everyone the chance to find and fulfill their purpose in life, not as a narcissistic martyr, but a piece of the solution. And I hope one day, I can eventually die without regret, knowing that I have made a positive impact on the world.

I guess talking about death is a bit morbid for Valentine’s, but this year, I decided to celebrate Friday the 13th instead. And I wrote all this because I felt similarly to Eseld. It’s nice to have a fellow traveler in life, especially with regards to relatively unorthodox perspectives.

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