Editorial: Yes, I Am A Journalist! Really, I Swear!

You know, you’d think that after having done this work for as long as I have, that people would actually show just a tad bit of respect. Well, that isn’t actually the case with people, especially on the internet. I’ve gotten into countless battles with people who forced me to defend the fact that I work in the industry covering acts and have worked with several bands in some form or another over the last couple of years. Of course, Tower reach is quite low and we don’t get the kinds of hits that Invisible Oranges or No Clean Singing get, which is understandable since they have a much larger staff and cover a plethora of acts. I’ve got a lot of love for these sites, which is why I decided to dip a toe into geek culture as you’ve seen.

In any case, these battles had even gotten to the point where I spent Christmas Eve (yes, because battling online is the perfect way to spend a holiday) convincing a woman by the name of Shalin Keir (which I don’t actually think is her real name, the profile looked quite bogus) that I was indeed the person of whom I said I was. She either literally did not believe that it was me who had done the work here at the Tower and New Noise, and that I’d summoned some imp from the great abyss to do all of my typing over the last few years. If only it were that easy. Of course, I could see some imp (think the ones from classic Doom) typing up all of my work, while it grunted in lieu of all the material. (You know that grunt.)

Getting back to the point (and there is one, I promise!) I don’t feel that I’d ever been so insulted in my life. I will say that the two people I’d been arguing with during that Christmas holiday both were around the same age and winked with the same eye in each profile. I have no idea what that means, but regardless of that; this Keir person seemed to be making quite a bit of sense. She claimed to be in AP and not PR, which means that she would have to be some sort of private agent. Unfortunately, no one in the industry could identify her work, regardless of how she referred to it during that conversation. I will say that compared to the other woman, Keir was well-composed. If she was playing an act, she knocked it out of the park. I had really begun to expect that I had been talking with someone in the industry, though I could not quite make them out. I even sent my staff to do some background research. I had to know who this person was and why they were mocking me.

Ultimately, we all came up blank. There was no a shred of evidence to prove that she was in the industry, or that she even existed for that manner. It was a rather bizarre sounding name, quite like an anagram that I might not be thinking into enough to break. Could I just have been bamboozled by some clever troll? It was very possible.

It didn’t stop there. In another group, I’d added this pink haired metal aficionado that seemed like a rather decent person. Oddly enough, her profiles had been reported one after another and she had to make new ones constantly. Probably still does. Even though she and I may not see eye to eye (and I’ll get to that) I don’t think it is wise of me to post the real world information that she personally had asked me to Google about her. Even so, you’ll probably find the info when I tell you the story. Apparently, she was a hardcore feminist. Not the traditional feminist, but the “crazy pink hair” type of feminist. A younger girl, so it’s to be expected from the modern counterculture (which IS social justice) movement. In any case, she had apparently gotten a lot of flack for selling panties to men. Not a terrible thing to do, quite popular in the land of the rising sun, or so I’ve heard. But the feminist commmunity kind of threw a fit about it. Perhaps all of these profiles going down as quickly as they were was a type of backlash. To be honest, she didn’t talk like a radical feminist. I mean, I’d seen the stuff she posted in prior posts, but talking to her in conversation did not give off the sort of man-hating vibe that we might expect from an extremist in this movement. Problem was, I sort of got into an argument with a friend, or possibly her father (he was that old) regarding a plethora of things. It was a rather long and drawn-out argument in which the old codger spat upon my credentials, choice in comics (he thought a holocaust themed book called Maus was the best comic ever written, but had no prior experience with the genre, preferring novels) and games, to which he just happened to be one of those older fellows that mods consoles and arcade machines, preferring to have physical copies of classic games. The man was a hardcore elitist there, showing me rather (I have to say) brilliant pictures of classic Japanese imports that he owned. Of course, he gave me the business about playing roms over the real thing and the difference in refresh rates, silly things that I never thought mattered having grown up with these consoles. Of course, I do have a real world occurrence with an incredibly rare title growing up that I did not know was going to become rare. Sit back, and I’ll tell you the tale.

As a boy, I frequented the game rental store because that was just how you played back then. You had games you owned, maybe for Christmas or your birthday or something, then you had games you rented. I rented Little Samson. Not once, not twice – but several times. Why? I was simply in love with the game. From an early age I’d grown to love games like Mega Man, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Power Blade (and Astyanax for it’s great soundtrack and cutscenes) but Little Samson was something different. Sure, Taito cut the budget by only using a handful of themes, but the world was expansive, the bosses had several forms and each character was useful in it’s own way. You even had to battle the dragon in order to get it to go into the bell (probably one of the earliest uses of this before the Pokéball) which you would use to summon each of the four heroes. Chances are that you’ve at least played this game on an emulator, but I can say with full honesty that a rental copy of this title graced my NES several times. I still love the game and feel that it is terribly underappreciated. I was just told a few days ago that it was only an “above average platformer” and that “Mega Man 6 was better”, but I strongly beg to differ. Those who don’t realize the greatness of this title have never had the chance to fully absorb it. Unfortunately, Taito didn’t make an arcade machine for this one and most of their console titles were arcade ports. Though it always made me beg the question… How in the hell did we get Little Samson in the first place?

Whatever the answer to that may be, I do know that I played it religiously and always had problems with the volcano level due to the nature of it’s platforming. Though to make a long story short – I lost it. Yes, I lost a copy of Little Samson. I brought it with me to my cousin’s house, who I’d met just a few times in my youth. I’d played it over there, but I’d lost the game in her room. I don’t know where it went. It wasn’t in the car either. Just kind of vanished. The game wasn’t rare at this point either, it was just another rental on the shelf. So not only had I played this rare game several times in my life, but I had actually lost a copy of it.

The man couldn’t believe it. I guess when you’re a big game collector, you often forget that these rare games were offered for rent just like any other titles that were being released at the time. I think the title goes for around three-hundred dollars now, though I may be off a bit. It may have accrued value in recent years. I also lost a copy of Rock N’ Roll Racing on the SNES a few years later. The thread was quite lengthy and I enjoyed the little debate I’d had, but I did come to realize that if that gentleman and I had not gotten into an agrument over petty crap, I probably would have considered him a decent fellow. Originally, we had gotten into an argument over apparel. Essentially, two grown men arguing over clothing. But that is the internet, after all.

To be honest, (even though I think I may have mentioned this before) the creators of Facebook in particular advised people to more or less wean themselves from it. It provides a dopamine rush that they’d fully intended to create with their program (and were fully aware of the consequences) and it has also rewired our brains in ways that even these devs hadn’t expected. For instance, our attention spans are now shorter than they ever have been and you can see this clearly in the youths having grown up with this stuff. In one of the interviews I clearly heard a dev state, “No, I don’t fucking use these things!” to the point where it seemed like he’d been apprehensive towards the whole situation. I can’t really blame him though, as there I was arguing about silly things with complete strangers at four o’ clock in the morning, and on Christmas no doubt.

Despite all of these ridiculous things, it is still hard to believe that people don’t see me as a journalist. Yes, I do have a day job now, but that is because the face of this work has greatly changed. Obviously, the clickbait websites know that full well. So I often get ridiculed because a man with a day job couldn’t possibly – simply couldn’t possibly be a journalist. Because we’re taught that journalists make an awful lot of money. Right? Well, not these days. Unless you plan on going into the investigative field in places like Syria to document the skirmishes going on over there. That is clearly not my field, as I like to stay grounded here in the US and with topics that I actually know quite a bit about.

There are also several people in the metal scene who I think are a bit jealous when I talk about some of the things I have done in the scene and enjoy badmouthing me for it. It is true that I may go a bit too far explaining my credentials to randoms, but I am overly proud of the work that I have done over the past couple of years and want people to know that. There was a time that I listened to so many records at one time that I actually suffered hearing damage. Yes, my hearing has gotten much worse over the years, but I deal with it the best that I can. I believe as of last count, the total number of songs that I had listened to was over one hundred thousand. That’s a lot of albums and absolutely not an exagerration. We’re talking eight years of work, which now makes me a seasoned writer in this field. So to be honest, I don’t feel that I have to prove that I am a journalist to random people anymore, because it is silly and I think after the whole Facebook debacle, I may refrain from using it so much as ninety percent of it is arguing. To be honest, I think they chould rename it, “Facebook: A Place To Argue.”

Don’t use social media more than you need to. It deprives you of precious moments of your life that you could be using to do something far more beneficial and constructive. I already feel that I’ve lost a lot of mine, especially debating with these kinds of people.

– The Grim Lord

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