Derik Badman's Journal

2020-07-10 10:59

Had two contrasting dreams last night. In one I said to myself "I must give up the illusion[?] of me being an artist." In another I had made two new comics and was going to ask on social media if I should make a few print copies of them (i.e. if anyone wanted one). Psychologically it certainly makes sense, as my artistic output has been almost nothing for years now, but I haven't given up the idea that I could (should) by making something. Instead I'm just consuming a lot of media, filling time with movies and tv shows and books and games. I felt like I was getting somewhere writing some fiction, but now it's been 2 months since I last worked on the story I have in progress.

What I seem to lack anymore is a work ethic. I used to spend hours on my comics. Or I'd at least spend an hour every day for periods of time. But lately I find it a lot harder to just sit down and work on stuff. Maybe at this point my work (job work) is just too much actual work. For so long I had jobs that didn't require that much... thought on my part, nor caused so much stress. It's an excuse, really, but there's truth to it. I could put a lot more energy into other things when my job required so little of it. Though that also is a bad excuse because I've been at this job 10 years and I made all my best comics in that time.

We had yard happy hour and dinner at ███ ███ █████'s last night where we are in the front yard at a table and they are inside at the nearby window. It works out pretty well, though it is occasionally hard for me to hear them because of my poor hearing.

Now it's an all day rainy Friday off from work, and I've already reached past 11 and all I've really done is watch some tv. I started rewatching The Witcher the other day as something to do over breakfast/lunch. I feel like it holds up on second viewing. I think I'm catching more of the references about the differing time periods the characters are in, also more of the way the different storylines echo each other. In particular the way episode 3, with its story about Yennifer being changed physically and mentally, contrasts her story with the one of the princess cursed to be a monster in Geralt's half of the narrative. At one point, a shot of the striga (the monster the princess is) from behind showcases its hunched, bulbous back which immediately brought Yennifer's pre-transformation hunchback to mind.

One thing that annoyed me in my first watch and continues to now is the way the Nilfgaardian invaders are made to seem more evil and fanatical than any of the other kingdoms in the world. It makes them seem worse, and while they are aggressive invaders in this particular instance, it's also clear all the other kingdoms have not been better (in the series we mostly know about this via the various elves or mentions of elves).

Anyway, one of the other westerns I watched on Criterion the other day was Anthony Mann's A Man of the West with Gary Cooper. He's a reformed bandit who ends up stranded when his train is held up. It just happens to be near where he used to live with his bandit uncle and, surprise, he's stil there and it was his men that held up the train. Much tension and fighting ensues as Cooper tries to keep himself and the woman he's with alive, and most of the bandits seem to only avoid killing him because his uncle keeps them from doing it (in some ways this authoritative leader of bandits plot point is what I also saw in Day of the Outlaw, perhaps in some way a further example of how much westerns are about building society and law, even the bad guys have their own rules and leaders to keep them from falling apart). Of course Cooper basically ends up killing all the bandits and saves the woman, who falls in love with him, but in a twist he already has a wife and kids back at home, which makes for a rather unusual romance subplot in this one. I enjoyed this one, though I didn't find it as great as many seem to (based on some reviews I looked at).